Re: Red, tooth and claw (was media and violence)

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Tue Apr 30 2002 - 21:40:43 BST

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    Subject: Re: Red, tooth and claw (was media and violence)
    Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 13:40:43 -0700
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    > > > By the by, there was a piece I haven't read yet, that Robin F (where
    > > >he gone?) should read, about a theory that the universe is nothing but
    > > >information, and "reality" is some kind of holographic illusion. My
    > > >was tired on Friday when I bought the magazine (and I was a bit miffed
    > > >hadn't published my letter), so if that sounds weird, I can't explain
    > > >further at the moment.
    > > I think it would be fair to say our ancestors were both predator and
    > > rather than just one or the other.
    >Regarding the predator role. We have the digestive tract to both digest
    >and meat. This suggests that we at least have some inherent hunting
    >(I don't think we literally had the stomach to scavenge). I can imagine
    >in a local environment where there is little vegetable food available, for
    >instance during
    >the ice ages, good old Fred & Barney Flintstone put together meat-hunting
    >prawls in order
    >to survive. In regions or periods where fruits and seeds abound why putting
    >your frail body
    >on the line by trying set out and try to kill dangerous animals? Of course,
    >predating on
    >non-predatory prey like rodents was probably an often sought after ideal.
    >Regarding the prey role. Given our petty physiques we individually don't
    >really stand
    >much stance against a hungry bear or lion etc.. So indeed it seems
    >reasonable that
    >we also served as prey ourselves.
    >But `together we stand...' and we make/made a formidable social predator
    >(as perhaps is reflected in our `passion' for warfare). I think the
    >collective brain quickly made up
    >for lack or loss of physical power and made us predators rather than prey.
    >Indeed I think that
    >the inescapable increase of the metabolically greedy brain, due to the
    >of human culture,
    >had to be accompanied by a decrease in physical strength to suppress energy
    I read somewhere (I can't remember exactly where at the moment) that whole
    species of large animals disappeared from North America, South America and
    Australia not long after humans showed up there. ("Not long" meaning a
    couple of thousand years.) As individuals, humans are more like prey. As
    tribes with brains and memes, we became more like predators. In fact, we
    became so successful we put all other predators to shame. The Chinese are
    fond of saying that humans are the most dangerous animal on earth. There is
    no animal we don't eat.


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