Tag: Ideology

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis

I first heard about the “zombie fungus” from Robin Maytum when we were working together at Queen Mary. The story captivated my imagination: The fungus infects an ant, eats up most of its interiors, leaving intact a few key neurons and muscles. Once its feast is done, the fungus can still control the ant’s locomotion, which then moves on to a leaf from where the fungus can best spread out its spores.

If you are the ant, you are unlikely to hold Ophiocordyceps unilateralis high in your esteem, even more to befriend it. Robin was the first cell within the infected ant I encountered. Other tissues were quite unprepared for the infection and so our university (the ant) was overtaken by those fungus-like managers. I have not stopped telling that story ever since.


Ideological reflections from Greek politics in the 2014 Elections for the European Parliament

In a post written in the Greek language, I asked readers what they would be voting in the upcoming elections, trying to summarise the 43 choices of parties or coalitions between parties that are participating from my country. Greece is often referred to as the birthplace of democracy and – if the number of parties is any indicator – seems to be in an intense period of soul-searching. No doubt the economic crisis is being reflected here. I pointed out that job insecurity or enhanced mobility (two expressions of a similar process) is now infecting the political world. It is important to note the irony of a workforce being continuously moved around despite – in so many areas of the economy – the jobs it serves remaining still.

With the above as a brief introduction, I present here two tables for a wider audience who may wish to ‘read’ into the Greek participation in the process. The first one – in English – is the summary of my analysis. Therefore there is a subjective component in grouping together the 43 parties into 13 categories that may be more recognisable – based on their ideology, which trascends our culture. I think my message on twitter with the results from local elections shows such categorisation is useful – see