Seek peace. Conquer the world.

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Modern man wants to conquer the world. He wishes to control the universe. Because he thinks he knows himself. Because he believes the cosmos should bow to him.

And the cosmos laughs.

And man dies in agony.

For there is nothing to conquer but yourself. There is nothing to control except your desire to control things. And the more we know the more we distance our self from the only thing we need to know.

Stay silent.

Listen to your self.

“Do you know me?”, He asks.

Do you dare to answer?

Seek peace. And you will discover the chaos of life. The darkness of existence. The nothingness of Being.

And in that nothingness… You.

Crying.

Having conquered the cosmos.

Attack when they are stronger…

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Does the time of day matter when our body is infected by a parasite? According to new research from McGill University, it matters a great deal.

Our body works differently at different times of the day following our internal clocks. Researchers from McGill University and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute have now established that parasitic infections are also controlled by these clocks. The severity of a microbe’s infection will thus vary whether it is encountered during the day or at night, a discovery that scientists believe could pave the way to new treatment and prevention strategies for parasitic infections.

Scientists who studied Leishmania (a parasite that causes leishmaniasis and that is transmitted at night by the female sandfly) concluded that its infection was more effective in the early night, a time when the immune response to the parasite was the strongest. Simply put, the parasite thrives when it elicits a strong immune response, attracting inflammatory cells it uses to multiply (macrophages and neutrophils) to the infection site. (1)

What elegant mechanisms does nature has to restore balance.

People have always fought to build knowledge.

And yet…

Nature tries to warn us…

The strongest prejudice propagates better through a solid knowledgeable mind.

The darkest dogmas find fruitful ground in the most educated societies.

The more certain you are for yourself, the less you expect that you are wrong.

Knowledge does not exist but in our arrogant minds. And no matter how much we built it, Nature is there to destroy it. To remind us that the only solid knowledge is non-knowledge. That the cosmos is illogical. Full of things only the children see.

Trust the child inside you. Once you knew everything. Once you were in Paradise. And then you tried to learn. And then you tried to understand. And the paradise was lost. And the world became a darker place…

Let go.

And you will have everything within your grasp again.

Optimizing farming. Fractals and global optimums. Balance. Letting go.

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Bali’s famous rice terraces, when seen from above, look like colorful mosaics because some farmers plant synchronously, while others plant at different times. The resulting fractal patterns are rare for human-made systems and lead to optimal harvests without global planning.

To understand how Balinese rice farmers make their decisions for planting, a team of scientists led by Stephen Lansing (Nanyang Technological University) and Stefan Thurner (Medical University of Vienna, Complexity Science Hub Vienna, IIASA, SFI), both external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, modeled two variables: water availability and pest damage. Farmers that live upstream have the advantage of always having water; while those downstream have to adapt their planning on the schedules of the upstream farmers.

Here, pests enter the scene. When farmers are planting at different times, pests can move from one field to another, but when farmers plant in synchrony, pests drown and the pest load is reduced. So upstream farmers have an incentive to share water so that synchronous planting can happen. However, water resources are limited and there is not enough water for everybody to plant at the same time. As a result of this constraint, fractal planting patterns emerge, which yield close to maximal harvests.

“The remarkable finding is that this optimal situation arises without central planners or coordination. Farmers interact locally and take local individual free decisions, which they believe will optimize their own harvest. And yet the global system works optimally,” says Lansing. “What is exciting scientifically is that this is in contrast to the tragedy of the commons, where the global optimum is not reached because everyone is maximizing his individual profit. This is what we are experiencing typically when egoistic people are using a limited resource on the planet, everyone optimizes the individual payoff and never reach an optimum for all,” he says.

The scientists find that under these assumptions, the planting patterns become fractal, which is indeed the case as they confirm with satellite imagery. “The system becomes remarkably stable, again without any planning — stability is the outcome of a remarkably simple but efficient self-organized process” Thurner says. (1)

We believe that everything needs planning. We believe that we need to analyze things, to reach logical conclusions, to plan and then to re-plan in order to reach an optimum effect.

But these farmers did not plan anything and yet it seems that they managed to reach to a state where crops grew in an optimum way. (Unless of course you name the “I want to plant now in my field” as “planning”. The choice of words is always important for our civilization and it seems that we tend to name everything based on our view of the cosmos) But looking more closely, we will see that they did not actually manage anything. The system simply evolved as it is meant to evolve. Planning too much simply disrupts this natural evolution of things. Fractals emerge only to show the obvious; everything is the same everywhere. It is just your distinct perspective that creates the illusion of difference (and change).

All systems have the natural tendency to reach a balance.

And humans have the tendency to always be impressed by that simple fact.

But what we fail to see is that all processes at the end reach that balance.

Because the cosmos is not under our control.

We are under the control of the cosmos.

Let go1. Grow the crops without planning.

And it will seem2 like you have planned everything.

Harmonia Philosophical Explanatory Notes

1 “Let go” not in the sense of “Be lazy and do nothing because the crops will grow on their own” but in the sense of “Accept the nature’s cycles and trust the cosmos. Plan only when and at the extent required. Try not to change and control the cosmos”…

2 It seems cynical, but isn’t that what it is all about after all? At least for the western civilization? Appearances? We all care so much about the phenomena, that we have forgotten the simple fact that phenomena are a cloak which conceals the truth, even though nature continuously reminds us of our illusion. On the other hand, when something looks as if it is planned (even though it is not), wouldn’t that mean that is simply… is? A weird place the cosmos is. (and philosophy is actually a much weirder place)

Synchronizing things… That are already in sync…

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Scientists have set up the world’s most precise ‘metronome’ for a kilometer-wide network. The timing system synchronizes a 4.7-kilometer-long laser-microwave network with 950 attoseconds precision. An attosecond is a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second. (1)

Impressive. Or so it seems.

Because the problem is not synchronization per se.

Everything is already synchronized. In their own frequencies, according to their own preferences. The problem is that we want to synchronize things as we wish fit. We want to exert control. We do not care about how nature is already synchronized. All we care is to make our machine work.

But How would we progress? someone might ask…

Sure. Making a laser and achieving state of the art synchronization is ‘progress’. But after doing that just wonder: What if that synchronization is at the expense of another more valuable synchronization? What if you disrupted something much more fundamental in order to make this laser network work? Yes, it now works. However I have the sense that we are not more happy or more complete as humans because of this ‘achievement’.

Somehow I have the feeling that a river somewhere stopped flowing…

Even for an attosecond.

Memories. For ever (changing)…

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Conventional memories used in today’s computers only differentiate between the bit values 0 and 1. In quantum physics, however, arbitrary superpositions of these two states are possible. Most of the ideas for new quantum technology devices rely on this “Superposition Principle”. One of the main challenges in using such states is that they are usually short-lived. Only for a short period of time can information be read out of quantum memories reliably, after that it is irrecoverable.

A research team at TU Wien has now taken an important step forward in the development of new quantum storage concepts. In cooperation with the Japanese telecommunication giant NTT, the Viennese researchers lead by Johannes Majer are working on quantum memories based on nitrogen atoms and microwaves. The nitrogen atoms have slightly different properties, which quickly leads to the loss of the quantum state. By specifically changing a small portion of the atoms, one can bring the remaining atoms into a new quantum state, with a lifetime enhancement of more than a factor of ten. These results have been published in the journal “Nature Photonics”. (1)

The atoms are everywhere. Changing all the time. But we want them to be somewhere. In order to control them. In order to keep information there.

Because we want to create memories.

In an ever changing world, we want to find stability. Even though everything changes all the time, we want them to follow stable rules, patterns, certain paths. Inside everything, we need something. We seek constancy in an ever turbulent cosmos.

Because we need to be able to remember. To know.

And the weird thing is that we do know. Even though it seems we cannot find stability, we somehow find it. Because we do remember. Because we Are. Something we do not fully grasp now. And yet, we feel it. The world is not what it seems to be. The world can stop moving. The world can stop changing. The world can come to a halt.

As long as we decide it.

As long as we stop trying.

As long as we accept it is already stable…

See the stars moving.

They are not.

Yes, now I remember!