EVERYTHING THAT COULD GO WRONG...

A HISTORIAN EXPLAINS WHY THE TECHNOLOGICAL SNAFU WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US

Let the record show that in the matter of human technology vs. the South American fire ant, technology has been its own worst enemy. Brought to the southern U.S. as shipboard stowaways in the 1930s, the fierce-biting ant (which likes to sink its mandibles not only into people and livestock, but also into electrical insulation, sometimes knocking out traffic lights) was officially targeted for eradication following the wartime development of DDT and other superpesticides. After three decades of spraying fire-ant territory with the killer compounds, however, the U.S. government was forced to concede defeat. It turns out the pesticides had all...

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