I believe that if Henry David Thoreau would have provided more background information of his whole life, his autobiography would have been more comprehensible. He starts the book saying that he writes it to answer the questions of people about his days in the pond, but fills it with strange ideals, philosophies, and confusing language. More biological formation about his childhood, teenage years, and maybe young adulthood, might have been good enough to justify, in a way, his beliefs. For example, why did he believe it was better not to marry? Does that have anything to do with his mother being single; is she even single, or widowed? Did his parents not get along, did he witness parental fights? Or is it just because he doesn’t want any challenges or responsibilities in life? Is that the reason why he went to the pond? Did he go through poverty in younger years and that is why he is against working, trade, and luxuries? Did he suffer lots of rejection and that is why he prefers to be alone? What is this guy’s life-story, besides the things he experienced in Walden Pond? His autobiography is scarce in this sense. It would have been a more interesting ‘autobiography’ to know more information about his life.
Solomon Northup’s life story is literally extraordinary. I believe that all his life is a contrast, because he was a free man that was turned into a slave. The way he was turned into a slave was through his ability of playing the violin. There is a contrast, how can something so beautiful, as the violin take you to slavery? His book is filled with contrasts, between slaves, owners (good and evil) and places. Like how the Capitol, which debated about abolishing slavery had the house used to hide the slaves under its nose. I can use Solomon’s contrast as examples for my autobiography. They are very well placed and written. They keep you entertained and turning the pages. Therefore, I could use his contrasts in my life-story book. For example, when I used to speak about God in younger years, but had no commitment to follow Him. There is also the story when I didn’t want a pet, but ended up liking having the pet more than anyone in the house. Or, when we lived in a very decent household, that was quiet and peaceful, but had a neighbor involved in dirty business. Those people can’t hide it; they try to, but can’t hide who they really are, especially in a quiet apartment building, where some of your conversations can be heard.
(I noticed that I had forgotten to write this essay, sorry.)
As I wrote in my previous essay, cells are organisms perfectly made and organized in such an extraordinary manner. Everything that happens within our cells, up to what we know, could fit a description of many books.
Every day we grow and what our eyes can only let us see takes us to the conclusion that we are growing because all of a sudden our appetite grew stronger and our clothing is getting smaller. We have been filling our body with nutrients throughout our childhood years, then, when in the teenage years, we notice that our body is rapidly developing and extending its size and strength. However, have you ever wondered what happens deep within your body; what gives it the capability of growing about six inches in a few weeks?
You see, in the cellular level, there is a whole world going on inside of you that is enabling your bones, tissue, organs, and muscles to grow. Adults say, “Oh intolerable teenagers, with their emotional and hormonal attitudes. Get those annoying kids with the ‘attitude’ out of here.” And many times this is true in teens and we blame hormonal changes. I don’t make hormones responsible for the teens’ attitudes, but one thing is reality, and that is that in these years we have started to grow and that means our cells have started to communicate with one another saying, “we think it is time here in the toe, my dear foot, we need to reproduce and grow in number.”
Hormonal signaling, also known as Endocrine signaling, is occurring inside our bodies during this process of cell reproduction. In order to control the growth, cells have to communicate with each other. Cells in some areas of our body are sending a chemical signal (hormone) to other sells in different areas of our body and are telling each other to perform a specific task, in this case, to reproduce, which is an important phase in the life of cells and their cycle.
A signal called ligand is sent through the hormone to a specific cell. The receiving cell, in turn, catches the signal through its, what I call “ear”, that is really just a substance known as the G Protein. This part of the cell communication process is the reception.
After receiving the signal, the G Protein releases a substance named Guanosine Diphosphate (GDP) and picks up another substance called Guanosine Triphosphate (GTP). The GTP will trigger an energetic reaction that will cause the G Protein to move, bind with an enzyme and activate it. This is the transduction phase of the communication that releases a response in which the cell will perform the activity it has been required, here it will be reproduction.
The cell starts to enter a process of duplication, where she creates two genetically identical daughter cells, as if they were clones of the original cell. This process is known as Mitosis. In this phase of reproduction a replica of the DNA (our genetic structure) that resides in chromosomes, which are inside of the nucleus of the cell, is made. The DNA polymerizes and splits in half.
Each one of our cells has 46 chromosomes that are grouped inside of chromatins and these chromosomes, that the cell may reproduce, form clones of themselves known as chromatids. Chromatids start to pack themselves inside of coils within a cell and start to increase in density. In this, all protein structures form and start to move into place that the cell may be able to copy itself. The membrane that surrounds the nucleus or Nuclear Envelope begins to weaken and dissolve to allow the separation of the cloned chromosome or chromatid from the original copy of the DNA. This is the prophase, the first in mitosis.
Next, the metaphase forms and brings forth a structure called the spindle. The sister chromatids align as if they were face to face attached to each other by a centromere, in the center of the nucleus. The structure formed by the sister chromatids, is known as the Kinetochore. Lined up ate each “polar” end of the cell are centrosomes that sort of “enlighten the path” of the chromosome to split from its sister and go to one “polar” end of the cell through microtubules made of a polymerized substance called Tubulin. These microtubules are kind of like the “path” the chromosome is carried through. As the chromosome is carried on the shoulders of a motor protein that is engine by ATP and ADP, the polymerized Tubulin that conforms the microtubules, depolymerizes or breaks down, making them shorter at each step of the protein.
Finally in the anaphase the chromatids separate from each other by moving to each “polar” end of the cell. This phase gives form to the telophase in which we have obtained the result of two new nuclei that will cause the cell to conclude this process and be able to divide or reproduce.
Now each cell will be able to move about in its specific function in cytokinesis, which means that mitosis has been complete. It is important to mention, though, that the whole cell cycle is controlled by proteins called Kinases. These proteins control all the communication signals that are recorded inside a cell. Therefore, in reproduction, for example, they would be the ones in charge to tell the cell when to start or stop reproducing. You don’t want the cell to overproduce or there may be malfunctions within your body and it would be that there are sicknesses in the cell and deformations may take place.
This is all the reproductive cell cycle. Thanks to this system, we are able to grow perfectly. Of course, the correct ingest of nutrients is very necessary for the right development of our body cells and their proper reproduction. A very similar process takes place to regenerate our skin when we scrape our knees or cut ourselves.
Public Goods and the Free Market
“The government must provide public goods because the free market is incapable of producing them, at least for a long period of time. Why is this? Well, because public goods are ones that every citizen can enjoy without being excluded from them. In simpler terms, you don’t have to pay for them and they can never be privatized. Therefore, if we place such a task on the market’s shoulders, they would be inefficient and we would end up lacking public goods. Because, let’s be honest, most people don’t like to work for nothing. In order for people to have enough well-built roads, highways, security, communications, bridges to cross rivers, broadcasting, etc., the government must provide them to the people. Those goods, if they were to be produced by the market, one person might buy them and another will free ride on them.” At least all this is what they say.
However, we cannot always base our philosophies, theories, beliefs, and ideals always in what they say. As a matter of fact, we should never do that, but instead search deep for the truth. The truth is that the government can never know the exact amount of goods the people may need and if the market can be inefficient in providing them, so also, can the government.
In the past, our forefathers worked hard and accumulated capital that we now can enjoy costless because of inheritance. Therefore, those goods can have a characteristic of goods that are free ridden by all of us. Also, the public goods provided by government agencies, in case you were wondering, are paid for with the taxes taken from some people, including you. In this we know that not all people paid tax to enjoy a public good, and those, too, are free riders.
There are also public goods that can become private goods, such as streets, railroads, telephone services, postal service, etc. Certain private goods also have the characteristics of public goods. Examples of this can be as simple as your personal qualities you worked hard to achieve or were born with, but people can enjoy pricelessly, just as they can enjoy the view of your rose garden, the smell of the cologne or perfume you sprayed on yourself, and even a street musician’s music can be heard and enjoyed for hours without a charge.
Imagine you had the opportunity to choose from paying to buy and use the highways of your nation or saving that money, instead, to buy a helicopter. Because, in case you haven’t come to the conclusion, the government takes a whole lot of your money (taxing) to proportion a public good, in this case, to obtain the material, machines, and workers to build the highway and maintain it. Now, let’s pretend you could choose and not be forced by the government to pay, but be allowed to keep the money free willingly and save it for a vehicle that doesn’t use roads, but the skies, and with it you can travel faster, a helicopter. Would you prefer the helicopter, instead of the public good? I guess that most people would prefer the helicopter than the highway, unless they are afraid of heights. However, that is the good of the free market; it can give you the choice. Anyway, how can the government know that the citizens do not prefer something else and use their money for that, instead for a public good?
Don’t you think that the great majority of people are more likely to move about their own interests, than in the general public’s? The answer, without a doubt, is yes. Well, guess what? Government officials are people and they are more probable to act in their own interests than in the general public’s.
Let’s use the highway example again. The government is building a highway. They discover a really fast route that will benefit the public in reducing the time of travel by 75% and wil cost very little time and money to build. However, the government officials will not be benefitted economically by picking that route (if you know what I mean). Therefore, they search for a new longer way, find it, and choose the one that will take longer time and greater money to build. With this choice, the government will crack a small pot of gold, but the general public will have to pay taxes and the time of travel will only be reduced by a 22%. Government officials are people. It is interesting, though, a real leader is characterized by giving himself for the benefit of his followers.
The government encourages democracy because in it, it can only do whatever they want with the ignorant or implied approval of the people. In other words, they legitimize everything they do, including plunder, because they make us believe that we, the people, are the government. I encourage you to read these two essays called Solving the Problem, and Greater Responsibility where I speak of the falseness in the majority of votes.
Improving the Standard of Living through Capitalism
The free market is perfectly capable of producing all sorts of goods and can create a better and richer future that has a greatly increased standard of living.
As I mentioned before, our ancestors accumulated capital goods that were inherited to us and with them we grew in riches that allowed our own selves to obtain more capital goods and quicken our means of production. This caused us to increase in wealth and give people more free time to be creative and form more machinery, gadgets, or things that benefit society that we couldn’t have before because everyone was busy working all the time.
The average poor person of today’s American society is much richer than the wealthiest people that lived a century or two ago, in the mere reality that they owned no television, refrigerator, cell phone, or computers. However, I do know that those people are still counted as poor in society, but I propose a solution for their poverty.
Think of all the things you have and those that you do not need to invest money in, sell, like in the electricity for the television to function, and start saving the money you used for that to invest it in something else and form your own capital, don’t borrow from the bank in times were there exists government intervention. He that saves little by little becomes rich. Maybe you will improve the standard of living of your future generations.
Now this is what a capitalist does, he saves money and invests. He can produce, let’s say gum, using 300 people to produce millions of pieces of bubble gum and in a time frame of 12 hours. Before, without capitalism, he needed 1,000 people to produce about 100,000 pieces of bubble gum and in a time frame of 16 hours. In a capitalist economy, which is only available in the free market, he produces more than 200% of bubble gum and with 700 people less! In addition, the price of bubble gum used to be $1.00 and now it is reduced by 75%, costing only $00.25. This increases the economy and allows those that couldn’t afford a piece of bubble gum to buy at least one piece of that candy. The 700 laborers that were freed, do not stay without a job, but actually, are able to create or enter other jobs and produce things that society couldn’t or didn’t have before. In other simpler terms, everyone benefits.
Before the capitalist economy, were people poor because of greedy rich people that exploit them? No, they were actually poor because of the undeniable reality of scarcity. There were fewer consumer goods to go around and things took a lot more human effort to be produced, therefore, everything was expensive. This is how the market economy improves the standard of living: greater production with less effort, this reduces prices dramatically, the currency of the country is worth more, there is enough to go around, and people are given the chance to be creative and are given the freedom to do what they please with their wealth, without government intervention.
Up to what I have seen, Henry David Thoreau’s life-story book philosophies versus his real life and other small phrases in his book are a mere contradiction. The man, very subtly contradicts himself in everything he said and I think he didn’t even realize it, which ends giving some people the impression that the man was somewhat ignorant.
First, he chose to live on his own in the woods of “Walden”, I think to supposedly prove his points against the division of labor, hard work, trade, luxuries in living, working with animals (form of capital goods), eating animals, getting married, etc., but I think he maybe just didn’t want to have a responsibility.
In the woods he built his own cabin, but how did he do it? Whose tools did he use and how did he obtain them? He did not build them on his own that is for certain, and he did not invent the seeds he planted his food with. He bought the material and obtained the seeds through the hands of others. This means that he worked, and also, let others work to obtain the products he needed, so much for not being in accord with the division of labor. He also later lived with his mother, not having to work or receiving any form of responsibility, but leaving all of the work to his mommy, what type of ideal is this? It most certainly doesn’t bring progress, but instead, it stagnates you.
This book is one that is admired and its author is well renowned, yet how can this be possible, if all the man did was contradict himself, created irrational theories, and a new title to the book I could propose is, “Be Irrational for Dummies”. He is a great philosopher of foolishness, speaking against the things he used to survive living in the woods, like the division of labor and even also spoke against abolitionism, when he is known as a radical abolitionist. He hasn’t proved anything against his rival views, just that he was one weird man. I hope his book gets better.
This is an interview our good friend Nathan Conkey made us about the Ron Paul Curriculum. Go ahead and be welcomed to listen to it, if you don’t know anything about this curriculum or are hesitating to enter it, listen to it, you will find out, perhaps, more than what you thought you knew.
Is it righteous for the state to transfer the wealth of a people to another? I believe that the justification of this governmental action is measured by the will of each person as an individual. In other words, if the distribution is voluntary or involuntary, and the idea of his or her wealth being distributed is conceded by that single human being. However in the world we live in, that is not the case.
The state basically needs to coerce in order to make the people surrender a specific amount of money. The state has to force them through the law and by the law. “If you do not do it, you will be punished.” Did you commit an evil, a crime, some sort of wrongdoing to deserve your money being taken away from you involuntarily and given to someone else? The answer might pretty well be “no”.
The state, by enforcing these actions is inevitably exercising an amount of control over the people’s lives, and extending the conclusions of Locke’s theory of self-ownership, this means that the state partially or totally owns you and everything “you” posses. The citizens are the property of the state. All of this is done through the absurd excuse that Rousseau proposed of general will. The state says that what they do is the best for the people, even though, you might think you don’t want it, you really do. This philosophy leads to chaos. We can see the chaotic effects of this philosophy when people create wars, terrorist attacks, viruses, disease, and etcetera, in order to increase or protect the economy of the nation, and most importantly, in their personal lives.
Think of the Tale of the Slave once more. In those times, the slave owners felt the authority and freedom to exercise a range of control over their slaves, because ultimately, whether they were working in the plantation, whipped, and without the liberty to make a choice, or allowed to vote, given amenities, and a certain amount of freedom to do what they wanted with the condition of rendering a specific amount of their winnings to their owner, those men were owned by others. Today, in so many governmental areas, it is no different.
In the present, people give up all their rights to the government, in order to receive protection from them. In the end, they are slaves. The system of slavery in the 1800’s was abolished around the world, until people started acknowledging that it was unrighteousness. It was finished in the United States of America through one of the most terrible forms of chaos, a civil war.
Therefore, when people are coerced through the law to give up their money, they are being treated as slaves, and surprisingly, some allow it or ignore it and think it is right, because either they want protection or “government donations”. Until people start realizing that this type of plunder is wrong, it will never stop. What solution do I propose? I think that the free market will be a good option.
You see, while we are still fighting through philosophies, religions, and beliefs, this system (welfare state) keeps going on and on. No accord is raised, just a bunch of infinite debate that distracts us from the objective, which is obtaining a resolution of righteousness. Therefore, when it comes to philosophies, religion, and people’s beliefs, nothing will change, acts based on facts will. The constitution of the United States clearly says that God is the source of human rights and He respects our will. Thus, in the free market economy there exists a great promotion of self-responsibility and in it the respect and protection we need for our life, liberty, and property. Because in it, the civil government is limited.
I don’t have children, even less, I am not married and am some years far away from that, but I can understand, to a certain point, the pain that can come from a separation from your loved ones. I can only imagine the feeling one must experience after losing his or her children. Solomon Northup, through his autobiography, added details that enrich my imagining of a separation from family members.
Solomon Northup was a free black man living in New York. He was a hardworking man, but had a gift that was used against him, “the art of making music with a violin.” Because he could play the violin, he was deceived, kidnapped, and forcibly separated from his family to become a slave. The unjust separation grieved on him every day of his slavery and would have constant thoughts of his family. However, he did not expose his grief to public, Eliza, a woman that also had her children inevitably taken away from her, did.
Unlike Solomon Northup, she could not keep the pain silent and practically grieved over the separation from her children in a way that became intolerable to a wife of a slave owner named William Ford. The wife of Mr. Ford finally decided that she had to send Eliza off to another owner.
I think that Solomon’s pain could have been similar to Eliza’s and she brought to light what he probably kept deep within himself. Although, I do believe that each case is different in accordance to the children’s whereabouts and this difference might have had a unique sadness in each parent. Solomon at least had some sort of certainty that his children were safe with their mother and if there was hope, he could maybe, just maybe, see them again.
While Eliza’s children were sold as slaves and she could, most probably, never see them again. She would not be with them if they were to be punished, mistreated, whipped, or even sick. Eliza’s children were left alone to the mercy of mere strangers, she didn’t know if they were cruel or kind, she didn’t k now nothing of were her children would end up in. The love of a mother is most of the times very strong for her children, therefore, I believe that Eliza had the complete reason to grief for her children in the way she did, especially when we take into account their surrounding circumstances.
When you make a deal with someone in buying a car, for example, you consent with the price that the seller is giving you. In that agreement you probably shake hands and sign some papers and these actions demonstrate your approval of the seller’s price according to the conditions of the car. Now, imagine that watching all this, is your 18 year old son that does not agree with what you are doing, because according to his point of view, the price is not fair enough and he doesn’t like the car model. However, he never expresses his disapproval or lack of consent to you for it is the first car of its type your family has ever been able to buy. Your son still thinks, though, that the family has enough money to afford a better car and with a much preferable deal.
Suppose that when you die, your son will not necessarily keep the car, for he never consented the buying of it. He didn’t sign any papers, it did not cost him, and it is worth nothing to him. In the end, he ends up throwing the car in the dump. Imagine you are able to see all that he does and you say, “How ungrateful of him, I thought he liked the car, every time he wanted to go out, I let him take it and he happily went in it, he would sometimes help me wash it and take care of the mechanical issues. When I was buying it, he said nothing, just smiled at me. I thought he approved that car.” You never thought that he did all these things, because it was the only car you had and he had no other choice.
John Locke, a philosopher of the 17th century talked about how people consent to the idea of a government ruling over them. What he expresses is no different than what the father implied about his son consenting to the car. The “son” or people never sign anything saying, “I hereby consent to the establishment of this or that.” However, they let the government or “father” prejudice their acquiescence with the people’s or son’s actions. John Locke called this “tacit consent”. This type of consent is merely implied. He said that the citizens of a nation consent to what the government is doing when they accept the benefits that the government offers, like traveling on roads the government built and protects. Unanimous consent is difficult to obtain in a nation, therefore, according to John Locke, tacit consent is needed. If a people using governmental benefits, does not prove their actual consent, what does?
I don’t know, but tacit consent is absurd, and according to Lysander Spooner, it is also. Spooner asks if anyone living signed the constitution or consented to it. The truth is that no one living in Spooner’s time, the 19th century, and our time, the 21st century, has ever done such things. “Oh, well then, when people vote they are consenting to the government they choose.” This is implied, so, they are not necessarily consenting. The reasons are because not everyone is allowed to vote, plus, out of those that are allowed, not all do vote, and also, sometimes people vote in self-defense, not agreeing to the fact that a certain political system should govern over them.
We sometimes don’t want a form of government to rule us, because we don’t want to be slaves of that system. Someone may ask, “How can there be slaves in a free society?” and I ask back, “How do you know it is a free society?” Robert Nozick, in his book, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, published in 1974, included a tale, The Tale of the Slave, where he expressed a very valid point to analyze.
He begins saying, and I will quote, “There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master’s whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.” Then Robert Nozick goes on presenting other 8 situations where the master begins to be kinder with his slaves, beats them with purpose, gives them free time, he has a group of slaves, and decides how to assign things to them on pleasant grounds, realizing their needs and merit. Then, doesn’t whip the slaves at all and starts to let the slaves have four days on their own and only requires them for three. The master, then allows the slaves to go off into the city and work for wages, he only asks for three sevenths of their earnings in return, also tells them to not do things that endanger the slaves’ lives for their death would lower his financial return.
Nozick keeps going until he gets to the point very similar to how we live nowadays. He exposes saying that ten thousand slaves are allowed to vote on rules and regulations, but you are the only slave that can’t vote. Until, one day, they come to a point, practically impossible, where the votes are 5000 vs. 5000 and they need one vote to decide. Therefore, that is when they choose to include you from this moment on in the voting. You vote for one specific side, the votes turn 5001 vs. 5000 and your side wins. However, the next days all slaves vote, if the things are not tied up, your vote will make no difference. Finally Robert Nozick asks, “Which transition from case 1 to 9 made it no longer the tale of the slave(s)?”
We do not have entities, we only have individuals. In other words, a person will no longer be a slave or part of an enslaving system until people start acknowledging that we are single-minded individuals, that have a will no one can touch, and along with that will property rights. Property rights that lead us to the freedom to do with whatever we own and whoever we are as we please and no one can tell us the opposite, no one can infringe our rights without being penalized, not even Civil Government. If our rights are trespassed and the people who committed the crime get away with it, the system turns into a corrupt system, a system of slavery.
Cells, even though they are the most basic unit of life, contain such an extraordinary complex structure within them that allows them and other organisms to function in perfection. Cells are usually classified by the nucleus. There exist the eukaryotes, which are the type of cells containing a nucleus and there are also the prokaryotes, which are the type of cells containing no nucleus. Prokaryotes (normally bacteria) are the most abundant organisms here on earth, however, in this essay I will focus on describing eukaryotes, for they conform our body and once understanding these types of cells, which are very complex, it will be easier to understand prokaryotes.
Eukaryotes are protected by a membrane, called the Plasma Membrane. Inside of this membrane, they have an endomembrane system with organelles that carry out different jobs in the cell to keep it alive and working. One of the most important or maybe the most relevant organelle within the eukaryotes is the Mitochondrion or Mitochondria in plural. These can be called the power plants of the cell, for they carry out the respiration process within the cell and breakdown sugars in order to convert them to a substance called Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP for short. This is the main substance of energy within a cell that allows proteins to move in the cell. Therefore, some scientists believe that the mitochondria are the ones that enable eukaryotes to be what they are.
As I have mentioned before, eukaryotes have this name because part of their internal structure contains a nucleus. The nucleus is what defines the cell, because in it reside chromosomes like the DNA and other proteins. Outside of the nucleus are found the ribosomes that are a type of sugar that contributes to the construction of proteins within a cell.
Then, there is the Endoplasmic Reticulum which can be rough, meaning it contains ribosomes, or smooth, for it doesn’t contain ribosomes. Either way, the Endoplasmic Reticulum (E.R.) helps the cell in the creation of proteins inside the plasma membrane. From the E.R. proteins can travel to the Golgi apparatus that packages proteins and sends them out to the parts of the cell that require them. The Golgi apparatus can package the proteins in empty chambers called vesicles. Some vesicles are Lysosomes that are packed with enzymes made of proteins used to digest unnecessary material like proteins that are no longer needed and maybe even pathogens.
There are also other vesicles called the Peroxisomes, also made of proteins, which break down fats and neutralize toxins. Out of their process, however, hydrogen peroxide, which can be toxic for the cell, is created. As I wrote earlier, though, cells are made to work perfectly and the peroxisome has the capability to transform this substance (hydrogen peroxide) into water.
Next is the cytoskeleton that contains special organelles that help give the cell its shape, like microtubules. These tubules are like rods of proteins where vesicles can travel in, for they form like a path. Microtubules grow out of the Centrosome that contains bundles of tubes known as Centrioles and they form the skeleton and roads of the cell.
Anyway, there are so many organelles and functions within a cell, you could probably write a whole book describing them, and here I just presented the basics to let you understand two ways cells can be identified. As you can probably see, proteins form a really big part of the cell, without them, the cell would eventually end up dying. Just as the owning of a nucleus can define the type of a cell (if it is prokaryote or eukaryote), so also the production and usage of proteins within a cell can tell us if it is a cell in the muscles of our hands or a cell in our lungs. One will use proteins to send out signals to the brain that will tell us we need oxygen and give the lungs the capability to expand and absorb the oxygen into our blood system. Lung cells will probably produce and use more proteins constantly, because we need to breathe all the time. On the other hand, the cells in the muscles, nerves, and everything that makes our hands will need to use less lysosome, for example, when we move them.