Thursday, September 28, 2023

Scale and Complexity

Abundance and organism mass is complexity scaled to a linear thing? I think not. Complexity looks more like scale invariant. You'd think it woud be simple, linear, and we can choose things that do that, but this chart does not measure complexity. It measures scale.

Abundance and mass is not complexity. If  anything, the protist stage, the mechanics of archaeon or bacteria, are far more complex than a human society consisting of a few billion people, a few quadrillions of cells, a few septillion molecules.

True, our human biofilm is getting big, our infrastructure trillions of pounds to one pound of flesh, but there are structures far vaster on Earth (made even vaster if scaled up to our size). Protists and fungi enjoy global connectivity. There is evidence that life goes right on down to the mantle, and could outnumber surface life to be the majority of species on Earth. There could be a plate tectonic network for all we know. Point being, complexity is scale invariant. Complexity is a dimensionless constant.

Looking at the chart, what I get is maybe we are too small for aliens to notice.

Other things.

No mosquitoes this summer. True, we are in drought. But the alarming number of murder/death/kill lawn companies, with little yard signs showing mosquitoes in anguish or death, has reduced insect populations. That's alarming. 

I had one lone mosquito appear out of nowhere while I'm on the couch. She was a her and bit me. I let her feed. I took her outside on my arm and waited until she was done eating and flew away.

(I am a shoo bug instead of a kill bug, escorting bugs out rather than smoosh them. I don't think its a moral or philosophical choice. It's a respect of life that life shows life. Naturally. Therefore, I only kill when classified vermin).

When I was a kid, the planets of the solar system were smudges on photographs taken by telescopes. People didn't know what it looked like, so they made shit up. I do know a lot of people beleieved other people lived on those other planets. I drew pictures of what the people looked like. The people of the Sun were always fire and lightning bolts. Mercury a clown face sarguaro cactus. Venus obviously a blonde. Mars little green man. Jupiter and on were tough to do and varied on who looked like what.

It helped a lot that we explored space with robots and found out what's really going on. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Tooth Pull and a Trip to the Big Lake

There are three stages of dental problems. 

1) Cavities: youth and adolescence
2) Gum disease: adults and elderly
3) Tooth loss: mostly elderly

I enjoy the night time bruxism, and without wearing my guard one night I must have cracked the lower left back molar. Or started a crack and the bruxism kept on worrying it until cracked to the bone.

I experienced a lot of needless suffering before going to the dentist, but mainly because it quit hurting as much, I waited for my regular dental appointment. The dentist looked at it and said you that's coming out and you are an idiot for not coming in when it hurt. People can still die of tooth abcesses and, do die.

I also have a massive tori, a bone spur, on my left jaw which had to be addressed. The tori are there acting like flying buttresses holding the teeth in place while I try to grind their enamel into chalk.

The oral surgeon was great. I already told him it would be a local, as I had been under twice this year and didn't need another IQ drop. He was cutting my jaw up like he was going to eat it. He showed me the tori bits of bone and they were the most perfect white and smooth as plastic. I asked about the tooth and he brushed that off. After they were done I snuck a peak the surgeon's tray and there is the tooth.

Hm. Took a bit of jaw out with it but I'm healing fine. Follow up today and he said wow beautifully healed.

Happy Labor Day! My niece and great niece, I think she's 8 or 9, came in for a family reunion on my sister-in-law's side. We had time before they went to the shindig, so my brother - papa - and I took the youngster up to Lake Michigan. She is from Kansas and has never seen a large body of water.

Papa says keep youreye out for a big blue horizon, and as we top the last dune to see the lake-

"It's an Ocean!" she exclaimed. It's the Big Lake. All other lakes in nowrthwest Indiana have names to clarify but if you say we were at the lake, most would ask The Big Lake? 

Parking is a premium but we finally found a spot when someone pulled out. We made our way down from the road to the beach over boulders and rocks and then orcks and pebbles. My poor feet have hardly been barefoot this summer so there were lots of ooches and ouches out of Uncle John. Made it down to sand and water. The water temperature is 70-72F which is about as warm as it gets. The child complained when dipping toe and  wave washed foot but we said she would get used to it. She did.

I went in with her and after a little bit of a heart attack I was fine too. Papa took pictures from the shore.

I grew up here, ten mles south of Lake Michigan. Every chance I could get I would head to the Dunes. Summers in high school I practically lived there. When I hitch-hiked through Europe in 1976, I had on my itinerary great beaches. I almost didn't leave Denmark. I'm told the north coast of Germany (the Florida of Germany, where my dad's family is from) is even better. I could have gone to East Germany in'76, but it wasn't worth the hassle. 

I had flirted with the idea of hiking the Pacific coast of Baja California, until I read a book by guy who tried to do it. It was a nightmare and he almost died. Finally rescued by fisherman. All the towns on his map were ruins.

The kid was right. It's an ocean, and I am a son of that ocean.