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David Stafford
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Student of markets, enjoys following their course.
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Around the World in Several Pieces
  • More On The Birdflu Virus, And A Perspective On Its New Approach To Survival. 0 comments
    Apr 21, 2013 10:38 PM

    As the birdlue virus continues to dip in and out of the headlines, it is perhaps interesting to read the following article relative to the earlier discussion on this instablog concerning the blird-flu(most recent).

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    http://www.newsdaily.com/article/92cf4151f582cd197c39616e1f63546a/gene-data-show-china-bird-flu-mutated-under-the-radar

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    It seems as though as earlier speculated here, the virus had been developing and adapting quickly "under the radar" as the article puts it. ____________________________________________________________

    Perhaps it is ironic that we as people tend to forget of the constancy of nature's prerogative. Ironically we often dream of utopias, and stable prosperous realities. Behind all these dreams however, is the truth.

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    Just as we have continued to evolve in our kind of "bubble" if one will, of human society(inherited technology/knowledge), nature continues to constantly do the same thing.

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    Perhaps this process takes on an interesting hue if one will, when discussing virii, because they adapt in so many words to consume their host. Hence as a non-virus, we would often like to forget about them perhaps. However, while we focus on our intra-species barter between labor, cash, and capital, nature focuses on a purer sort of transaction, that between life and death, health, and sickness.

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    Hence it is perhaps not ironic, that as our society becomes more and more market centric, that nature in so many words begins to acquire the upper hand if one will.

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    For example, even though there's too many articles on the subject to reference here, to maintain increased growth rates in livestock(poultry most specifically), we often pump tons and tons antibiotics into poultry farms. This is done by adding it to the animal's feed, or through perhaps gasification type of misting per se of the animals homes if one could call them that. This of course kills microbes, and hence allows the produce animals to devote more energy to growth. This of course makes any modernly-raised meat very in a sense, diseased, however, it is masked by the antibiotics, and the preparation(cooking) there of.

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    What is perhaps overlooked in these sorts of efforts is the long term effects, of raising the bar very high on pathogens, virii etc. For, though these sort of antibiotic cures always work in the short term, they never work in the long term, because the battle being waged per se is never a "fair fight". For, though of course companies continue to invest in r&d etc concerning the production of more potent anti-biotics etc. What happens when the capital needed to maintain the human side of this battle begins to wane?

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    As this most recent financial situation has proven, capital is not always available. This is a problem because as this Chinese-Bird-Flu example shows, if given a chance these now-super-virii produce by this constant exposure to anti-biotics, is now essentially facing an enemy with no defenses.

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    Hence, though no, I'm not a shill for the pharma-industry, but if these entities were to become insolvent/cease to exist, essentially what our battle with virii would leave behind, is essentially an ungated fortress, with a very savvy opponent ready to pounce on our heals. For, though many may not considerate it, what we are doing by constantly raising the bar on the virii is making them stronger and stronger and stronger. Hence, the second we stop fighting them, they will be so well adapted to anything that constitutes a thoroughly undoped immune system that they will ravage it however they see fit and essentially wipe out any un-super-doped host they encounter(doped on anti-biotics etc).

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    The irony is of course that this may happen anyway. For as the evolution of this new-strain of birdflue shows, even with the super-doping, virii still win.

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    For, what we treat as a profit increasing measure(the use of anti-biotics in livestock) is a much bigger deal to our opponents(the virii). While we as humans and the companies involved more specifically do it(anti-biotic doping) to raise return to stake holders/shareholders etc. the virii are fighting for their very existence and future existence. Hence unfortunately we may be making a sort of Frankenstein's monster pathogen as we speak.

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    Is it worth it, is perhaps an irrelevant question, because of course the actors involved in said doping, are wealthy and powerful, per se, and hence they have much more influence over the average even well informed individual in this case over any sort of policy decisions that would involve this arena of human activities. Hence perhaps the final irony of our current paradigm regarding human beings' relation to nature.

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    Given our current perspective on our relationship to nature, that was formed during the industrial age, and perhaps best distilled and made clear in such books as Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", we often see nature as something we just "engage" at our leisure, like the ship that featured so prominently in that book, firing cannon shots aimlessly into the African forests as described early on in the book. We see nature as something, that with fuel and gears and levers, that we have managed to dominate or obscure from relevance. That in essence it is passive, while we are the active partner in this relationship/conversation. This can be seen in the climate change movement as well. In a ways its the last of the Patronizing inherent to relatively advanced forms of civilization.

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    "Advanced" civilization has always needed to enlighten others, rightly or wrongly. Now that the world is explored, etc, and marketalized per se, there is perhaps no-people left to patronize/preach to. There are no "others" to civilize. The former ward's of colonialism have all flowered into well footed in some cases thriving "emerging markets". Countries like China, once advanced and again advanced, have beaten our Western model at its own game, through their own emphasis, on ruthless efficiency in the fields, of both social and capital related endeavors.

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    With traditional super-powers obviously waning, with our role as Paternal guide to all, beginning to seem irrelevant, and perhaps awkward, we are now left with nothing to patronize but "poor little nature". Of course sustainable investing etc. is a good thing. For example the sort of strong and visionary corporate governance inherent to sustainable investing/corporate management has been show to also be a good thing for future profit margins/stable growth, and of course, it would be horrible if humanity wiped out any animal/floral species of organism.

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    However, underneath the veil of paternalism, and supposed authority, lies a very different truth. Being the fragile animals that we are, we are perhaps overlooking the strengths of our not so obvious former counterparts in the game of life per-se.

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    For though we may write off nature at times, as a ward of humanity per se, their are elements of nature, which have the one specific aim, of killing as many of us as possible(in order for them themselves to live, as in disease). While human leaders, may destabilize their own and partner nations polity to remain in power, we perhaps overlook the more obvious threats to our very existence which are posed by that anti-life, which has always existed with life, virii.

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    For, though in our hubris, we often believe that we our so superior to the processes inherent in the world around us that its our responsibility to take care of the "environment", in reality the "environment" may not really bat an eye per se, and may continue on adapting to whatever ingenious or not so ingenious plans we as humans may hatch.

    (For example; some species of fish actually adapt to be stronger(better-hearing) when faced with the acidificaiton of the ocean, often linked to climate change";http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130419080012.htm)

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    Hence the most recent Chinese bird-flue strain. For even if it does not succeed. It surely is showing the traits of something which given a few more tweaks, could very easily do the job it is intended to. For, little did we know, while we were concerned by that news item of yester-year the dethronement of Bo Xilai, etc, their was something whose sole purpose in life was to kill us and our livestock, studying our moves, learning our behavior and adapting to our bravest defenses against it.

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    Hence it is interesting perhaps that this most recent virus, has in essence reflected in its very construction the aforementioned discussed topics. For, in understanding the benefits of laying dormant while it evolves, it has perhaps realized our greatest weakness as modern humans. This of course not being our immune systems necessarily at the moment, but instead, realizing that our greatest weakness, is perhaps our almost exclusive focus on our social-economies, and our apathy.

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    For, nothing happens in nature without a purpose. Luxury does not exist in nature. Every part of a natural being exists for a reason. It has a purpose. From our height capacity, to our fingers and toes, to a lemurs tail, all natural traits reflect an underlying reality, and the need for those traits to exist.

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    Hence what really fascinates me about this birdflue is its understanding of the benefit of dormancy. It is one thing for it to adapt to a specific anti-biotic. It is one thing for it to become airborne. It is another thing entirely, for it to understand, the very real benefit of laying low, while we move on to other topics of interest, and foci. It is perhaps why hence I believe that this current strain of birdflue has become perhaps what may become the ultimate human predator.

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    Though we have learned that visible predators, may study our "lifestyle-patterns", and lay in wait, it is perhaps somewhat surprising to think that a single celled organism per se like a virus would do the same thing, and hence, it is perhaps interesting to note that while we were busy buying and selling, getting married, and raising children, these single celled organisms, were not only evolving to our defenses, but also learning the methods via which we deploy them(noting for signs of sickness in livestock etc.).

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    Hence it is perhaps this new leap into a somewhat conscious form of adversarialism that makes this new strain of bird-flue a continuously shocking and perhaps very dangerous opponent, or partner depending how one relates to natural processes(dualism(Cartesian) vs. the kind of wholeness based perspective inherent to some philosophies( ref. Bhagavad Gita for ex.)).

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    For some further elaboration on interesting physical as opposed to methodological adaptations, one can reference these two beetles whose evolutionary development seems somewhat befuddling;

    Siberian super-cooled beetle;

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19153749

    Bombardier Beetle;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-wVFLucTks

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    The solution to this conundrum is perhaps kind of clearly related to adressing the weaknessess the current birdflue strain has adapted to exploit, namely our apathy. For, though it would obviously be expensive, and perhaps best carried out by a government entity etc, the solution to this new approach of the virus would surely entail very regular checks of the status of at least a healthy number of specimens per se in any poultry farm for the presence of the perhaps stealthily submerged birdflue. This of course would be nothing new for us as humans, just like the lighting of fires to ward of predators in times of yore etc.

    Themes: Birdflue, Virii, Virus
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