Day 2008, bad design.

Daily picture, Poetry

I sometimes wonder

why nature chooses one place

and one time

to let it all happen


it was so quiet before

and I know it will be


I don’t know if you have that feeling, that feeling that it is all going well. It its going well for a while now but something should happen, things always happened in the past and its overdue. Where is that unexpected bill or that fight with a friend.

I thought about this because I got a strange association when I saw the picture from today, why is all that important stuff concentrated on the top, on the top of a really thin stem. Seems like an odd choice of nature. It looks like it all happens in one place and nothing below.

Why is our brain concentrated in one place, where one hit can end it for you? Why don’t’ we have redundant organs spread out trough the body, these organs lay dormant and kick in when the other kicks out, nice and fresh. Why one heart end not four smaller ones. Why are the most important things in our life concentrated in one place or happen at once and not spread out?

You see this happening throughout life, I can give one more example and that is war and what most soldiers tell you if they have to summarize the war. It is not all the terrible stories of death and destruction; these are very strong but they happen relatively seldom, most soldiers will tell you about the boredom and waiting and waiting. You might not know this but you can imagine that a documentary of a war would not “sell” well if it is an hour-long you watching soldiers being bored as hell.

I served as a Marine in Cambodia and I was there for roughly 150 days. I think that I have been on patrol with a vehicle for maybe 40 times and besides the small chance that someone buried a mine in the road these patrols were relatively uneventful. I only remember one staring contest with fingers on the trigger when some shady soldiers that drove up to us and we once encounter an almost dead Cambodian civilian on a cart who we put in our car and we rushed to the “hospital” to save the poor man. There was also some shooting going on in the area where our little camp was but that was most of the time people hunting. One time, late in the evening, there was a lot of shooting with machine guns not so far from the camp and that made us all jump and our training kicked in, but it was a local fight, someone was accused of being a witch according to our translator, and that person was shot by one family because they thought their new born child died because of him. The fourth time that something exiting happened that I remember, happened in one of the first days. We heard really loud explosions and thought we where finished so we all took shelter and for a few minutes we didn’t know what was going on till we got a massage from a demolition team that they forget to tell us that they always blow up the mines they cleared at that time of the day, once a month… So, life a peacekeeper for the United Nations is not as safe as being at home but at the end I had only four exiting moments. What is exiting is off course subjective, you get used to the sounds of guns and you learn quickly if it is far away or dangerous and the whistle of a bullet shot by a hunter didn’t hit you so your fine. In Cambodia this was part of the job and only when I was back in Holland, I noticed that I jumped if there was a loud noise, it didn’t belong there.  

But back to my idea where I started with, why are things happening in short bursts and not spread out. In my memories of Cambodia, I “remember” the whole period but what does that mean to remember a whole period of 5 months. I don’t think we can have one concentrated memory of a longer period, at least I don’t have a memory like that, I know that I have been there but that’s more like knowledge. I remember some of the events, like the ones I described, I also remember images and smells, faces, anger, fear etc.

A short note: memories are not reliable. I have those memories, end for me they are true but I don’t know if they really happened the way I remember. Our memory is unreliable but even if what you remember is not true, if you believe it and specially when these “falls” memories have influenced your life, then it doesn’t matter if they are true or not, they are true for you. It might off course help if these “falls” memories hinder you to  alter them, maybe replace them with something closer to the truth or another lie.  

I’ve been staring at the screen now for a while thinking about why nature is the way it is. When I write these posts, I most often have no plan, is see a picture or hear a phrase, a word or thought pops up. I begin writing and see where it ends. I know that if I want to write more coherent, I should outline the text and layout some points I want to make and reach, make a plan you might say. But I always have a problem with that, I tell myself that life is too short to make plans. That’s why I don’t like books written by auteurs that present their story in such a way that they think they have figured it out. I like to figure it out but I know that I (we) will never do, figuring out is just the thing we humans do as animal, that’s our special trick. The cow knows how to eat grass and doesn’t wonder why, so why would I wonder why I wonder why…

But that said, I think I have to start reading Darwin again and see if I can find out why we are so poorly designed, why we have only one heart, didn’t nature know we would clog that one heart up with bacon, it made our brain so do the math mother nature, I would say. Why has nature not made a plan but just wings it.

One thought on “Day 2008, bad design.

  1. Man, I really enjoyed reading this. I never thought of regenerating organs before. Such an intriguing concept. The body does have some (oh, so very slight) redundancy, though. A person can live with one kidney, and the liver does regrow if parts of it get cut off. I don’t know why humans still have an appendix, though. That “organ” is utterly useless, and only functions as a ticking time bomb that sometimes goes off. But, alas, I digress. I like your thoughts about nature.


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