chris boring (doktor242) wrote,
chris boring

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hunters and collectors

This is from an essay by John Shirley on boing boing. It harkens back to my thread about drama and the lack thereof.

"We're constantly striving to avoid drama, and then we pay a great deal to have it again. We pay for movies, books, cable tv, plays, video and pc games, amusement park rides where we get to be Indiana Jones, all fueled by conflict, or the illusion of it. Conflict is the raw material of drama--but even comedies are unsatisfying without it. Yet we're constantly insulating ourselves from drama in our lives, by trying to find a stable spouse, establish a stable household, create financial stability; we want equipoise, equilibrium, safety. Then we go on vacation and, many of us, take sky diving lessons, or we skin dive, or risk money at gaming tables. We hide from drama, from conflict and risk and change, and then we go in search of it. We have an inner conflict between two instincts, I suppose. One supercedes the other, usually; but the underlying primal desire finds expression. In some people it emerges in the workplace. We go hunting for a marketing success, an acquisition, a profit; we secretly like the competition, even if we bitch about it: we need that conflict, that resistance.

Instinct is hardwired in. We've forgotten that we're hunter-gatherers. We're complex hunger gatherers, with remarkable potential, but ultimately we're programmed, in an overlay sort of way, to go in search of something, and to bring it back. Nature imbues us with a liking for a certain degree of resistance to the quest, otherwise we'd never complete one, and we'd starve. Any undertaking, even writing a symphony, could be seen in terms of a voyage to bring something back, overcoming difficulties along the way; the conflict dramatized in the music. Are we hunter gatherers nostalgic for the veldt?"

(you can read the rest of it here.
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