Tuesday, May 05, 2009

body analogy

"You know the old  many parts one body analogy don't you ?" 
"Sort of, tell me again."
"We are all part of one body, and have different functions. But as a whole we are ONE body and have to make that body live and work."
"Ok, so who is 'we all' ?" 
"Human society. The human race. If you take different aspects of economic life as the parts, then each part is like an organ, some bits supply the food, others the nervous system I mean communications, etc..."
"Ok nice, so what is your point ? - other than lets all be nice to each other and work together for the common good like a good little body ? or some other banal simplistic, crap." 
"Well that's not what I was getting at, but it a good point anyway."
"I knew it."
"What I really meant was: our human society does not know how to work well together like a body - we are kind of a sick body." 
"Yes, I can see that so what is your point ?" 
 "hm... I'll get to that, just be patient. Let me  talk about the real human body, or any animal's body, or plant body first ok ?"
"Ok if you must."
"I must. -- I mean, how does the liver know how big to grow ? How does the heart and the lungs know how big to grow, when to stop ? Your brain does not grow too much either, otherwise it would ooze out of your eyeballs"
"Oh gross!"
"Well yea, but it makes the point doesn't it ? Anyway let me go on. The real question is: How do the different organs know when to stop growing, how to grow, what shape and size  ? what coordinates them ? Something has to ? The whole body starts from cells that can be made into anything, any type of the cell in the body."
"You mean stem cells ?"
"Well why don't you say so ?"
"I wasn't sure you'd understand."
"Thanks a lot ! You think I'm totally ignorant ?"
"No, not totally he he he..."
"Anyway, what's your point, you are so longwided."
"The point is: the human body and any growing thing, somehow coordinates the overall shape and system of the body, in some way we don't yet understand with current science."
"All very very fascinating Herr Professor, so what is YOUR POINT ! I do have to do other things you know."
"I'm getting to that. Now imagine the liver says, 'hey boys, we are Liver Inc.we wanna maximize our income, and get as big and fat as we can, are you with me ?' and all the little liver cells cheer 'yea, we're in there, more nutrients and food for liver cells.' Then the stomach says, 'that's not fair, you guys are hogging more than your fair share, we're going to take our cut first, because we get first choice of what comes in to the body he he he' Then the skin gets in on the act 'What are you guys talking about ? Without me you'd have no protection at all, I'm the biggest organ in the body, I need a few more layers of fat to pad me out' and so on. "
"Yea I get the idea, a kind of bun fight, or internal war."
"Exactly. BUT this is NOT how a healthy body really works."
"But the body of human society works like that, there is too much competition. It's like every organ is trying to take over and be the king and fights for more of its fair share."
"It's not as bad as that !"
"Well seems like that to me, have you ever listened to boardroom talk and sharemarket talk in a big corporation ? Do we have a sense of 'we are all in this together' ?"
"Yes, some people do, its a start, be grateful for that."

"A last point, isn't it interesting that we don't have a scienfic understanding of what controls the development of the organs in a growing baby and we don't have any idea how to work together in harmony as a race on ONE planet."

"And a final thought: I talked about healthy bodies. Cancer is basically the cells of the body going beserk, they just grow as they want and don't fit into the rest of the body anymore, they go their own way."
"What the ultimate individualist ? Don't give a s*** about the rest ?"
"Yea, if you want to see it like that. Cancer cells are the body's own cells cutting lose and just getting bigger and bigger and growing outside the overall plan for a functioning body. They probably think of it as maximizing profits."
"If you can answer that, you're up for a Nobel Prize !"

"Ok so you are telling me that somehow the organs and the cells in a healthy body know what to do ?"
"You are serious ?"
"Yes, something, somehow controls the overall shape, function, and balances it all. The different parts are aware of each other."

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