In this post I will condense The Hypothesis down a bit, by eliminating prions as a source of the toxins of power.
In so doing, I will refine The Hypothesis so that now The Hypothesis is that either phages impair microbes, or that microbes malfunction individually without phage impairment, to generate a toxin of power.
That is, either one of those two specified dynamics are to be considered as a source for the generation of a toxin of power.
Not only that, The Hypothesis is further condensed to state that a toxin of power is generated in one or both of these processes, within either symbiont or non-symbiont microbes, by way of "bad messaging" during common, constantly ongoing, human - microbe communications.
Prions are properly eliminated from The Hypothesis because the impairments prions cause in humans are too deadly, and are very rare.
Likewise, consideration of prions as a source of the toxins of power would not comport well with the facts that have been set forth previously, concerning memes in memory.
Those facts, concerning memes in memory, basically describe "non-toxic ideas" that somehow morph into "toxic concepts", while stored in memory.
Remembering also that the morph of an idea is not fatal to the person it takes place in (at least in the sense we are concerned with in The Hypothesis); remembering that the morph of memes in memory do not cause physical impairment (in the sense we are concerned with in The Hypothesis); and finally, remembering that prions do cause fatality and/or do cause grave physical impairment as a matter of course, we can now properly leave prions out of The Hypothesis.
Further, prion diseases such as kuru cannot be neutralized with behavior of the sort set forth in Tables For Toxins In Power, which immunizes the host from a toxin of power for a limited time.
Thus, prions are hereby eliminated from further consideration in The Hypothesis as valid sources for the toxins of power.
What we end up with, then, is a hypothesis that the toxins of power work more like a moderately wild storm that comes and goes, leaving a temporarily modified mental and/or emotional scenario in its wake, rather than utter destruction.
The most likely place for commensurate intensity in such a storm, which would result in an altered meme landscape stored in memory, is in the microbes that have an effect on the conditions within the amygdala during messaging.
Those microbes that are in constant communication with human brain cell systems and/or microbes signaling the amygdala, and elsewhere, do not operate as a constant attack to kill, maim, and destroy them, as prions tend to do in their environment.
That is, I do not see the source of the toxins of power as a dedicated pathogen, but rather, I see it as a temporary malfunction in an otherwise non-pathogenic process within ongoing, common human - microbe communications:
Scientists originally expected that the communication between animals and their symbiotic bacteria would form its own molecular language. But McFall-Ngai, an expert on animal-microbe symbiosis, says that she and other scientists have instead found beneficial relationships involving some of the same chemical messages that had been discovered previously in pathogens. Many bacterial products that had been termed “virulence factors” or “toxins” turn out to not be inherently offensive signals; they are just part of the conversation between microbe and host. The difference between our interaction with harmful and helpful bacteria, she says, is not so much like separate languages as it is a change in tone: “It’s the difference between an argument and a civil conversation.” We are in constant communication with our microbes, and the messages are broadcast throughout the human body.(On The New Meaning of "Human"). Let's review, then, what we have to work with, what we have constructed so far.
Like the germ hypothesis, which became the germ theory, our first observation starts at the "highest" level: someone noticing something not noticed before.
In the toxins of power context, it began when someone noticed that people exposed to power are affected by exposure to that power.
Next comes the voicing of that observation, as Lord Acton did, but also as James Madison did, so that others can begin further observations.
Notice how detailed James Madison's observations were:
01) war (generates anti-freedom germs):(See Greatest Source of Power Toxins?). These are detailed observations made by great statesmen, then written down in the history textbooks for our perusal.
02) war (is parent of):
03) armies (that generate):
04) war-debts, war-taxes (which bring):
05) many (99%) under domination of few (1%);
06) executive power surge;
07) seducing the minds (propaganda);
08) subduing the force of the people;
09) inequality of fortunes;
10) opportunities of fraud;
11) degeneracy of manners and morals;
12) (and eventually) end of freedom.
Notice that in his quote from the link above, James Madison uses the language of medical diagnosis of an infection which a doctor might use.
By indicating that war generates "the germ" of many social infections, which are the origin of many social maladies that destroy freedom, James Madison reveals symptoms like a disease emerging from a state of war between nations.
Actually, he warns us to carefully and deliberately avoid such events, because they could lead to an epidemic, which would remove the freedom from any free nation exposed to it for too long, to eventually replace that freedom with tyranny.
These observations of these great statesmen may have, at first, originated from "a gut feeling".
Competent microbiologists today are not afraid to consider and express "a gut feeling", even in the highly sophisticated research associated with human - microbe symbiosis:
"My gut feeling is that some aspects of this process are unique to M. gryphiswaldense and not generalizable to all magnetotactic bacteria ..."(Microbiologist Arash Komeili, Scientific American, 12/15/11). But such "gut feelings" early on in high level observations need to be later confirmed by related, yet deeper observations.
In the case of microbes being involved in human maladies, by either direct microbe malfunction, or by phage-induced microbe malfunction, that deeper observation is not beyond ultimate scientific discovery, even when it is just out of reach at first:
Current knowledge is insufficient to explain why only a proportion of individuals exposed to environmental carcinogens or carrying a genetic predisposition to cancer develop disease. Clearly, other factors must be important, and one such element that has recently received attention is the human microbiome, the residential microbes including Bacteria, Archaea, Eukaryotes, and viruses that colonize humans. Here, we review principles and paradigms of microbiome - related malignancy, as illustrated by three specific microbial - host interactions. We review the effects of the microbiota on local and adjacent neoplasia, present the estro-bolome model of distant effects, and discuss the complex interactions with a latent virus leading to malignancy. These are separate facets of a complex biology interfacing all the microbial species we harbor from birth onward toward early reproductive success and eventual senescence.(Microbiome and Malignancy, Cell - Host & Microbe Journal, PDF is here). Even the varied aspects of cancer, in terms of developing or not developing cancer, are now considered within the context of the "human - microbe ecosystem".
Thus, we should move forward to put The Hypothesis through the tests necessary to allow it to mature into a theory, or fail.
For too long of a time now we have known that Microbes R US, and for too long of a time now, toxins of power have had their way with us.
The previous episode of this series is here, the next post in this series is here.