Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Symboitic Perspective


Reading this line in a Seed Magazine article "Human beings are not really individuals; they’re communities of organisms” makes we want to believe that this is entirely true. It would explain all of the irrational, out-of-character or plain idiotic things I have done and will in all likelihood continue to do in my life. A flotilla of organisms sending out conflicting chemical impulses all the time can only be the cause of trouble:

The difference between our interaction with harmful and helpful bacteria, she says, is not so much like separate languages as it is a change in tone: “It’s the difference between an argument and a civil conversation.” We are in constant communication with our microbes, and the messages are broadcast throughout the human body.

To that end, I lack the will power to resist chocolate and need to devise complicated ways of hiding the box of macadamia cookies that a friend gifts me. It's got to be those harmful bacteria I am carrying in my gut - bacteria with whom it is impossible to have "a civil conversation" with. It would be instructive to understand what's inside one's microbiome :

Much like a genetic profile, a person’s microbiome can be seen as a sort of natural identification tag. As David Relman, a microbiologist at Stanford University, puts it, “It’s a biometric — a signature of who you are and your life experience.”

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