Category Archives: Nature

Earth: galactic laboratory

Here’s an alternative “Zoo” hypothesis regarding a solution to the Fermi Paradox. We’ll call it the Lab Hypothesis.

If you’ll recall, the Zoo Hypothesis is the idea that intelligent, space-faring cognizants exist and they, either a single species or a collective, have intentionally isolated Earth (we’re effectively quarantined) in order to allow humanity to sink-or-swim, as it were.

The Lab Hypothesis is similar, however, the determining factor is that outside intervention is not forbidden, only restricted. And that Earth is “mined” for the myriad lifeforms and organic compounds and molecules that are produced by those lifeforms.

Think, autonomous chemistry laboratory, which haphazardly creates and/or evolves millions of chemicals which are rare in the galaxy. These fabrications are collected by aliens (which might explain the errant sightings of spacecraft), and then sold/traded/used by other populations of intelligent races in the galaxy.

Consider that life is rare (so far — very rare). And that life itself is more capable when it comes to producing strange new chemicals. Even the most advanced AI-computers in the galaxy cannot calculate the working, stable combinations of elements that make up, say, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, banana, okra, or cannabinoids, millions of chemical and drug compounds the corp-pharma industry searches for in the jungles of the world.

Life, nature, is just too good at making stuff up that works, on some level, to affect living beings, psychotropically, physically, or materially (spider silk for example).

So, Earth is a lab, and we’re lab-rats, and the thousands of spices, fragrances, liquids, intoxicants, etc. that we enjoy — our alien neighbors do too.

But they want to keep it a secret — and not risk polluting the petri-dish.


The dog licks the plate

If you’ve ever had a dog. And you’re not a a stuck up fucking prig. Then you’ve probably laid your dinner plate down on the ground (in the kitchen or near the table) and let your pet lick the porcelain disk clean. So clean, you could probably place it back in the cupboard and nobody would be the wiser.

Now, here’s the magic about this activity: All the good bits are stuck to the plate. All the oils, grease, all the salts and flavor — they’re all there. So, really, unbeknownst to us, the dogs have been getting the best part of the meal. Luck them.

Of course, if you are a prig who wouldn’t dare dream of setting a temptuous offering on the floor for you loyal companion to enjoy, well — fuck you!

Country size: An interesting perspective



Here’s a curious image.

I’m not sure I recall where I found the site on which I built that, but, what it allowed me to do is drag countries around to see their relative sizes. (Alaska is rotated to bolt to the US.)

I lined all the biggest along the equator, from largest on down. You’ll notice that those countries managed to fit along the equator just as you see — end to end — all the way around. Now, wouldn’t that be a curious world to live upon; with seas between each of nine continents, and oceans above and below and of course all of the remaining 190 odd countries stuck to the tops and bottoms of those nine (lots of Africa and South America to distribute.) But the tops and bottoms all being oceans — just two of them.

An interesting adjunct to this sequence would be to compare the populations for these countries, given their general shapes, and line them up according to that metric. Hmm, I may have to do exactly that (I’ll hunt around). (Of course there would be countries that show up here that are not shown, vis-a-vis population rank.

I’m struck by the comparatively equivalent sizes of Canada, USA, China, Brazil and Australia. Within 20-30%, they’re about the same land mass.

Just imagine if we could terraform Earth to look like this? Before we terraform Mars, maybe we should consider doing something about living on what we’re not using already…


Campfire, surf, forest = chaos

Much of the mind is dedicated to pattern matching: cerebral, visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory cortexes and subsystems which load and store and recall patterns. Our life as modern humans rely on these facilities to navigate and work our world.

When you exhaustively tax such systems, you know the feeling, there are a few simple things you can do to recharge your brain-battery. One of those is the application of chaos.

Have you ever wondered why a campfire, a day at the beach, a walk through a forest can be so rejuvenating? I’m coming to believe that by applying chaos to our sensory inputs we overload our pattern matching engines. When this happens, our brains give up and quit trying to find patterns, for a time.

When this happens the transfer of signals between our cortexes and our hippocampus, back and forth, slows and this slowing is soothing to us. We quit trying to cram more patterns from our world through our eyes and ears and fingers (and nose and tongue too, I suppose). When our brain stops trying to decode patterns, because there are none — chaos is by definition patternless — we allow our long term memories to sift and settle. Nothing new is being added or processed so we get to enjoy a little downtime.

And chaotic downtime can help reinvigorate our minds in anticipation of our return to a day or week of intense pattern matching.


[Alexa: Play campfire sounds. Alexa: Play ocean sounds. Alexa: Play forest sounds.]