Botany of Desire

Viewing the history of agriculture from the perspective of plants reveals the symbiotic dance between plants and people.  Pollan inverts the linguistic shorthand of "selection", asking "How do plants get humans to spread them?".

He is not considering if plants have mind or manipulative intent, but rather revealing a weakness of the English language.  It is an intention-obsessed language. Which is fine for the pursuit of normal science (what is the cause?) but it falls short in communicating intention-less, complex phenomenon.

By examining the 'intent' of plants, Pollan helps readers see the complex interactions termed "selection".  It pushes a reader out of the human bias for "conscious planning", "will" and "mind".

It also asks how other creatures thrive by grafting onto human needs and desires.  This is a foundational question for memetics too.

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