Saturday, 24 April 2010

The parasite and the host organism...

Genes can be truly selfish:

Take mind controlling parasites, for example. These are viruses and simple organisms that have evolved such that they can alter the behavior of their hosts. Essentially, they cognitively re-engineer their victims, turning them into their transmission vectors. It is not uncommon for organisms to leech off several different species in this way as part of their reproductive cycle.

writes George Dvorsky. Speaking of mind controlling parasites, here's a really nasty one:

Rupert Murdoch, everybody's favourite unelected foreign billionaire, whose stranglehold on every British government in recent memory arouses approximately one thousandth as much vocal public ire as a duck house. That the News Corp chief has affected to endorse Cameron as the "candidate of change" is one of the satirical jokes that are his speciality. Obviously, Murdoch wants the opposite of change. He wishes to carry on exactly as things have for decades, with him calling the shots. To Murdoch, the Tory leader is nothing but a host organism, and a change of government merely the shuffling of junior personnel.

But something has gone wrong – or threatens to. Murdoch is distressed, we must assume from news that his UK avatars – son James and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks – barged into the Independent's offices this week, incensed the paper had used the advertising slogan "Rupert Murdoch won't decide the election – you will".

This unpleasant leech is dissected by Marina Hyde. Time to de-worm the body politic, I think. More tips on getting rid of mind-controlling parasites here.

Respect to Beau Bo D'Or for the image and to Chicken Yoghurt and Obsolete for bigging up the story.