SOS #91    J. Morris Hicks    (2-2-21)  
Can we survive our own dysfunction?
That's a good question to be asking on...

Instead of "Is spring just around the corner?" -- the better question for us humans to ask ourselves on Groundhog Day might be: 

Will humanity be able to conform to nature's rulebook soon enough to save ourselves or is Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) our only hope?

Since 2011, when we published our first book, Healthy Eating, Healthy World, I have been operating under the premise that we humans are capable of saving our species from extinction and I still believe that to be true -- with this exception -- one that is explained here by E.O. Wilson, from his 2013 book, The Meaning of Human Existence.

He basically says that we have the skills and knowledge to save ourselves -- but for the fact that we are an innately dysfunctional species. He writes:

"Human beings are not wicked by nature. We have enough intelligence, goodwill, generosity and enterprise to turn Earth into a paradise both for ourselves and for the biosphere that gave us birth.

We can plausibly accomplish that goal, at least be well on the way, by the end of the present century. The problem holding everything up thus far is that Homo sapiens is an innately dysfunctional species.

We are hampered by the Paleolithic Curse: genetic adaptations that worked very well for millions of years of hunter-gatherer existence but are increasingly a hindrance in a globally urban and techno-scientific society.

We seem unable to stabilize either economic policies or the means of governance higher than the level of a village. 

Further, the great majority of people worldwide remain in the thrall of tribal organized religions, led by men who claim supernatural power in order to compete for the obedience and resources of the faithful.

A prime example of our dysfunction. The idea behind this SOS Memo originated last weekend as I was thinking about how Covid has disrupted the entire world -- yet we rarely even mention the annual death toll of two other huge categories of diseases that are highly preventable or even reversible.
  • I am talking about cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer -- with a combined global annual death toll of twenty-eight million -- 18 million from CVD and 10 million from cancer (Per the World Health Organization, WHO). 
  • Stated another way. There are more worldwide deaths from cancer and heart disease in a single month, than there are from Covid in an entire year. 
Here's where our dysfunction comes in. With animal-based foods being the primary driver of CVD and cancer -- you'd think that we humans would have come to our senses long ago by switching to a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) way of eating.

That's because the WFPB diet-style has been proven many times to be capable of preventing these two killer diseases -- and in the cases of heart disease, actually reversing it within months -- a fact with which the majority of Earth's humans, including many medical doctors, are still unaware:

There is now a plethora of scientific and clinical data from the likes of T. Colin Campbell of Cornell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic that support the above statement, but our collective dysfunction prevents us from accepting it.

Esselstyn and Campbell enjoying nature. 

As a result...some 28 million people continue to suffer and die each year from diseases that are almost totally preventable.  

In the case of easily preventing, or reversing, many chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes with simple dietary changes, the root cause of our dysfunction is money.

How can that be? You see, there is a lot of money being made today by the companies that produce animal-based foods, by the companies that sell drugs to people with heart disease and cancer and by the entire healthcare industry that derives well over half its revenue from treating diseases -- the majority of which are easily preventable or reversible.

What about animal-based foods and Covid? That brings up another dirty little secret. During the first year of Covid, a sizable portion of the world's population has become aware that virtually ALL pandemics have originated in wild animals and would have never made it to humans were it not for the massive animal-based food industry. 

The moral of this story is "STOP MESSING* WITH NATURE" and she will stop messing with us.

*With regards to "messing with nature," check out this 9-minute video that was posted by Klaus Mitchell in April of 2020, just as Covid-19 was hitting its stride. He tells it like it is with regards to how deadly viruses move between wild animals and domestic farm animals.

Switching the entire Earth to plant-based eating for humans would save trillions of dollars in healthcare and food costs -- while saving many millions of lives a year -- and it might even give us a fighting chance of surviving climate change. 

But with 195 countries and thousands of religions in a world where there is so much angst and disagreement, I am not feeling very confident about our chances of transforming our lives into a way of living that will be compatible with the natural world. Without a doubt, we simply must find a way of...

Moving away from our dysfunction. We need better thinking and it sounds like E.O. Wilson is saying that we need to embrace the kind of thinking that may only be possible with artificial intelligence. 

"We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely."

-E.O. Wilson 

How did we get to this place? In my opinion, it is because of greed, dysfunction and widespread ignorance of what constitutes a health-promoting, disease-reversing diet -- that we are likely doomed as a species. 

That's because if we can't figure out something as simple as eating the right food for our species, how can we possibly expect to figure out how to totally convert our very destructive way of living into a civilization that can operate in harmony with nature indefinitely? 

Perhaps our best hope for the future is to leverage the awesome power of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) to take over the "administration" of the entire human population. With the help of our robotic friends, maybe our future lives will look something like this:

Since we've not been very successful up to now -- in terms of creating a sustainable way of living for ourselves, maybe we should facilitate a partnership with the AGI-enabled robots of the future who will be able to think and solve problems a million times faster than humans. 

Here's the way I see it. If they (the hopefully benevolent robots) do step in, they would take care of our housing, transportation, food, clothing & healthcare needs -- leaving us with lots of time to plan ways to improve the natural world, while pursuing the humanities like art, theater, poetry, the symphony, playing games, socializing, and touring the planet via non-invasive flying cruise ships with our friends and families.

I like to think of the future like this. We humans will live and work in a place that is similar to a luxury resort -- a magical place where the benevolent robots take care of all of our physical needs, we take care of them -- and we all work together to take care of Mother Nature.

As for our entertainment and travel in a world that is managed by our cyborg friends, things could be a lot worse than living in a world with travel amenities that look like these images: 

James Lovelock, still alive and well at 101, was the one who planted the seeds of many ideas expressed in this SOS Memo. In the slide below, he seems to agree with my own conclusion that we're not likely to be able to save our own species without some help from our robotic friends.

And he sees that as a good thing -- basically saying, in his latest book, Novacene, that we need each other. 

The Bottom Line. It pains me to say, but I am running out of confidence that we humans will ever be able to take the steps necessary to save ourselves. A series of devastating natural disasters might jolt us into thinking more realistically, but I still have my doubts. 

Left to our own devices, I now consider it doubtful that we will ever learn to live sustainably enough -- soon enough -- to save ourselves. But, with the help of our lightning-fast thinking robots, we just might make it. 

So what can we do? How can we as individuals help ensure that we have enough time for the Novacene era to save us from extinction? 

What can you do now? You can help buy us some time. By far, the most powerful step you can take -- to help slow down climate change -- is to switch now to a whole food, plant-based diet. You can also minimize your consumption of "stuff" along with eliminating a host of other wasteful and harmful habits from your daily life. 

In Chapter 14 of Outcry, we provided a top-ten list of recommendations for living a greener life -- which might help to buy us the time needed for the transition to a brand new habitat for humans where ONLY green lifestyle options will exist.  
Click on the image above to view Outcry on Amazon.

You can find a handy link to this entire memo at the SOS Memos page. It is Memo #91, posted on February 2, 2021. While there, you can also join my mailing list.

In closing, let's do all that we can to get the attention of enough powerful leaders in industry, government, academia and entertainment to sharply raise the volume of the global "conversation" on this most crucial of all topics.

Finally, you should definitely read Outcry and encourage others to do the same. To my knowledge, It is the only book in the world that features an envisioned, totally-green, ultra-sustainable, super-desirable, future habit for humans -- along with steps for how we might get there using today's technology.

Please circulate this SOS Memo widely and encourage others to do the same. Contact me directly at the email below if you would like to discuss.   

One more thing, check out the exciting Covid-19 news from T. Colin Campbell in the PS below.

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks


PS: Breaking News! On the topic of "The Nutritional Link to Covid 19," Dr. T. Colin Campbell just published, on 1-29-21, a new paper at EC Nutrition, which is a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed scientific journal. 
In it, he hypothesizes that a whole food, plant-based diet may very well be able to provide immunity to COVID-19. To view the paper, go to the EC Nutrition home page  and scroll down to "Latest Articles," where Colin's article is listed third. You can then click on the pdf link to the entire piece on the right. Regarding his hypothesis, Colin says that if it's correct, it would be a huge game-changer.

Also, let's talk.To help jumpstart a global conversation 
that I keep encouraging, I am now offering to conduct private Zoom conferences free of charge to groups of almost any size. I look forward to Zooming with you and your group sometime soon. 

Send me an email and let's get started.

In preparation for those Zoom visits, I have developed a one-hour format consisting of an opening statement followed by a 20-minute slide show and then ending with a discussion and Q&A with the attendees. The sessions you organize will be far more interesting and productive if attendees have read Outcry in advance.

Our book, for a host of environmental reasons, is only available as an e-book on Amazon. As such, it contains hyperlinks to hundreds of references and videos, is less expensive, does not kill any trees and does not have to be manufactured and delivered. 

You can join my mailing list and/or find all of my previous postings by visiting the SOS Memos page on my websiteHere are a few of them where you can see how my vision has evolved since that first "creative idea" on 9-21-18:

As always, I am just trying to spark a global conversation about what is needed. By sharing a vision of what I believe is possible, I hope to influence others to think bigger, better and bolder. 

What else can you do to help? Two things:

1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are crucially necessary for saving our civilization.

2. Share this BSB and my "Mama Ain't Happy" BSB with prominent journalists, thought leaders and/or elected officials whom you respect. They need to learn a lot more about the many reasons why Mama ain't happy.

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

Want to see earlier SOS Memos? Click here
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