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George Mobus
Associate Professor, Computer Science & Systems, School of Engineering and Technology (was Institute of Technology), University of Washington Tacoma, author: Principles of Systems Science, Springer, ISBN: 978-1-4939-1919-2
Interests: Systems Science: systems science is the science of understanding how the world works. it is at the core of every other science. Given our energy and material consumption, and governance of our systems will we be able to sustain all life for the long-run. The Human Condition: the human brain has evolved , our capacity to share abstract/conceptual information, and our ability to cooperate in complex ways have advanced us to dominate the Ecos. but, should we confiscate nature to our selfish purposes? Do we have the wisdom to find a balance between our own desires, and the good for the whole earth?
Recent Activity
@Heiner, I got your invite for LinkedIn but at my old UW email address. LI doesn't recognize me there. My email for LI is george dot mobus at gmail dot com. I would send you an invite but I refuse to become a premium member since I am retired and LI has minimal value for me! George
Eric is quite right, I should have added the word "proximate". My point is that the current triggering of unrest and failing states is the climate chaos and speaking to the fact that the MSM miss this as a rule. I too often assume readers are familiar with my past writings on issues like population in which I do acknowledge the importance of population as for example in the IPAT formulation. I fully grasp that population size and densities contribute to the growing pressures/tensions and are an underlying cause of our problems, including climate change itself (c.f., https://questioneverything.typepad.com/question_everything/2011/10/seven-billion-and-counting.html). Even more fundamental in my mind is that humans are unable to self-regulate or consider consequences of their actions due to the fact that our brains are just not evolved enough in terms of sapience (links to this theory in the post). The average human being is not able to consider what it means that everyone is having so many babies. @Peter I am very familiar with the work of Pielke the younger. I take my cues from actual climate scientists not a political scientist. George
First a note on the new blog, Rethinking Everything. I started the blog late last year with the intention of posting some possible "answers" to questions posed over the years in this blog. My thought was to start off with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2021 at Question Everything
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Readers who have also read my Question Everything blog may well wonder why I am bothering to rethink anything. I am on record for believing that civilization is close to collapse and one might readily suppose that I would think it too late to rethink what we are doing because... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2021 at Rethinking Everything
@Rob, Thanks for the suggestion. Population overshoot has been one of my main concerns for years. Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by "democratically supported?" Perhaps give an example of what you have in mind? George
@Bev, I'm locked into this url I'm afraid. Feel free to copy and paste material from this site to FB if you want. Then cite with something like: Google "rethinking everything" mobus. It comes up at top. Its an extra step but if readers are interested they probably won't mind. I'm not enamored with FB, rarely use it except to read family posts/shares. @Jura, I haven't use RSS in a long while so am not sure about state of the art. The subscribe to this blog feed link only produces the text and does not bring you to this site (peculiar). I recommend just bookmarking and checking from time to time to see what activity there has been. But maybe someone else reading will know how to get notifications. Sorry I can't help. @Peter Sort of what Eric said. I'm asking everyone who is going to make a claim, especially one that might be controversial to properly cite references and, if possible, provide links to peer-reviewed articles (news stories ok to some degree but knowing what I know about most reporters, their lack of keen discrimination and critical judgement as well as adequate schooling in the topics at hand we should all regard them with skepticism). @Steve, Hi my friend. So happy to see you joining in. And, of course, couldn't agree more. George
All, You are invited to participate in my new blog, Rethinking Everything (https://questioneverything.typepad.com/rethinking_everything/) where we can have in-depth discussions of these kinds of issues. @brickbat, How can you be so sure. If you go back in the archives of QE you will find ample evidence that many of the problems we face are NOT fixable. In the new blog all our assertions must be backed by verifiable evidence. George
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2021 on Autumnal Equinox Greetings at Question Everything
The Approach The intent of this blog is to consider all of the beliefs that we humans hold about how the world works that are now becoming evident we got wrong or at least need updating. Today, for example, there is widespread belief that capitalism is a good (if sometimes... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2021 at Rethinking Everything
Welcome to Rethinking Everything I've been blogging for years, starting in 2007, under the heading "Question Everything" (QE). In that blog I raised questions about what is the reality of our world, how the world works, and more importantly, why our world works the way it seems to. My motivation... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2021 at Rethinking Everything
Starting January 1 I will be blogging under a new title: Rethinking Everything, https://questioneverything.typepad.com/rethinking_everything/ . I've posted an introduction that provides an explanation that will show up New Year's Day at this link. I hope many of you will join... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2020 at Question Everything
And good riddance to 2020! With the COVID-19 vaccines starting to make it to peoples' arms there has been heard an audible sigh of relief, understandably so. But what is behind that relief is the belief that with immunity we,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at Question Everything
The smoke has cleared from the Seattle area skies, for the time being. And rains are here and in the forecast. We very much need the moisture. Since my teenage years, reading apocalyptic sci-fi, I always wondered what the end... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2020 at Question Everything
Given all of events going on in the world today: The good news is, it seems to me, that mankind is going through a major mental evolution. That is the noosphere may be going through a phase transition that could... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2020 at Question Everything
Might the SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus be the black swan event that puts us past the tipping point? The virus itself, and the disease it causes, Covid-19, is certainly dangerous in its own right (though the actual death rate is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2020 at Question Everything
I hope this finds you well and, at least for now, safe. When I sat down a few weeks ago to start sketching what I would write about for this post, and after several false starts it dawned on me... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2019 at Question Everything
All, If you are interested in the idea of sapience as a unique human characteristic, which is, unfortunately, only weakly present in the majority of the population, then please read my book. We can all form opinions about what is and isn't genetic or nurture vs. nature. But whether those opinions conform to reality is dependent on scientific facts examined systemically. I addressed the MPP in a reply to my previous blog. George
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2019 on Autumnal Equinox - 2019 at Question Everything
All, Apologies for my lateness in responses. Things are happening and demands are more than should be the case for a retiree! My Autumnal Equinox blog, now up, may supply some thoughts in answer to points made in your commentaries. As always I expect nothing from the current governments and so as long as the citizens permit them to govern, they are committing species suicide! The truly sapient among us will drop out of the social structure and prepare for the worst. George
All, I have attempted to show that humans have transcended mere animalness vis-a-vis the properties of sapience in the book. So, for example, the maximum power principle may be (to some degree) overridden by governance. Not too dissimilar to the way in which power dissipation (through oxidation) is controlled in metabolism. Power is still dissipated but over a longer time frame. Recommend you read the book and consider the arguments before dismissing the thoughts I've expressed in this blog. George
All, Apologies for my lateness of response. Retirement finds me involved in more projects than is reasonable! What I am suggesting is that there is a universal evolution as the process that produces increasingly complex organization and that humans in their current form may be seed components for the next round of complexification. But only if there is further evolution (selection) of sapience. Evolution is always a kind of crap shoot! The only thing we can say definitely about it is that it WILL happen as long as there are energy gradients in the universe. @Gary, Paul has a Facebook group. You might try searching for him there.
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2019 on Could There Be Any Hope? at Question Everything
Several people have said that the link I provided for the Doomstead diner doesn't work(?) It did for me. But if you use RE's link to Youtube you should be able to get the interview.
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2019 on Autumnal Equinox - 2019 at Question Everything
Three Books You Should Read and a Big Question First the question. How did we get here? Here, of course, means the impending collapse of global civilization, of technologically-based cultures, of the majority of the human population, of the great... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2019 at Question Everything
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There Is a Technical and Feasible Solution to Reducing CO2 - But... This is not a claim that we can solve the climate change problem. It certainly isn't a solution that will allow us to continue BAU. I cling to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2019 at Question Everything
Dear Readers, A quick note to let you know that my book on sapience (ideas first explored in this blog), "A Theory of Sapience: Using Systems Science to Understand the Nature of Wisdom and the Human Mind", has been published... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2019 at Question Everything
My thanks to Paul Chefurka for his comments that have prompted me to share some of my more recent thinking. As with Paul's thinking, mine has been evolving. So for what it might be worth... The hope of which I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2019 at Question Everything
@Frank, Several years back I reported in this blog about my research in the psychology and neurology of sapience, or the brain basis of wisdom. The starter page is here: https://questioneverything.typepad.com/question_everything/2008/12/sapience-introduction.html and you can search the archives for pages related to "sapience". Basically I argue that we evolved to pass a threshold of cognitive capacity that makes us humans unique animals. It isn't intelligence, but the capacity to develop wisdom over a lifetime. Except that the average human being is just above that threshold, so their capacity is yet weak. The series of chapters try to address your question directly. ------------------------------------ @Karl, Exactly so. The evidence of collapse is all around us. ------------------------------------ @Norris, Thank you for this and what you are doing. I have posted, in years gone by, suggestions for a social system based on localization and reductions in materiality. As per my comment above, these are based on a society of eusapient individuals. I would suggest that what is needed is more than just the abandonment of FFs. What is driving the destruction of civilization as we have known it is capitalism and the belief in profits and growth. It has succeeded in taking over the zeitgeist because it appeals to our less-than-sapient selves. But it is capitalism that drives an insatiable need for FFs to drive industry and commerce. ------------------------------------ @Molly, Good to hear from you. I am working on some projects that address the issues I just mentioned to Norris. When I have some results I will likely write them up for the blog. A major paper is being presented in June to the ISSS conference. So it is coming together. ------------------------------------- @Raquel, Very unsustainable. But that doesn't mean some kind of life for humans and society needs to be unsustainable. We just need a better design for living and a lot fewer people! That is what we are facing and, it seems, sooner than later. ------------------------------------ @Fred, Thanks for the heads up on Wilson's book. Putting it on my list right now. He is one of the most eusapient people I have ever encountered. George