Scientists figure humans may be born with a fear of spiders and snakes, healthy phobias that up the odds of survival in the wild. It’s not known how such an inborn fear might develop, however. Now researchers have proven that unborn crickets can gain a fear of spiders based on their mother’s harrowing experiences. Scientists put pregnant crickets into terrariums containing a wolf spider. The spiders’ fangs were covered with wax so the spiders could stalk but not kill the pregnant crickets. After the crickets laid their eggs, the researchers compared the behavior of the offspring with offspring whose mothers hadn’t been exposed to spiders.
In my terminology dread is ineffable, a bad sublime, a dark awe. It’s the surplus value of fear.
China Miéville in conversation for the upcoming Dread book. (via thedreadexhibition)
68 minutes of unspeakably good awe via Facetime.
'And VIXAL-4 is an autonomous machine-learning algorithm,' said Hoffman. 'As it collects and analyses more data, it's only likely to become more effective.'
Robbert Harris, The Fear Index (p. 117)
Suspicion, the offspring of fear, is eminently characteristic of most wild animals.
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871)
To paraphrase something Cindy Sherman once said, by seeing a projection of your fears re-enacted before you, you have the feeling of preparedness.
Jane & Louise Wilson, Serpentine Gallery catalogue.