July 6, 2008

Killed a Mosquito Today

Yes, yes I did.

Didn’t feel too bad about it, either. The mosquito was buzzing around my head, so I swatted it.

“What’s this got to do with a blog about philosophy, about the future of 6.7 billion ‘others,’ about randomness?”

Well, maybe everything.

But first we have to feel our way into this thing . . . and have some fun. If we go a little slow and have some fun, then it may be more likely that ‘others’ will want to ask questions or share their own thoughts, don’t you think?


See there? It’s already working.

I had a hot topic all lined up for today’s posting, but I threw it out the window when the mosquito flew in. My topic was going to be about how bright the future will be. Maybe I’ll use that topic later sometime. But the mosquito made me think about how broad and varied a communication tool the internet has become. To prove my point, I went straight to a Google search box and entered the title of my new piece,

                  killed a mosquito today
and came up with 162,000 search results. After skipping past the sponsored links, the first result was a story from Australia about a man killed by a mosquito. You can click on the link and read the article right now, then come back here, or do your own research sometime when it’s more convenient.

The next few results seemed to connect mosquitoes with terrorists, I don’t know why. There were links to other blogs, one in Canada, one in Singapore, and a link to an article in wikiHow on How to Avoid Mosquito Bites. The lead sentence says, "Nobody cares for mosquitoes, perhaps because they seem to serve no useful function for humans."  Now there’s a philosophical statement with a causal link and an implied value.

There is some other funny stuff in the article. Perhaps you should read it. Step 3, "Kill the flying mosquito with a double-handed clap,” is the step I used.

Further down the search results I ran across a question sent in yesterday to Yahoo! Answers.

ITCoA asks. . . When you kill a mosquito, do you feel a teeny tiny bit guilty?
Thus far there are 33 answers:

Delilah2 says . . . I feel guilty killing a lizard if that helps

McZilla Up For Prez says . . . Nope . . . I make my husband or son kill them
Whoops, someone just posted another answer while I was checking on what Delilah2 and McZilla said. Now there are 34 answers. I checked ITCoA’s profile. She lists her total point score to date. I guess Yahoo! gives points to registered users for questions asked and answers received. Well, that’s something.

Oh, by the way, the mosquito that flew in my window? That's a random walk event.



  1. So, I wonder if the Mosquito Census Bureau has an estimate on how many mosquito's there will be by July 4, 2008 - and do they take the human element into consideration? More blood, yet more killings...somehow that doesn't seem right... Ha!

  2. Googled it. (1) An answer on Ask.metafilter.com, relying on the Kenosha County Health Department (Twin Cities area), says an acre of land can produce 4.3 million of the buggers per day. (2) No one has answered the question at wikiAnswers. (3) Rutgers Department of Entomology says, "About 3000 species of mosquitoes have been described on a world-wide basis," and that they can be nasty (paraphrasing). And finally, (4) someone citing www.thebestcontrol.com reports there are about "100 trillion mosquitoes" in the world, and relying on CNN reports that "700,000,000 people a year are infected by diseases carried by mosquitoes."
    Ouch! Who's the predator now?

  3. By the way, there were 534,000 search results. I didn’t read them all.


Ask a question or share your thoughts.

Tip: You may create any "name" you want by selecting the "name/URL" line in the menu area below. Your URL is completely optional. You may also create a link to your own site by selecting one of the "open ID" lines.

Viewing Hint: Click on a posting's title in the blog's left margin to display just that posting with any related comments below it.