the-incredible-shrinking-man.netThe Incredible Shrinking Man | Researching the implications of downsizing the human species to bett...
Title:The Incredible Shrinking Man | Researching the implications of downsizing the human species to bett...
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The Incredible Shrinking Man | Researching the implications of downsizing the human species to better fit the earth. The Incredible Shrinking Man Researching the implications of downsizing the human species to better fit the earth. Skip to content Home Participate Researchers Rachel Armstrong Jasper van den Berg Arne Hendriks Donald Platt Asia Komarova Thomas T. Samaras Workshops Exhibition Partners Stichting DOEN Restaurant Contact Biology 22 Consumption 31 Dwarfism 39 Ecology 35 Endocrinology 27 Entertainment 29 Evolution 73 Food 48 Genetics 38 Research 41 Science 22 The Long Tail of the Human Genome Mar 10, ’17 12:26 AM If the human species embraces a desire to become smaller, as it embraced the desire to become taller in the past and present, then it is of some interest to know how fast this desire could influence human size and if desire alone is enough. How fast would evolution respond to a smaller-sized ideal? Will we be able to downsize fast enough that it will have a profound positive effect on man’s ecological footprint? The work of the evolutionary biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant on Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos islands shows that natural selection can be a surprisingly speedy process. The average beak size of Medium and Small Ground Finches on the island of Daphne Major changes almost from year to year in relation to the available food sources. Bigger beaks win in times of drought while smaller beaks win during wetter times. Beak size sort of jojo’s up and down showing evolution is not necessarily a lineair process. In fact it quite often moves back and forth between known phenotypes. It is one of life’s many ways to deal with changing circumstances. The human species, it would seem, has moved towards the taller type long enough. Perhaps it is time to return to any of the other much smaller expressions still available on the long tail of the human genome. Continue Reading… Comments (0) Top 5 Shrinking Superheroes Feb 9, ’17 11:33 AM #5 Shrinking Violet (Salu Digby): Violet is from the planet Imsk. Originally, she could only shrink down to subatomic sizes, if necessary. Later she is able to grow to giant sizes as well. #4 The Atom (Ray Palmer): Dr. Raymond Palmer is a physicist and professor specializing in matter compression as a means to fight overpopulation, famine and other world problems. Using white dwarf star matter he finds after it lands on Earth, Palmer fashions a lens that enables him to shrink any object to any degree he wishes. #3 Wasp (Janet van Dyne): She is usually depicted as having the ability to shrink to a height of several centimeters, fly by means of insectoid wings, and fire bioelectric energy blasts. #2 Doll Man (Darrel Dane): Doll Man is the first comic book superhero with a shrinking power. “The World’s Mightiest Mite,” is research chemist Darrel Dane, who invents a formula that enables him to shrink to the height of six inches while retaining the full strength of his normal size. #1 Ant-Man (Hank Pym): Dr. Henry Pym is the original iteration of Ant-Man and married to the afore mentioned Janet van Dyne. Biochemist Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym discovers an unusual set of subatomic particles he labels “Pym particles“. Entrapping these within two separate serums, he creates a size-altering formula and a reversal formula, testing them on himself. Continue Reading… Comments (0) Degrowth: Down to the Kohr Jan 31, ’17 11:31 PM Leopold Kohr was an economist and political scientist known for his opposition to the “cult of bigness” in social organisation and the inspiration for Fritz Schumacher’s iconic publication Small is beautiful and the Degrowth movement. Here are two quotes from his 1951 book The Breakdown of Nations. On BIG: “Wherever something is wrong, something is too big. If the stars in the sky or the atoms of uranium disintegrate in spontaneous explosion, it is not because their substance has lost its balance. It is because matter has attempted to expand beyond the impassable barriers set to every accumulation. Their mass has become too big. If the human body becomes diseased, it is, as in cancer, because a cell, or group of cells, has begun to outgrow its allotted narrow limits.” On SMALL: “Smallness is not an accidental whim of creation. It fulfils a most profound purpose. It is the basis of stability and duration, of a graceful harmonious existence that needs no master. For little bodies, countless in number and forever moving, forever rearrange themselves in the incalculable pattern of a mobile balance whose function in a dynamic universe is to create orderly systems and organisms without the necessity of interfering with the anarchic freedom of movement granted to their component particles.” Continue Reading… Comments (0) The Economics of Robert Wadlow Jan 20, ’17 2:07 PM With a height of 272 cm the American citizen Robert Wadlow was the tallest person who ever lived. Wallow had become so tall and heavy that he needed braces to walk and his limbs had became slightly insensitive. When one of the braces gave him a blister and it got infected it killed him. His body had become so tall that it was unable to organise enough energy to fight his infection. There’s a tragic connection between Wadlow’s condition and our current economic system. Debora MacKenzie writes: “It appears that once a society develops beyond a certain level of complexity it becomes increasingly fragile. Eventually, it reaches a point at which even a relatively minor disturbance can bring everything crashing down. To keep growing, societies must keep solving problems as they arise. Yet each problem solved means more complexity.” Continue Reading… Comments (0) Bigger Before Better Dec 22, ’16 9:06 PM A common leadership philosophy in business is to get better before you get bigger. With evolution it doesn’t work that way. Evolution doesn’t plan ahead. If it would, the human body would certainly not be getting taller in a world of dwindling resources. Evolution is purely a trial and error process, but it does allow to take knowledge from the past into the future. Quite possibly beings learn something in times of physical growth that is beneficial for times of shrinkage. Sometimes things need to become bigger before they get better, which in our vision primarily means smaller but at least just as good. Present tall human size may in fact create the embodied knowledge for a future smaller sized human species. For dinosaurs to evolve into birds they first grew big, and then shrunk. Sometimes BIG initiates developments unimaginable if things had remained SMALL. An increase in size leads to a different set of challenges and solutions. But SMALL can still benefit. Birds might not have come into existence if it were not for the increased strength and greater lightness in bone structures of tall dinosaurs, eventually enabling birds to fly. Man is at its tallest size ever, and some believe we can’t or at least shouldn’t get taller than this. But before we shrink to a mo...
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