Category Growth Antagonists

David and Goliath

It’s interesting to listen to Malcolm Gladwell deconstruct the presumptions behind the story of David and Goliath. Rather than presenting it as one of our best known underdog stories he suggests that Goliath in fact never stood a chance. According to Gladwell this was never a fight between a very tall and mighty warrior and […]

Kohrisms

The Austrian economist and political scientist Leopold Kohr opposed the “cult of bigness” in social organization. He inspired the movement for a human scale and the Small Is Beautiful movement. His most influential work was The Breakdown of Nations. In 1983, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award. In the series Kohrisms we want to give attention to some of […]

Shrink Agents

It’s not easy for an individual human being, nor for the human species in general, to embrace the radical change implied in an existence as a smaller being. Growth, it seems, is the rhythm of life. But not for all life. Fortunately there are species of animals and plants that go against the tide and […]

Thumbs Up for Teens.

We don’t yet know why but it seems younger mothers have shorter baby’s. A recent study in New Zealand assessed whether increasing maternal age would be associated with changes in height, body composition, as well as lipid and metabolic profiles in childhood. The age of women having their first child has increased considerably over the past decades. […]

Nicrophorus Vespilloides

In most species large males have more mating success than small males, either because females find them more attractive or because they can use their strength to intimidate small rivals. They are also more likely to have more sexual partners and be less committed fathers. Unfortunately this tendency exists in humans as well. If we […]

Japanese Miniatures: Hara Hachi Bu

In the west we start a meal by saying  “Have a nice dinner” or “Bon appetite”. We refer to the quality of the eating experience but never to the quantity. In contrast, on the Japansese island of Okinawa, they say “Hara Hachi Bu” which means “Eat until you’re only 80% full”. It wishes us to […]

FOXO3a

Recent studies have identified the FOXO3a (Forkhead Box 3a) transcription gene as an important regulator of morphological scaling. It’s a key regulatory gene in a nutrient- and energy-sensing biological pathway (insulin/IGF-1 signalling pathway),that throughout our evolution was conserved from yeast to humans. FOXO3a anticipates food scarcity by slight alterations to its functionality with resultant phenotypic changes including […]

Voluntary Simplicity

Voluntary simplicity is characterised by individuals being satisfied with what they need rather than what they want. Simple living movements testify to the mindset and behaviour needed for humanity to make drastic changes. Its many secular and religious manifestations function as a source of how to open our minds to the notion of the small. It’s […]

Microbial Temper Tantrums

In stressful conditions, cells must prevent the initiation of replication and shift their priorities to protective functions. In other words: they must stop division and growth. Experiments in bacteria at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have uncovered the mechanism that translates stress into blocked cell growth. According to molecular biologist Peter Chien stressful conditions causes proteins […]

Cell Culture

The central problem with curbing the growth of the average human body is the deeply embedded desire of each cell to become two cells. This process of division, known as mitosis, represents the essence of our challenge. Cells don’t want to limit themselves. They want to multiply, to grow, to proliferate. Only the body as a […]