Tag Archives: BBC

Universal language: Our planet’s common culture

I’ve been mulling this over for some time, a way of quantifying the rudimentary universal communication, unspoken understandings, subtle negotiations, and at time overt mercies that cross the lines between species. It points to the common connection all living creatures share on this planet, and perhaps something more profound: the idea that the Earth may be more than a planet teeming with autonomous creatures, each rushing headlong towards their individual fates. Instead the world may very well be and behave as a single organism!

It is an incredible and fantastic thought, but what would compel animals to adopt and nurture animals from another species, as in the case-certainly not the only one-of the Lion and orphaned Antelope? ( BBC News,Lioness adopts third baby antelope, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1905363.stmOr that animals would act in any way inconsistent with instinctual imperatives, such as same-sex pair bonding? (BBC News, Homosexual zebra finches form long-term bond,  http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14479670)

But what I am looking for is a basis which connects all things to one another, to find and define that common language that transcends species. Some might call that God, or Gaia, the Great Spirit, or an energy which exists in all things. I believe that it is much deeper and much quieter and far more profound,a common and eminently simple global language that transcends any Human religion.

Fundamental to an interspecies language is life itself. There exists in every organism the imperative to simply exist. That imperative is, from a communication perspective, a statement-perhaps the ultimate statement between species. It is a statement fundamental to all living things, from the most rudimentary to the most complex. It is, from this simple statement, I believe, the cornerstone of that planetary language. From that statement more of that basic language begins to come into focus. Second to the statement of existence are assertions of pain.

Pain is hardly as simple a definition as it may seem. Pain is struggle. Pain is threat and distress, but pain can also be truth. Pain, in the absence of any direct form of communication becomes a basis for negotiation, because each individual creature’s pain is entirely its own, and therefore an absolute fact. The communication comes, between individuals, in the level of acknowledgment of each other’s pain and in the negotiation with one another’s pain.

We are surprised and awed by the Lioness that adopts a helpless antelope, by the way animals recognize human pain and illness, by the cat mothering ducklings or the dog nursing kittens. We are stunned and amazed when animals portray social and mental acuity beyond what we would expect of simple creatures possessed fully by their base instincts.

We expect our pets to respond to us, to come when we call, to fetch and heel, to shake, stay and rollover. I began last year repeating the word “love” while grooming or petting our cat, Oliver. I have no illusions that he holds a concept of “love,” so to speak. But I am quite sure that he finds pleasure in the word, for now if I say it from across the room his ears go up and his tail wags in a way it doesn’t with other words. In Oliver’s simple way, in a mental language all his own,the physical sound of the word evokes pleasurable recollections of being scratched or brushed. In a Rudimentary sense, Oliver has formed a concept-his concept- of love.

Perhaps our amazement over displays of “humanity” by animals awakens our own desires for hope and peace in the face of animosities over such terribly superficial things like religion, nationality and race among members of the very same species. In some ways it is likewise of an indictment of mercies and tenderness we so often fail to extend to one another.


Why are

Dumming Down of America? Its all in the headlines

Not convinced we get a different quality of news here than overseas? Anyone lucky enough to see the original BBC version of Planet Earth heard a cogent adult narrator. The US version had Sigourney Weaver’s Disney-esque cutsy narration. One offered a fascinating comprehensive look at the wonder and breadth of our planet. The other led us by our little hands through a parade of cute and crazy animals, not unlike the Saturday Night Live skit by a half-wit nature guy named Brian Fellows, played perfectly by Tracy Morgan of 30 Rock Fame.

As a science nut, I daily troll the news, particularly the BBC. Today I happened to check MSNBC and well, let see who attempts at intelligent science reporting and who reflects a consumer driven society completely self-focused and separated from the world, and charging headlong into the abyss of abject vapidity.

Top 10 Science Headlines BBC News:

Iceland Ash Jet threat “founded”
Motivation “key to high IQ score
Hidden CO2 emissions revealed
Lasers could replace spark plugs
Climate change to hit US rivers
Aurora from Saturn Moon circuit
Sunspot Twist sparked huge flare
Iran uncovers espionage virus
Quake mission to “ring of fire”
Rig Culture “factor in BP spill”

And now from MSNBC:

Robot helps woo bride in video game proposal
Plug in cars meet the real world
Facebook game lets you throw friends off buildings
How to choose the right Blu-ray player
Surprise mom with a video just for her
Man sues Facebook for$1-for attention
Puppycam makes a comeback
Squid camouflage catches Pentagon’s eye
Enormous statue of powerful pharaoh unearthed
Rocketeer aims for Mars in 10 years

Surely FOX will save us from MSNBC’s liberal pandering:

Nintendo to Launch new Wii in 2012
Can Nintendo Wii and game consoles reinvent themselves
500-year-old book surfaces in Utah
Tantalizing hits of secretive spaceship builder’s plan
Sony chairman credited with developing CDs dies
Pope may make first call to space
Watching Internet porn at NYC protected by First amendment, officials say
Has quest for elusive God particle succeeded
what the devastating Japanese earthquake sounds like
Secret Space sex experiment rumors denied by Russian expert.

…Oh so close. And for the life of me, I cannot imagine why we have slipped behind Moldova in science education. Consumerism and Corporate media have succeeded in finally make us all dumb shopping drones, blades of grass whipped by whatever wind the corporate elite, who own the government and use the media as their message board and propaganda machine, decide. They sy be afraid and we no longer question what or why, or even the legitimacy of those claims. We are told and we follow obediently. And on rare occasions, when someone does questions the media kicks in to belittle, degrade, ignore or destroy their message. A whistleblower to corporate or government crime and corruption somehow is shown to be mentally unstable, a viewer of porn or a child molester, as thy did in the Soviet Union to dissidents. When that failed to quiet dissent the Soviets had citizen informers, which is why corporate America and the Republicans invented the Tea Party.

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