vik_thor: (Asgard)
Humans like to think we are Masters of the Universe, in control of everything, the top of the food chain. In fact, each one of us are just a thrown together hodgepodge of atoms, defined by DNA that has replicated innumerable times with occasional transcription errors. Of course that goes for every particle of life currently inhabiting Terra. From the most humble cold/herpes/HIV virii, through bacteria, cyanobacteria that blur the lines between plant and animal, fungi, plants, and animals as large as the blue whale.

Every one of us is the product of almost totally random chance. For humans, our fathers produced hundreds of millions of sperm cells in the ejaculation that produced us. Even if only 200 survived to our mother's egg cell, that is still 200 possible variations on us.

We may be one way the universe is aware of itself, but the fact is that in some ways our current bodies are basically jugaads. They work well enough to reproduce (usually) which is the main driving force of our DNA, but there are some design flaws. (Ask any woman who has given birth, or any man who has been hit in the balls…)
vik_thor: (Asgard)

I just finished reading Walking to Mercury, by Starhawk. I've had it since it was released, but I think this is the first time I have actually read it. Usually, if I've read a book before, I'll be able to remember scenes, plot, etc. But after about the first half of the book, it didn't seem familiar. It could be that I had read it, and just forgot it… because truthfully, it is a fairly forgettable book. It's the prequel to The Fifth Sacred Thing, and I'm reading it to refresh my memory of the world, because she recently Kickstarted the sequel, City of Refuge. I supported it, and should be receiving my dead tree edition soon.

I have sort of a HeadCanon, with Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin all taking place in the same universe. The first two take place in the near future, while ACH is further off. (It's never specifically defined, because the Kesh view time differently than we do. But if feels like at least a thousand years.) While Mercury shares characters with Fifth, it takes place in the past, even from when it was written. In some ways, it feels like Starhawk was fulfilling a contract and just… sorta wrote it to do the contract. Part of that is probably because of how it is structured: letters from one character, journal entries from a second, and Maya, the main character remembering the events in those items as she reads them, while trekking through Nepal. If just feels a bit jury-rigged.

Of course, for most of us, life itself is a bit of a jury-rigged process. I'm not sure if I know anyone who has followed a plan for their life from when they were in high school or college, to adulthood and beyond. Jobs end unexpectedly. Friends and family die unexpectedly. We just pick up the pieces, put them together as best we can, and continue. Or maybe I'm in the minority? I had a vague idea of "what I wanted to be when I grew up." But that didn't work out, so I've just been sortof drifting, going with the flow.


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