Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Skyscraper Genetics;Sidewalker Genetics

The age old story of the world , the insiders trying to keep the outsiders out, is brought to a permanent boil in New York City.

The verticality of the skyscraper is a truly fitting and 'deep' metaphor for Modernity : it represents Modernity's need to categorize everyone and everything into a vertical hierarchy of increasing (imagined) 'fitness' and worth.

The assumption is that your worth depends on your inherited genetics which are fixed and change only at the place of glaciers - genetics you inherit strictly from your parents - no miscegenation between species or races here !

By contrast the H in HGT (Horizontal Genetic Transfer), is a fitting symbol for this new, Quantum-Postmodern- Commensal Age.

It merely institutionalizes the reality of global commensality that since we have to exist together cheek to jowl on this Planet,diners at a common table, we might as well resolve to make the best of it and make use of the best of each other's ideas.

In fact, our lives probably depend on us doing so.

So the horizontality of a modern library with its branches stocks of books shared all over the city and all of it part of a continent or world wide system of inter-library loans best represents in human terms what HGT is to the microbe world.

Once named by very early explorers as a natural Arcadia, New York under Dewitt Clinton became the ultimate Synthetic Arcadia, with his rigid and orderly grid system of streets and avenues and buildings demanding that Nature yield to the Will of Man.

But the dirty, noisy,vibrant,disorderly, messy immigrant-burdened sidewalks -where two strangers' eyes can meet and romance bloom; those sidewalks,and those unruly sidewalkers, they,they are Nature's Revenge !

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