Thursday, June 26, 2014
  ... even educator fleas do it ...

After making the silly picture of a hydra taking a smoke break, I tried to get even sillier, imagining an ad jingle aimed at the Pre-Cambrian Demographic. "Dalyia tastes good, like a [clap clap] algae stem should". Nah. "You get a lot to like in Pikaia: segments, swimming, spinal tube!" ... Even more nah.

Led to a more serious question: How would you market a product to a hydra? If you wanted to sell your products to a tree, where would you start?

Aha! Nature has already answered the question.

Reprinting a notion that I tacked onto an earlier entry:

= = = = = START REPRINT:

Think especially about tomatoes. There's plenty of evidence that humans live longer and better with tomatoes. I've experienced this in my own life. It's a safe bet that we were designed to want and need tomatoes. Did we really get along for a million years without them? ....

It may seem strange that we would have specialized connections with certain plants, but why should it be strange? Nearly all animals have specialized connections with certain food sources. We've been smart enough to find and cultivate a huge variety of foods that we like, but that doesn't exempt us from having specific needs and wants before we started farming and cooking.

Putting it another way: Nature doesn't assume that a bee or a crow or a koala will learn which foods to eat through spoken or written transmission of culture. Nature gives those animals a specific sensory template to recognize their proper and necessary foods by sight and/or smell. Since we didn't have spoken or written transmission of culture until rather late in our existence as a species, how did we know what to eat before we had words for things? Only one possible answer. We were given a specific sensory template, just like every other animal.

And here's the key: NICOTINE. Tomatoes have a noticeable and tasteable trace amount of nicotine, as do most fruits.

Conventional wisdom tells us:

Plants: Produce nicotine to repel and poison insects.

Humans: (1) Strongly addicted to nicotine. (2) Nicotine makes us calm and alert and sociable.

But why should we be addicted to nicotine if it's just a bug poison? And why should it have positive effects on us? Doesn't make a lick of sense. We're not bugs, and we came along after the plants vs bugs battle was set up.

Think in Grand Blueprint terms. Purpose is all. Inescapable conclusions:

Nicotine serves two purposes in plants. To poison bugs and to addict mammals, so the mammals will eat the fruit and poop the seeds elsewhere. We are the plant's wings. ["Every time you hear a toilet flush, that's another plant getting ...." No, probably not.]

Nicotine serves two purposes in humans. (1) It serves to attract us and addict us to fruits, so we will gain the other necessary nutrients in fruits. (2) When we consume nicotine we get along better. Societies that get along better last longer.

It's a double win on both sides, though we probably get the best end of the deal.

Plants get poop-wings. We get nutrition from fruits, and those of us who eat fruits last longer as individuals AND as civilizations, giving wings to more plants.

= = = = = END REPRINT.

Nature's marketing strategy! Equip fruits with taste, color and nicotine. Grab our attention with the color, get us addicted with the nicotine. We get nutrition and civilization, plants get a commission in the form of seed carriers.

Alcohol fits the same slot in humans, but it's not an innate product of plants. Maybe it's more of a co-op advertisement, or a mutual product placement, between plants and yeast.

You could call it teaching instead of advertising, since good teaching and good marketing are nearly identical. A good salesman gives you valuable information that helps you to buy his product; a good teacher gives you a positive experience that helps you to buy her valuable information.

Of course we've busted the positive addiction circle by overdosing on nicotine from non-nutritious sources, thus swamping our detection of the positive advertising. And Nature has been attempting to instruct us about this error, hasn't she?

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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