Organisms, superorganisms


No one lives in a vacuum. We are all connected with one another whether we like it or not. So when people say ‘one love’ they are not necessarily lying. Yet often they are, so what gives.

Life follows certain patterns or fractals if you will; self-repeating patterns of symmetry on different scales.  Life repeats itself. This repetition occurs on many levels, an obvious one being that one-celled organisms cooperate to form multi-cellular organisms. A single bacteria is a miracle of life but a stomach filled with an entire flora of bacteria is certainly a miracle of miracles. Tiny life-forms cooperate to form evermore complex forms of life. Cells begat tissues begat organs begat humans begat civilisations.

Life is at every level presented with prisoner’s dilemmas: cooperate or defect? Does the left lung put in the same amount of work as the right kidney? Is gene #10.248 as cooperative as gene #26.030 or does it screw over gene #26.030? As always there is no morality involved but the morale of the survivor.

The same happens on a larger scale- not just within humans but between humans. We’re all part of the circle of life, all part of the same carbon-based genetic life forms and thus we all speak the common language of life. We are part of something that is bigger than ourselves, something which I’ve been calling a superorganism in my mind.

A superorganism’s boundaries are as vaguely defined as any form of life. A family is a superorganism, but so is a school, a police station, a village or an entire state. The internet is a very freaky type of superorganism.

Since superorganisms follow similar fractal rules as regular organisms we can make statements about superorganisms as if they were regular organisms. For instance we can call a superorganism sick, such as when Moldbug claimed that the West is infected with a parasite. We might also nuance the claims of people loudly singing ‘One Love’ – these people often imply that we are one love in the way a lung and a heart are part of the same body, but more often we are one love in the way 2 bacteria compete for resources on the same body.

It is often said that mankind seems more evolved to get along with other people than to understand truth. This makes sense because being in harmony with the relevant superorganism is often more critical for survival than the truth, even if that means sickness for the superorganism.

3 thoughts on “Organisms, superorganisms

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.