Cleared out my mother’s closet today. Out with the debate trophies. And the collected reports. Apparently, at some point, I could label major Brazilian cities on a map. Why?
Mancuso showed a slide depicting how trees in a forest organize themselves into far-flung networks, using the underground web of mycorrhizal fungi which connects their roots to exchange information.
The pattern of nutrient traffic showed how “mother trees” were using the network to nourish shaded seedlings, including their offspring — which the trees can apparently recognize as kin — until they’re tall enough to reach the light. And, in a striking example of interspecies cooperation, Simard found that fir trees were using the fungal web to trade nutrients with paper-bark birch trees over the course of the season. The evergreen species will tide over the deciduous one when it has sugars to spare, and then call in the debt later in the season. For the forest community, the value of this cooperative underground economy appears to be better over-all health, more total photosynthesis, and greater resilience in the face of disturbance.
Michael Pollan, “The Intelligent Plant”
The trees are socialists.
Self-annealing properties of trees in a forest.
We honestly know nothing about the natural world, and we’re so addicted to computers and compartmentalization that we can’t imagine what we don’t know.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 − 5 December 2013)I had a conversation with.a colleague yesterday about crying at work and how we don’t get to. And then I did. I know why, and I don’t, but I was and am genuinely sad. To visit South Africa today is to see the legacy of apartheid everywhere. Not the way you see Roman ruins poking out of traffic circles in Beirut, not ancient history, but in a white middle class that lives comfortably up the road from a shanty town, the cheery notes in the B&B guest book dating back to 1999, 1990. There are many many bends in the road we forge in the long walk to freedom. At a clearing, you gather your strength, give thanks and then set out again.
It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
For years the U.S. military operated pirated copies of logistics software that was used to protect soldiers and shipments in critical missions. Apptricity, the makers of the software, accused the military of willful copyright infringement and sued the Government for nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in unpaid licenses. In a settlement just announced, the Obama administration has agreed to pay $50 million to settle the dispute.
We could have a fine conversation about criminals and scofflaws even without this revelation, but it seems relevant.