Amos answered Amaziah, “No prophet am I, not any prophetic symbol, but a shepherd am I, who used to prick the sycamore fruit that it might duly ripen for the market.”
While I’d like to understand the world, reality isn’t structured to make that possible. Powerful big ideas are great, but inevitably you need to look at the details, and those connect to other details and it branches out forever. The chasm between this complexity and the meager capabilities of my human brain/lifespan gives me a constant feeling of dread and wonder.
So, umm, here’s the first in a series of posts about a plant hormone called ethylene. I got interested in this with the mundane hope of keeping my fruits and vegetables from going bad but ended up with some lessons about biology, public health, supply chains, capitalism, and ancient Greek prophecies.
Ethylene is active at low concentrations, typically ranging from around 10 parts per billion to one part per million (Chang 2016).