I was upstairs a moment ago, checking on the fly lab. The students’ first fly cultures are looking good, we’ve got swarms of flies in bottles thriving, and soon we’ll be able to go on to the next phase of the experiment. I got to thinking, though, about flies and destiny. Imagine, for a moment, that you are a fruit fly.
You live in a thriving fly metropolis, surrounded by a mass of your peers buzzing and jostling each other, with your children frolicking under foot, burrowing through the tasty medium. Although it’s somewhat crowded, there’s plenty of food, and no predators. It’s a pleasant enough environment.
Then one day, a giant comes along and turns your city upside down, shaking all of the residents into a barren, empty bottle, nothing to eat, no offspring, just sterile glass all around. Your confusion is only brief, fortunately, because there’s a sickly sweet smell in the air, and everyone loses consciousness. One of three outcomes await you.
A. You awaken in a pristine paradise on a nice smooth bed. There’s plenty of food, and no overcrowding. You’re not alone, but it’s only a few of your peers around you. There’s room to dance and court and have sex! Your conditions are vastly improved. Bless you, kind giant.
B. You never wake up. Shortly after losing consciousness, your body slides into a vat of nearly pure alcohol, and you simultaneously drown and are poisoned, completely oblivious to your fate.
C. You stir back into consciousness to find yourself in a cluttered cavern, empty of food, but all around you are the dead husks of your fellow flies. You are tangled in a bit of silk, and you begin to struggle and flap your wings to escape. Little do you know, but the monster in the cave was ignoring you when you were motionless, but now your exertions have caught her attention, and you see eight eyes approaching and two needle-sharp fangs…you are paralyzed. You can feel your organs liquifying. Death is a relief.
Very, very few flies end up in A, and even there, the respite is temporary — they’ll meet their end in a few weeks. Right now, as the fly production ramps up, most are going to C, but later as populations get really large, most will go to B, since even now I’m getting as many flies as the spiders can eat.
It’s also almost entirely about luck. Flies that have obvious abnormalities or developmental issues or injuries don’t get picked for paradise, usually, but among the swarming majority of normies, it’s pure chance whether you get the reprieve — the overwhelming majority get either the poison bath or the chelicerae. It’s not fair. The universe is not fair. I imagine the flies in A consider themselves deserving of their good fortune, but they’re not — they just got lucky. For a little while.