Seeds of Assembly

The four months of Seattle’s springtime are upon us, and 8 feet of our kitchen bar are now hosting vegetable seedlings that Shannon will soon migrate out to the gardens.


Despite the human-designed complexity that fills my life, I still find my sense of wonder tickled by watching plants grow. The dynamical system of plant growth reveals only simplicity at the macro level, leading to a familiarity in human experience that leads most to take flora for granted. For me, it is awe-inspiring to consider the complexity behind this emergence, from the bacterial origin of chloroplasts to the chemical view of photosynthesis that my father-in-law describes as “assembling a plant from the carbon in the surrounding air.”

The real mystery is how our culture has come to marvel at the “magic” of straightforward, engineered iObjects while losing appreciation for the natural systems that support us.

I posted this in March 2011 during week 1930.

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