Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Theoretically, I suppose I should post about Pesach, but I don't think that I have any particularly deep thoughts about it, just euphoria about going home and seeing family, etc. And at the moment, I happen to be really excited about genes, so this post is going to be about them instead.

Do you know what I think is the coolest thing? Genes work like a written language. All of life is based on a system that is, fundamentally, writing- using things merely as symbols, that, read in a particular order and combination, signify a certain meaning. How crazy is that? I mean, back when the first humans were coming up with language, how could they have realized that what they were doing was recreating their own building blocks? And only humans have got the trick, really. And I mean of spoken language as well, since that seems about equally analogous. And this means that language isn't just some useful trick. There is something fundamental about language, something that enables life, something fundamental to existance.

Okay, I realize that this sounds like utter blather, for which I apologize. This is the result of blogging in the first throes of a thought, and of trying to think deeply about anything on Erev Pesach, when I am severely food deprived. (There is nothing in this world that you can eat Erev Pesach! Nothing! Except maybe fruit. But man does not live by fruit alone.)

Chag Kasher V'Sameach.


Shana said...

Actually you can live by produce alone...if you would just eat the produce Tobie....

Besides, genes work so much more complexly, only because we do not have enough of them to make up all the proteins we need. So either we have double meanins, or coding within codings depending on the matter...who knows?

e-kvetcher said...

Potatoes, eggs, salami?

Have you read "The Language Instinct" by Steven Pinker?

Also, "A New Kind of Science" by Stephen Wolfram. He basically shows how you can create arbitrary complexity including randomness from simple repetitive patterns.

Have a K&S Chag.

Miri said...

Tobie? since when do you eat fruit? I know you're going to tell me that the rule is only abt vegetables - but you aren't a fan of fruit either. the things secular college makes you do - aren't you sorry now you didn't go to Stern?