This chapter explains WOB optimality

Please start with the chapter on First Concepts

Astronaut disease

At any time WOB maintains equilibrium (homeorhesis) and  minimizes resource  expenditure. Its significance is evident in astronaut disease. Gravity determines the extent of our body mass, and when it lessens, body mass dwindles. When astronauts live in outer space WOB senses the lessening of gravity, and in order to save resources, it eliminates unessential processes. It slows down process creation and accelerates process destruction. Which is manifested by osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, and a reduction of heart size. Actually the entire WOB (body) shrinks. Despite this, astronaut is healthy, since WOB does not complain.

Additional reading: How to slow down aging?

Back home, he is extremely weak, and confined to bed. Even then he is healthy since WOB does not complain. His troubles start when he attempts to walk, since then WOB objects, sending the mind signals of weakness, fatigue, and prostration. Now the astronaut is sick. Health depends on WOB reaction to the circumstances in which it exists.

Disease of the mind

The astronaut might prefer his present health and stays in bed. Yet his employer objects. A weak astronaut is bad for business. His family reminds him of his duties as husband and father. In short, society, which conveys its messages to the mind, and is represented by the  mind,  demands him to abandon his healthy condition in bed. He stands up and since WOB objects, he is sick. His sickness is driven by the mind, since in a mindless condition (like coma), he would be healthy. He thus suffers from a disease of the mind (v. chapter on First Concepts)

Yet in order to enjoy life in the future, the astronaut is ready to suffer, and decides to exercise. He starts an unpleasant discourse with WOB.  He trains and WOB objects. This is the essence of free will, to convince  WOB to support your wish. Exercise has to be gradual, so as not to overwhelm WOB with a torn muscle or a painful ankle.

Effective exercise should be somewhat painful. Muscle building depends on effort intensity.

Effort WOB signals Result
Slight effort WOB is silent No change
Additional effort You feel your muscle Muscle mobilizes additional resources (sugar), while muscle substance (protein) remains unchanged.
More effort For a while muscle is tired, or tender, and  after a rest WOB becomes silent Muscle fibers thicken (hypertrophy).
More effort Pain Muscle satellite cells start multiplying (hyperplasia). It may take several weeks until they become mature muscle fibers.
Excessive effort Excruciating pain Damage to individual muscle fibers (necrosis). Local inflammation. Increased formation of satellite cells. Necrosis is a strong stimulus for cell formation of any kind

Exercise involving  acceptable pain leads to the best results, since only pain induces WOB to create new muscle fibers (hyperplasia). Training thus involves a discourse between mind and WOB. Mind sets the pain threshold, and WOB responds.  Pain is the most important message of WOB to the mind. During exercise it implies:" I am losing control of processes in the muscle. Be careful!" If mind exaggerates, it sends an excruciating pain, and if this does not convince the mind to stop exercising, WOB simply  turns it off. One faints and WOB regains control.


At any instant WOB faces a new situation and has to decide which  equilibrium to create. It will always create an equilibrium which requires the least resource expenditure, an optimal state which is called also a WOB solution. This is why it eliminates unnecessary processes. You put a patient in bed and WOB starts removing processes. Patients are urged therefore to resume activity as soon as possible. Yet what may be optimal for WOB may not be acceptable to you (mind).

Broken bone

Imagine a patient with a broken leg. If left alone, WOB can heal the  broken bone without any medical assistance. Yet the bone may become deformed leaving the patient in a wheel chair. This deformed bone is the most optimal solution created by WOB, and it does not satisfy the patient (mind), who turns therefore to the physician. The task of the physician is to assist WOB in creating another solution which offers a better life quality. He places the broken extremity in a plaster cast, straightens its deformity and the patient can walk again.  The physician does not cure. He merely assists  WOB, since if  WOB would fail to join the bone ends, the plaster cast would be of no use. What WOB regards as optimal may not be optimal to the mind (patient). The task of medicine to work out a compromise between the two.

Free  will

This is what medicine is about, driving WOB to create solutions which make life more pleasant. Physician cannot achieve this goal by himself since he does not know how to optimize (save resources). This quest  is a joint endeavor by physician and WOB.

While WOB sustains optimal life  we (mind) want to enjoy it. Both objectives are somewhat different. A pleasant life may not be optimal to the WOB. This is the main conflict between us (mind) and WOB. Free will means to convince WOB to accept life as we (mind) see it, even if  it involves wasting resources and sacrificing optimality. This determines also our attitude to disease, which makes our life miserable, particularly when WOB complaints. We ask therefore the physician to help us and silence WOB. For us, cure means WOB silencing and our regaining  a pleasant life. Over the millennia we created an artificial edifice, called culture, whose sole purpose is to make our life pleasant, and  medicine is part of it. Modern medicine fails to see its duty  that way. It combats diseases, and is less concerned with our suffering, as evident in cancer.

Post script
Optimization does not mean perfection.

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