Archive for the ‘bees’ Category

Random PKD Quote No.2

August 10, 2013

“Burroughs posits an information virus (or ‘virus’ [like]). (Not so, KW says.)

If that plasmic energy is alive, and it is (or it carries) information, then we have living information. Logos? Information plasma which enters through the optic nerve primarily — or auditorily. Signals that control our brains, open GABA blocked circuits. Like pressing keys on a typewriter.

Once having entered the person’s brain via the optic nerve it now modulates brain functioning so that the person subliminally transduces messages (including instructions) and hence is a ‘cell’ in the brain, responding to sentient override — lifted out of the blind forces of the Yin realm, his actions integrated with that of all others like him. It’s like a beehive, a colony entity, and is immortal, replenishing and shedding continually. Member-units (v. Schopenhauer on the fruit flies*).

*In The World as Will and Representation, vol.1, Schopenhauer uses beehives and ant-colonies as an example of the “will-without-knowledge” working in nature.”

From Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, eds., The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2011), 360, 907.

See also.

Zombie Bees!

January 12, 2012

Or…”Zom-bees”. A recent article in the science news section of The Telegraph suggests that one of the possible explanations for colony collapse disorder (CCD), which I’ve written about before, is that honey bees are the victims of the parasitism of a species of fly, Apocephalus borealis. A. borealis, already known to target bumble bees, lays its eggs in the host bees. They then begin to display “zombie-like” behavior, abandoning their hives and seeking out light. Eventually, they die when the fly larvae hatch. It’s unclear whether this is an emerging phenomenon. Honey bees have been closely studied for years, and this parasitic relationship has never been noticed before.

Nature. Weirder than we can possibly imagine.

On Love and Time

September 12, 2010

It’s odd that I’ve never really put this idea together before, but maybe the dominant discourses of our society prevent clarity of thought. You get mixed messages from popular culture and it can sometimes be difficult to cut through the fog…

Anyway, I’ve developed some initial reflections on the relationship between love and time, and I think the connection is more visceral, and less romantic, than many would probably believe. Or at least want to believe. We think of love as something of a boon when it’s fresh — it’s what we can never get enough of, it’s what we wish would last forever. Time literally stops when we are deep in the throes of passion. This is the real drug. We like to fixate on the dynamics of the relationship, our happiness with our partner, chemistry, compatibility, whatever. But these are just “vital lies”, distortions of our consciousness we retreat to because of our intense, instinctual and ingrained fear of time.

And believe me, we fear time. Consumer culture and the modern economy would have you believe we never have enough time. And this is, to some extent, true. If we measure our use of time in strictly economic or productive terms — tasks completed, money made, etc…But this, of course, doesn’t capture the essence of time as it’s actually lived. In other words, time looms large in our lives, and loneliness and boredom are part of many modern experiences. And it would seem that, generally, this sense only grows larger as we age. Love is a palliative to this sense — it helps us, quite literally, pass the time.

To imagine the unconscious, essentially pre-human element of love as it relates to time I think of our ancestors — nomadic tribes of creatures relying on their minimal technological and strategic advantages, huddled up against the elements in times of trial, seeking the comfort and warmth of others of their kind, aware of but unable to really describe the eon spanning vastness of the world around them, and aware of but unable to comprehend how they were captured in such a vortex of fate and experience — what we think we have come to know (and thus somehow control?) as time.

Of course, the same instincts are still there now. We are driven to find others of our kind, to be lost in their embrace, to share the pleasure of pure experience together. Alone, we are rarely the same.

We can draw a series of interesting conclusions from some of these initial assumptions. Those who are always “busy”, never able to settle down and just enjoy the company of another person, are also in a way incapable of love. They have literally created a relationship with time — a desire to control it — that makes love impossible. All the superficial justifications aside, this is the essence of these types. Of course, the opposite, those who move from one passionate relationship to another — well, time controls them. They have relinquished that struggle in favor of other pursuits…

This connection between love and time — of being driven to seek love because of our essential fear of time (its very enormity!) — culminates, of course, in reproduction. The product of love (ideally…) gives rise to something with which we feel we can do battle with time. Our offspring are thus thrown into this struggle with us, and sometimes they find the task to be onerous, turning on those who gave them such a gift as to know time…And love.

Dying Bees in My Backyard

March 12, 2010

Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time. This story from the Vancouver Sun reports that colony collapse disorder has struck here on Vancouver Island, with a loss of perhaps 90% of the local commercial bee colonies. This makes me buzzing mad. The culprit seems to be immune deficiencies brought on by pesticides, which makes the bees prone to parasites, like mites.

If it can happen to the bees, why not us?

Girls, Girls, Girls

February 11, 2010

What’s the fucking deal? Moreover, how do you close the deal to fuck? Well, actually talking to a girl and being relaxed and charming might help. What’s wrong with the girl you have? Nothing, of course. The problem is you always have her. And you always want what you don’t have. What a fucking drag…

No wonder the Buddhists tried so hard to be desire-less. Then there’s this article in the Weekly Standard. About (post) modern dating. Focused on how the girls love the players, the Alphas, and how some of those dudes make picking-up an art (and a business).

It smacks of some sad and pathetic confirmation of Darwin and evolutionary psychology, like we’re all well-groomed monkeys fighting over the best banana hunters. Seems so visceral, so low…I guess this is what happens when science (i.e. social Darwinism) comes to eclipse silly things like language, feeling and love.

Perhaps this is just the frustrated cry of what the pick-up artists call the AFC (Average frustrated chump — or is it chimp?). But what artists are these? The article mentions the book, The Art Instinct by Arts & Letters maven Denis Dutton. This assumes that some dickhead with a perm, a fuzzy pimp hat and some well-worn pick up lines is the contemporary equivalent of Da Vinci. Besides, not to put a dagger through the heart of this theory, but Leonardo was probably gay.

So where are we? Largely nowhere…Somewhere within Huxley’s Brave New World, hedonistic slaves to our endorphins and unable to channel our desires towards anything smacking of real creativity or revolution. We are, for lack of a better term, right where our capitalist masters want us to be — completely and thoroughly fucked…

Article from Arts & Letters Daily.

A Bee Crisis

January 7, 2010

Colony collapse disorder. The technical term for the disturbing new trend of disappearing bees. The Nature of Things on CBC begins its 2010 season with “To Bee or Not to Bee?”, a fascinating treatment of this odd and puzzling dilemma. In Germany, one case of bees dying in massive numbers was linked to a toxic new pesticide. Other possible causes include climate change, monoculture, fungal disease, parasites (mites), and even electromagnetic radiation.

Difficulties involved in this apiary crisis are quintessentially holistic and multi-factoral. This is archetypal of the issues we face in our modern environment — the kind of subtle, highly complex, interdependent, interactive conundrum that would have turned Rachel Carson’s hair white.

Yet we need to seek to solve these crises. In the case of bees, who are key pollinators in our modern agricultural system (which is problematic to begin with), our very survival may depend on it.

Last Spring

August 5, 2007

As summer continues unabated in an endless stream of sun-drenched days, one reflects on the many ways nature’s essential cycles still shape our modern, plugged-in, technological lives. Spring, for example, as a time of blooms and fresh green growth — a veritable celebration of life.

In a post a while ago I speculated on the end of this essential cycle…On a “last garden” brought about by the disappearance of the bees, key pollinators in many ecosystems. And yet this would mean much more than just the “last garden” — it could be a last spring. Sadly, as pointed out in a recent New Yorker article that came to my attention by way of Anxious MoFo, we may be closer to this point that we think. Our bees are very, very sick. And so, in a sense, is our world.

Will we finally, clearly see the symptoms? Will we make a diagnosis? Can we find a “cure” and somehow alter the prognosis?


Disappearing Bees

April 17, 2007

This story is just the most recent in a long line this spring…Entomology may seem out of place among all the madness out there right now, but maybe, just maybe, our inability to get a sense of the big picture surrounds our lack of attention to the little things…Note particularly the suggestion in the article that bee populations may be affected by cell phone towers. Is this a case of misplaced buzz?

We think of polar bears and melting ice caps and other things feathery and fuzzy, but most of life on Earth is many times smaller even than those disappearing bees…All life is magical…We need to cherish it lest its shapes twist and bend darkly…


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