Technofuture, horserace and queenmakers
Elias Hakalehto, PhD, Adj. Prof.
CEO, Finnoflag Oy
Vice President, International Society of Environmental Indicators
Lifetime Fellow Member, International Society of Development and Sustainability (Japan)
(Published on the 16th of September 2022)
Our legends and dreams shape history. But the manufactured history is often the history of those in power. Besides the human systems, information channels and media, there is active molecular communication between the biological organisms. It ultimately is the vehicle that shapes the world, irrespective of man. Or actually, it mostly gets only disturbed by human activities.
Plants, animals and microbes are the three major groups of living things. The naked eye cannot usually see microbes, but by far and foremost, their influences on Earth's ecological balances are fundamental. Their vast effects on everything are observable everywhere. Therefore, negligence about the micro-organisms and their ecosystem is mainly detrimental to our planetary survival.
We have not considered enough the contributions of industrial microbiology to the development of future technologies. The unwillingness to see this option for ecological, economic, and technological success is paralyzing. Politicians, authorities, and the media have discombobulated their doings and not-doings. Decision makers are now calling after "taxonomy."
The galloping horses wear eye blinkers if the race for new technologies is compared to a horse competition. Such a race is performed in vain if real chances for progress are not recognized, respected and orchestrated to become elements of sustainable development. - If human economics is seen as a data screen, obligations and futures and techno-economical adjustments and speculations describe the quality of view on that display. When the picture is unclear, no correct measures can be taken. In real life, the selfish or untruthful motifs produce a disturbed and falsified outlook on society's vital and life-saving monitors.
We are just on the threshold of the nightmares happening in reality. Global famine is behind the door, and determined actions would be needed. However, on the scratched or damaged societal screen, there are only claimed to be warnings that the price of food will only rise some percent or tens of percent. In the worst case, no diamonds will buy food if the food is non-existent. And the food crisis is a soil crisis. The negligence of the productivity and microbiome balance of the soils has throttled the capacity to produce food. Greediness, wars and eye-blinked industrialization are spoiling more soil.
Besides not enshrining the soil and microbiome balances, we are destroying or distorting the plant kingdom as a source of food and health. It has been poisoned, polluted, monoculture, intoxicated and torn apart from the versatile sources of trace elements or plant nutrition. The tremendous potential and necessity to have diverse vegetation as warranties and our guarantees of a decent life for generations have been dismissed. Why on Earth?
Correspondingly, the diversity of animal species has not been fostered. Waves of extinction have often been reported as junk news, tragic entertainment, or drama. Unfortunately, this current show may neither have happy endings nor can we avoid the catastrophes by shutting the screen if upset, bored or distracted. The reality continues, and it is only our ongoing determination as individuals and societies that could turn the wheels. In individual lives, it is the motivation that matters - between people; it is trust. What or who has misled us? - Money, lust for it, or the fictitious currencies, are talking loudly. Consequently, our societies and economies may collapse as partially blindfolded horses eventually gallop too far, get stumbled, hit a stone and break their hoofs.
"But these things pass away; inevitably, they pass away as the shadows pass across sundials. It is sad, but it is so. The page of a book will become familiar; the beautiful corner of the road will have been turned too many times. Well, this is the saddest story".
A quotation from the book "The Good Soldier" by British writer Ford Madox Ford (published 1915 by John Lane, The Bodley Head, New York).
The writer of the sentences above wrote about human relations. But this is the foreseeable fate of our planet. Further than that cannot be reached by our human means, but we could have the inspiration, innovation and incitement from the original source. Louis Pasteur, the famous French microbiologist and finder of microbial existence, roots of fermentation for exemplary purposes and infection for health hazards, stated: "The grandeur of the acts of men is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a God within."
Around the mountains of Ararat, the highest numbers of animal species exist. This kind of versatility is the guarantee and prerequisite for stability and balance. - It is so crucial in microbial communities and their microcosmos, as well as in the broader surroundings, to have rich multitudes of life flourishing. First, the decision-makers need ample and humble minds to keep the fertility. Then the land will produce and sustain us.
The small size of microbes or viruses can be misleading. It may confuse the scientists, too. For example, in my blog on the 8th of June this year, "Viruses, giruses and other particles" , there is a description about finding the giant viruses or giruses some 20 years ago. They had not been detected earlier due to some misconception. However, they are one of the most abundant groups of genetically directed creatures, having huge impacts on climate, weather, geology, and possibly in disease etc.
A recent report, "Giant bacteria that are visible to the naked eye upend microbiology", in New Scientist on the 2nd of July 2022, tells about giant bacterial cells visible by our eyes. The species Thiomargarita nelsonii was found in the tropical mangrove forest of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. - The maximal theoretical size of a prokaryotic non-nucleated bacterium is believed to have been seen, since it is limited by the cell's capability to produce the energy reserve molecule ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). This elaborate system for fueling cellular metabolism exists in practically all metabolically active forms of life as we know them. The recently isolated strain has cellular dimensions up to 750 micrometres (3/4 of a millimetre). According to Professor Oliver Gross, a coauthor of the original article in a press conference at the University of French Antilles, the Thiomargarita cells are packed with folded network membranes. This tells a scientist that there is most likely a multilayered system for energy production within them. - If you are interested in finding more about the actions of bacteria, please read my chapter "Structure and function of bacteria in contact with host" in the book Microbiological Clinical Hygiene (edited by E. Hakalehto and published in 2015 by Nova Science Publishers, New York).
In the year 890, it is told that an adventurer of the Orkney islands sailed to the South of England and met with the first Saxon king Alfred the Great. He explained to the king about the land called Kvenland (or Qwenland) in the North of Europe. He also described the king about the women often being the rulers or warlords in that country at some point extending from middle Sweden to Western and Northern Finland and further to the Ural mountains at best. Qwens or kvens also moved to the Norwegian coast around Trondheim in about 350. After hearing about this nation that influenced the birth of numerous countries, King Alfred was said to have added the word "queen" to the English language to designate a "female king".
The pieces of their ancient history, as controversial as they may be, have established the position of the Kvens among past nations. The country Kvenland has been found on antique maps, and their habits and deeds are carved on stone tablets in Iceland, Orkney Islands and Norway. As history is often manipulated for someone's purposes, it can sometimes be uncovered in old stones on the cold shores. This recovery tells us about the possibility of racing the horses without eye-blinkers, with compassion.