in Change Agents, Social Justice

The Earth is Local

Improving the quality of human existence will require a different understanding of wholeness. The challenge to maximize well-being by minimizing consumption demands a new sense of an abundant life.

The Report

This post is about the meta-numbers needed to describe the Earth and how they have become essential to understanding it as a potentially beloved place. Of course, the Earth is known; the question is how many and how well as a place in the universe. A follow-up post then examines priorities.


You know the saying, Sucking the oxygen out – of the room, the theater, the democracy. Those who practice this craft express a benefit found in most communication systems – whoever gets the most prevails. Describing “most of what?” is the next question. The measure, sucking the oxygen out, also suggests abuse of speech.

The Earth’s oxygen total is estimated to be 1.2 x 1021 grams. That number is a “meta-numbers” It is challenging to understand with experience. One can divide this number by 453.592  to convert that formula for grams of oxygen in the atmosphere into pounds. It is in the Quintillions.

2,645,550,000,000,000,000 Pounds of Oxygen

The math isn’t difficult, but the number is astounding.

When it comes to unimaginable numbers such as the one above, the disconnection between experience and another type of wholeness can begin. Outside of adventure, we find philosophy, a progression of thought one can welcome emotionally. A concrete fact, like six grams of oxygen, connects to an experience like having a pencil in hand. Here is an example.


The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) is about creating oxygen by sucking it out of carbon dioxide. MOXIE produces six grams of oxygen per hour – like a mature tree. It is designed to work on the plentiful supply of carbon dioxide on Mars. What is the value of oxygen on Mars? See the Moxie story (CNN). One more issue is central to a better understanding of the vastness of space, data, and computing power. Terraforming Mars to sustain humans and create rocket fuel for trips in the solar system and beyond is an act of science.

MOXIE is an inspiration for the chemical sciences. Nevertheless, it is a nonchoice. Mars is not Planet B and not where Earthlings will acquire a sense of the wholeness of life.

The nightmares embedded in whimpering failure seem to be the only motivation to improve the management of the Earth’s resources. The force of character, determination, or nerve needed to become optimistic is an open question. However, two new experiences of place will bring about a rebellious change in human perception. One is macro-local, and the other is micro-local. The bifurcation is neatly examined by the Earth First Journal’s attempt to document the efforts of people who feel the need for better protection of living things against centuries of law that define them as property, protein, raw material, and nothing else. Resistance aggravates both macro and micro parties.

Macro Local

NASA changed the asteroid’s trajectory when its spacecraft intentionally slammed into Dimorphos, a space rock. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test is a full-scale demonstration of deflection technology. It was the first mission to see if this kind of impact can deflect objects posing a threat to Earth in the future. The agency said the spacecraft changed the asteroid’s orbit by 32 minutes, marking the first time humanity intentionally altered the motion of a celestial object. That is a macro-local experience.

The macro local includes the extension of the human eye and ear into space (here). The SoundCloud Halloween playlist by NASA is filled with “moans” and “whistles” from our universe and industriously encourages human curiosity. One can choose to see, hear or feel with a device, but sounds or pictures that appear without a purpose are easily forgotten or disregarded. However, the site of something is never forgotten, and the environmental link between experience and human feelings remains a scientific mystery. Nevertheless, the love of the whole Earth, not just the pretty parts, must become a widely shared experience.

Another practical example to advance this idea would be the experience produced by the media systems. The characteristics of media ratings help analysts assess differentials and commissions in assets. These measures of competition and cash in mass consumption reveal exquisite details such as grams of toothpaste per capita by locations such as zip codes. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers benefit from this knowledge of market share estimates. However, other communication characteristics are environmentally more necessary but without value other than stimulating consumption. These “other characteristics” are the components that focus on maximizing types of well-being, not based on consumption. So, what would be the new frontiers of how this information is traded?

The popularity of Wordle (and comparable social experiences) is a communication instrumentality that improves public dialogue using the ad function and proves a success with clicks followed through to purchases. As an extension of collective experience, it draws on curiosity. Using an entertaining agent, such as Wordle, to produce a response from another agent is proven. Note that the term “agent” in the ever-expanding universe of ads is a semantic device. It prompts questions such as, who are the agents? Where are they, why are they doing it, and how is the data observable? It is this last question that begs our attention. How much capital would be needed to introduce the location of the Earth to over 90 percent of the Earth’s population so that it becomes provable as a shared understanding?

The Report suggests broadly exhibiting the location of Earth in the Milky Way by enhancing the popular video The Power of Ten for IBM in 1977 by Ray and Charles Ames. (See: here).

Source: Pikaia Imaging

Spend a moment on the idea of the Earth as “local” as an agent in a Solar System with eight planets, occasional comets, and asteroids that orbit a Sun. That solar system is in a smaller Local Group located in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way (called the Orion Arm). The Milky Way galaxy within the Virgo Supercluster is a member of the Laniakea Supercluster that contains about 100,000 other nearby galaxies. Other systems, such as the Caelum Supercluster, have 550,000 galaxies, known as the Coma Wall. Cosmologists love a good pun. The Report believes that one is intended.

The data is available, but not the resources to drive this idea into the emotions and feelings of people throughout the world are missing. It is desperately needed as a widely shared value capable of supporting stewardship.

Micro Local

As climate change is the first global crisis of the Anthropocene, two well-known methods for creating change with a sense of control are authoritarian, and the other is political balance. One is designed to protect ‘the few’ and deploys a warrior stance. The other is democratic and seeks to serve the many with stewardship. The Report searches for examples of both without a conclusion regarding justice, as this is not an either-or argument. Instead, it is one in search of equilibrium.

The way toward a new ideal of living is imaginable from home outward. For example, people can envision a future without fear of other people, groups, and nations. Is that freedom made more possible by understanding where the Earth is in the universe? Could a sense of place in this almost unexplainable context be essential for preventing destruction? A “failure” implies not resolving climate change and extreme weather problems, but it is unlikely to be defined as an extinction event. Nevertheless, the gravity of rapidly changing atmospheric conditions will be economically painful due to high short-term costs and the inability to see slowly.

The Macro/Micro Metaverse

Again the question is not the money in business and political decision-making but why a system used to define national interest cannot be conjoined to a unified sense of local needs, concerns and priorities. What are the measures? Are they composed of talking points, the classic rules of social debate, or within a system of jurisprudence linked to two thousand years of complex legal philosophy? The quick answer is, “not any of these methods appear to be working.” Alternatives that build toward a high quality of life for people are needed as if it has the value of 16 Psyche. It is how an astrological scientist would define hope.

Converting between mass, density, and volume units is the fundamental mathematic process used to solve basic problems in physics and chemistry. Perhaps, the Earth can be thought of as floating in the emptiness we call the Milky Way, but where the richness of human existence is an immense exception. The traditional socioeconomic measures have produced excessive outcomes that tend to be followed by more moderate ones because revolutionary ideas are stimulated by a regression to the mean over time and contain one essential part and a random error. On the other hand, group behavior in literal focus-group rooms or cyberspace can be measurable, stable, and “true,” while the excessive outcome is by chance and an equilibrium becomes possible.

Billions of miles, one life form. Source: Pikaia Imaging

Dealing with this incomprehensible enormity is examined (here), utilizing seven Earthly priorities from the front door out for comment.

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