May COVID-19 help us make peace with bacteria

May COVID-19 help us make peace with bacteria

Bacteria is the smallest living organism on Earth and it is also the biggest (great corail reef). 

It is also the oldest living organism on Earth. “Let’s collapse the planet’s entire history into a single calendar year. Right now, as you’re reading this page, it is the 31st of December, just before the stroke of midnight (…) Humans have only existed for the 30 minutes or fewer. (…) Flowers and mammals evolved earlier in December. (…) For most of the tale, microbes were the only living things on Earth. From March to October in our imaginary calendar, they had the sole run of the planet.”(..)“As palaeontologist Andrew Knoll once said, “Animals might be evolution’s icing, but bacteria are really the cake.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

There are as many bacteria as there are human cells in the body. 

“When Orson Welles said “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone”, he was mistaken. Even when we are alone, we are never alone. We exist in symbiosis – a wonderful term that refers to different organisms living together. Some animals are colonised by microbes while they are still unfertilized eggs; others pick up their first partners at the moment of birth. We then proceed through our lives in their presence. When we eat, so do they. When we travel, they come along. When we die, they consume us. Every one of us is a zoo in our own right – a colony enclosed within a single body. A mutli-species collective. An entire world.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

How Bacteria Rule Over Your Body – The Microbiome – Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell :

The principle of symbiosis is that neither of the two (human & bacteria) can survive alone. Bacteria are integral parts of the human body functions. We all know very well about digestion. We understood recently how they train our immune system and trigger neurotransmitters in our brain through the vagal nerve. They are also necessary to keep our blood vessels (endothelium) healthy and sealed. If bacteria stop doing this, you die within 24 hours.

Circulating Metabolites Originating from Gut Microbiota Control Endothelial Cell Function – PMC:

“These changes are all fundamentally Darwinian. This point is worth repeating: taking any fast or instant evolutionary shifts as a refutation of the slow, gradual changes we associate with Darwin’s vision is a fatal mistake because these quick shifts are still powered by gradualism. The woodrats might have been able to resist creosote by picking up the right bacteria, but those strains had to evolve the ability to break the insecticide on their own. Form their perspective, evolution proceeded through the usual stepwise way; from the host’s perspective, everything happened in a flash. That is the power of symbiosis: it allows gradual mutations in microbes to produce instant mutations in hosts. We can let bacteria do the slow work for us, and then quickly change ourselves by associating with them. And if these alliances are beneficial enough, they can spread with blinding speed.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Bacteria can be a powerful ally because they can use Darwinian evolution on the scale of days instead of millions of years for humans. By breeding and hosting them, humans can acquire new abilities like digesting new food or fighting new viruses or breath more CO2.

Endothelial cell infection and endotheliitis in COVID-19 – The Lancet:

However, bacteria are fragile. They don’t store energy, they don’t have an immune system and are easily wiped by chemicals.

Most of the viruses are deadly to bacteria, not humans. Depending on what you eat, you feed or starve certain bacteria in your body. A diverse diet means a diverse microbiome. If we want to use them as allies we must consider to stop systematic disinfection that mostly kill useful microbes.

“It’s the start of a new era, when people are finally ready to embrace the microbial world.

When I walked through San Diego Zoo with Rob Knight at the start of this book, I was struck by how different everything seemed with microbes in mind. Every visitor, keeper, and animal looked like a world on legs – a mobile ecosystem that interacted with others, largely oblivious to their inner multitudes.

When I drive through Chicago with Jack Gilbert, I experience the same dizzying shift in perspective. I see the city’s microbial underbelly – the rich seam of life that coats it, and moves through it on gusts of wind and currents of water and mobile bags of flesh. I see friends shaking hands, saying’ “how do you do”, and exchanging living organisms. I see people walking down the street, ejecting clouds of themselves in their wake. I see the decisions through which we have inadvertently shaped the microbial world around us: the choice to build with concrete versus brick, the opening of a window, and the daily schedule to which a janitor now mops the floor. And I see, in the driver’s seat, a guy who notices those rivers of microscopic life and is enthralled rather than repelled by them. He knows that microbes are mostly not to be feared or destroyed, but to be cherished, admired, and studied.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks – including death itself – at the university’s 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005.

Peaceful environment for privileged people or efficient people who manage to live peacefully together and become priviledged?

Ce pour quoi on travaille, ça compte.

Environnement paisible pour des personnes privilégiées ou pour des personnes efficaces qui parviennent à vivre ensemble en paix et deviennent privilégiées?

Le travail doit être placé au-dessus de toutes les luttes de concurrence. Il n’est pas une marchandise.

Ma vie est mon message. My life is my work.

Weird, yet worth another look and feel

“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

“Tous les hommes pensent que le bonheur se trouve au sommet de la montagne, alors qu’il réside dans la façon de la gravir. – Confucius

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) – Wikipedia:


  • Additions


Magical union of the souls.


Magical union of the holy spirit, the father and the son.

1+1+1+ … +1=1

Magic life thanks to so many days…

Is that right?

Blue Magic – Grateful:


  • Substractions

“Trifles light as air are to the jealous confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ.”

– Iago (Act III, Scene 3 – Othello)

The most important and famous object in the play is Othello’s handkerchief which he gives to Desdemona as a first gift telling her that it holds tremendous importance to him and that it was given to his mother by an Egyptian charmer to keep his father under her spell. Desdemona accidentally drop it and it is picked by Iago’s wife Emilia. This famous line is said by Iago in a monologue after he gets possession of the handkerchief from his wife and is buoyant that he may use it to further poison Othello. It means that trifles or things of little value become as valid a proof as holy writing to the one who is jealous. The handkerchief and its symbolism have been much analyzed. That it is symbolic of Desdemona’s fidelity is perhaps Shakespeare’s way of conveying how fragile a jealous mind is.

  • Multiplications

– Wikipedia- Feeding the multitude:

  • Divisions and remainder

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

–  Juliet (Act II, Scene 2– Romeo and Juliet)

One of Shakespeare’s most quoted quotations in which Juliet is saying that name is just a meaningless convention and a rose by any other name would still be a rose, with all its qualities. She says these lines because she has fallen in love with Romeo who belongs to the family of their rivals and his name makes it very difficult for them to be together. Hence she is arguing that name of things is not important, what matters is what things “are”.


Why can’t you divide by zéro? – TED-Ed: