Science geek alert: check out the Nova on Epigenetics. If DNA is the hardware, this is the software. Epigenetics explains how genetically identical organisms can have different physiologies (eg how one twin develops autism but the other doesn't) and how environmental influences such as pesticides and smoking can permanently alter our bloodlines for 3 or more generations. Whether your grandfather was well-fed or close to starving during his late childhood may determine your susceptability to certain diseases and even your lifespan. If we're anything like rats, whether or not you were nurtured well as a baby can determine how often and what amount of stress hormones your body releases. These switchs are determined at different times depending on gender. The "sensitivity period" for females is in the womb, for males in late childhood (perhaps evidence that females truly are most sensitive!). This is a huge step in our understanding of the complexity of life and evolution, one that's already helping fight cancer. Pretty amazing stuff.
Shortly after I started this blog in '03, I had a conversation with someone who questioned me as to why I was blogging. "If everyone writes a blog, then who's going to read them all?" he wondered. He seemed perplexed by the outpouring of expression by the masses. I think it made him nervous, upsetting the status quo where there are the people who perform and then there's the rest of us who sit back passively consuming, politely clapping afterwards. Perhaps it unsettled him to know that technology is quickly closing the gap between artist and audience, and that there'll be fewer and fewer excuses for not participating. In many so-called primitive cultures, things like story-telling, singing, dancing, playing instruments and making sculptures are activities not limited to an elite, but are done by everyone to bring people together. So many of us have our own snippets of truth and beauty to share. Our fast-progressing world is making it easier for like-minded souls to connect. Yes, the lowest-common denominator mega-audience is for the most part gone. And I say good riddance.