Furthest Right

Nature recycles patterns

Nature reuses patterns. If you see a mathematical distribution, pattern, type of organization or even something you could flowchart in one place, you’ll see it in another:

All the bacteria living inside you would fill a half-gallon jug; there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your body than human cells, according to Carolyn Bohach, a microbiologist at the University of Idaho (U.I.), along with other estimates from scientific studies.

For a long time, scientists assumed that these bacteria, despite their numbers, neither did us much harm nor much good. But in the past decade or so, researchers have changed their tune.

For one thing, bacteria produce chemicals that help us harness energy and nutrients from our food, Huffnagle explains. Germ-free rodents have to consume nearly a third more calories than normal rodents to maintain their body weight, and when the same animals were later given a dose of bacteria, their body fat levels spiked, even if they didn’t eat any more than they had before.

Intestinal bacteria also appear to keep our immune systems healthy. Several studies suggest that microbes regulate the population and density of intestinal immune cells by aiding in the development of gut-associated lymphoid tissues that mediate a variety of immune functions.

Scientific American

The ratio of brain:muscle/organ:bacterial cells is like aristocrats, warriors/artisans, peasants.

We have a relatively small number of brain cells, but they make decisions.

We have a slightly larger number of artisans, peasants, businesspeople and teachers, and they are probably not decision makers but storers of knowledge and implementers of plans.

Then we’ve got a huge hivemind of drones who are terrible at everything but following instructions, and they don’t do that well either, so they need to be united by very basic self interest like “grow beets and you’ll keep most of them” or “predigest food and we’ll let you keep most of the carbs.”

But on the basis of a new study, a team of political scientists is arguing that people’s gut-level reaction to issues like the death penalty, taxes and abortion is strongly influenced by genetic inheritance. The new research builds on a series of studies that indicate that people’s general approach to social issues – more conservative or more progressive – is influenced by genes.

Environmental influences like upbringing, the study suggests, play a more central role in party affiliation as a Democrat or Republican, much as they do in affiliation with a sports team.

Geneticists who study behavior and personality have known for 30 years that genes play a large role in people’s instinctive emotional responses to certain issues, their social temperament.

It is not that opinions on specific issues are written into a person’s DNA. Rather, genes prime people to respond cautiously or openly to the mores of a social group.


In other words, our inclination toward being shaped by social norms — which inevitably shift toward polite affirmation of the individual in defiance of the needs of infrastructure, authority and future-oriented thought — is genetic, as are our abilities and inclinations toward problem solving.

Then I saw this clumsy attempt and realized it had to be updated in light of this model:


Here’s my edit:


I think this speaks for itself. I expanded from Republican/Democrat because the psychology, and on a demographic level the sociological implications, are more important than the political names this half-century cycle. I also used all male characters to even out the comparison a bit.

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