Colin Austin © 29th June 2024 This document is published under the Creative Commons system which means that it can be copied and republished without further permissions but the author Colin Austin @ must be recognised.  

Our intelligent control system

That great mystery of life

We all have an intelligent control system that regulates our bodies. How it works is one of the great mysteries of life. It is not one single organism but is a collection of sensors, intelligence, hormones and electric signals which work together as an integrated system.

If we see a pretty girl offering pieces of cheesecake it will make us feel hungry, if we smell the morning fresh air in a forest it will make us want to get up and walk, if we hear the sound or rhythmic drumming we will want to move our body in synchrony.

Continuous learning

It is continuously learning, if we get invaded by pathogens it will do its best to fight them off and during the battle, we may feel very ill but next time it may deal with them without us even noticing.

Every time we eat, it will learn about the taste and how it affects our bodies later and remember this for life.

Our gut-brain

Our gut is an integral part of this intelligent control system which is particularly focused on regulating our appetite, deciding what and how much we need to eat and converting that to what we want to eat by a complex system of hormones.

It is also a major host to our immune system, every time we eat and breathe we ingest both beneficial and harmful microbes which it identifies and deals with.

Thanks mum

Our gut-brain is made up of trillions of cells of thousands of different species that communicate with each other, just like in a computer, to provide real intelligence.

We get our first burst of these cells from mum during birth and later her breast milk feeds these cells so they grow.

But these cells have a very short life span, they start breeding within twenty minutes but they quickly die, an hour in their life is equivalent to a human year.

But if we feed them the right sort of food, which we refer to as pre-biotics, they will breed inside us but we also need to regenerate the strains which we do from our food. The microbes in our food we call pro-biotics and they largely come from the soil.

Health starts in the soil

Virgin soils are full of life. Some microscopic bacteria, fungi and viruses live by directly consuming organic debris. Others, the recyclers like the worms, beetles, slaters and pill bugs eat the organic debris which is digested in their gut and the microbes in their gut digest and pooped out. Into the soil.

Plants also exude sugars from their roots to feed the soil life in return for providing minerals.

Micro-organisms enter the plants which, if we eat while genuinely fresh, create our gut biome.

Infectious and non-infectious (chronic) diseases

Hunter-gatherers, whose diet incorporates plants, grown in soil teaming with microbes and eaten fresh have a healthy gut biome.

Modern man may have overcome many infectious diseases but has an unhealthy gut biome. This is sensed by our intelligent control system which regulates our bodies which sends out hormones to make us feel hungry so we overeat and get fat.

The wrong fat in the wrong place is the underlying cause of the epidemic of chronic or non-infectious diseases.

How the world has changed

Our ancestors may have had a healthy gut but they died from infectious diseases, the majority of babies born would die before they reached adulthood from an infectious disease but if they reached adulthood they would have a reasonable life span.

But humans are intelligent creatures and we made major improvements in fighting infectious diseases both by medical science but also improvements in hygiene, particularly modern sewage and water systems. Even the modern bed has saved millions of lives by avoiding the harmful bugs that live in the ground.

But this improvement in health led to an explosion in the human population and we all needed to eat.

Again human intelligence came to our help and we made major improvements in food production by a combination of synthetic fertilisers, chemicals to control pests and diseases and plant genetics.

The increase in energy food production has been faster than the increase in population and we now produce enough energy food to feed the current world population, if it was distributed fairly.

But there has been a downside to this system of chemical industrial agriculture, the soil is no longer breeding the beneficial microbes needed to replenish our gut biome.


The modern epidemic of chronic disease

As the health of the gut biome has deteriorated our intelligent control system has responded by sending out hormonal signals to make us want to eat more.

Many people have tried to resist this by adopting restrictive diets, which work in the short term but in the long term, they are just training our intelligent control system to send out yet more hunger-inducing hormones which we just can’t fight long term.

The net result is an epidemic of chronic diseases, overweight, diabetes, heart attacks, and dementia – all caused by the wrong fat in the wrong place.

That’s bad but it gets worse

These diseases may be terrible and contribute to the majority of deaths and reduced health span but there is an even greater threat to our species.

We may be over-eating but we are undernourished, which is noted by our intelligent control system which keeps on sending our hormones so we feel hungry.

The really bad thing about feeling hungry is that it also makes us angry. We have a name for it ‘hangry’.

It is impossible not to notice the increase in stress levels and tension in modern society, we are changing the very nature of humanity into an aggressive species, this is the greatest threat we face as a species, and we will destroy ourselves in a progressive increase in aggression.

The reasons why we are the most successful species on the planet are that we are an intelligent and naturally cooperative species. But if we change ourselves into an aggressive species there is a real threat to our species, far worse than the threat of climate change and the destruction of the natural resources of our planet on which we all depend.

What is the solution?

The solution is in two parts, the first part is the easy bit. We just have to modify our food system by supplementing with food that feeds our gut biome so we stop feeling hangry.

That is relatively simple, it is just a question of developing the technology of breeding the beneficial microbes, which form a healthy gut biome, without breeding the harmful microbes lead to infectious disease.

This is a technical problem and humans are very good at solving technical problems and we already have the technical solution.

But there is a much more difficult problem to resolve, that of gaining widespread adoption.

It may appear that with the internet and the modern communication system that this would be easy to resolve but it actually makes it worse.

The internet has become the home for dis-information. It is now saturated with information which has little basis in reality and is used to promote ideas for short-term benefits of money or power.

How to get the attention of the population to create the longer-term social change when humans are becoming hangry, demanding short-term gratification and have developed the attention span of a butterfly is indeed a major challenge.

But let me first deal with the simple problem of technology.


The Gbiota technology is based on the principle of Eco balance. We control the conditions, specifically nutrients and most importantly moisture and air so the beneficial microbes in the soil out-compete and out-breed the harmful microbes.

This is a problem of fluid flow – my day job.

Gbiota beds and boxes

The majority of people now live in cities, often in apartments with no garden so the Gbiota system is a two-stage process.

Stage 1 is to produce Wickimix, a growing medium or soil full of beneficial microbes and nutrients in raised garden beds.

Stage 2 is to load the Wickimix into Gbiota boxes where plants can be grown in a modern dwelling, even a flat with no garden, so people can pick and eat plants while still fresh.

Dynamic population

All the individuals living in a city a hundred years ago have now died, but they bred to create a new population. It is similar to microscopic life but the time scale if very different. An hour in the life of a microbes is equivalent to a human year so plants must be picked and eaten while genuinely fresh.

There is a big difference between being genuinely fresh, with the microbes still alive, and not gone rotten.

Growers and consumers

The Gbiota movement has growers, maybe just urban micro-farms which produce the Wickimix which they may load into Gbiota boxes and plant ready for the consumers so they have growing plants ready to harvest at home.

Gbiota boxes may be clean skins, eg loaded ready to start growing so the consumer looks after all the seeding and growing or with plants grown to the stage where they are ready to start picking.

Typically the plants are tipped, eg the tips of the plants are cut off where they regrow, often called cut and come again.

The boxes may also have a spectrum of plants, this is partly to achieve a wider spectrum of beneficial microbes but also they have a staggered growing period with slow and fast-growing plants giving a longer harvest period.

At the end of the cycle, the boxes would be returned to the grower for reloading with fresh Wickimix and its beneficial microbes.



An important benefit of this system is that the inputs are organic waste and rock dust (to provide the essential minerals). Fortunately, these are in abundant supply and sustainable.

Swapping from a system of exploitation to recycling is essential for the survival of our species.

We may be rich now but it will stop when we have used up the readily available resources. Look at Nauru, once one of the wealthiest countries in the world mining guano, then one day the thing happened that everyone had been predicting but done nothing about, they ran out of guano.

It will happen to us first with phosphorous, an essential mineral for growing plants.

Gordon Brown, once Prime Minister in the UK warned us we face massive migration, extremism and environmental destruction. We have been warned. Are we dumb donkeys that will just sit around waiting for that to happen?

How to make it happen

Creating social change

We know what we need to do technically, it is simple and not expensive so what is the problem?

How do we create a social change so people can have ready access to gut-brain food when the internet is saturated with a sea of dis-information?

We can be sure it will not happen overnight by just having pretty websites with clever images darting across the screen. Techy gimmicks may be great for selling T-shirts (or pills) but not that great for protecting us from our inability to act when needed.

We have to look at what makes people change their minds, what we call a paradigm shift.

Paradigm shifts

Change does not happen by logic alone. We need to be right but that is not enough.

We are a social animal, we have our tribes and we are influenced by what members of our tribe think and do.

We have to go through a series of waves, small at first then building up into a Tsunami.

First, we need to establish an inner circle of people who start eating gut-brain food and experience for themselves the benefits. Fortunately it is very easy to feel the benefits, there is no need for super complex data and statistical analysis that is rarely convincing.

All that needs to be done is to experience that feeling of satisfaction, of not feeling hungry or hangry.

Then we move on to the next stage. People need certain basics, we need somewhere to live which is secure, we need food but then we need to be part of a community – our tribe.

Our tribes

Belonging to our tribe is a powerful instinct for humans, despite what the advertising moguls say, we are not dominated by immediate self-interest, we are quite prepared to put effort into our tribe and creating a viable community.

We belong to many tribes, so this inner circle of gut-brain food eaters will be able to influence people who are in these different tribes and so the tribe of gut-brain food eaters will expand to an outer circle.

Revolutionary stuff this, we should put down our mobile phones and start talking to each other again, if we have not forgotten how.

This can continue until we have the Tsunami of gut-brain food eaters.

We create our society

People simply do not want to live in a society full of stress, aggression and hangry people. We are naturally a cooperative species and will go to great lengths to live in a peaceful and harmonious society and that is how we will survive as a species and not destroy ourselves and the planet we live on.