Thursday, February 28, 2008

Reflections of a man who once was a small child

I remember contemplating many mysteries as a child. I'll share three of them, still unresolved.

First, I remember being flabbergasted at how society could ever reach the state of advancement it is in today. The scenario in my mind was this, how could you ever make a computer chip on a deserted island. Perhaps my problem was expecting that it could be done in a matter of years.

Second, I remember being awestruck at the origins of languages. In my mind, I pictured two middle-aged learned men in a lab of some sorts deciding it was time to create language. They proceeded by picking up objects, making up words for them, and deciding on a spelling for each. I suspect this view may be a little less than entirely accurate.

Third, I remember thinking that sterilization of anything must have been impossible. Sure I knew that boiling sterilized things. But how could you hold something that you want to sterilize without contamination from the unsterile holding instrument. Essentially, how could you ever sterilize something if you didn't have something sterile to hold it with. For example if I had a pair of tongs I wanted to sterilize by dipping them into boiling water, and I decided to hold the tongs with another unsterile tongs, the germs could crawl from from the unsterile tongs to the sterile tongs. Someone told me a couple months ago that germs can't crawl... but I'm not so sure about that. I don't recall discussing the means of germ locomotion in Bio 240.

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