Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

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Steve3007
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » August 28th, 2018, 6:02 am

Greta wrote:My understanding is that insects were quite massive back in the dinosaurs' day due to the increased oxygen in the air. Note an ideal time - dinos, giant insects and constant huge wildfires. Not sure of the exact reasoning (and couldn't be bothered Googling ATM) Animals with exoskeletons absorb oxygen but it relates to the limitations of how one can absorb oxygen with an exoskeleton and the difficulty of getting the oxygen all the way around a very large body.
That's my understanding too. It's interesting that so many problems in nature boil down to the problem of maximising the surface area between one environment and another environment. Hence the importance of approximations of fractals. In this case, a problem solved in us by lungs. The shape of a tree, both above and below the ground, seems to be almost entirely devoted to being an efficient interface between air, sunlight and earth. (I'm sure we've discussed this loads of times before.)
Thrylix wrote:Well, I step on bugs because I think it's funny. I'd guess that reason isn't practical but I don't see why it isn't a valid reason.
It's arguably no worse than my occasional habit of eating the meat of sentient animals purely because I enjoy the taste of it. It's fun. I don't need red meat to keep me alive. In fact, medical professionals tell me it's bad for me. But I still occasionally conspire in the killing of cows and pigs to get it. So I don't see your killing of bugs for fun as being as bad as my behaviour, unless it somehow causes you to get a general taste for killing. They say serial killers (of humans) usually start with non-human animals. Perhaps before that they start with bugs? That would be an argument against a behaviour because of other behaviours to which it might lead.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Greta » August 28th, 2018, 4:51 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 6:02 am
Greta wrote:My understanding is that insects were quite massive back in the dinosaurs' day due to the increased oxygen in the air. Note an ideal time - dinos, giant insects and constant huge wildfires. Not sure of the exact reasoning (and couldn't be bothered Googling ATM) Animals with exoskeletons absorb oxygen but it relates to the limitations of how one can absorb oxygen with an exoskeleton and the difficulty of getting the oxygen all the way around a very large body.
That's my understanding too. It's interesting that so many problems in nature boil down to the problem of maximising the surface area between one environment and another environment. Hence the importance of approximations of fractals. In this case, a problem solved in us by lungs. The shape of a tree, both above and below the ground, seems to be almost entirely devoted to being an efficient interface between air, sunlight and earth. (I'm sure we've discussed this loads of times before.)
Funny you should say that because I see tree roots and lungs as being functionally largely the same - with animals rooted to the atmosphere as trees by their lungs are rooted into the ground, and the respective systems' branching appearance look about the same.

Also note that a craving for red meats can be due to a relative lack of iron or amino acids so I would only see equivalence with deliberate bug killing if you ate red meat more than a couple of times per week.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » August 29th, 2018, 4:01 am

Greta wrote:Funny you should say that because I see tree roots and lungs as being functionally largely the same - with animals rooted to the atmosphere as trees by their lungs are rooted into the ground, and the respective systems' branching appearance look about the same.
Yes, because they both solve the same underlying problem - maximising the 2 dimensional surface area which forms the boundary between one 3 dimensional volume of space and another, to maximise the efficiency of flow between those two volumes. Same with capillaries. I can't think of any other near-fractal shapes that solve that same geometrical problem right now, but it's interesting to consider that river systems form the same kind of shape but for (apparently) completely different reasons. In that case, I suppose it's more obviously related to Chaos theory - the magnification of tiny differences. I imagine a hypothetical almost completely flat (but sloping) surface with water flowing over it. Minuscule variations in flatness, no matter how small, cause a slight increase in water flow over the slightly depressed regions, which erodes them and causes them to become slightly deeper, causing slightly more water flow, causing slightly more erosion ... etc. I wonder if the underlying mathematical and visual similarity between the two different processes of development/evolution means that the processes are, on a more abstract level, actually the same after all.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Greta » August 29th, 2018, 10:09 am

Thanks for that explanation, "maximising the 2 dimensional surface area which forms the boundary between one 3 dimensional volume of space and another, to maximise the efficiency of flow between those two volumes".

It's tempting to follow the morphology although hopefully with more care than Chinese medicine. When it comes to rivers, there's a neat analogy between the grooves formed in the ground by river flows and the grooves conditioned into our neuronal operation by the flow of consciousness. The result is a "brain terrain" and the reason why we awaken the same person as when we go to sleep, that is, upon awakening the consciousness flows the only way it can - along pre-existing conditioned tracks (and, as with rivers, the flow slowly changes the grooves as time passes).

Perhaps the similarity between roots, lungs and rivers is in maximisation? Branching of any kind suggests expansion, pushing outwards in all amenable directions (if all directions were equal then anything pushing outwards will form spheres instead of branches).

There's branching in the tracks formed by an ant nest not far from my front door, which I get to observe every day - and especially so on those summer says when one "ant nest branch" (tentacle? pseudopod?) sneaks in the front door and makes a line for empty wrappers on my desk.

Then, because hominids tend to grant the same care to insect lives as they grant each other. So any house-faring branches will be brutally chopped off and the air will fill with the pungent strains of formic acid. Then the damned "branch" re-grows only to be cut off again.

In time the branch shifts to more profitable directions, encouraged by my inducements - the carrot and stick approach - by putting honey and cockroach carcasses (more karma) in strategic places. Poor little guys - they are as manipulated as a populace under the Murdoch media umbrella.

I generally find critters are more reasonable and logical than they seem (certainly more so than R. Murdoch). For instance, while ants are always aggressive during their breeding periods at other times I found I could greatly reduce their aggression by simply being careful not to step on them every day. Human communities tend to be more aggressive when regularly attacked too, eg. Middle East.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 29th, 2018, 10:19 am

Steve3007 wrote:
August 29th, 2018, 4:01 am
Greta wrote:Funny you should say that because I see tree roots and lungs as being functionally largely the same - with animals rooted to the atmosphere as trees by their lungs are rooted into the ground, and the respective systems' branching appearance look about the same.
Yes, because they both solve the same underlying problem - maximising the 2 dimensional surface area which forms the boundary between one 3 dimensional volume of space and another, to maximise the efficiency of flow between those two volumes. Same with capillaries. I can't think of any other near-fractal shapes that solve that same geometrical problem right now, but it's interesting to consider that river systems form the same kind of shape but for (apparently) completely different reasons. In that case, I suppose it's more obviously related to Chaos theory - the magnification of tiny differences. I imagine a hypothetical almost completely flat (but sloping) surface with water flowing over it. Minuscule variations in flatness, no matter how small, cause a slight increase in water flow over the slightly depressed regions, which erodes them and causes them to become slightly deeper, causing slightly more water flow, causing slightly more erosion ... etc. I wonder if the underlying mathematical and visual similarity between the two different processes of development/evolution means that the processes are, on a more abstract level, actually the same after all.
Think there is a real problem identifying patterns where they do not exist.
There is some use when designing technological solutions to see where nature has forms that are useful, but we need to take care that the similarities are not more than co-incidental.
If the veins in a leaf, or the veins and arteries in the body are similar does not relfect on a grand scheme, but on the simple efficiency on form.
And in comparing lungs to roots. The purposes are utterly different. Brachiation as seen in gills, leaves, roots, lungs, and even river "systems" have all been generated without regard to one another, and all achieve different effects.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Greta » August 29th, 2018, 10:41 am

Don't confuse grand dynamics with grand schemes. The fact is that that things that push outwards in all directions tend to branch. That's just what they do. Growth in all manner of forms will often reflect Fibronacci, which makes sense since that's what growth is - a piling up.

I still maintain that breathing animals are just as rooted to air as trees are to earth. When we go to space we have to take packages of air with us just as a plant would need to be potted in soil. The purposes of roots and lung brachioles are far from "utterly different", although obviously not exactly alike - but they each evolved to maintain constant maximised exchange with the Earth's systems.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » August 29th, 2018, 8:19 pm

Greta wrote:I still maintain that breathing animals are just as rooted to air as trees are to earth. When we go to space we have to take packages of air with us just as a plant would need to be potted in soil. The purposes of roots and lung brachioles are far from "utterly different", although obviously not exactly alike - but they each evolved to maintain constant maximised exchange with the Earth's systems.
Yes, as I said the thing which links systems such as tree roots/branches and lung brachioles is the geometry of 3 dimensional space and the fact that they both evolved in a way which efficiently moves matter and/or energy (O2, CO2 , water, solar radiation etc) from one volume of 3D space to another, across a 2D boundary. Hence the tendency towards 3D fractal arrangements which are (in the theoretical limit) defined as shapes with infinite surface area.

Another shape which might tend towards 3D fractal geometry to maximize its efficiency: heat-sinks and radiators. Designed to efficiently transfer heat between a volume of air or water and a volume of metal.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » August 29th, 2018, 8:21 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:If the veins in a leaf, or the veins and arteries in the body are similar does not relfect on a grand scheme
I didn't say it did.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » August 29th, 2018, 8:43 pm

Tree-like heatsinks. Lovely. There was a much more fractal-like one, but the image was too big to post.

Image
Greta wrote:The result is a "brain terrain" and the reason why we awaken the same person as when we go to sleep, that is, upon awakening the consciousness flows the only way it can - along pre-existing conditioned tracks (and, as with rivers, the flow slowly changes the grooves as time passes).
Interesting parallel. The re-enforcement of paths.
There's branching in the tracks formed by an ant nest not far from my front door, which I get to observe every day - and especially so on those summer says when one "ant nest branch" (tentacle? pseudopod?) sneaks in the front door and makes a line for empty wrappers on my desk...
Yes, I suppose that's one of the ways in which ants and their like resemble individual component of a single organism. Also similar to the way that human-made roads develop over time - re-enforcing established paths, with the result that road systems resemble all these other tree-like structures. This time, lines in a 2 dimensional structure which has evolved to maximize the efficiency with which people can cross a 1 dimensional barrier between different 2 dimensional areas. Although, when actually using the road system where I live, it's hard to believe that.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 30th, 2018, 5:43 am

From stepping on bugs to computer heat sinks.

WTF?

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » August 30th, 2018, 5:52 am

From the laws of physics which describe the dispersion of a gas into a vacuum to the law of economics (the Black–Scholes equation) that calculates the fair price of stock options. There are some unexpected connections in life. From ant colonies to heat sinks isn't the most unexpected of them.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 30th, 2018, 5:54 am

Steve3007 wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 5:52 am
From the laws of physics which describe the dispersion of a gas into a vacuum to the law of economics (the Black–Scholes equation) that calculates the fair price of stock options. There are some unexpected connections in life. From ant colonies to heat sinks isn't the most unexpected of them.
So do you think stepping on heat sinks is a good idea?

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Steve3007 » August 30th, 2018, 5:59 am

Having done it in the past, I'd say no, but only from the point of view of the person, not the heat sink, because heat sinks and the computers that they cool aren't sentient, and that links to the other topic about algorithms.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 30th, 2018, 5:25 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 5:59 am
Having done it in the past, I'd say no, but only from the point of view of the person, not the heat sink, because heat sinks and the computers that they cool aren't sentient, and that links to the other topic about algorithms.
What would be a good algorithm to know when to step on a bug.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Greta » August 30th, 2018, 5:28 pm

I wonder if dendriforms could be used in architecture to reduce heat coming into homes as temperatures rise?
Steve3007 wrote:
August 29th, 2018, 8:43 pm
Yes, I suppose that's one of the ways in which ants and their like resemble individual component of a single organism. Also similar to the way that human-made roads develop over time - re-enforcing established paths, with the result that road systems resemble all these other tree-like structures. This time, lines in a 2 dimensional structure which has evolved to maximize the efficiency with which people can cross a 1 dimensional barrier between different 2 dimensional areas. Although, when actually using the road system where I live, it's hard to believe that.
Yes, roads and ant trails are basically the same thing - colonial organisms gathering resources for the colony's central hub. It's been found that cities have metabolisms like living organisms and no doubt ant nests do too.

This brings a new question to mind: Re: Do cities think stepping on humans is right or wrong- why? :)

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