Stumbling to Death

September 23rd, 2010

Tomer Hanuka’s illustration for short fiction by Ron Carlson

Pesticides Indicted in Bee Deaths (via Free Online Library)


A fairly common insecticide; toxic to birds; toxic to aquatic invertebrates; highly toxic to bees:

The chemical works by interfering with the transmission of stimuli in the insect nervous system. Specifically, it causes a blockage in a type of neuronal pathway (nicotinergic) that is more abundant in insects than in warm-blooded animals (making the chemical selectively more toxic to insects than warm-blooded animals). This blockage leads to the accumulation of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter, resulting in the insect’s paralysis, and eventually death. [1]


Just Google this one yourself. It’s already banned in Germany and France until it can be proven that it’s not harmful to bees. God f—ing bless America and the EPA! It’s a good thing the manufacturers have proven to them that it’s a safe product.

Both of these insecticides are Neonicotinoids [2].

So why is something like this even being used?

Marching Corporations and the Apathetic Masses

I found that sad article on bees right around the same time I came across the following Lebbeus Woods entry on Barbarism:

In some ways it is surprising how little society has ‘progressed.’ One would think that thousands of years of human experience, well documented in histories and art would somehow inform people in the present about the best things to do. Not so. Consistent with my contention that knowledge cannot be passed on from one generation to the next, but only data, and therefore that knowledge has to be continually re-invented, it seems we have to relive for ourselves all the tragedies and the triumphs of being human, in order to learn their lessons. And when we die, the next generation will have to start all over again, with our data—the testimonies of our experiences—useful only as guides. If they could do it, so can we: “The best thing about history,” Goethe said,” is that it inspires us.” The downside of his bit of wisdom is that it can’t do much else. From Lebbeus Woods’ post “Barbarism”

How are we not living in The Sheep Look Up?

Cover Illustration for The Sheep Look Up, John Brunner by Murray Tinkelman; short review here to the point of political oblivion.

[1] From: EXTOXNET— a cooperative effort of University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, Cornell University, and the University of Idaho.
[2] Wikipedia, of course.
[3] From Lebbeus Woods’ post “Barbarism”

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