Shrink AgentsApril 30, 2016
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 embody some of the shrink values we would like to develop within the human community. Through a process of interspecial learning these specific growth antagonists may be able to ‘teach’ us how to appropriate some of their qualities and abilities. Or perhaps our increased ability to manipulate and exchange genetic information will allow us to physically import the embodied shrink desires of other species. Could it inspire a preference for smaller partners in women, like in the pygmy squid female? What if people were able to shrink up to 20% of their regular body size in times of food scarcity like the marine iguanas of the Galapagos? What if we could adopt the bonsai tree’s ability to arrest growth through hormonal self-therapy as well as their potential for extremely long, if not eternal, life? Such ideas may seem radical. On the other hand perhaps the first and most important step is the understanding that smallness has amazing potential for an equally, if not more, satisfying and fulfilling life.