July 27, 2002

New Model for Blogging

New Model for Blogging Ecosystem Discovered in Central Park!

Oh the joy of discovery! The thrill of recognition! YES! YES! Eureka and so on. New LifeForms have been found among the leaf-litter of the Blogosphere!

Without putting too fine a point on it, I will leave it to your discerning minds to see the amazing and edifying parallels hidden in the following account. Suffice it to say, the microcosm reflects the macrocosm! No longer thought of as single-cellular microbes, lower level bloggers are on the verge of being recognized as the multicellular invertebrate dwellers of the leaf litter... performing a previously unrecognized and essential function in the Scheme of Things. The paradigm has shifted. Read between the lines here, wise reader:

The story begins with the recent discovery of a previously unknown centipede and an a new gnat! What joy! But consider the blog-relevance and deeper meaning contained in the following quotes from the NY Times:

Museum researchers found the new centipede, along with many other tiny beings, in "leaf litter piles of broken twigs, fungi and decomposing plant and tree leaves mixed with soil. "Leaf litter is perhaps the "richest and most complex community in the woods", said Dr. Eleanor Sterling, director of the natural history museum's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. It is, she said, "predators, scavengers, vegetarians living together in a very complicated system."

In one year, five tons can pile up in two and a half acres of woods. Invertebrates consume it and keep it from burying the forest, and there they are as numerous as litter. There are, for instance, some 50,000 springtails (an insect) in one square yard of litter, and that is only one of the hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of invertebrates found there.

All centipedes are predators with poisonous fangs, and eat any animal they can get their jaws around. The new discovery is no exception. "They're totally mindless killing machines," said Dr. Hoffman, who vastly prefers the more peaceable vegetarian millipedes.

Only 1.5 million of the estimated 10 million to 50 million invertebrates have been identified, Dr. Hoffman said.

"If they rake all the leaves, remove all the fallen twigs and branches, new species and the regular guys will not survive," she said. "The whole system will cease to function. We need to appreciate unmanicured nature.

Model synopsis:
The Oak Trees and Tigers and other Top Predators in the Blogosphere send down their crumbs and the picked carcasses of their food sources, their dead leaves and their effluent to the myriad detritavores without backbones, the lower echelons of the food chain keep the blog world from becoming buried in its own humus. These new multicellular creatures are vast in number, infrequently seen, of infinite variety, mostly undiscovered, and various in temperament: from the diminuitively predaceous centipedes, to the flitty superficial springtails, and the plodding but dependable millipedes...and on and on in infinite complexity...forming spheres within spheres of wonderment. Unappreciated, misunderstood, and as necessary as oxygen to the eternal cycle that is the unmanicured nature of the Blogosphere are the newly-discovered invertebrate ranks who live silently just above the microbial sludge.

Be careful where you step, *.pundits: the tiny creatures that keep you alive are underfoot. And some among us are always hungry! Chomp Chomp!

Note: The owner of the present weblog is a slow moving, vegetable-feeding millipede who is content to curl up in a shady place, perhaps in the axil of a cabbage leaf, and contemplate his belly button, not to be taken seriously, mostly. Do millipedes have belly buttons?

Posted by fred1st at July 27, 2002 09:05 AM
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