Every so often - and I wish I could bottle those moments because the thought never stays with me for long enough and it's impossible to recollect or summon afterwards so there's no way I can explain it here, even with analogies, so I'm just going to say what the thought is and leave it at that - Every so often it strikes me how splendidly humongous we are, as humans. Those tiny electrons, that crazy quantum shit, those might-as-well-be infinite-resolution fields, all stacking up and stacking up and stacking up: there's some thousand billion [or whatever. Damn, I used to be able to calculate this figure] electrons held apart by fermionic pressure at the end of your finger when you touch something? That much stuff just to make things feel solid? All that complexity, all those levels, and we need this much to be alive. It's not until we get this big that we're conscious. Wow. We're titans!
Oh yes, and the other thing that makes more sense before it's written down:
Imagine the perfectly adapted being as a string of code, a description or whatever you like, and by 'perfectly adapted' I mean to the universe, reality. And we (and by 'we' I mean: stuff; life; the isness of the thisness; the haecce of the haecceity), we're searching the maze of all potential worlds to discover this string, part of the search just by being here. Like a regular expression search: start at the beginning, quarks, fields, bunch o' laws; chuck on a few abstraction layers. Get atoms, molecules, blah blah, boundaries, evolution, reproducers, cells, RNA, DNA, skeletons, dinosaurs. Whoops! Didn't get a match with the perfect being string there, and those mammal things are doing well... backtrack: "So if the beginning of a pattern containing a quantifier succeeds in a way that causes later parts in the pattern to fail, the matching engine backs up and recalculates the beginning part--that's why it's called backtracking" -- do away with the dinosaurs, get a bit simpler, try something else. Hey, but who's to say it won't happen again. A million years hence, galactic ++human society, and nature goes -Uh, this isn't working, and backtracks all the way to bosons and fermions. Build in the selfish reproducer secret properties at that level! Hey, why not? Life would be a lot smaller. It's only maths. It could happen, it could happen.
God damn and I keep remembering things. What's the word for cake mix? We've got the whole cooked-bread continuity: bread, scone, pancake, cake, biscuit, cookie and so on. And on the uncooked side there's dough and batter, (at the least!) both good words. But cake mix is an ugly, lazy word. Just stringing nouns together. Like saying 'bar person' when 'bar keep' and 'bar tend' are both perfectly good, existing words. No sense of history. Cake mix. The mix that makes cake. Rubbish. It must have a real word. Doesn't it?