My Environmental Philosophy

Truth is a challenge both for those who espouse it and those who oppose it. I have for a long time been confused by a world of people who seem so preoccupied that they either do not have time to hear the truth or the Will to see it for themselves, or they see the truth perhaps as a hindrance to their own motivations and goals or even their very selves. I see those who oppose the truth as narrow minded and short sighted. They value themselves or have a lack of empathy with much of the world around them, perhaps due to maximum empathy towards a particular place or thing. Such fixations by individuals on parts of reality can lead to them making war with other parts, especially when feeling their part is threatened.

I have long sought to condemn those who oppose the truth out of mere fear for themselves. Such actions I see as arrogant and disrespectful, and unethical. However my experience may be propelled or fueled by the way in which I approach delicate subjects. I tend to attempt to be careful, but I myself, so fixated on the truth and the importance of understanding it, go about understanding things by revealing them and dissecting to analyze them. In the process of doing so, I must ask myself if I am respecting those currently handling the subject, their experiences, and the subject matter itself.

It is so simple for me to view any opposition to the revealing of truth as ill-motive. Just the same it is easy to write off ill-motive as coincidence. Even when multiple observations stack up as evidence of ill-motive, the proof is in the pudding, which is to say that the suspicion would be proven by revealing hidden actions and not only remarking on signs of possible hidden actions. While some people have time to be interested in considering what is possible, most people seem to be waiting for the obvious to tap on their shoulder. They choose to not look until somebody points and tells them why and where they should look.

Many people are wrapt up in life and go along for the ride, because they connect themselves to fast lanes of socio-economic travel. Many people want a quick ride up and they don’t care much for anybody else. They wrongly believe that everyone else is doing the same thing. They wrongly believe that the ones not on their way up simply failed at some point and stopped trying, or never tried at all. These people are found much in the youth of any generation as they jockey for favor above their peers, but also in the old who have set themselves on a narrow path. They do this if they see a narrow niche to fill and need to displace others to get there. They judge everyone else through a specialist lens. They may not realize that many people are generalists, and that judging them with a specialist lens will lead to large misconceptions.

For example, a specialist may notice a generalist’s lack of ability to conform to a complex, closed-system, but just the same a generalist may notice a specialist’s lack of ability to survive in an open system. A generalist may abhor the way a specialist behaves, because when separated from their niche a specialist goes about creating that niche where possible and with even limited tools. A specialist will conform every inch of that niche to their satisfaction, because only in doing so can they make that environment irrelevant to other species and particularly relevant to themselves. This will match the task for which they specialize. A generalist can survive in a specialist’s position but may not feel compelled to stay in that position. So a generalist may come off as an invader and disrespectful, while a specialist who transforms their part of the environment completely may seem that way to a generalist. A generalist may see this way, because they tend to leave the environment the way it is as they go around, taking what they need as they go. A generalist can survive as a nomad due to their adaptability. They may see it as disrespectful for someone to go about conforming some aspect of the environment for only themselves, and not to share with others. At the very least it is frustrating to be a traveler because you are always treated like an outsider wherever you go.

In making observations about the character and activities of generalist and specialist species it becomes possible to see human conflict as a conflict between generalist and specialist humans. Whereas other animals tend to be either specialists or generalists as a species, humans have the potential to take on any form in nature. That is the reason why humans reign supreme within nature, but also the reason why humans have a great responsibility. Humans come from nature, and all in nature have a function or a purpose. To have a function means to have a skill or skills that sets one apart and allows one to consume energy, altering the environment, and giving off a by-product which is complementary to another species. For humans to exist they too must fulfill some purpose and perform work which gives off some byproduct that is useful. Like all organisms humans create energy for themselves by breaking molecular bonds and creating new structures, harnessing the remaining energy. Unlike other animals, humans have a unique ability to adapt to any condition and to take on any form necessary to complete any task.

I believe humans exist then, to do all the tasks that other animals cannot do. This presupposes the notion that as a system, the earth itself is performing a function and that all life on earth is conscious of, as one mind.

Of all entities on earth there are two types- those that fulfill their purpose and those that do not. By default an unfulfilled purpose leads to the recycling of energy to try again. Eventually as the universe cools, humans will run out of time to complete the cycle of tasks required to fulfill earth’s purpose. The way to understanding and to fulfillment is at first in the approach.

For an individual to fulfill a purpose which is to perform a task, simple or special as the task may be, they must first recognize the potential to do so and have the skill to as well. Humans perform general purposes and special purposes as well. No generalist is merely energy to be recycled. No specialist is as unique as they seem. All are part of a greater whole and each subset is dependent upon each other to survive. After all for there to be a niche there must also be an open environment. For there to be an open environment there must also be a closed one. So while specialists and generalists may feel at odds with each other they are complementary and dependent upon each other to perform a greater function achieved by the system itself, and not by individuals. Individuals however, have the ability to impact the entire system in profound ways.

Taking the generalist’s stance, I blame specialists, but not those found in niches, but those who when caught without a niche will transform the open world. I complain not about the specialists who carve a new niche for themselves, whether it is in a place I agree with or not. No I complain about those specialists who seem to think themselves to be generalists, and in their confusion go about turning the entire planet into their own personal niche. Such individuals, when paired with others like themselves, can spread out in vast networks that become the space between things, and act on or manipulate those things. Like the effect of a sticky goo, a generalist would abhor the slowing energy-sapping effect of traveling in an environment that has been modified to suit a particular type of actor. When a specialist is confined to a niche one might avoid their lair, but when a specialist overruns an area one might call that an infestation. Even still someone might be able to avoid an area or even a region. I might find it perfectly satisfying for instance, to never go into the African rain forest, or even to write off travel to Africa altogether, but I might be fooling myself if I thought there were few inhospitable environments found in the Americas. Tame as it may seem, every square mile of earth has its own challenges.

Physically, a species is not apt to overrun an area so large that parts of its own area of control are inhospitable to itself. So a species may be confined so as not to overrun the entire planet, but some concepts can travel around the world and back in a day. Few things can achieve this, on a limited scope like an airplane carrying a small number of passengers, relative to the earth’s human population. One thing most notably can affect and impact all individual humans on earth, which can then lead to real impacts on other species and the environment- that is, the notion of an idea.

As an idea is something that is brought to light, through the forming of words, by an individual, an idea is also something that thereafter travels into the ears and minds of others who understand that language. It also may affect others who don’t understand that language and who are left to interpret it, and human activities evidently affect animal activities in many ways, but for my argument I will focus on the way humans understand and interpret humans.

A human may passively or actively listen to or view words spoken or writ by another human. In itself this range and diversity can lead to a plethora of ways for humans to interpret each other. When heard or viewed, an idea can be internalized and internalization is a form of activity, though silent, and results potentially in a restructuring of the information received and the synapses of a person’s mind.

An idea can also be mirrored, which is to say it gets copied and pasted with or without errors in its construction, or accidental additions perhaps, and passed on to a third human. Through six degrees of separation ideas can flow around the world, in cycles over and over again, and the diversity of the resulting reorganization found within each individual can be as or more abundant than information found in the genetic code. The complexity of information transfer and storage has profound implications for the understanding of the purpose of humanity and in fact all species.

In viewing a larger scale of human activity and information dynamics, one becomes lost in the grandeur of it all and any sense that can be made becomes wild guesswork. However some throughout history have carefully, generation after generation, handed down via word of mouth, rituals and other inspirational and creative works, a ledger of the nature of reality as it pertains to the cycles of energy and matter in the region of the universe surrounding our planet. It is to those ledgers that I will apply myself, in search of activity that is more meaningful to myself.

I must come full circle now and question the nature of my own experience as related to this decision to explore the unknown. I believe there is more to find and I seek to find it, so that I can perhaps find my place in the world where I fit and where my work can be respected by others, and thereby respected by myself. So am I a generalist at odds with specialists, as I so elucidated, or am I a specialist without a home? Do I tend to await the approval of others or is there some other reason why my search for a home doesn’t seem to end? Is it by some genetic flaw that I wander, or is it that I have yet to manifest that great experience of life that is lived when a creature actively creates a new way of altering their environment, in order to survive accordingly? With each new environment one finds there are opportunities for the transmuting of material for the harnessing of energy. Some environments are overused and some are underused. Many seek to find a balance for each of these parts of nature, but also many people do not focus on how great it is, to use an old environment in a new way, or to use a new environment at all whereas its use has been so challenged by its own intricacies.

I strongly feel as an individual, as if conflict is something to be avoided. I judge myself for this, but all organisms must choose wisely, to ensure their activities return more energy than they took to perform. I have long felt that I may fit into a place and still not belong or want to be there. I may shy away from existing in an open environment. I may venture to exploit the conditions of a niche. Along the way I may be unable to take a niche from another creature, but perhaps my flaw is that I don’t go about building my own. If I were to watch a niche builder at work I could copy them, but having failed to observe that I am in a position to require creativity. I also feel as if the world is changing in such a way that old patterns won’t be successful in the future.

In my critique of others I have learned something about myself. I have gleaned perspective that allows me to forego conflict with others, relative to my wandering around, and to begin work on my personal goal of carving out a niche of my own. Of course this presents its own challenges, especially if another specialist like myself has eyed the same environment for its own home. It is so unfortunate that conflict is inherent in every action we take. Even inaction, which can lead to such aimless wandering as I have experienced, can be unfortunate.

So truly there is no such thing as inaction, except perhaps by some narrow view of activity. After all one’s heart still beats and lungs still breath as they sit still alone. If you do not live today, you will have to still live tomorrow and the next. When you do choose to live, that day will be called today. So today is the day one should act, every day, so as not to put off one’s purpose to some far off future that may never manifest, having not been worked on at a gradual pace and constantly.

In exploring my own environmental philosophy I have also defined what I had believed to be my own nature. What I found through this reflection is a greater reflection still, which is that I am the homeless specialist which I myself complained about. Then, are we all just specialists with or without a home, and is there truly such a thing as a generalist human? I am the one without a niche, spreading byproducts of myself across the planet, and what an adventure it has been. While many tend to one place I have traveled across the world and back, to arrive at an exquisitely rich environment.

It is here that I feel comfortable and carefree, and at home, but I have yet to carve out my niche. I have yet to select a location for it. Though I try to make myself useful in the pre-carved niches of others, I find myself only rejected in those spaces. There just isn’t enough room for sharing, in those places, for the special of the specialists. Those pre-carved places are more like training halls for specialists to pass through on their way out into a world where they will need to copy such a pattern, if not to do something similar. So in recognizing this pattern to life as it relates to my experience, I have found some reprieve, in the notion I might have a place after all to call my home. It is a place that I have yet to construct, and so to begin such construction would be prudent. To first learn some form to copy, or choose from known forms, or to create a new form becomes my next key step.

I began by viewing the world through the lens of truth activism, and came to consider my own limitations in understanding my own place in the world and the meaning of it all for me and for humans and all species as a whole, for the planet as a greater organism, and even for the universe as a system of energy. Finally I must make a complete circle through remarking on the nature of truth and its use as a defensive and an offensive weapon.

The truth is used by some to retain a position, and by others like myself to obtain a position, but it is the journey and not the truth itself which is important. As I find myself to be a wanderer, I also must accuse myself of being an abuser of the truth, using it for purposes I myself do not comprehend, failing to follow through and betraying the fact of my lack of regard for it. My use of the truth as a weapon reflects my own lack of feeling, of having a place in this world, as if to be a list of grievances at those who hamper or stop my progress, without regard for the reason for my own lack of progress and my own inactivity.

In struggling to overcome my own narrow-mindedness perhaps this reflection can inspire others, to reflect deeply on the nature of experience and the phenomena that occur during experience. There are many ways which we define reality which are rather complementary to ourselves, our position in the world and to our relationships to parts of our environment. Only through a critical examination of oneself can one possibly fix the faults that make one deficient as an organism, if that is truly the reality. It seems one like myself would merely hope that this will somehow magically make life sensical or give it meaning on a grand scale. Somehow such a reality has not expressed itself within this reflection, within this reflection. And so a challenge still remains, at least for myself, to remain uncomfortable with my place in the world. Is hope of greater meaning the reason for my wandering? I had just concluded it is my lack of skill. How amazing it is to spend time in thought, and come out more confused than when you began.

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