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Physics of Life vocabulary

Physics of life - Inspirerers - Script of the presentation

I. Introduction
01. I. Title.

Hello, my name is Jan Kubań
It is the second presentation introducing you to the Physics of Life.
It was performed at Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu, United States, in February, two thousand and fourteen, by invitation from Ken Schoolland
– Associate Professor of Economics.


02. Script.

The full script of this presentation,
with suitable links, is available at the following address:


03. Agenda

I hope you have already seen the first presentation - "The introduction to the Physics of Life".
Now let's talk about the inspirers – people who, by their works, paved the way to the revelation and formulation of the Physics of Life. All of them contributed a great deal, but I don't want to rank them, saying that one was more important than the other. So they will be presented in a chronological way.

I understand that compiling such a list is risky in view of promoting the Physics of Life, since nobody will accept all of them without any reservations. I am aware that the whole theory may be rejected due to the smallest prejudice. If you are a non-believer, for example, the quotes from the Gospel might turn you away. In reverse, if you are a believer, you might also reject the theory because of the lack of religious quotes. I am not interested in who the person is, but only on the impact that they had on me. These people are examples of logic and consequence in my thought development, and also present sources of knowledge which supplement one another.

So please try to push aside any stereotypes and prejudices you may have and keep an open mind, even if you disagree.


04. The ancient and modern Chinese

The philosophy of the ancient Chinese is actually largely unknown to Westerners. One reason is the rather complicated language, another is the collapse of the civilization by Chairman Mao. They actively discouraged the study of Chinese philosophy. After all, who needs a philosophy which leads to regression?

During the 1970's, China was on the brink of economic failure. Suddenly, something happened which caused that in 25 years (from 1978 to 2000 and 3), this country transformed from a pariah into one of the leading economies in the world. During this time, the GDP grew about 50 times and the average wage 25 times. What caused such a radical change? The answer is simple: rejection of obedience to a dictator and a return to proven principles. China’s communist government started to gradually distance itself from a state-controlled economy. Private ownership was legalised and market mechanisms were applied. In 1981, private businesses, at first small ones, were allowed to be opened. This resulted in a dynamic growth of trade and manufacturing. For this reason, in 1988, more private companies were legalized, however, with the limit of employing no more than eight people. The growth of the private sector is shown by the increase of the number of people hired in private companies. In 1989, over 21 million people were hired in this sector, and in 2003 – four times more. Prices were also being gradually freed from government control. The state’s interference in rural economy was radically limited. The system of people’s communes was removed. Land was divided amongst peasants, who were allowed total freedom in regard to agricultural production and the sale of their products. Laws allowing unrestricted sale of real estate were introduced. In the 1990’s, about two thirds of state-owned companies reported losses, and they were either privatized or closed down. These actions resulted in China becoming the second strongest purchasing power in the world in 2004. Such a great leap in only 25 years.

The history of China is an excellent example of Tytler’s cycle, according to which the history of a civilization repeats itself. The end of the 20th Century clearly shows that a factor aiding the growth of a society is to allow individuals who generate goods to accumulate the profits from the exchange of these goods – the basic principle of the free market.

"Life is a state of balance between different factors" – that’s the main message behind the philosophy of ancient Chinese thinkers. Although this state of balance is difficult to grasp, everybody has heard about yin and yang. The complicated issue of maintaining a state of balance between two opposites is well illustrated by the results of research by Jaroslav Romanchuk, a Belarussian economist. In his analysis of the economic situation in various countries, he noticed that economic growth was always the greatest in countries where producers were taxed at about 24%. Only this money can be spent by the government, without producing fiat money. Thus, the recipe for economic growth is not an overwhelming interference of the state, nor a totally free market, but a specific state of balance between the two, which is characterized by a three to one ratio of the free market to state interventionism.

According to Liu Xin, a sage who died in first century, to govern means to walk the edge between yin and yang. The role of the enlightened is to help the rulers so that they do not get too close to one of the extremes. On the other hand, to educate people, so that they understand what governing means. After almost two thousand years, another Chinese man – Mao, introduced an opposing doctrine, "a policy of keeping people in ignorance". You can read about its horrifying consequences to the economy and civilization in history books.

Lessons learned.
First: yin and yang helped me a lot in developing the definition of an object; and second: the same population may be absolutely unproductive or extremely productive – because the behaviour of people depends upon the system under which the population lives.


05. The ancient Greeks - Myths and Philosophers

Before I was able to read, I knew the majority of greek myths off by heart. When I was four years old my mother started to read them to me and I endlessly asked her to reread them once again. I was fascinated by Heracles, but didn't understand the "Jason and the Argonauts" myth at all.

The ancient Greeks left us the legacy of their myths – memetic designs which took part in the development of their civilization. For example, they asked what welfare is and through mythology they got a clear answer. It is neither idleness, nor decadence, nor forcing others to serve us. Heracles, the greatest Greek hero, having to choose at the beginning of his life between the path of bliss and joy and the path of hardship and toil, chose the latter. Also, Odysseus gave up immortality and bodily pleasures at the side of the beautiful nymph Calypso for a chance to return to his family. Such lessons were given by the Greeks to their children through mythology. There are also elements which refer to cooperation. From the myths of the Argonauts, we find out what team work means: good actions and using specialists pays off. However, putting everything onto a single hero might not be the best solution.

The Greeks created one of the most advanced classical cultures, which has influenced the development of Western civilization.
One Greek concept was "Everything flows" like "everything is a process" in the Physics of Life, "War is the mother of everything" - "competition is the mother of the victory factors", these two thoughts from Heraclitus of Ephesus (540 BC - 480 BC) illustrate the high intellectual level represented by him and other Greek philosophers. However, their civilization fell after a period of unrestricted growth. The cause of this is explained in the Physics of Life under social cycle.

Lessons learned.
How did such an outstanding civilisation cease to exist? I had to investigate this because in schools they don't provide the answer, or even ask such questions.


06. New Testament - In the beginning was the Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life...
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh
– these are fragments of the prologue to the Gospel of St. John.

Those studying the issue of the origin of life, sooner or later, come to the conclusion that information was the origin of life; that life started from it and that it became life. Living objects did not emerge from blood, desire, or a concept, but from information. I wondered that if an expert from today visited those times, and wanted to pass on their knowledge, would they use the same expressions. I don't think that there is a better formula than that contained within the prologue to the Gospel of St. John.

Lesson learned.
Nevertheless, the majority of so-called modern scientists reject religion. I found a lot of game theory issues in the Gospel. I will talk more about this in my presentation devoted to comparing Axelrod and Rapoport's Tit for Tat strategy against the Christian concept of mercy.


07. Niccolò Machiavelli - Harmed by history

He was probably the first to suggest that a state, a type of social group, is a separate object, functioning in the environment of similar objects which pose a threat to it. According to him, a state’s goal is to at least exist. Furthermore, he consequently proved that the only duty of a ruler is to fulfill this goal. "There are many means of achieving this and all must be used with great caution" – this is the main point of "The Prince", Machiavelli’s greatest work. The issues related with governing a state are presented in a very scientific and technical manner in this book. The ruler’s policies were not assessed, but described as some sort of machinery. Since the author revealed the darkest truths about ourselves and stated that people are driven by egoism and fed by the lowest instincts, he was received very negatively. In popular language, Machiavellianism means a cynical attitude of a person unscrupulously pursing his goals. It's like calling a women who explains prostitution, a prostitute. We must never confuse understanding with approval.

The fourth stage of Tytler’s cycle was described by Machiavelli in the following way: "Even if someone would like to act morally, it will be difficult for him to defend himself against universal wickedness". He is also known for other practical quotes: "The end justifies the means", "A politician must not be a slave of his own words", "Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony".

Lesson learned.
The first person I found who scientifically discussed the complex issue of governance and of being a leader.


08. Galileo Galilei - Passionate about mathematics

He was the first to systematize the use of experimentation in the study of natural phenomenon, and that is one of the reasons why he is considered to be the founder of modern physics. He used unconventional methods, which today we might call innovative. He thought of using the inclined plane to slow down the speed of bodies falling in the gravitational field, which allowed him to discover the characteristics of their motion. What’s interesting, Galileo did this without the use of a timer.

His conflict with the Church is an example of the struggle of an individual against an institution. A struggle, which perfectly illustrated Machiavelli’s aphorism: "Reason means nothing if it is alone". On the other hand, many who died from the hands of various institutions could envy his punishment. He was sentenced to saying seven penitential psalms once a week and put under house arrest. But he was visited by scientists and church dignitaries and was free to conduct scholarly debates with them.

Claiming that mathematics is an alphabet which God used to describe the universe, Galileo paid particular attention to using maths in the study of nature, showing the right direction to the next generations of scientists.

Lesson learned.
A man who is telling the truth can be easily overwhelmed by others representing an institution, only because this truth threatens the interests of this institution.


09. Antoine Lavoisier – a tax collector by profession

Educated as a lawyer and an amateur scientist, he became a tax collector by profession, for which he was sentenced as a traitor by the revolutionaries and guillotined at the age of 51. "The republic needs not scientists nor chemists; the arm of justice will not be stopped" – he heard right before the execution. A day later, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, a great mathematician, summed up this crime, by saying: "It took only a moment to cause this head to fall and a hundred years will not be enough to produce its like".

However, in the history books, he will be remembered forever as... the father of modern chemistry. Every day, before work, he spent a few hours at his laboratory performing research. He had the courage to tackle the unusual and complicated task of organizing chemical terminology. He introduced many new, strange sounding terms, renaming for instance "vital air" to "oxygen". Imposing order in science is an unusual thing, the majority of scientists preferred to make narrow specializations instead of generalizing – it is safer this way.

Lesson learned.
In any process of development there are such moments when all the knowledge should be revised and tidied up. It is not an easy task, it requires a lot of skill, devotion and passion.


10. Auguste Comte – a scientists who never held an academic position

One of the greatest scientists who never held an academic position. The first one to propose a scientific approach in the spirit of positive philosophy, the main goal of which is to search for the primal causes of actual phenomena, using strict mathematical natural sciences.

Comte differentiated three phases in the evolution of knowledge:

the first one is theological phase when people refer to supernatural forces and divine being in their explanations of phenomena
the second – metaphysical phase when people explain phenomena using abstract terms and rational speculation, usually loosely related, sometimes even totally unrelated, to reality
and the third – positive phase when people form theories based on facts. In this phase, people are able to define, explain and, if possible, anticipate previously unknown facts.

According to Comte, only the last of these phases is truly scientific.

What is interesting for me, as the author of the "Physics of Life", is the fact that Comte suggested the term "sociology" for the newly born science dealing with social behaviours, instead of "social physics" used by others.

Lesson learned.
Reaching the state of full understanding is very complicated. Unfortunately the majority of us, in the majority of issues, operate either in a theological or metaphysical phase.


11. Charles Darwin – the theory of natural selection

Darwin had to appear on my list of inspirers, although I am aware that this could be seen as a sort of cliché. But after all, evolution, in a slightly generalized form and under a new name of biological evolution, is the backbone of the Physics of Life.
Darwin’s works are worth reading, if only to see what an inquisitive observer he was, how neatly he approached his research and how tactful he was in disputes with intellectual rivals. These traits make him a good example for all modern scientists. What’s interesting, his greatest work "On the Origin of Species", while belonging to the natural science genre, does not contain one single formula.

Heraclitus of Ephesus said that war is the mother of everything, Darwin stated that the struggle for survival is the reason species emerged. Later, he replaced the unfortunate term struggle with natural selection. The corresponding claim of the Physics of Life states that: "Competition is the mother of victory factors".

Darwin's "natural selection" is the same as Adam Smith’s "invisible hand of the free market". Darwin showed that complex structures and ecological balance in nature are an inevitable consequence of competition amongst various living objects; Smith stated that the wealth of nations and social harmony are inevitable consequences of the competition amongst men. This proves one of the main principles of the Physics of Life, that nature and human societies are governed by the same laws.

Lesson learned.
To be remembered by subsequent generations, it is not enough to formulate a new theory, it should be presented in the right way too.


12. Gustave Le Bon – a doctor and traveller

French doctor and traveller, who became famous at the age of 54 after the publication of his book "The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind". Later he also published "Psychology of Socialism" and "Psychology of Revolution" where he analyzed human communities.

A crowd, according to le Bon, can be viewed as a single object. People constituting a crowd subconsciously feel that they will not suffer the consequences of their actions, and therefore follow their basest instincts. They lose reason, the feeling of responsibility and independence – generally speaking, they lose their personality in favour of instinct. In addition to its characteristics, Le Bon also presented methods of controlling a crowd, stating that masses are always impressed by power, and rarely by kindness.

Lesson learned.
I was struck that a doctor can scientifically analyse such a brand new phenomena. But, I would replace his term "psychology" with "physics".


13. Konstantin Mierezhkovsky – a forgotten biologist and botanist

While Darwin is a well-known figure, Mierezhkovsky, a Russian biologist, is a forgotten one. He was opposed to Darwin’s main thesis that the struggle for survival fully explains the emergence of new species. He paid particular attention to the factor of cooperation, unnoticed by the creator of the theory of evolution. His research on lichens led him to develop a theory of symbiogenesis, where more complex cells emerged as a result of symbiotic relations between less complex cells. His reflections were published in Russia in 1909.

The physics of life unites both Darwin and Mierezhkovsky's theories, simply stating that biological evolution has two components: the escalation of conflict and the aggregation of cooperation.

Lesson learned.
Conflict and cooperation are inherent and contrasting features of biological evolution. And I asked myself why western scientists didn't notice it.


14. Ludwig von Mises – titan of economic thought

The author of "Human Action: A Treatise on Economy" – a fundamental work in which he presents economy as a result of specific human actions. Initially, von Mises’s opus magnum went by unnoticed. One of the reasons was the outbreak of World War II, another one, the fact that even his colleagues at the famous Austrian school of economics underestimated him. In his review, Friedrich Hayek expressed concern that von Mises’s inquiries took on a different direction from that of the research of other members of the school, and that the development of his theory is definitely autonomous. The significance of the treatise was recognized only after it was published in English.

Von Mises’s works are still relatively unknown, despite the years. The reason seems to be that they reveal the mechanisms used by etatists, who in most countries are the decision-making force in regards to the policy, economy and education. One of the most significant achievements of von Mises in this field was to prove that a planned economy cannot function rationally.

On the other hand, etatists claim just the opposite, saying that it is thanks to them, that a government controlled economy results in an equal and just division of goods, instead of the enrichment of capitalists. The truth is that these "bad capitalists" manufacture goods for which there is a social demand. In reality, the etatists are very greedy, which they constantly deny. They declare that they will regulate the market for the benefit of everyone, by instead, they ruin it. The shortages of the goods provided by the etatist results in social turbulences, oftentimes bloody. History provides plenty of evidence that von Mises was right. That is why all schoolchildren should be taught about von Mises and his theories.

As Mises said: Understanding is not a privilege of the historians, but everybody’s business. You should apply this in your life.

Lesson learned.
Even if you are right, you may remain unnoticed, especially when you reveal the mechanisms used by the elite.


15. George Orwell – writer, journalist, observer

As much as Darwin is a model for scientists, Orwell should be held in the same regard by journalists. Orwell is best known for his model of a society in his book "Animal Farm". He was an exceptional observer of life: he was a dishwasher, a teacher, a hops collector, a beggar, a member of a militia, a policeman, a poultry breeder, a war correspondent, a journalist and a radio station employee. In his Spanish War memoirs, he presented himself as an impartial observer – an attitude all journalists should have. In "Down and Out in Paris and London" he showed his profound knowledge of the lower-end of society – untouched by most academics and the media. In "1984", he predicted a post war society in communist Europe which was remarkably similar to real life in Eastern Bloc countries.

Lesson learned.
Astute and unbiased observation.


16. Ayn Rand – historian, philosopher, writer

When she was 12, she witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and, for a decade, she watched as the Soviets ran the economy down. In her case, it started with the nationalization her father’s pharmacy, and ended with the confiscation of her family’s entire property by the state. At 21, she managed to leave the Soviet Union and escape to the United States.

In 1957, Ayn Rand published "Atlas Shrugged". According to the research conducted by the United States Congress Library in 1991, it holds second place, after the Bible, on the list of the most influential books in America.

She divided people into Atlasses and Moochers whilst the Physics of Life divides living objects into producers and looters. Society owes its existence to the first group. They push the world forward, manufacturing desired goods and making breakthrough discoveries. The looters, who are too lazy to produce, do everything in order to take over resources without giving anything in exchange. To achieve this, they employ von Neumann’s tactics and entire palette of well-tried deceptions. Their main arguments are: concern for public welfare and helping the poor. In reality, however, they use the mechanism of pressure for social exploitation for their own needs which, as history shows, leads to starvation. One of the main themes of the book is to show what sophisticated methods the moochers use in various professional groups. In particular, we discover the refined behaviours of scientists, politicians, officials, entrepreneurs, simple workers and even unemployed family members.

The motivation of the Atlasses is mundane: by accepting money as a payment for their work, they do it convinced that they exchange it for a product from the work of others. We are all egoists, and the social welfare depends only on a clear, free exchange. In "Atlas Shrugged" Ayn Rand exposes the looters’ methods and tells us to not be deceived by them.

Rand's view of the ideal government is expressed in her words: The political system we will build is contained in a single moral premise: no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force. The Physics of Life exchanges "physical force" for "theft, plunder or robbery".

Lesson learned.
There is one basic classification of mankind – they are either Atlases or Moochers; in other words Producers or Consumers.


17. Marian Mazur – electrical engineer

The father of Polish cybernetics, author of a book entitled "Cybernetics and Character", where he showed how cybernetics can be used to analyze human behaviour. One of the few people who attempted the difficult task of analyzing scientists and coming to the sad conclusion that traditional science became a sum of separate disciplines, which generate its own terminology, methodology and which treat the scope of reality assigned to it as its own field outside of which it doesn’t venture and where other branches are not allowed. He called on other scientists to learn logic, mathematics and cybernetics, for he considered it to be the binding material for all other disciplines. His fascination with cybernetics is best illustrated with the quote: cybernetics is the science of everything that happens, so therefore, of all reality.

The general model of an autonomus system, proposed by Mazur, is the extended version of the independent pursuing object in the Physics of Life.

Lesson learned.
Sadly, scientists, even the brilliant ones, not originating from the Anglo-Saxon world, are condemned to be ignored.


18. John Maynard Smith – an aeronautical engineer and evolutionary biologist

His first field of study was aviation engineering, but his passion for biology eventually won and he graduated at the age of 30. John Maynard Smith is known as the person who revolutionized the research on the behaviour of living organisms introducing mathematical game theory as an analysis tool.

The basis of his best known evolution game hawks-doves, is to obtain so-called survival points by players in random meetings. As the name itself indicates, everyone collects them in order to survive. The analysis of this game leads to the conclusion that the advantages and flaws of specific types of behaviour can only be discussed in reference to the behaviour and number of other living objects, which participated in the game. It turns out that those, not necessarily those who seem best adjusted to win, will win. It’s explained well in Maynard Smith’s example: Paradoxically, my bad vision gave me a selective advantage. Since I was not drafted into the army for this reason, my chance of dying decreased significantly.

In the Physics of Life, the keys to the analysis of social behaviour are the "Small evolution" and "Small group evolution" games, which are based on Smith’s games. The first modification of Hawks-doves was to weave the game into the iterative cycle of evolution, and the second – to expand the notion of survival points to the notion of survival/multiplication points, given the general name "resergy". Submitting small evolution game to sensitivity analysis lead to the discovery of an evolutionary ratchet and to defining two characteristic elements of evolution: aggregation of cooperation and escalation of conflict. On the other hand, changing the values in the payoff matrix to more realistic ones lead to the formulation of Social cycle, according to which societies are always subjected to.

Lesson learned.
Even those not educated in biology may have a significant impact on life sciences.


19. Edward Osborne Wilson – biologist and ants explorer

The creator of sociobiology – the science combining biology, sociology, ethnology and evolutionism, which deals with the behaviour of social animals. The first part of the book, entitled "Sociobiology", presents mathematical models that explain biological processes. One of them shows, for example, that an increase of local concentration of living organisms, like the creation of herds or tribes, has an impact on their survival rate.

Wilson also proposed that societies should be treated as superorganisms, stating that each society, such as a colony of social species of insects, has an organization which are parallel to the physiological properties of a single organism. An insect colony, for example, is divided into reproductive casts, like gonads, and worker casts, like the liver; There can be an exchange of food through trophallaxis, like the cardiovascular system, and more. Dr. Wilson's theory has contributed a lot to the Physics of Life. This quote was a causative factor in the development of the organizational levels of living organisms.

Lesson learned.
There were a lot of lessons I learned from Professor Wilson, but the most important one was that a simple gathering of living objects may already be regarded as a cooperative unit.


20. Tibor Gánti – biologist and biochemist

In 2005, I found a seemingly unremarkable book on a shelf of a small second-hand bookstore, entitled "The principles of life" by Tibor Ganti. I am ashamed to admit it now, but at that time I thought: a Hungarian writing about life, in 1971? What could this socialist scientist possibly write that would be interesting to me?!? The book cost as much as a can of beer, so, out of curiosity, I bought it.
After reading just a few pages, it turned out that this was what I’ve been looking for years – the foundation for understanding how the primordial cell emerged out of chemical particles. This subject is still treated as not being important in modern biology textbooks, and this, well... the Hungarian described everything as clear as day. He introduced me to:

- the RPD phenomenon;
- how chemical reactions can be biological;
- and that the microchemical particles can play the role of active elements in a living cell.

Not just "some Hungarian" anymore, but a great scientist.

Lesson learned.
He enveiled to me a subtle passage from chemistry to biology.


21. Joël de Rosnay – futurist, science writer, molecular biologist

He took his doctorate in science; afterwards, he spent several years on research and teaching informatics and biochemistry. His book "Macroscope" proposes an intellectual tool for observing and better understanding reality. According to Joël de Rosnay, we perceive reality in two different ways: analytic and systemic. In order to understand a given piece of reality, one should, first of all, choose one of the methods. If it is chosen wrongly, the event will be misinterpreted and misunderstood. De Rosnay's main message is that if we want to fully understand something, we should be aware of the different perception methods and have the ability to pick the right one according to the situation.

Many of us wonder what makes the great figures of this world different from everybody else. De Rosnay seems to give the answer: It is obvious that whether someone will become important depends on many factors; however, systemic thinking is used by all the greatest, most influential minds.

Galileo discovered the characteristics of the motion of falling bodies, despite the fact that he didn't have a clock. For him, it was not a problem, but a distraction which he had to overcome. Before a battle, Napoleon used to say: "Let’s begin and then we will see". He was focused on the result, not what stood in the way. St. Thomas Aquinas asked God: "Save my mind from endlessly getting lost in details, and give me wings to quickly get to the point."


22. Joël de Rosnay - continuation

Despite the fact that both approaches are different, they are not opposites. We learn analytic thinking at school. Only later are some of us able to switch to systemic thinking. Usually, this skill is acquired by practitioners who attempt complex goals such as: constructors designing innovative structures, doctors curing complex diseases, entrepreneurs building a company, politicians developing a country's potential, coaches of sports champions and outstanding military strategists – people for whom knowledge is not a goal in itself, but a tool.

Systemic thinking, usually so useful, unfortunately has several flaws in the area of public relations. In debates, it is usually the analytical thinkers who win because they are more direct. Systemic thinkers have a more problems because they have to fully understand the topic. Analytic thinkers impress the audience with details and examples. To illustrate the difference: "Analysts can brilliantly talk about a car, whilst a systemic thinker can design a fantastic car.

Lesson learned.
Joël de Rosnay showed that there are different ways of thinking, observing and analysing. Also, that the analytical thinking learned in schools and so popular in the media, is usless in the pursuit of the essence of things.


23. Lynn Margulis – biologist and biochemist

American biologist, who created the endosymbiotic theory which explains the origin of eukaryotic cells. It states that several key organelles of eukaryotes originated as symbiosis between separate single-celled organisms.

The history of this theory is an excellent example of how difficult it is to introduce something new to science. In the western world, Lynn Margulis is thought to be the unique creator of this theory. However, she admits to being inspired by the symbiogenesis theory of Konstantin Mereschkowski. Yet, reading the introduction to the book published in 1902 by Pyotr Kropotkin "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution" we find that: "In January 1880, Prof. Kessler, Dean of St. Petersburg University, announced a work called "The principle of mutual aid", [...] where he concludes: "Of course, I don’t deny the existence of the struggle for survival; I am only stating that the development of the animal world, in particular humanity, owes more to cooperation than to struggle. All organic beings possess two main traits: eating and multiplying. The first one forces them into a struggle and to mutual destruction. At the same time, however, the goal of sustaining the species draws individuals closer to one another and leads to cooperation. I am leaning towards the conclusion that the development of the organic world – progressive changes in organic beings – owes more to mutual aid among individuals than to struggle". As you can see, a person who makes an idea popular, has more of an impact than those who originally discovered it.

What is interesting about this theory, now called the Margulis Theory, is that scientists received it negatively. Nowadays, it is commonly accepted, but it is hard to find it in modern biology textbooks. The reasons for this are that

- it destroys the beauty of the phylogenetic tree based on pure speciation,
- it does not fit the convenient LUCA hypothesis,
- and what’s worse – it forces a correction, small but with far-reaching consequences, in the methodology of teaching biology.

Lesson learned.
How hard it is to introduce a new theory to the scientific community. The first 23 scientific publishers refused to publish her theory which, nowadays, is undeniable.


24. Richard Dawkins – Memes discoverer

British biologist, author of many books on evolution. In his most famous book – "The Selfish Gene", he brilliantly popularized many scientific concepts regarding life. An average reader can learn about evolutionary games and the issue of evolutionary stable strategies. As a scientist, Dawkins introduced the concept of a meme into the vocabulary of biology. Memes are the cultural equivalent of genes. However, none of his books deal with molecular evolution, which would explain the emergence of living organisms from basic chemical particles.

Dawkins also fiercely fights religious institutions. Seeing the spread of Islam in Great Britain, he criticizes religion as "dangerous nonsense, which teaches hostility towards others". This one-sided attitude probably results from the fact he has never witnessed the positive impact of religion. One example of this is the huge influence the Catholic Church had in overwhelming the Communist regime in Poland and the Eastern Bloc.

Neveretheless, his works have popularized and revolutionised the theory of biological evolution in a way not seen since Darwin.

Lessons learned.
First: "The sefish gene" is the most significant source of multidisciplinary knowledge concerning life; and second: the role of memes in biological evolution.


25. Janusz Korwin-Mikke – politician, bridge player, libertarian

Poland in the 1980's was a turbulent place – we were in the second stage of the Social cycle, the future looked uncertain. Polish people could either get rid of their incompetent government and start a fruitful cooperation, or a civil war would break out. A lot happens during times of historic turbulence. One was a visit by the leading dissidents to our university. There were about four hundred students, and four of them. Two of them called to overthrow the system, the third one carefully explained the errors of the current government, and what the fourth one was saying, neither I nor any of my friends understood. But the simple examples he used sowed seeds in our minds.

This last speaker was Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who dedicated his entire life to propagate systemic thinking in politics. And systemic thinking has had the greatest impact on the development of the Physics of Life.

His Polish-language blog is visited by over a million people per year. However, when he runs in democratic elections, he rarely gets more than 3% of the vote. One reason is that his public persona is rather difficult to sell, as someone noted: "If Korwin chose his words more carefully, he would be a lot more popular". Another is that the more popular politicians promise "everything to everyone, just elect me", tainting the ideology of democracy.

Lesson learned.
He introduced me to systemic and game theory thinking, despite him being considered as a crazy or as an extreme right-wing advocate.


26. Viktor Suvorov – secret service agent, writer, antisocialist

When I was listening to "Aquarium" for the first time, a book describing the process of training soviet secret agents, I was totally amazed. The most interesting fact was that their training is based on very strict, almost mathematical principles – they are trained to recruit people just like I was taught to design planes and missiles. We learned the second principle of thermodynamics, and they learned the fourth principle of recruitment: every man carries a great amount of marvellous ideas, and suffers because no one wants to listen to it. Man’s problem in life is finding a listener. Everyone is looking for a listener and is not eager to listen to other people’s rubbish. The art of recruitment, simply, is the skill of attentive listening. Learn to listen without interruption – success is guaranteed. [...] It is very hard to do, but if you want to find an ally (alaj)– listen without interruption. After reading "Aquarium", the conclusion was obvious: if you want to be a builder, study physics; if you want to work with people, learn.... the Physics of Life.

Considering the nature of their profession, secret service agents must be extremely intelligent, so sooner or later they will notice contradictions in the systems they serve. It especially regards those who are forced to serve people, not principles. Gradually, Suvorov started to realize that the Soviet system is a big lie which instead of serving the Soviet nation, enslaves it. At the same time, this system is so powerful and oppressive, that anyone can end up in its claws, and paradoxically, it is most often those who spend their life creating it with their great devotion.

At a certain moment, Suvorov faced a dilemma with no exit: take a photo – you are in trouble; don’t take it... you’re also in trouble. The solution which saved his skin was to betray the regime and escape to Great Britain.

Using his knowledge and reasoning abilities (systemic and game thinking, of course), Suvorov decided to write and explain the mechanisms of totalitarianism. He started with the year 1941 – probably the most secretive period in the history of the Soviet Union, and was the first one to provide a logical and consistent scenario of the outbreak of the German-Soviet War. By doing so, he single-handedly turned the entire history on its head. The system lies – don’t believe anything you don’t understand; seek until you succeed, until you understand, find a logical explanation – this is the main message of his historical books. Others followed, like Mark Solonin, reaching similar conclusions, exposing mechanisms used by tens of thousands of professional Russian "historians", who "created" their own history. Eventhough this history wasn't perfect and was no logical, it has been perpetuated by Russian history teachers.

Both Viktor Suvorov and Mark Solonin employ the same methods: systems analysis, logic and excellent knowledge of the physics of various phenomena, from the characteristics of tanks to human behaviour.

Lessons learned.
First: in order to understand we should ask simple questions and endeavour to find consistent and logical answers to them; and second, even thousands of entitled professional historians may be wrong.


27. Jung Chang – a red guardian who understood

In the book "Mao. The unknown story" she described the mechanism used by one man to gain power. Mao broke a peculiar record – he managed to hold power over the largest number of people in the history of the world. For future generations, Jung Chang documented how the rule of this unscrupulous man, who took advantage of the basest human instincts, reduced the Chinese civilization to the level of a primitive community, or even worse: One peasant said that the situation was worse than during the Japanese occupation: "Even when the Japanese came – he said – we could run away. That year [1960], we were simply imprisoned and were dying at home. My family had six people. Four died (...)". The task of party members was to prevent peasants from "stealing" their own crops. Unbelivable penalties were employed: burying (berrying) alive, garrotting with a rope, cutting off the nose. In one village, four children were buried alive for stealing food... And after all, it was the party that stole what the peasants produced.

Lesson learned.
There is no limits in the atrocities which one man can do to another.


28. Conclusions

I have summed up the contributions of all these people that have culminanted into the creation of a completely new science – the Physics of Life. Their knowledge are the pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle which eventually is successfully assembled.

Like Theseus and his ball of string in the Minotaur's maze, I have led you to the start of your journey into the maze of the Physics of Life. This maze is not as complex as it looks. To encourage you let me quote Ross Ashby – the English psychiatrist and a pioneer of cybernetics: "Game theory and cybernetics – these are simply basic theories to explain your own path."


29. Invitation

I cordially invite you to visit the official website of the Physics of Life. It is available in both Polish and English. I would advise you to look at the vocabulary section to make yourselves familiar with the terminology. Note that the more interesting concepts have links to their more detailed pages, such as "Absolute thinking", "Calhoun's experiment", "Pursuance" and "Socialism".


30. Ending

Thank you for your attention I hope this presentation will positively influence your quest for understanding life.