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09/28/2011

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RobM

"I am a pessimist because I don't think those "wrong choices" are choices at all."

I agree. Genes drive the behavior of life and they have only one objective: maximize reproduction by capturing as much resources as possible. We happened to exist in an unusual time of stable climate with a bunch a stored sunshine buried in the ground.

Wanooski

Actually recent evidence suggests that the Neanderthals interbred with nearly every group that migrated out of Africa. So don't be hatin'. Most of us got some Neanderthal in us.

Dave Cohen

Wanooksi --

I don't have the faintest idea how you came up with the notion that I was "hatin" on the Neanderthals.

I have nothing but the greatest respect for our now extinct hominin cousins. I've studied them and other topics in human evolution for many years now.

What it makes one think about is how very tiny differences in biology create one result and not another.

And of course, the post WASN'T ABOUT Neanderthals, WAS IT?

-- Dave

Wanooski

@Dave, Oh I know, but everyone seems to assume that modern humans exterminated them when it was more like they were absorbed into our population.

Dave Cohen

Yeah, right, we didn't EXTERMINATE them.

We killed the men and raped the women instead.

-- Dave

shadowplay

Dave, when I this document which was originally distributed to top investors in CitiGroup, I thought of your post on 'Plutonomy' (a word the authors of this report also employ:

http://jdeanicite.typepad.com/files/plutonomy-1.pdf

In light of that video with the unctuous Mr. Rastani, I thought it was appropriate.

As for the Neanderthals, I would have liked to have met some, along with our other homonid relatives. I would like to think it's possible that Neanderthal/Sapien interaction wasn't simply a violent confrontation. But that may just be wishful thinking.

Tony Weddle

I'm not sure that the growth urge is innate. For the first few hundred thousand years, this species of humans lived a sustainable existence. I suppose it's possible that the growth urge lay dormant until things like agriculture and cheap abundant energy activated it but I'd like to think that we could live sustainably. I don't think I'll see it in my lifetime, though (say, another 30 years), probably not even in my kids' lifetimes.

Dave Cohen

Re: dormant

I should note that my working assumption states that cheap, abundant energy and scientific advances enabled a latent tendency in our species. Growth curves have been exponential ever since.

I believe the dead giveaway in your post, Tony, is this--

"I'd like to think that we could live sustainably"

I'm sure you would. Some years ago I felt the same way. But all the evidence went the other way.

-- Dave

JC

"I share these unhappy thoughts because I think they are important for everyone to contemplate. We need some global guilt. We need for everyone to look at the faces of children, and think about how we'll feel if they grow up in a world in which our civilization is collapsing because we, as individuals and as a society, made the wrong choices."

Let's be honest here. Its tough to change, and tough to live with the amount of guilt required for the last 100 years as an individual or small group. Its tough enough to get a single person to change habits that are harming people he/she loves let alone a whole world of people. Real change is unlikely to happen with the real punishment.

I can get all over the map and be irrational. But what grounds me the most in terms of our situation is the amount of KILLING in the name of the US that is going on, has gone on - primarily so that I can live in an AC'd house, drive a nice inefficient car, and have insulation from real struggles.

Gail

Tim Murray, a writer I only know from the intertubes, sent me an email and allowed me to publish it. Very sweet, on the subject of collapse and how to deal with what I call pre-traumatic stress syndrome:

http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2011/09/coping-with-our-demise-by-tim-murra.html

Warren Peace

Nice find. Very well written. Human destructiveness isn't a bug, it's a feature.

@Tony: you might want to read this:

http://www.postcarbon.org/Reader/PCReader-Whybrow-Addictive.pdf

Unbound

The soundtrack for today's post could very well be Joseph Arthur's All of Our Hands. Lyrics below, audio link is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy8S_F3h9FY

All of Our Hands

Until we feed the starving, blood is on all of our hands
Babylon is burning and there is no promised land
Until we clothe the naked all of us are damned
Dreams are just for savages calling themselves men
And in time fire will rain down
On our head the sky will open up and life will be bled.

We are all the same spirit, we are all the same love
And still somehow we've chosen to slaughter the white dove
There is only one energy just different sets of clothes
For human beings to dress up in and protect what no one knows
So in time fire will rain down
On our head the sky will open up and life will be bled.

All of us will fall into the same hole
And all will reunite into the same soul
The death that we allow is the death that is our own
The murders we commit are committed in our home
So in time fire will rain down
On our heads the sky will open up and life will be bled.

Murdered by indifference, murdered by our greed
Murdered by our riches taken from the ones in need
Murdered in our churches and murdered by belief
We who just do nothing shall be murdered in our sleep
In time fire will rain down
On our heads the sky will open up and life will be bled.

Truth is just a word said to the ones who plead
What will we get back when we plant a poison seed?
Consumed by our consumption that can never be enough
The hungry are attacking, they are swallowing our bluff
And in time fire will rain down
On our head the sky will open up and life will be bled.

The victims are now victimizing, the world is inside out
Everyone is terrified the faithful are in doubt
Religion is a gimmick we want back the god they stole
But everyone is fighting to go deeper in the hole
Some believe salvation comes when the world is gone
But we have been forsaken, there is nowhere we belong
So in time fire will rain down
On our heads the sky will open up and life will be bled

Gail

Wow, Unbound. Consider it stolen. I can't believe it has had so few views...Perfect lyrics and soundtrack for my next video. I'm trying to arrange a ride on a hot air balloon where I am going to film the trees from above. It won't be pretty.

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