Friday, December 22, 2023

Just Part of the Package

No entity can evolve
To fit all environments,
Adapt well to everything.

Costs are inevitable,
And what fits you to one niche
Makes you that less suitable

For another. Still, humans
Have given it quite a go,
Infiltrating the planet

From pole to pole and playing
At adapting to orbit,
And maybe after that, Mars,

All without improving much
On the basic body plan,
The obligately social

And frequently quarrelsome,
Vengeance-prone apes that began
The whole acceleration,

So some costs must have been paid.
Consider how much culture
Has diversified while brains

Carrying and transmitting
Cultures have remained the same,
Negligibly different,

One from any other one,
Sampled from across cultures.
Humans aren’t generalists.

Humans have evolved to be
Hyper-fitted specialists
Of a single niche, cultures

Of changing technologies,
Without which, everyone dies.
Culture’s the new animal,

Earth’s latest innovation.
Humans, old friends and old foes,
Are now mitochondrial.

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