The Second Law of Life - Make a Profit
To survive for eternity, every living thing must make a profit
“Show me the money!”
The First Law of Life is to survive.
The Second Law of Life is to make a profit.
Not only do ALL living organisms need to make a profit, but they also need to make as much as possible as fast as possible.
What is profit?
All life forms use energy and information to run their biological operating system. In order to survive, all organisms must, on average, harvest more energy than they used in harvesting. They must create a profit. Stored profit is wealth - biological fat, physical gold, or money. All successful organisms and their species must create profit and build wealth.
Why do life forms need wealth to adapt to change?
Every organism needs a rainy day fund. The sun doesn’t come out, a hurricane arrives, or the car needs a new transmission. Life is incredibly inventive at storing as much wealth as possible to survive adverse conditions. Almost all complex life forms have developed ways of using their wealth to create shelter for themselves. But there are no guarantees. Among other challenges, your co-life forms may grow bigger than you and steal your food or reproduce faster and crowd you out.
Grow, reproduce, and evolve
Every living organism also needs to harvest extra energy and store it as surplus wealth in order to make speculative investments in growth, reproduction, and evolution. There is no guarantee that their investments will produce a profit for the individual or their species, but any species that chronically fails to grow, reproduce, and evolve is doomed.
From your first breath to your long term retirement plan, any action that does not produce an energy profit for you, your community, or your species is, at best, wasted energy and, at worst, actively detrimental. These laws apply equally to bacteria, bugs, animals, plants, and the human race.
What is information, and how does it make life possible?
Information is the most important word that most people know nothing about. Information is the “force” that makes life possible. Information is created by a mechanism that is common to all life forms and some machines, including computers:
Patterns of energy are received from the environment through “sensors” of various kinds and compared to patterns stored in memory. When patterns match, they are recognized as “information” having some “meaning” to the organism.
Meaning is recognized and acted upon by “logic” or “cognition,” which creates “knowledge,” the potential to take an action in the physical world. For example, during the night, a sunflower uses its knowledge to turn toward the expected sunrise. In return, it harvests more sunlight energy during the day than it took to turn the flower. It makes a profit, stores it as wealth, and, during the night, invests some of it in predicting tomorrow’s sunrise.
Store as much energy as possible, as fast as possible
There is no upper limit on how much wealth an organism or species can accumulate or how fast - the only constraints are supply and their ability to manage and hang on to all that they harvest.
Humans are masters at creating wealth
We humans have invented millions of ways to profit from our intellect and use it to create wealth.
For simplicity, let’s use “money” as the proxy for profit, recognizing that money itself is a proxy for stored and usable energy - wealth.
We all know the story - Get a job, save money, increase your wealth, start a company, get rich, get filthy rich, become a billionaire - Everything is monetized.
We sell our time for money
We sell our skills for money
We sell our bodies for money
We make things to sell for money
We play the stock market and gamble in hopes of making money
We create companies to make money, which in turn allows the workers to make money
We work for companies because we believe that we can make more money working for the man than going it alone
We quit our jobs and take risks in the hope of making more money
“Non-profits” make their money in the form of donations
We may do activities that provide “psychic” or “spiritual” rewards if we have sufficient money.
The strategies used by humans are rooted in the evolution of all life forms
Charles Darwin first articulated the three ways that animals gather food: grazing, browsing, and hunting. It turns out that these are also the precise three ways that humans gather information. Our social information lives are, in fact, extensions of our biological heritage. To learn more about grazing, browsing, and hunting, click here.
Altruism, a way of spreading individual wealth for the benefit of the community or species, is practiced by many species. “Mutual back-scratching” is commonly observed in the behavior of monkeys and humans. Both honeybees and human soldiers sacrifice their lives for the good of the community.
Since all life forms are based on information, they all operate on the same fundamental principles - the Laws of Life.
This brings us to my big questions:
How do the principles of information define the Laws of Life?
Is consciousness, sentience, cognition and self-awareness built into every living thing from the ground up?
Using information, can we understand and define the Laws of Life?
Since life exists here on Earth, are its basic principles baked into the structure of the universe?
How can we evolve from a human-centric worldview to a cosmocentric perspective?
Since information is the basis of all life and artificial intelligence is an information amplifier like nothing before, how will it make profits for each of us and for the world?
Feel free to send me your ideas and suggestions.
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