Friday, July 13, 2012

The Germ Theory - of Government - 4

Toxin Patrol
In the previous post of this series is the statement "[o]ne hope expressed in this series [is] a hope for a future vaccine for politicians."

The underlying concept which brought on that statement is that exposure to power works like an infection, or facilitates an infection, which then leads to corruption ("power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely").

Recent works in microbiology and neurobiology are presenting a view of research data which indicates that in fact toxins from microbes is a reasonable place to look for the toxins of power which intoxicate those in power:
... literature is coming out now reporting neuropsychological testing on men who are Toxo-infected, showing that they get a little bit impulsive... And then the truly astonishing thing: two different groups independently have reported that people who are Toxo-infected have three to four times the likelihood of being killed in car accidents involving reckless speeding... Maybe you take a Toxo-infected human and they start having a proclivity towards doing dumb-ass things that we should be innately averse to, like having your body hurdle through space at high G-forces. Maybe this is the same neurobiology... On a certain level, this is a protozoan parasite that knows more about the neurobiology of anxiety and fear than 25,000 neuroscientists standing on each other's shoulders... But no doubt it's also a tip of the iceberg of God knows what other parasitic stuff is going on out there. Even in the larger sense, God knows what other unseen realms of biology make our behavior far less autonomous than lots of folks would like to think.
(Hypothesis: Microbes Generate Toxins of Power, quoting Dr. Sapolsky). Another science team points out that they have discovered the language that certain microbes speak:
I remember the day we found the gene for the inter-species signaling molecule like it was yesterday. We got the gene and we plugged it into a database. And we immediately saw that this gene was in an amazing number of species of bacteria. It was a huge moment of realization. We had wondered for so long what this second molecule was for, and the database told us in an instant this must be about cross-species communication.
(Microbial Hermeneutics, quoting from the interview). The discovery of the microbial language facilitated the science team being able to develop the capability to send messages in the microbe's own language, using a vaccination of "molecular words," which stops the microbes from community behavior by preventing them from being able to communicate effectively, and thus stops them from a coordinated effort to intoxicate / infect their host:
Current antibiotics work in only a few ways — they pop membranes, they prevent DNA replication — but the bottom line is, they either kill bacteria or they stop bacterial growth.

An anti-quorum sensing-type compound would simply prevent bacteria from counting one another. In essence, the bacteria would “think” they were alone when they are actually in a group. Alone, they don’t initiate virulence cascades. So, if the bacteria can’t count themselves and thus, can’t carry out these group virulence activities that are critical for enabling them to stay in the host, the immune system just gets rid of them.

Such a drug would not be an antibiotic. It would simply give your immune system a little extra time to do what it’s supposed to do: constant surveillance, and get rid of harmful invading microbes. But I don’t know what you’d call it — it’s a funny question. Many scientists are investigating different bacterial traits that could be similarly exploited. Behavior modification drugs? Maybe that’s what I should call them.
(Microbial Hermeneutics, quoting from the interview). The bottom line is that we are moving closer to a time when politicians and others in power who are exposed to the toxins of power can be treated with a vaccination that speaks the language of the toxins of power, and can tell them to "simmer down now."

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea. Now we just need a way to apply this principle to groupthink.