The Microbial Archipelago of You

When viewed as the sum total combinatorial complexity of so very many information and energy-processing artefacts, entities and systems, it becomes apparent that the unity and individuated singularity of Self that we carry around in our brains as culturally reflexive semiotic cocoons of personal identity might be something quite significantly other than what we tend to believe it is.

It is not that you do not exist, rather that the you which exists does so as an emergent system from many layers and entangled hierarchies of trillions of differentiable, interdependent entities and algorithmic processes within and as the material properties of your body.

A key takeaway from such unity in diversity is that in as much as any organism or experience might be considered to possess a unifying or binding property of some kind, this gestalt can perhaps only exist as a function of these intricately fragmented networks of difference and interdependence; emergent with near-ubiquity in complex systems.

Subtle discomfort notwithstanding, discovering that you embody a literal cruise ship for 100-odd trillion microbes is as fascinating as that at some level of awareness and technological sophistication this ensemble is able to recognise itself.

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