The Cooperation of the Fittest

Sports have served as stage for cultures to play out their basic mythology for thousands of years, often good versus evil. The underlying symbolism is us against them, with us or against us, winners and losers. Language, an omnipresent veil that forces opposites upon whatever it describes, allows for no existential unity only the endless play of opposites.

When Darwin came up with his 'survival of the fittest' idea it naturally got viewed through the prism of our language [a built-in duality machine]. Our language/culture inputs Darwin’s message, does it’s mastication, and outputs winners/losers, predator/prey, good ‘ol linear biology, a beginning, an end. But other cultures have come up with other, less divided, answers as to the underlying nature of reality.

Our reality stands firming on a lily pad, it’s only stable as long as we accept the whole 'us and them' argument, the second one shifts from that perspective they’re in the drink. Decartes’ logic to justify his existence as separate from his environment was "I think therefore I am". But as Tom Robbins points out he’s actually put de-cart before de-horse, and that "I stink therefore I am" is closer to the truth. Stink of course needing both sides to complete it, both a stinker and a stinkee.

A more unified view of reality is possible. Evolutionary Biologists have bootstrapped their way to the Gaia Principle [see below] and even the reddest of rancher necks around Yellowstone will now grudgingly agree that the wolves have wrought an ecological miracle there. But the wolves are prey themselves, prey to the biological reality of death be it by disease, starvation, grizzly bear, or tiny virus and bacteria. The bacteria feed on the wolf, the plants feed on the bacteria and their breakdown products...etc. Where’s this beginning and end that our logic so covets. Everywhere our science turns it’s gaze acutely it can’t find one, no beginning, no end, no division between ourselves and our environment, no predator/prey, no winners/losers just one life, one undivided energy field filled with flora, fauna, mircobes, minerals, forces, fairies and Gaia herself all participating in the dance of life.

Finally [about time eh!], back to sports and another bit on how and why Steve Nash, alias Captain Canada, is such a potent symbol. Steve’s magic is cooperation not dominance, everybody loves Steve, everybody wants to play with him. Steve is his team and we are too, but Steve knows it, most don’t. Steve’s being called the anti-Kobe in the press today. To bad, cause Steve wouldn’t see it like that i'd betcha, i'd bet Steve sees Kobe as part of himself and everything else. Kids the world around are changing their vision of reality, abandoning i for we, if only for a few seconds on the court, they are the future . The cooperative paradigm, the stinker within us all, is mankind’s hope and Steve is a potent symbol of how cooperation not competition determines Darwinian fittest.

Gaia Theory
Lovelock defined Gaia as: a complex entity involving the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.