Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Through all those years of separation, East and West, humanity never did manage to evolve a new species. We had at least as much separation as those Galapagos Islands where Darwin staked his claim. I'd have to guess evolution just moves too slowly for anxious mankind to wait for. That must be why so many people are eager to start redesigning our naked genes, without waiting for drifting niches or drifting populations and more natural speciation.
Humankind exhibits lots of interesting variations in breed, and in language, and each of these has created virtual walls among us, but nothing even approaching breeding boundaries. Thank beauty I would say, for that continued and productive interest in intermarrying across the walls, since it couldn't be soul-mating, could it?
In China now they're having to face up to racism or lose some face for certain. Children of miscegenation are showing up in the most inconvenient places, and we have to dance delicately when we make them disappear.
Here at home, we're also in some trouble now, having raided the home of someone organizing protests at the G 8-20 summit in Pittsburgh. I suppose since the fellow's an anarchist, there must be some reasonable presumption that he might have been organizing some sort of violent overthrow, but really now, he was doing what we were cheering about when they did it over in Iran.
This guy was guilty of sending tweets about activities, for chrissakes, and crowd and police movements. As I understand it, he was actually arrested for interfering with the ability of the police to make their arrests. He was guilty of scattering crowds then, and not of gathering them in!!??
Now this is pretty interesting stuff, and if I weren't afraid of being arrested myself, I'd tell you that I learned of this by watching Democracy Now. But then I would be guilty of association with Amy Goodman who was herself arrested for attempting to report on the protest gatherings at the Republican National Convention so recently. I could be guilty of associating with known subversives or something, and we'd have to bring in massive counterinsurgency forces to combat me. Even though it wasn't Amy Goodman who told me, since she was at a funeral. A likely story.
So, if I call myself an anarchist, then my twittering warrants a warrant?? What if I call myself a Republican? They have a much longer track record of dirty tricks, and apparently even encourage folks to carry guns to gatherings of those damn liberals: its being perfectly legal, according to the Constitution and its over-interpretation, which right winger strict constructionists aren't supposed to do in the first place, but they take stimulus money to buy their new cars too so you can't count on them for anything.
I suppose folks would be a little more scared if it were blacks carrying those weapons out in public. And maybe Strom Thurmond in the White House. Maybe we'd just round them up prophylactically, like we did those black panthers, or the protesters at the RNC. Just in case they were thinking of raising a ruckus. And maybe they might have incendiary material in their living spaces, you know, like someone's writings about how you have to Steal this Book, and then you could justify arresting them for inciting theft or something.
OK, sure, I get it, if someone uses Twitter in the commission of a crime, then they are also guilty of using some communications device to impede the law. Like when bank robbers use walkie talkies, then they're more guilty than if they just shouted at one another that the cops are coming.
I guess what we're scared about here is that someone might organize a mass bank robbery. You know, like when they get really mad about how the banks are getting so much more money than needy families, and how the banks robbed their money when they foreclosed, and then robbed it again from the tax coffers.
It could happen. Angry citizens planning a heist to get back their share of what was taken from them. Then thwarting the police by sending tweets, deploying crowds, then just walking in like a kind of human wave and walking out with all the money. Weren't there a few really feel-good movies about that sort of thing not too far back. Money falling off the back of a truck, or strewn from helicopters.
Thank goodness angry citizens can't conspire. Only anarchists do that. Angry citizens do act up according to a good juicy conspiracy theory though. The thing is, I really think it was the Bushies who started the conspiracy theories about the Bushies wanting the Trade Center to come down. If you think about it, it gave them a lot of cover. Sort of how Michael Moore looking so unfit can alienate the granola crunchies. They think he's a bit uncouth with his tactics.
I'll bet there'd be a lot of cheering, and not a lot of will to keep that many people in jail. How would they ever handle the PR issues. Well, unless nobody other than Democracy Now were to report the heist.
But that makes me think of something. Why is anyone so anxious about stalling human evolution anyhow, this shortly after we actually did become human enough to slow it down, number one. And Number two, I wonder why no-one has caught what is suddenly so painfully obvious, that we've already conducted a number of experiments in artificial evolution and none of them has worked very well.
I mean, we tried and tried and tried to segregate the sexes, to make them think differently, to force them into differing environments, and they never evolved into different species. I guess that might prove that evolution is just a big fat lie.
But hey, we have a different kind of experiment we can live out now. The crazy nutjob Bible-thumpeting Evangelicals, which compose at least 50 % of the United States population if you believe the reliable polling sources, who are definitely objective and not out to terrorize anyone; they say that mankind didn't even exist until maybe five thousand years ago, or whatever the Bible says.
I know this is true, because people in my own family get really mad when you challenge them about it. Well, by definition, these folks are living in a different world from mine, and that actually does mean that according to the laws of evolution, they might eventually become a different species from mine and we won't be able to interbreed anymore. Hey!
Our environments will have diverged so much that a kind of gattling gun punctuated equilibrium will have occurred, and only what used to be the outliers will actually be able to survive anymore. I think Margaret Atwood wrote a book about that. No, maybe I'm thinking of a Boy and his Dog, the movie.
You could imagine lots of mechanisms to inhibit survival of the less fit. They could claim that God is dead, for instance, getting them shot instantly. Or threaten to abort fetuses. Stuff like that. Oh, I'm just kidding, the shouting classes never go that far.
The really strange part of all this is that I kind of agree that humanity got its start barely five thousand years ago. I actually take Julian Jaynes rather literally. That's my bible (not literally, stupid!), The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. (you'll have to look it up yourself, because I'm tired of linking it, and no-body reads it anyhow) He documents that what we know of as consciousness didn't really exist until some time of critical civilizing mass. And it really wasn't until about the time of Christ, when history started being written down routinely, that mankind stopped hallucinating some kind of God's voice directly into their heads.
Which would mean that everyone was kind of crazy then too, before we got civilized, but at least we were all of the same species. Except their minds hadn't broken down yet. I'm guessing that if you took Walt Disney back to that time, he could interbreed there just fine. In fact, I think that would be scientifically provable, well, except for the sending Disney back in time part, which is just plain stupid to think about. Not as stupid as freezing yourself for eternity, but pretty stupid.
You see, I'm pretty much of the opinion, and I hold to this pretty tightly, that it was the written language which really allowed us to develop into what we now are so very proud of, our humanity. Our unicameral mind. OK, it's bicameral, but with an information superhighway to connect the halves.
And the really interesting thing is that over there in China which is also on the information superhighway, which I know a little bit about since I actually watched them digging the trenches for it, although not that much, but way more than you, likely, if you're reading this in English. I mean if you don't know English really well, you wouldn't have a clue what I'm saying here, so yeah, I'm pretty confident I know more about at least the Chinese language than you do.
And yeah, I'd be pretty afraid of being targeted by some sort of fundamentalist death squad (if only that were a contradiction in terms like it should be) but I have no fear because they apparently can't read. Hey hey, I'm not talking about all fundies, just the ones who might form death squads. I feel pretty safe from that quarter, because they'd have even less of a clue what I'm talking about than those folks who grew up reading only crazy squiggles on the page.
But so, here's how I would make things out. Since it's the writing which defines our consciousness, and since it's really been a scant trio of millennia since we've really gotten any writing down, maybe our next step in human evolution has barely gotten started, and we're just looking in the wrong direction. They say you never know what hit you when you're about to evolve. Well, I say that.
So, it didn't work to segregate the sexes because that just creates a kind of comedy of evolutionary errors making everybody want to kill the homosexuals who aren't even in the game, for chrissakes. And the Internet has almost guaranteed that everyone thinks with one mind, even when they think they're speaking, say, Chinese.
So it isn't the divergent languages which are going to create the breeding barrier. Although some people liken the Eastern tradition to the feminine and the West to the masculine, but it's not like a whole civilization can make brave new babies. That still has to happen one on one. For a while yet, I imagine.
Lots of pseudo-quasi scientistic types, even ones who win Nobel prizes, get captured by the lure of Eugenics. I think they're a little too impressed with themselves, that they want to promote a kind of breeding program for high IQ types. Not realizing that all they'd get is weird looking purebreds, who have all sorts of inbreeding diseases, and could never make it in the wild. Imagine a world of Mensans and I think you might get the picture about how strange that might be. If you don't know any Mensans, because they can be a little secretive or shy about it, imagine a world bred to favor Trekkies, say. You get the idea.
No, what I'm talking about is that we really shouldn't keep working to get along. We really shouldn't try any longer to get the Godists to understand science, and well, we also really shouldn't try to get the believers in the Geek Rapture to believe in God.
Oh, you got me. Damn! You're right. These types don't yell and scream and threaten murder nearly often enough. I mean the Geek Rapture trekkie Mensa types all seem pretty open minded. You meet a lot of them at the Burning Man festival out in Nevada. And a lot of the Godists take to heart their commandments not to kill.
But really now, what if we civilized types - you know who you are - instead of encouraging more openness and light, what if we were to simply encourage the growing schism. You know, let the loonies who believe in the Rapture, the Geek variety or otherwise, let them keep on preparing for it.
Of course it means that they'll keep fouling our nest with their ignorant refuse as livers for eternity. Well, unless they drink like me, in which case they'll have a problem with their livers, which are the body's way of cleaning up the refuse, in this case the refuse of bacteria. They can't do it forever.
I know I know. It would seem that they are taking down the rest of us at the same time as they take down themselves, especially by all this happy talk about how God or Science will rescue us from our bad behavior. It's not the greatest way to evolve.
The more they live for eternity, the more they crap up the world as it is. But those of us who learn to survive drunk on their refuse might be the new humanity. Maybe they're killing themselves off too slowly, but if you eschew reality, unlike us drunks, eventually you're living in castles in the sky and eventually you die. As long as we don't interbreed, and I think we won't, then maybe we won't die with them.
The breeding lines are clarifying after all. I know I'd rather marry down in race (no offense, please, I mean if I recognized a down in race, which I don't) than marry a true believer. Even if she were as compliant as a Cherry 2000, which I understand lots of those true believers are, I really couldn't tolerate the daily cognitive Stepford dissonance. I really don't think I could.
I guess I'm saying I'd rather marry a real dummie than marry someone who believes that humanity was created a scant five thousand years ago. I mean a smart person who believes that. The dummy would have a reasonable excuse, and maybe like James Joyce's wife, would pack my shit away or freeze me when I die.
But you have to get what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a whole new species. A new environment is what creates the evolutionary pressure for that.
I'm guessing you would rather marry a dummie too, if you have actually read this far. So, yeah, lets evolve ourselves right out of this trouble we're in. At some point they'll all drop away in their rapture (we'll know what it really is, Hale-Baba-reebop) and then we'll inherit the earth.
Sure it will be a messy place, but that's what we'll have evolved for. Well have learned to grow Strontium 90 beets, and raise fallout shelter mushrooms, and we'll have done it the old fashioned way, a little bit at a time. We'll be the lucky ones who opted out early from the insanity so much now in fashion. We'll inhabit castles in the glowing muck, but they'll be castles all the same.
My oscillation overthruster is heading into farcical overdrive. I almost believe it would be easier to just evolve our way out of our troubles than to get any of the enraptured people to go along with me toward good living here on earth.