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Osteoblasts and osteoclasts

Do you know that your bones are being built up and broken down as we speak?

(Well, no, Not as we speak. As you read words made up by pixels which appear darker or lighter in the order they do because of particular keystrokes I have made and/or as you listen to sound waves generated by a text reading program manifest my thoughts, previously manifested into the aforementioned pixels.)

As a child, I learned about the human body from what I would go so far as to describe as one of the best animated cartoons about anatomy which was animated in France in the 1980s...

Sing a song of liiiiiiiife...


Skip to 2:29 to get RIGHT to the osteoblast and osteoclasts!



See also: part 2 and part 3



(Another option, in terms of watching youtube in order to gain context, is to check out this concise video if, when it comes to learning about bones, you prefer more academic terms, CGI, and synthesized choruses to talking grandfatherly blood cells and funk-influenced elevator-music-esque music.)

Certain metaphors can only go so far, of course, but I believe we can look at various individuals and groups in society as being similar to osteoblasts and osteoclasts- and in my opinion in many circumstances both are necessary to a healthy society.

You see, osteoblasts ("mononucleate cells that are responsible for bone formation") can be thought of as people and organizations interested in building upon and maintaining certain social conventions, and osteoclasts ("a type of bone cell that removes bone tissue by removing its mineralized matrix and breaking up the organic bone") can be thought of as groups and individuals interested in changing the status quo.

Someone could easily fill both these roles in regards to different aspects of society- that is, they could be interested in maintaining "traditional" social roles, but also trying to change laws regarding economics.

That said, I see ideas which I think are actually unhealthy for society (and, if we continue this human-body-metaphor, could be thought of as some kind of autoimmune disease) being passed off as positive (like some kind of osteoclast)- that is, something that will break down existing laws or traditions not for the good of the whole (or even belief in the good of the whole) even though it is sold as such to the populace as such. (I think this can be everything from aspects of imperialism to neoliberal reform- in my opinion. My humble, humble opinion.)

In conclusion: Not only do I think there is no one right way to do things, but I believe it is important for a healthy society to always be reviewing the way it does things. And listen to your wise blood cells, because they have much to tell you.