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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

December 12th, 2005

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09:59 am - A busy weekend, war, wildlife relocation, and a photo
Oh, a busy freakin' weekend it was, but I got a lot of things done. The tree is up, my new computer is fixed (in this case, "new" = "hand me down"), and my walk and driveway are clear of snow. I went to the Zoo and checked out the lights.

Last night, around 2 AM, I relocated some impressively-legged wildlife to the great outdoors. She did not take kindly to the sudden change in temperature.

I didn't get time to call the people I wanted to, namely romandruid and aislinggheal. This annoys me, because I was really hoping to solve the time/location issue, though a 6:30 PM start time at aislinggheal's house sounds like it's a go on her end, at least.

While listening to the classic song, War, I realized that war is the one thing that can really seperate humans from every other living thing on this planet. I can't think of anything else that is unique to humans.

And this morning I looked at my LJ to find a lovely picture that should come with my next WWF update. Thank you, shizukagozen. Some of you have already seen it, but you'll get to see it again.

I admit to feeling a bit out-of-sorts recently. That has, generally, been changing. And it will continue to change, I think. The North Wind licked my face this weekend.

There's a Golden Delicious Apple on my desk, awaiting my pleasure. It may sound a bit dirty to put it like that, but if you knew what went through my mind as I ate one, you'd think that was tame.

I won't be responding to the comments already left on my last entry. I think I said everything I needed to in the entry itself. While I like to make my journal a conversation, I don't think that there's much conversation left on that one. I've said my peace.

Poll #632115 Poll 13: What would you do for a Chronarchy Bar?

I'm updating my webpage, target date is currently 12/17/05. What would you like to see? Are there sections you'd like updated? Any suggestions?

Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Twelve Volt Man", -JB

(23 comments Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC)
Warfare isn't unique to humans, we're just better at it.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2005 04:05 pm (UTC)
I'm actually talking about the level of sophistication. I can't think of anything that has, for instance, adaptive tactics, much less anything that has ever developed tools to inflict suffering on others.

I think I'm drawing a distinction between "warfare" and "fighting", assuming a form of organization, actually.

I once heard the argument that the ability to throw with accuracy was the defining characterization of humanity. I still find that argument somewhat compelling.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
To all of those things: chimps do it. They organize, create war bands, ambush, ritual cannibalism... I think everything short of making weapons, though considering their rudimentary tool usage I wouldn't be surprised if someone found chimps hurling spears at each other.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC)
Hard to say, really. There are arguments for and against that theory, from what I understand.

I did a quick search, and came across an article that interested me on this note.

Curiously, one conclusion drawn is that we're making the chimps do this.

And, of course, another is that they aren't doing it at all, actually, but the data is skewed by assumption.

I'll grant that chimps kill chimps and do nasty things to corpses, but I'm still not seeing real organization. . . Just chimps ganging up on lone chimps, which isn't much different than what other animals who pack-hunt do. I'd be a lot more impressed if I were seeing groups against groups, and far more convinced.

I imagine that jenarael would have something more concrete about it.

I know a lot of monkey-women on LJ
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
I thought there were cases of other primates forming "war-bands" and attacking other troops' forces, generally only when they outnumbered their target by 3-to-1. I don't remember where I heard that, however.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC)
Dunno. I'd be interested to see it, though.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
As much as I hate to pull a Clintonism, it really depends on how you define "war." Conflict in which one group of living things attempts to destroy another group of living things is one of the central themes of nature. The tangible reasons (food, territory, mates) are certainly something we share.

The more abstract reasons (politics, religion, power, hatred) would only come into play if the entity in question is capable of such a mental and/or emotional concept. If dogs and cats were capable of developing religions, I'm sure they'd try to kill each other over it. If they're already practicing it in secret, then it's just a case of our not being astute enough to recognize this fact.

Either way, "we're different than the animals because we have more sophisticated ways of killing each other" seems like a pretty arbitrary semantic argument. We also have more sophisticated ways of feeding, healing, and sheltering ourselves.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2005 11:55 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I don't, personally, see anything sophisticated in how we feed ourselves, and as far as medicine goes, we're not doing anything terribly. . . unnatural there. Shelter is just trying to get warm and dry. Heck, if elephants can make music, I'm not sure you can really say that we're above through abstraction.

I suppose it's possible that we're no where above them at all, but what's the use in that? :)
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2005 03:32 am (UTC)
Hmm, I guess it depends on one's own point of view. I look at things like preservatives, pasteurization, crop rotation, dehydration, refrigeration, factory mass production, distribution over vast distances by vehicle, etc, and see no analog in the animal kingdom. And indeed things like medicines, first aid, surgeries, radiation therapies, etc. Quite advanced in the healing arts compared to just licking one's wounds and hoping the herd doesn't leave you to die.

It almost seems like you're adopting the liberal's world view here. Seeing doom and gloom in everything man has wrought, while "nature" is innocent and pristine. But as I see things, we're exceptionally good at both creating and destroying.

Deer would destroy the world if they could, just through simple overpopulation and consumption of all available food. Do you think the deer cares about the ecological impact of his grazing? He's just looking out for number one. There's nothing bizarre or grotesque about humanity.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
Actually, I think you misunderstand why I see war as so important.

It isn't where humans are at their worst. Quite the opposite, in fact: I find that humanity's truest poential is in conflict, battle,and war. Honestly, there is nowhere else that I would believe we can see what a human can truely do for his/herself and his/her closest friends. . . Heck, even total strangers.

If you read the stories connected to Medal of Honor recipients, you'll know what I mean. Nowhere else does humankind achieve such heights.

On the other hand, nowhere else does humankind acheive such lows, and often on the same field of battle.

So rather than being a bunch of people at their worst, it's a bunch of people being both the finest examples of humanity and the lowest. It is, in the end, a real measure of society.
Date:December 13th, 2005 08:42 pm (UTC)
the more abstract reasons are mere veils for the less abstract ones. look deeply into how many bar fights start over women, or how many wars have access to important resources (be it oil, a river that allows for trade, or a coastline), and all the other stuff becomes immaterial.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2005 08:56 pm (UTC)
I once got in trouble in a class for suggesting that war can occur over women. That was a blast and a half, let me tell you.

I ended up re-telling the Golden Apple myth.

"That's not real!" protested the girl. She was rather cute, so I debated whether to respond, and on what level to respond. Finally, I just gave in.

"Sure it is." I dug into my bag, pulling out my Principia. "It says so right here, in this holy book. If it's in a sacred text, it must be true."

And I sat down. She didn't talk to me for the entire quarter. Being a smartass had once again won out over getting to talk to the cute girl.

In my defense, it was a religious studies class.

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