We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Re-linking E.O. Wilson's wonderful essay Trailhead. He begins:
The Trailhead Queen was dead. At first, there was no overt sign that her long life was ending: no fever, no spasms, no farewells. She simply sat on the floor of the royal chamber and died. As in life, her body was prone and immobile, her legs and antennae relaxed. Her stillness alone failed to give warning to her daughters that a catastrophe had occurred for all of them. She lay there, in fact, as though nothing had happened. She had become a perfect statue of herself. While humans and other vertebrates have an internal skeleton surrounded by soft tissue that quickly rots away, ants are encased in an external skeleton; their soft tissues shrivel into dry threads and lumps, but their exoskeletons remain, a knight’s armor fully intact long after the knight is gone. Hence the workers were at first unaware of their mother’s death. Her quietude said nothing, and the odors of her life, still rising from her, signalled, I remain among you. She smelled alive.
Wilson is an American treasure. Best professor I ever studied with. Even from a distance in a huge course, he was inspirational. It's the focus, and persistence and devotion to his subject. Whether ants (his great love) or animal behavior generally and his brilliant (tho maligned by the PC) extrapolations to human social life, his observations change one. I think it literally changed most of our lives, just listening to him. It helped that he was an engaging speaker, that he could wriggle like an ant on stage, that he wasn't full of himself, and that he wrote so well...we need more scientists like him, who can wake up cloddish young people to the beauties and intricacy of our world.