[thechat] Fried Twinkies.

Judah McAuley judah at wiredotter.com
Wed Oct 16 18:01:00 CDT 2002

Scott Dexter wrote:
> We've adapted and conquered and overran everything we've touched? Hmm.
> Sounds like ants to me...

Ah, except that ants are very much specialists and we are very much
generalists.  One of the things that I've found fascinating about Homo
Sapiens (or if you prefer, Homo Sapien Sapiens) is that we don't have
any closely related species.  We've managed to span pretty much every
climatic zone and biogeographic region without speciating.  That makes
us pretty unique.

> (That's just the thought that came to mind when I read that statement. I
> don't hold our species in such glorified light)

There is a lot that is really interesting about our species.  Like the
fact that we can be interested about our species.  Which is not to say
that we are the best thing that has ever happened to our planet mind
you, but our capabilities our not of our own making.  That was
evolution.  My hope would be that we use our capabilities in a more
constructive manner that we have thus far, but biological imperative is
pretty difficult to overcome.

I think that we've got a race on between memes formed from days past
when natural selection was a major force on our species and memes formed
in a more recent time when natural selection is not such a big force.
If we are to survive as a species, I think that modern memes need to
win.  It is not at all clear to me whether they will.

> Dex ("He's just a big dumb animal, folks. Don't feed him, he's on a
> special diet.")

Which reminds me of the one contribution I was going to make to this thread:

I agree that eating well is important and so is exercise, but recent
research shows that the biggest predictor of longevity is not diet,
exercise, smoking, or genetics, but rather one simple thing: Happiness.
  People who are happy and optimistic tend to live longer and better
lives  than people who aren't happy, regardless of other factors.

Food for thought.


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