Banquet for bacteria

Andrew Dunn, [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Sequence of images showing a peach decaying over a period of six days. Each frame is approximately 12 hours apart, but a couple of frames were not recorded. The peach appears to wrinkle and shrivel as it dries out, whilst the surface is also gradually covered by mold. From Einstein we learn about the relativity that applies to aspects of time and space. But relativity is even more absolute than Einstein imagined! Everything is relative, including the meaning of words, the meaning of meaning, and meaning itself. The truth we assign to things is never true from all perspectives.

Consider, for example, a picnic in the park. Mum, dad, and a couple of kids, sitting on a blanket eating sandwiches, boiled eggs, and other picnic food. One of the kids is unable to eat all of the food ze has taken (the "...eyes bigger than your stomach..." syndrome). Ze surreptitiously disposes of the uneaten food by throwing it into the bushes.

One of the parents notices and criticises the child along these lines: "Don't throw that food away, there are people starving in XYZ country. What a waste! I paid good money for that. And another thing, haven't I told you not to litter? You are spoiling it for everyone, making a mess like that!"

Actually, the food does not go to waste. Bugs and worms eat part of it, and bacteria eat the rest. The food thrown away can be called "waste" only from a limited, self-centric and self-serving perspective: that of the humans attending the picnic. The so-called "waste" is manna from heaven for bacteria. Likewise, the food that is "thrown away" is only "litter" from a limited, self-centric and self-serving perspective. From the perspective of sandwich-eating bacteria, the food thrown away is not "litter"; the taste, smell and sight of it is not unpleasant. The child may be a litterbug and the litterbug is the better off for it.

The underlying principle is that anything and everything is seen through a particular pair of spectacles. But there are many pairs of spectacles in the universe. There is no right pair, or wrong pair, correct pair or incorrect pair. From the universal perspective, there are no privileged frames. From the perspective of the whole of Reality, the universal perspective, there's no such thing as waste. Nothing is ever wasted.

Is the human perspective the one and only? No. Does the human perspective override everything else. No.

Do humans have more rights than other creatures and things? No. Do we have the right to use and abuse nature to the detriment of all else, including ourselves? Well, the bible says that God granted humankind dominion over nature*, and the problem with dominion is that it tends to backfire on the dominator. Dominion is not wrong. It's not right. It produces certain outcomes that elicit certain reactions in the dominators and the dominated.

Humans tend to believe that we are the beginning and end and centre of everything, (it's a fallacy and it's pathetic, so you could call it the pathetic fallacy). How we think about waste (per the discussion above) is one example of the pathetic fallacy. Another is how we took centuries to move from believing that the universe revolved around our planet, Earth (Terra), to believing that the universe revolved around our sun, Sol, to believing that the universe comprises only our galaxy, the Milky Way, etc etc.

A thing called the anthropic principle is an extreme instance of the fallacy. The Anthropic Principle is just another way of saying that the universe is surprisingly hospitable to the emergence of us. Yes, well the universe is as it is and was as it was and that's why, how, when and wherefore we emerged. If the universe were different to the way it is and was, well then different beings may or may not have emerged. Who cares! Talk about tautologies. It's just the old, tired "argument by design" of the proof of the existence of God. Let's just leave it at that.

* And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28, King James Version )


eBooks by Cosmic Rapture
(for kindle, tablet, smartphone or e-reader.)

NIGHTMERRIES: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DARKNESS. This so-called "book" will chew you up, spit you out, and leave you twitching and frothing on the carpet. More than 60 dark and feculent fictions (read ‘em and weep) copiously and grotesquely illustrated.

AWAREWOLF & OTHER CRHYMES AGAINST HUMANITY (Vot could be Verse?). We all hate poetry, right? But we might make an exception for this sick and twisted stuff. This devil's banquet of adults-only offal features more than 50 satanic sonnets, vitriolic verses and odious odes.

MANIC MEMES & OTHER MINDSPACE INVADERS. A disturbing repository of quirky quotes, sayings, proverbs, maxims, ponderances, adages and aphorisms. This menagerie holds no fewer than 184 memes from eight meme-species perfectly adapted to their respective environments.

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HAGS TO HAGGIS. An obnoxious folio featuring a puke of whiskey-soaked war-nags, witches, maniacs, manticores and escapegoats. Not to mention (please don't!) debottlenecking and desilofication, illustrated. Take your brain for a walk on the wild side. Leave your guts behind.