Thursday, December 28, 2006
"When cells band together they increase their awareness exponentially."
"In order to survive at such high densities, the cells created structured environments. These sophisticated communities subdivided the workload with more precision and effectiveness than the ever-changing organizational charts that are a fact of life in big corporations."
"Division of labor among the cells in the community offered and additional survival advantage. The efficiency it offered enabled more cells to live on less. Consider the old adage "Two can live as cheaply as one." Or consider the construction cost of building a two bedroom apartment in a hundred-apartment complex. To survive, each cell is required to expend a certain amount of energy. The amount of energy conserved by individuals living in a community contributes to both an increased survival advantage and a better quality of life.
In American capitalism, Henry Ford saw the tactical advantage of the differentiated form of communal effort and employed it in creating his assembly line system of manufacturing cars. Before Ford, a small team of multi-skilled workers would require a week or two to build a single automobile. Ford organized his shop so that every worker was responsible for only one specialized job. He stationed a large number of these differentiated workers along a single row, the assembly line, and passed the developing car from one specialist to the next. The efficiency of job specialization enabled Ford to produce a new automobile in 90 minutes rather than weeks.
Unfortunately, we conveniently "forgot" about the cooperation necessary for evolution when Charles Darwin emphasized a radically different theory about the emergence of life. He concluded 150 years ago that living organisms are perpetually embroiled in a "struggle for existence." For Darwin, struggle and violence are not only a part of animal (human) nature, but the principle "forces" behind evolutionary advancement."
"You may consider yourself an individual, but as a cell biologist I can tell you that you are in truth a cooperative community of approximately 50 trillion single-celled citizens. Almost all of the cells that make up your body are amoeba-like, individual organisms that have evolved a cooperative strategy for their mutual survival."
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