Archive for July 13th, 2010

The man who

I live here now. Which I’m still getting used to. I sit here right now, typing this as I consider that I now live here. I find it odd. Nice odd, but still odd. I keep thinking I’ll have to drive back up the M1 soon.

I start a new job here on Sept 1st but have the privileged position of being a kept man as Transfarmer goes out to work everyday.

So far (in the one week we’ve been home) I’ve spent most of the time cleaning and painting and unpacking. That in itself is a fun and satisfying thing to do.

I have also come up with a list of daily or weekly tasks to do (I’m all about lists). Highlights include:

– Praying with “the wife” each morning

– one blog post a day (tick…)

– exercise occasionally (not s sure about that one)

– try out one new recipe a week

– one dinner a week with friends/family

– at least 60 mins of learning anatomy a day

And so after a whole 30 minutes of reading Gray’s I decided to write instead.

I started at the very start of the book. Which may have been a bad idea. I have forgotten all about basic cell structure. Largely because it’s irrelevant to my everyday practice, but it does fall into the category of “things that someone who teaches anatomy should know”.

So I’m getting reacquainted with desmosomes and the golgi apparatus.

And 30 minutes in I’m overwhelmed by the whole fascinating concept of who we are.

A cell “communicates” with another cell by producing a signalling molecule that another cell “senses” with a specific receptor molecule and something in the other cell changes as a result. This happens often enough and someone paints the Mona Lisa.

This highlights two things

1) how hopeless and inadeaquate language is at expressing such things – in many ways a cell cannot “sense” so much as its own existence in the very way that we cannot hope to sense our own existence without these cells. Cells no more know what it means to “communicate” than the pen on my desk yet without such cells we have no notion what communication is.

2) the inability of scientific reductionism to explain the Mona Lisa. The example of cell signalling above will perhaps explain how I bend an elbow but the painting of the Mona Lisa, or any cultural/creative work is a whole different kettle of fish.

And anyhow why would you keep fish in a kettle?


July 2010