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FYI @thetearooms

October 30, 2010

Dearest @thetearooms,

Quite some time ago, following a discussion on Chinese food, I aired my theory on the force that drives us. It would have been much easier if you had just paid attention then, but I have now come to realise that that is not your way. At the time the conversation went something like this: “We are just hairy bags of salty soup hardwired to reproduce our DNA.” Meredith ( bluntly). Erik (snippily): ” Oh no. I refuse to accept that we are just bags of offal. I’m not just governed by my knobbing hormones. It’s all about angst and worry and wonder. *” Meredith (with astounding wit): “Your mitochondria wouldn’t agree.”

Some might say that I’m a touch too reductionist. My response to that is simply that we have to protect ourselves with layers of delusion and conceit and don’t care to have our follies examined.

Anyway, I can’t really be bothered to go over all the aspects of sociobiology, evolutionary biology and psychology, or the works of Darwin and Dawkins and Dennett and of E O Wilson that have informed me. (Throw Cordelia Fine into that mix, and also Sigmund Freud).   

I appreciate that it sounds a bit bleak (the truth CAN be a little unpalatable at times), though personally I’m all for austere nihilism.

All ideas in literature can be explained by this. I think literary types are particularly susceptible to mitochondrial influence for a variety of reasons.

Now that all makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Thought so.

Yours etc,


*and delight. [This suggestion from @thetearooms himself.]

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