Ming the Mechanic:
Seeds

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Seeds2004-08-12 08:38
9 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

It is so easy to forget how magical and amazing life is. Not just my life, but the life in nature. You drop a seed in the ground, water it a bit, and the sun shines, and this seed strangely knows how to turn into a big plant, and to reproduce and make more, ad infinitum. I kind of wouldn't believe it if it wasn't so normal. And, ok, I'm not really much into gardening, but I do go out and water every day, which I can just about handle. And I can't miss all the stuff that comes up all by itself from what was just a piece of soil. OK, we dropped a few seeds and little plants in there, but the weeds are just as interesting.

People who're into technology often have little regard for nature. Messy, primitive, dirty stuff, which we think we can do much better. Where really we have little clue. Most of our technology is horribly primitive compared with the technology of nature. We are incapable of making anything like a seed. We can dream about it, in the form of nanotechnology, but no real results. A little unit, weighing a few milligrams, and you drop it into some random soil, and on its own power it extracts building materials from the surroundings, and reproduces cells, and builds a rather fancy construction with billions of parts and a whole infrastructure. Which is then solar powered, in addition to the water and minerals it keeps extracting. All at room temperature or worse. And not only that, but it is self-replicating, and will produce new seeds that do the same.

The best competition we can come up with is to mess with these things, and poke inside them, and see if something different comes out. Kind of typical for how our technologies work. We know how to poke around and learn to exploit something, by seeing what happens if we poke it different ways. You know, like psychiatry by cutting off different parts of the brain and seeing what happens. But we're very ignorant on how to actually make any of the stuff we're messing with. We haven't succeeded in making a single cell, despite having taken many apart to see what they consisted of. We don't really get it yet. Life, on many levels.


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9 comments

12 Aug 2004 @ 09:01 by jmarc : childbirth amazes me like that
that there are two people who get together and then there is another autonomous being which springs from that union. and another and another, all over the world, and maybe the Universe. All independant minds, yet somehow connected by one source that we would like to think we sort of understand but really we don't. It boggles the mind.  


12 Aug 2004 @ 09:23 by Dewayne Mikkelson @161.114.1.184 : Nature is truly Mind Boggling
Great Post and so very true. I used to be the same way about Nature. Then I bought my first house and BAM!!! I was into Gardening and Landscaping in a huge way. Getting outside after work and digging around putting in new plants was a great way to relax after a long day in front of the computer. It opened my mind up to a new way of thinking and really helped me grow just like my plants.  


12 Aug 2004 @ 22:24 by Siman @64.229.21.44 : Planting a Thought on Growth
Naturally, and imaginatively: an egg and a sperm create the portal for another being to come and discover the wonder of this planet. How gratifying and enormously humbling it must be for the donors of the sperm and the egg to quietly acknowledge the priviledge of facilitating the wholesome growth of this being, who someday will return the favour by providing a new portal for another, and so on. It's just spiritually incredible!  


13 Aug 2004 @ 10:23 by Quantum Mechanic at Large @24.98.1.76 : Roof Gardens
Well, this is a great article Ming, and appriciation for natures awesome deverse aspects is a great thing. I agree with you, the poking around and the misunderstading of things is causing irreversible changes in our enviorment. I have been examining my relationship with nature in recent years and set off in a new direction slowely. I am shuting off the v-8 , tearing my roof off and building a garden up there. I decided this because of the very point you made, that we really dont know what we're messing with here , as far as life goes. I live on a 5 acre, 150 year old farm in the middle of a large city on planet Earth(EARTH-A seed in the universe). I decided no landscaping here(in the comtemporary sense of the word) for me, as nature would do the better job than I, of reclaiming this space. With out a lot of help from me or mankinds chemistry and engineering. So now I live in a jungle. I too have discovered I really like tending to this project, growing things is much more satisfing then repairing a v-8 or driving down a freeway. There is something really primaly satisfing about getting your fingers in the dirt. My farm house is cooler, I dont need as much AC,, and the birds are very happy about it. A variety of creatures readily moved in. Nature is, as you say, very effective, has a firm regenerative grip on life and sustaining it. The natural world around us will clean up our mess, and quickly, when it gets the chance. One hope I have is perhaps my nieghbors might take a hint from my activities but I think that it is unlikely. They are cutting down old growth forest across the street and putting up big houses with even bigger heat absorbing roofs, and planting non indiginous plants in the small yards as fast as they can ...and everyone has a brand new v-8. They are connecting the houses to unsustainable fossil fuel derived energy sorces as well. If we could colectivly decide that letting nature run the enviorment, and us fitting into its program we would all be better off than beleiving we can do a better job, and attempting to do so. If every roof in the world became a garden , we would move towards a position closer to balance with the natural world. The mesage is the medium, so perhaps the word will spread, it is a monkey see monkey do world out there.
Quantum Mechanic at Large  



13 Aug 2004 @ 15:10 by Max @82.122.240.186 : garden/veggies
cool!
how did the veggies come along?
can you send a pic of those??
best,
mx  



13 Aug 2004 @ 15:59 by ming : Garden
Heheh, it maybe isn't quite like you had in mind yet, Max, but it is quite full of life. And lots of veggies. Tomatoes, celery, lettuce, squash. I'll take some pictures that show it all. And I just realized after looking at the picture on your blog how much it had changed. One doesn't notice as much when it is a little at a time. But it was all empty before, and now it is full of stuff. Even if half of it is weeds. But the weeds are pretty good here too. We planted some other things along the fence too, which will take longer, like Clematis and ... hm, I forgot the other kind, Forsythia maybe. Anyway, the sunflowers were a way of quickly having something there, while the other stuff grows.  


13 Aug 2004 @ 23:33 by bkodish : Thanks Ming
for these beautiful, simple and profound wonderings. Yeah, you get profound when you don't even try!

I see us humans, including our technologies, as parts of nature too.

And when we can see this and experience our harmony with the rest of nature more clearly and deeply, then our actions and technologies will, I believe, tend to reflect that harmony better.

That to me is one of the main things that I got from Bucky Fuller, among others.  



16 Aug 2004 @ 08:47 by Quirkeboy @209.92.185.198 : Nature not welcome...
Its funny that people in this area claim to love nature so much.. but dont really see the hypocrosy.. my neighbor has a bird feeder and Im sure this makes her feel much closer to nature.. but.. with no natural predators in the area .. the birds, rabbits, squirrels, mice, chipmunks, etc. are multiplying.. well.. like RABBITS. BUT.. the LAW restricts me from letting my cats out at night who would love to control the vermon population. So.. the rabbits eat my plants.. the birds make wonderful patterns on my car and the chipmunks dig holes in my lawn. Bare in mind..THIS is all nature too.. but unbalanced. The law also requires that no lawn should grow past 6 inches.
So.. we like nature when its cute and fuzzy and neat and orderly.. but not when its a cat killing a chipmunk or a weed thats bravely chosen to grow in the crack of a sidewalk.  



17 Aug 2004 @ 18:13 by Frans @80.61.237.45 : all nature
Very well said Ming,not just the plants,we also,our bodies,even the wiring of our mind,a wonder.
Who can explain it,explaining it is labeling it,and then.....?  



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