[-empyre-] ethology?

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Sat Nov 15 08:54:25 EST 2014

> There's also considerable violence in small societies, in small towns; and of

this suggests that those social configurations are *not* 'clan' based -- which 
seems to be the case in our 'mixed-up' society. Internal 'clan' violence of 
course happens when there are hierarchic leadership questions, but those are 
probably statistically rare as they threaten the viability of a social unit 
(internal violence makes the group vulnerable to outside attack)...

I know when I moved to Iceland, and married into a typical extended family there 
-- I was amazed at the family dynamic -- something I'd hardly experienced in my 
rather small extended US family. In Iceland, I knew I could make a phone call to 
any one of a hundred people and get immediate assistance for whatever. How 
strange a concept it was! There sense of family was perhaps a couple generations 
'behind' the US's atomized/nuclear families...

> course there are altruistic decisions people make at any scale - otherwise there
> wouldn't be global charities, giving to flood victims in other countries, and so

But if you compare the numbers and the perceptions that Amurikans have -- people 
think that foreign aid is a *huge* number, larger than even military budgets... 
when in fact it is actually a tiny number. Much better to imagine we are doing 
good whilst killing... And altruism in this case, well, many wide-scaled aid 
programs are more based in pragmatics ('fix Ebola over there otherwise it will 
come here' or literally buying political cooperation)...  And the provision of 
abstracted currency support for the remote Other, that seems like very 'thin' 
empathy somehow... but so many would rather do that than help a neighbor...

> forth. For me, it has to do with picturing the other in relation to the local, a
> kind of negotiated logic...

does this seem grim? maybe it's a cup half empty/half full issue. I know people 
do kind things, this is clear. Are we not men? We are Devo...



Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
grounded on a granite batholith
twitter: @neoscenes

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