How I learned to think like a mushroom



Ok, no tv for mushrooms. Maybe no Christian rock either.

Obviously, you’re enthusiastic and, why not, it kind of makes sense. But, either I ADDed off somewhere or you didn’t really get down and dirty with the areas of applied benefits. Personally, I think you needed to give more detailed, down to earth, steps in the process or potential of how 'shrooms are going to save us from ourselves. Because it sounded like you had a lot more in mind than personalised antibiotics and pollution spill cleanup.


Paging Mr. Vandermeer. Mr. Vandermeer, please respond, we have a situation in the Ambergris ward that requires your expertise…

I leave the question of whether this will save you from yourselves, or if it has given you unprecedented scope to inflict yourselves upon yourselves; but the applications of fungi can basically be summarized as ‘human civilization and the carbon cycle, existence of’.

The Caps in the Lede are Reminifcent of the Eighteenth Century.

He’s a mycologist, so he’s probably a fun guy.


I thought that “mushrooms high in protein” were a myth from a Doctor Who story. I’m intrigued to learn that such mushrooms really do exist.

I googled “mushroom protein content”, and google presents a nice lookup table for a wide range of common mushrooms. Not insignificant:


Good stuff. Paul Stamets is a real guru on this stuff as well.

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By the end of the movie, they were all thinking like mushrooms…

I love the idea that you could feed a throat culture to a fungus and have it spit out an antibiotic tailored specifically to both the bacteria and the host, but I’m not clear on exactly how that might happen. Is this something that fungi would naturally do? Why would a fungus perceive a human-specific bacterium as a threat that it needs to devise a counter for, and what would prevent it from doing the same with the included human DNA and producing a medicine just as toxic to the patient as to the bacteria?

Also, regarding this line: “I am convinced fungi have ADD (attention deficit disorder) for a very good reason, and it is an evolutionary advantage, so maybe we should let the kids daydream a little and put the Prozac away.” I don’t wanna turn this into an argument about ADD treatments, and I realize it’s just a metaphor, but if you think Prozac is prescribed for ADD diagnoses I’m a little worried about your qualifications for human medicine.

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I wrote a comedy screenplay about a down-on-his-luck mushroom grower who gets famous on the internet. If any of you are interested, you can download it here. It’s free. It’s illustrated! Soma: The Meme Dump

We need you to think like a person. You are advocating change but it could be much more compelling or clear as @earthling points out.

You could link up with a science communicator (think NDGT) and inject a bit more change management / communication / motivation to strengthen your message.

As it reads it only seems compelling to me as an obscure hobby or a guide to growing some special mushrooms.

Crazy “save the world with mushrooms” idea #3052:

Genetically engineered fungal spores that can be injected into the wall cavities of old homes, and fed with a small water/nutrient drip. The fungus expands upwards and outwards, filling the empty cavity with organic insulation, while simultaneously enveloping and neutralizing any lead, asbestos or mold left over from old building practices.

Voilà, a cheap, low-skill, low-labor, biological way to both improve home energy efficiency and remediate toxic building legacies.

You’d want to keep it from bulging grotesquely into the living areas/out of the outside walls. Maybe if you made it extremely light-sensitive?

It could also potentially crowd out non-fungus-eating pests like fleas and bed bugs…while potentially nourishing ones like mice and roaches, so you’ll need to find a way around that.

Well if we’re using advanced genetic engineering already, we might as well include some behavior-modification genes to make any pests that eat the fungus walk calmly out of the house, lay down in a sunny spot in the yard, and stop breathing.

What could go wrong?

The only thing is that all kinds of mold and fungus like to spring up in that same kind of environment, and sterilizing and trying to get your chosen strain to grow in that environment would be more or less impossible.

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