Populating and selecting

Let these words unsettle you. And once the dust has settled — then, you will finally start to see.

Sometimes, in order to see better we need a moment to refocus. We need to have sand thrown into our eyes so that we blink away the gunk that had built up over time. I thought I'd understood what kinds of things were and how those kinds evolved (whether those kinds be living things or ideas). I knew species were abstractions over the underlying entities but I had not fully grasped how fragile the situation was. The entities themselves were questionable; it is as if I had assumed that constellations were things of themselves, only to learn that they were made of stars. This arose from reading Peter Godfrey-Smith's Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection. All that was left was a profound ignorance, a void of the mind akin to the emptiness Yosemite lends to the sidereal canvas. I was finally able to see what was there, unpolluted. It was gorgeous.

I want to offer that same opportunity to all of you. But moreso, I wanted to offer you a guide to the wonders that I was able to see looking through the lens of this work. As I read the book, I wrote my thoughts some tangential some merely an attempt at reducing the ideas as one would balsamic vinegar, hoping to offer a hint that accentuates & builds upon an already delightful meal. If you are pressed for time, I encourage you at least to read this is one chapter that he has made available online on Reproduction and Individuality. You will not regret it. You will never look at strawberries the same way again. If you would like to see my notes as well to get the balsamic to go with those strawberries, they can be found here.

I wish you all a good day and happy reading.

The Origins and What Followed