Phaetopia seems a big word - its not.
I made it up recently - its a neologism - which is a big word that means a 'newly invented word or phrase.'
Neologisms is what writers do - or should do - expand the language with new vivid and useful words that describe new concepts that the writers hopefully also came up with.
Phaeton Man (aka Modernity Man) is exactly like his ancient counterpart.
Both, while messing about with the Earth when they were specifically told not to, end up making some parts of it too hot and dry and others too cold and wet.
World War Two was a chance for Phaeton Man to really feel his oats, strut on a world stage and throw his weight around.
At the macro level, he came apart at Stalingrad and Guadalcanal where frostbite or heat stroke mixed it up with starvation and led to cannibalism and defeat.
The whole world - even children - could see this smashup.
But in addition, during that same War and albeit at a micro level and virtually unseen except inside university classrooms and laboratories, Phaeton Man's grandest delusion --- that he could control the inert building blocks of mass/energy (the atom) and life (the cell) went totally and permanently west.
Quantum Physics said there was no stable reality inside the inside of the inside of an atom to control - heck there might not even be any reality there that we mere humans could ever understand.
People like Einstein, who sort of understood Quantum Physics didn't like this at all - famously called it "spooky action at a distance" and spent the rest of his life unsuccessfully trying to prove it wrong.
But quantum entanglement is still with us and has tended to clip the wings of the sort of physicist who is tempted to play God...
It is very well known but is very poorly understood - even by physicists who believe in it and spent their lifetimes studying it.
Henry Dawson's life work (Quorum Biology) - which was coming to a summing up point at his Fall of 1943 Columbia Genetics Department Seminar only because he knew he was dying, is much less known but ultimately is also much much easier to understand.
However easy it is to understand, it remains awfully hard for the Phaeton Men still among us to accept.
Think of it, pace Einstein, as "spooky action" right inside us, right beneath our noses, as opposed to happening off at the other side of the Universe.
Dawson's thesis, simply put was this:
that the biggest civilized nations of Man were less smart than Man thought they were and that the smallest, weakest, oldest bits of life, the bacteria, were a lot smarter than Man could imagine them to be in his worst nightmare.
He said he had shown that oral commensal strep bacteria ,living inside Man as their habitual home, acted collectively in a form of collective intelligence, to evade the fiercest blows of the human immune system by being the ultimate shape shifters.
A group of bacteria, after collectively polling each other and achieving a quorum of agreement (hence the name QUORUM BIOLOGY) could run the gambit from L,R,S,M and B forms.
L cells had no cell walls and evaded our immune system by being totally invisible in terms of having no known antigens.
R cells, the normal type of strep bacteria on our body (more or less living peacefully on our throat skin but not inside our throat skin) had a cell wall but no sugar capsule - our body thus recognized they were in a harmless ,non-invasive, phase.
The invasive S type had a cell wall and a medium thick sugar 'cap' and were the dreaded bacteria found deep in our internal organs.
The super invasive M type had a cell wall and a really thick cap and could really move through our skin defenses ---- but their cap consisted of a rare biological material normally only found in humans - our body thought they were us .
The B type had a cell wall but no individual cap - they had put sugar goo to work to create an entire house that didn't let big white cells and such in to hurt them, but let tiny food, water and water in and out along internal channels.
Think of it as a sort of tiny ant colony living on your teeth as plaque or as a endocarditis vegetation on your heart valves, as in SBE - Dawson's Bete Noire.
And Dawson had already shown, between 1928 and 1933, that strep bacteria had a quorum call at times of crisis and collectively agreed to toss all their genetic housekeys into a blanket and play house with each others' kin.
This was called by him, Transformative Horizontal DNA and it made a total mess of Darwin's prim and proper Vertical DNA inheritance.
I'll edit this lot later - off to work now !