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Dorien Grey

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Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs

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Blogs by Dorien Grey

The Boggling of the Mind
3/30/2015 2:49:34 AM
boggle (verb): to be astonished or overwhelmed when trying to imagine something

My mind is so easily boggled. It only takes one thought, popping in from God-knows where for absolutely no determinable reason, to set me off. I had decided—trying to trace how or why I decided it back to its roots is too convoluted to bother with—to write a blog about the differences and similarities between the estimated five million life forms existing on our earth. Yeah, that subject can be easily handled in less than 1,000 words.

So I set out thus:

Despite humanity’s hubris, the fact is that we are, biologically, simply one of an infinite number of living organisms inhabiting a little dust-mote of a planet in a grain of sand solar system in a pebble of a galaxy in the endless mountains of the universe.

The limits of the human mind make It impossible for us to comprehend the complexities of even one of the species existing on our one planet, let alone grasp the interrelationships between them, but I find it fascinating to give it a try. It’s rather like a small child spinning around and around until he grows so dizzy he falls down.

The relationship and interactions of individual member of any species to the other members of that species can easily evoke awe. Bees and ants, for example, are communal to the point that each member is, infinitely far more so than humans, an integral, interactive part of the whole, responding in uniformity to given stimuli as though sharing a single mind.

The individual members of probably the majority of species are solitary, coming together with other members of their kind primarily for the purposes of propagation. Having done so, they move on to their individual lives.

Some species like spiders and ladybugs and cockroaches coexist and gather in huge numbers for no readily discernible purpose. Some, like huge schools of fish and flocks of birds or bats cluster together primarily for whatever protection from predators their numbers may provide.

Many larger animal species gather in herds for mutual protection against predators. But those species with a higher degree of intelligence, like elephants and primates such as Man, gather in groups both as a matter of mutual protection and in response to the simple comfort being with others of their own kind provides. And the more intelligent the species, the more important some degree of social interaction becomes.

It is interesting that dogs are pack animals while cats (with the exception of lions) tend to be mostly solitary.

The natural responses of species to their young is also fascinating, and once again intelligence and these reactions are strongly related. The further down the intelligence scale, the less involved the individual tends to be with its young. In many species, the young are born either completely on their own or with a minimal involvement by, the parents’ only obligation to them being to enable their birth; once born, they’re on their own. Species with higher intelligence—again, on an ascending scale—tend to produce young who cannot survive without the care and protection of their parents. The more intelligence, the more care seems to be taken—and needed. Dogs and cats need parental care and protection for the first few weeks or months of their lives. Elephants, whales, and primates (including Man) are responsible for caring for their offspring for varying degrees of time following birth. Human children cannot survive without considerable help from other humans for several years (being raised by wolves, for example, is highly unlikely). The earlier the separation from parents or caregivers of ascendingly intelligent species, the less likely the survival.

And I’m going to stop here and try to back-pedal to more solid ground before I’m swallowed up completely in this vast boggle.

But one thought did come to me as the complexities of this single subject multiplied and multiplied again: How, with so many things of vital importance to the existence of life on this planet, can we allow ourselves to be bogged down by the words and actions of incredibly mean-spirited individual humans to the point where we lose our perspective on what really matters in life? Think about it and get back to me.

*****
Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday and Thursday. Please take a moment to visit his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1), which is also available as an audiobook (http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00DJAJYCS&qid=1372629062&sr=1-1).









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More Blogs by Dorien Grey
•  The Boggling of the Mind - Monday, March 30, 2015  
• "He Had a Hat!" - Thursday, March 26, 2015
• Marshmallow Man - Monday, March 23, 2015
• Chance, Coincidence, and Incredible Odds - Thursday, March 19, 2015
• Spam and "Jabberwocky" - Monday, March 16, 2015
• Except After "C" - Thursday, March 12, 2015
• "That Which I Should Have Done..." - Monday, March 09, 2015
• "They," "Them," and Me - Thursday, March 05, 2015
• The Fine Line - Monday, March 02, 2015
• "This, too...." - Thursday, February 26, 2015
• Idiots - Monday, February 23, 2015
• Weather or Not - Thursday, February 19, 2015
• Envy - Monday, February 16, 2015
• Grand Delusions - Monday, February 09, 2015
• Waste Not, Want Not - Thursday, February 05, 2015
• "Pretty" - Thursday, January 29, 2015
• Observing - Monday, January 26, 2015
• Lip Service - Thursday, January 22, 2015
• Seriously? - Monday, January 19, 2015
• You, Me, and Snowflakes - Thursday, January 15, 2015
• Boogeyman - Monday, January 12, 2015
• "You're Nothing!" - Thursday, January 08, 2015
• Egotism vs Egoism - Monday, January 05, 2015
• Small Flaws - Monday, December 29, 2014
• A Matter of Distance - Thursday, December 18, 2014
• Cliffhangers - Monday, December 15, 2014
• Logic and Fun - Thursday, December 11, 2014
• "I Hear the Mermen Singing...." - Monday, December 08, 2014
• Mantras and Acorns - Thursday, December 04, 2014
• The Doll House - Monday, December 01, 2014
• Thanotophobia - Thursday, November 27, 2014
• Moments and Times - Monday, November 24, 2014
• Rules to Live Buy - Thursday, November 20, 2014
• Stranger in a Strange Land - Monday, November 17, 2014
• The Learning Curve - Thursday, November 13, 2014
• Cassandra and Me - Monday, November 10, 2014
• Remembering the Future - Thursday, November 06, 2014
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• When "Then" Was "Now" - Monday, October 20, 2014
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• Ah, If Ye Only Knew.... - Thursday, October 09, 2014
• Hourglass - Monday, October 06, 2014
• The Gourmet Chef - Thursday, October 02, 2014
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• The Illusionist - Thursday, September 18, 2014
• Words as Food - Monday, September 15, 2014
• The King of Romania - Thursday, September 11, 2014
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• The Delusionist - Monday, September 01, 2014
• Running - Thursday, August 07, 2014
• "It was the best of times, ...." - Monday, August 04, 2014
• A Conversation with My Muse - Thursday, July 31, 2014
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• Thomas - Monday, July 14, 2014
• On Meeting Myself - Thursday, July 10, 2014
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• A Job From Hell - Monday, December 05, 2011
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• Climbing Vesuvius - Monday, July 18, 2011
• Sorrento Notes - Monday, July 11, 2011
• The Pompeiians - Monday, July 04, 2011
• And On to Florence - Monday, June 20, 2011
• The Train to Italy - Monday, June 13, 2011
• Life in Paris - Monday, May 30, 2011
• Progress Report - Monday, May 23, 2011
• Bienvenue a Paris - Monday, May 16, 2011
• A Klutz in London - Monday, May 09, 2011
• To London, To London! - Monday, May 02, 2011
• Moments - Monday, April 25, 2011
• The Likes o' Me - Monday, March 07, 2011
• Movies - Monday, February 21, 2011
• "As ithers see us" - Monday, February 14, 2011
• Kittens and Puppies - Monday, February 07, 2011
• Jobs from Heck - Monday, January 31, 2011
• The Boggled Mind - Monday, January 24, 2011
• Kids' Play - Monday, January 10, 2011
• Ozymandius - Monday, January 03, 2011
• Ponderings - Monday, December 27, 2010
• Laughter - Monday, December 20, 2010
• On Impatience - Monday, December 13, 2010
• Speaking in Tongues - Monday, December 06, 2010
• Idiots - Monday, November 29, 2010
• Losin' It - Monday, November 22, 2010
• Trains - Monday, November 15, 2010
• On Being Strange - Monday, November 08, 2010
• Cracks in the Mirror - Monday, November 01, 2010
• Because - Monday, October 25, 2010
• Strike Up the Band - Monday, October 18, 2010
• Embarrassment - Monday, October 11, 2010
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• Unforgiving - Monday, August 30, 2010
• For We Are a Simple People - Monday, August 23, 2010
• Seven out of Seven - Monday, August 16, 2010
• It is to Weep - Monday, August 09, 2010
• Reality and Perception - Monday, August 02, 2010
• Memory Games - Monday, July 26, 2010
• Mind and Body - Monday, July 19, 2010
• The Captain and the Ship - Monday, July 12, 2010
• Logic and the Lack Thereof - Monday, July 05, 2010
• Normal - Monday, June 28, 2010
• You Is or You Ain't - Monday, June 21, 2010
• The King of Klutz - Monday, June 14, 2010
• You & Me...& Everybody Else - Monday, June 07, 2010
• 3,993 Sundays - Monday, May 31, 2010
• Tears of Joy - Monday, May 24, 2010
• Pond Scum - Monday, May 17, 2010
• A Day at the Movies - Monday, May 10, 2010
• L'etat, C'est Moi! - Monday, May 03, 2010
• We Three - Monday, April 26, 2010
• I've Made a Little List - Monday, April 19, 2010
• Jack Spratt's Wife - Monday, April 12, 2010
• Blanks - Monday, April 05, 2010
• On Being Bubbly - Monday, March 29, 2010
• Role Models - Monday, March 22, 2010
• Do Ladybugs Dream? - Monday, March 15, 2010
• Raving About Commercials - Monday, March 08, 2010
• Sitting - Monday, March 01, 2010
• Pennies - Monday, February 22, 2010
• Bye, Bye, Baby - Monday, February 15, 2010
• Something for Nothing - Monday, February 08, 2010
• Pebbles - Monday, February 01, 2010
• Rose Petals - Monday, January 25, 2010
• On Immortality - Monday, January 18, 2010
• Leaky Boats - Monday, January 11, 2010
• Gullible's Travels - Monday, January 04, 2010
• Softie - Monday, December 28, 2009
• The Hamster Cage - Monday, December 21, 2009
• Jobs from Hell, Part I - Monday, December 14, 2009
• Ice Cream Social - Monday, December 07, 2009
• Cute - Monday, November 30, 2009
• On Praise - Monday, November 23, 2009
• Ignorance vs. Stupidity - Monday, November 16, 2009
• Mom & Dad - Monday, November 09, 2009
• The Blogger's Curse - Monday, November 02, 2009
• The Spelunker's Rope - Monday, October 26, 2009
• The Toddler's Creed - Monday, October 19, 2009
• Lost Friends - Monday, October 12, 2009
• Dorien - Monday, October 05, 2009
• Backward, Turn Backward... - Monday, September 28, 2009
• My Garden of Phobias - Monday, September 21, 2009
• "Mom and Dad" - Monday, September 14, 2009
• Falling Short - Monday, September 07, 2009
• Blank Slate - Monday, August 31, 2009
• "Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash!" - Monday, August 24, 2009
• Why, Again? - Monday, August 17, 2009
• The Seeds of Cynicism - Monday, August 10, 2009
• "Oh, the Men Will Cheer..." - Monday, August 03, 2009
• Susan - Monday, July 27, 2009
• The Lazy Perfectionist - Monday, July 20, 2009
• Sheep - Monday, July 13, 2009
• The Joys of Misery - Monday, July 06, 2009
• Condescension - Monday, June 29, 2009
• The English as She is Misspoke - Monday, June 22, 2009
• To Catch a Raindrop - Monday, June 15, 2009
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• Time in a Jar - Monday, June 01, 2009
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• The Sound of Music - Monday, April 27, 2009
• Obsession - Monday, April 20, 2009
• Hello, Stupid! - Monday, April 13, 2009
• And Pearls Before Swine - Monday, April 06, 2009
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• Perspectives - Monday, March 23, 2009
• My Garden of Phobias - Monday, March 16, 2009
• In the House of Cancer - Monday, March 02, 2009
• The Ways of the World - Monday, February 23, 2009


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