August 18th, 2012

Captain Hammer


At its most simplistic, a catalyst is that which promotes two otherwise inert reagents, to react.

As a metaphor for life, should the catalyst therefore be condemned? Just because one is inert doesn't mean the potential for high volatility isn't there, as is indicated by the introduction of the catalyst. Is it then the fault of one of the reagents? Where does blame lie if one is only potentially volatile - the one with the potential or the one who ignites it? There are those who believe potentially volatile people are guilty of any future crime by their very nature, others who believe those who light the fuse should know better and are guilty of any residual fallout. Perhaps, but the reagent requires something to react with - the other previously inert reagent. Which of the two, if any, reagents are at fault for their reaction?

Reactants are like catalysts insofar as they cause a reaction, but are unlike catalysts that the reaction consumes them. Given three points of view, each reagent might very well consider one another the reactant, and/or themselves - for the possibilities are finite and consumed or not, the state of all three elements are forever changed in the process.