45. CARS ARE A VIRUS
A few years ago, I read a Richard Dawkins book called "The Extended Phenotype". There was a section where Dawkins said we could regard cars as a virus, which exploits human behavior and production machinery to replicate itself.
I remembered this, and it got me thinking...
The virus ("the car") infects the "cells" (cities) of its host ("the earth") and packs the cells with copies of itself. This is similar to the phenomenon seen in Ebola, called "bricking" where everything in the cell is converted to virus, until it ruptures with bricks of crystal-like virus:
Ebola and Marburg multiply extremely rapidly and powerfully that within no time the infected cell becomes packed with crystal like blocks of virus particles (Ref fig 2). These virus particles are themselves getting ready to replicate.
The crystal like blocks, or bricks, form at the centre of the cell and begin to grow outwards, migrating to the cell wall. On reaching the cell wall, the brick dissolves into hundreds of individual virus particles (Ref. fig 1)
The Ebola virus particles then infiltrate the bloodstream of the host and keep attaching themselves to cells everywhere. Here the procedure of replication is repeated until the tissue becomes saturated with virus crystal bricks.Source
Here are the Figures from the above article. Notice the parking lot like structures inside the red boxes. Those are the "bricks" of ebola:
In the terminal state, the entire body has been converted to bleeding bricks of virus. This would be the equivalent of using all our resources and productive machinery to pack the surface of the earth with cars:
In the end, the host dies because it wastes all its resources replicating the virus.
Cars are a Trojan horse, not unlike the "ILOVEYOU" computer virus. They appeal to people's vanities and ego, so people "click" on them. Like "ILOVEYOU", the car is designed to press a very specific emotional button which turns the human into a robot. That is how a dumb object with no nervous system can manipulate an intelligent organism. People can't stop "clicking on it" and thereby furthering its replication and consumption of critical resources.
Ironically, the car production statistics are the equivalent of the "viral count" readings AIDS patients get. We should be trying to get them down, not up.
I was out naked in the sweat lodge today, and had another vision on this topic. I realized that, indeed, cars are a virus, and that the poor machinery (us) of our cell (the earth) has been totally bamboozled by the car virus, and that we are going to spend the next 50 years frantically liquefying all of the resources of our cell to fuel replication of the virus.
Future extra-terrestrials visiting the solar system will observe the surface of the earth bricked over with viral particles, and note the presence of the suspiciously car-like lunar rovers on the moon's surface. All the classic symptoms of a virus burning through its host and making aborted attempts to infect new hosts:
But JD, aren't cars useful?
Look at it in retrospect, from a point in time where all the liquid fossil fuel is gone. You're standing on top of a sea of cars, a gridlocked worldwide traffic jam of car carcasses, the endpoint of the exponential replication of cars. Other than the cars themselves (and their infrastructure like roads, parking lots, filling stations, tire stores, car washes etc.), what can you point to and say: "Thank god we spent all those resources making cars. Otherwise we wouldn't have THAT (where THAT is something that benefits mankind). What would you point to? The emission-choked atmosphere? Global warming? The empty oil/coal/gas reserves? The pile of cars themselves? Nothing positive and useful is left over. It's very suspicious -- almost as though the car is using us, not the other way around. As dub_scratch so eloquently put it, "Cars are to American civilization what Moai were to Easter Islanders."