Sunday, April 22, 2018

Modern Man and Humankind Part 3

He’s an expert when it relates to forging, as he’s knowledgeable about plants, insects and everything edible. When he finds ripe fruit, he may stay a while and gorge. He doesn’t think about or worry about BMI index, diabetes, heart conditions or other physical ailments. He knows by now, what herbs provide relief from discomfort. He has become his own functional medicine expert specialist. Essentially his diet is varied depending upon availability of game and likely he is getting most if not all the important nutrients. He does not require supplements, nor diet books from the health food store. His well nutritionally-balanced diet suits him fine. Further, his diet likely changes from day to day. Moreover, he also does not suffer from infectious diseases brought about by the agricultural and industrial revolution. He is able to meet his sexual drive and needs based upon availability and is not hindered by man-made fictions like marriage. Child support and visitation rights are not issues. However, there is infant mortality. We are unable to say much about the spiritual and mental life of these ancient hunter gatherers. We have no recording device and are left at formulating hypotheses based on paintings, drawings and gravesites. However, we can speculate that they likely believed in animism. If true, this is a fiction that most animals, most plants and natural phenomena has perception and feelings. They can communicate with humans. Essentially, there’s no psychological barrier between humans and other beings. Communication is evident directly through speech .song, dance or ceremony. There is not a strict hierarchy in that nonhuman entities do not exist to provide for the needs of man. Further, they don’t have all-powerful mythical gods running the world. In essence, the world does not revolve around any humankind or other particular groups of beings. Sounds to me that there are some advantages in believing this fiction. However, what if an individual believed in another fiction like a supreme being? Would that individual be subjected to mediation, negative language, bullying, expulsion or physical violence, and perhaps death? We don’t know how competing beliefs were handled or disagreements or consequences from them. Sounds to me that there are some advantages in believing this fiction. Based on this brief bit of information, does anyone want to be a hunter and gatherer? If so, one can visit certain areas in the Arctic or the Kalahari where modern gatherers still exist. Don’t take too long, because, knowing man, we will eliminate them also. This is one price we pay for modern civilization

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Modern Man and Humankind Part 2

With this routine or way of life, visits to the doctor, dentist, and shopping are likely .The family likely experiences stress, anxiety, depression, overweight issues and other physical health concerns like arthritis, slipped disc and other back related issues known to modern man. There’s plenty of diversions, such as cell phones, TV, movies, novels, sports, etc. but they do not provide or resolve mental and physical health conditions. Instead, for example, cell phone dependency has addictive habit forming qualities. You cannot leave home without it. Now let’s turn to the fictional life of a hunter and gatherer. He may awaken as result of the rising sun, or from the barking of his trusted and dear domesticated canine. He throws off the pelt and rises from the bed of leaves placed beneath him. Today, may be a hunting day. If so, he is likely to be joined by others for possibly the group chase without his sunscreen, orthotics, fit bit, compression socks, hydration pack etc.; corner, trap and kill. The animal has to be skinned and quartered. All parts of the animal are used by these talented individuals. Each has become an expert in tracking, running down and killing the beast. Large motor skills are well developed for this athletically conditioned individual. He’s able to run, climb and utilize his endurance by being able to outlast, with help of others, the four legged prey. He likely doesn’t suffer from meniscus, MCL and other injuries. His small and fine motor dexterity is outstanding as he’s able to make a flint, attach it to the spear in record time. He’s in touch and in tune with his bodily functions because it is necessary for survival. He doesn’t require going to the gym, running on the elliptical or using free weights. Nor does he have to engage in yoga as his dexterity is superb. He has become a knowledgeable specialist in so many areas of the outdoors. Yes the outdoors. To Be Continued

Friday, April 20, 2018

Modern Man and Humankind

Anyone willing to trade places with the hunters and gatherers? Perhaps, mythology, age and gender are significant variables? Let’s take a look at a fictional day for modern man, and then hypothesize about ancient humankind. Today’s man might be something like the following. He awakens from the ring from alarm clock, turns on the lights, dresses with store bought clothes, checks cell phone, and proceeds in the comfort of his domicile more than likely built by others. He might have coffee with the assistance from the grocery store with his coffee maker device. Procures cream from the refrigerator and sugar, along with his typical genetically modified, sugary, fat, salt breakfast He is accompanied at the kitchen table built by somebody else with his wife and kids. Then he climbs into his automobile, checks cell phone, turns the key, leaves his remote-controlled garage, fills his car with petrol and off to work with his long, stressful hour commute. He labors indoors generally for an eight hour plus day, provides income to support his family by paying for the groceries; gas, oil, and car payment; and the mortgage or rent on his house. Don’t forget that he requires automobile, life, health and homeowners and an umbrella policy insurance as well. These are a few economic stresses. On the job, his task might be singular, specializing in just one part of the whole. It might be repetitious and bureaucratic despite the fact that he has a college degree. He also has a college debt to pay off. His work may not be satisfying, but the illusion that it may provide a springboard for him to climb up the corporate ladder. Meaningful work is not the goal, but navigating with his boss, getting along with fellow workers is in a 9 to 5+ job. He also has to fight the stressful morning and evening commute in heavy traffic but can monitor his cell phone. Plus, he is away from his family for long periods of time. Returning home, he may fix himself an alcoholic drink to unwind from the workday, to ease his body discomfort, and listen to his harried helicopter wife who has to control the kids, with their school, and after school schedules. She is likely to be tired as well. Having electronic gadgets like TV, radio, computer, cell phone, fast food and kitchen appliances do not seem to make her life any easier. Do they really save time? Don’t forget homework and kids interacting with kids. They keep to this religious schedule, likely, five days a week and then look to the weekend for additional chores, maintenance around the house, sports schedules and maybe even time for themselves by themselves. There may be Sunday church or religious services, followed by family or friends for lunch or dinner. Maybe, they get to go on a 2-4 week vacation in order to exit the rat race every year which is another myth. If lucky, they go to the zoo and see large mammals and sea creatures like elephants, whales, sharks, tuna and dolphins not yet extinct. Too late to see mammoths, mastodons, ground sloths and sabretooth tigers as they are extinct. Don’t forget to visit botanical gardens as they could vanish also. Thank you civilization. To Be Continued

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Civilization and Humankind Part 2

Yes, then, as is now, the hunters and gatherers employed thinking, memory, perception, sensing and feeling, and motor behavior. Their language was limited as was their fiction, fantasy and beliefs. Then, they began to further develop tools, form groups and increase their ability to communicate with others and increase further understanding of their natural world. However, fiction became more entrenched. Over time, the social animal became agrarian about 12,000 years ago, assimilated and accommodated into larger groups of individuals, arbitrary states and countries. The result of maturation and time passage occurred within the last 6,000 years and we now have a society, culture and way of life, considered to be most advanced. Fortunately, scientific advances within the last 500 years and technological breakthroughs have been progressing at warp speed. Unfortunately, man’s fears, anxieties, drives, needs, irrational and disorganized thinking, prejudices have not evolved. Essentially, we are somewhat like hunters and gatherers in terms of our nature, while corralled in our “advanced” civilization. Institutional groups are divisive. Institutions sell and promise fiction; pit” them “versus “us “mentality; are biased, narcissistic, and prejudiced; instill emotion to interfere with rational thought and behavior; become resistant to change; create false status; force and press for uniformity and consensus; and generate autocratic and authoritarian leadership. If mankind is to survive, our species and institutions have to change as we produce too many weapons of mass destruction; exhibit too much violence and killings; create dangerous levels of economic inequality and exploitation ; and have a dysfunctional democracy . Our species has to evolve by reducing anxiety and fear levels; become more efficient in meeting our safety [food, water and air] needs; and better able to fulfill drives and needs of sex, aggression, and dominance. If we are so lucky, then our species can likely create an attitude and philosophy of humanism for groups provided that it includes ethical and moral consequences for human interaction. It’s clear that our present civilization is not working for many, and requires something different. Time will tell. For in-depth understanding, consult Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents and Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens a Brief History of Humankind.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Civilization and Humankind

Let’s go back in time about 2.5 million years when there were hunters and gatherers. These nomads simply met their safety and survival needs, such as food, water and sex. In order to survive. However, they fearfully had to deal with ferocious beasts, and infections. When hungry or thirsty, they would search for food or drink. If they ran across something very tasty, they would gorge themselves and not worry about gaining excess weight since they were extremely active and likely didn’t reach middle age. The drive to procreate was based upon availability. In fact, back then there was collective fatherhood. That meant that the child was not born on the belief of the importance of a single sperm. Instead, the accumulation of sperm from different men in a woman’s womb was considered important because of all the multiple qualities such as the greatest hunter, the greatest storyteller, the greatest warrior and the greatest lover from multiples of males compared to one male. Further, there would also be more males available for protection and child care. The Bari Indians of today share a similar sentiment. Those hunters and gatherers, as far as sex was concerned, did not have to consider ideas, and increase fiction or consequences of monogamy, marriage, divorce, nuclear family, sin, child support, me too etc. They also did not concern themselves with obesity, reading nutrition labels, joining spas and purchasing workout equipment, diets, cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, health and prescription insurance. These nomads also didn’t have stress related to career, retirement, self-esteem, pursuit of happiness, being killed in school or at a concert, or nuclear annihilation. They were not exposed to daily propaganda, “brainwashing,” bombarded by social media, radio and TV. There were also not influenced by the idea or fiction of good or bad unions, corporations, political groups, capitalism, socialism ,democracy ,communism, free trade, tariffs and a whole host of rules, regulations and laws decided by a few. To Be Continued

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Searching for Integrity Part 3

Adding to an understanding of conscience, Shakespeare , many years ago, said something to the effect that “nothing was good or bad, but thinking made it so.” I would add to that the emotional center of our brain, our hypothalamus; our perception and sensorimotor process; our desiring, thinking and memory also affect our ability to judge, analyze, synthesize and assist in determining good from bad. As a result of inconsistencies, ambiguous definitions and the complexities found in our social environment, it’s no wonder that an individual conscience cannot sort out all the irregularities that have confronted it over time. Moral equivalency is suspect. Moral, ethical leadership is nonexistent and/or flawed. Lying and cheating is no longer a taboos as the ends seem to justify the means. The barriers of what was once forbidden, now seem to have holes in them. In essence, the moralistic side of individuals have now been diminished and have been regulated to be somewhat non relevant. Narcissism rules. Just listen or read the tremendous amount of hype- hypocrisy that exists with all the contradictory explanations and ignoring right from wrong. It’s no longer about the common good or we, but instead it’s about me, me and me. PS How I many current political, entertainment models with integrity come to mind? What a sorry state of affairs regarding the absence of integrity, when it comes to the use of algorithms, data mining, and expressions of hate and prejudice perpetrated by employing social media platforms.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Searching for Integrity Part 2

Throughout life, one is faced with numerous contradictions, inconsistences and double talk. For example, religion preaches that human life is important with its “do not kill” commandment, but the government wages military wars and lies about weapons of mass destruction .Local police forces kill unarmed civilians without due cause etc. Religion may “ban “abortions, but the government then limits food stamps and other important aid to single mothers for child rearing. Save the baby so it can be malnourished. Economics also comes into play with mass manufacturing of weapons and bullets. As a consequence, there are approximately 100 gun related deaths per day. The media, movies, TV, Interactive games, continues to glorify shooting, destruction and killing of humans as well. Furthermore, how important is human life when schools conduct lockdown drills during school hours? That unhealthy message within that institution is clear. What a great learning environment and an important lesson in civics. Because of the insecurity of the nature of man, politics and the media take advantage by promoting so-called hope, but drown it with fear. Guns, walls, immigration restrictions, supposedly promote safety, but instead prey on insecurities and create divisions within people. Carl Sandburg’s poem “A Fence” portrays division with fence, separateness, and death and rain references. Other confusions and irregularities of morality are expressed by our so-called leaders and celebrities. Some of these individuals are disrespectful of others through abusive verbal tweets and/or sexually inappropriate interactions. These political types, wage war, are indicted, lie, cheat, and exploit. These are our leaders and role models? There ethics are what? So much for integrity. To Be Continued