your mail..a short note

Jim Jaszewski ab975 at
Mon Jul 17 09:21:40 MDT 1995

On Wed, 12 Jul 1995, UP Department of Philosophy email account wrote:

> Your post on milk,fur,fire and communalism deserves more time to
> digest.  Preliminary notes follow:

	_I_ get it:   milk... digest...     FUNNY...    |>

> ON MILK: Is this all about why not everyone's got the right bacteria in
> their gut?

	No, it's about lactose-digesting enzymes -- purely genetic...

 What about non"nordics" who inhabit more or less the same
> environment, e.g. Eskimos?  What about immigrants to Europe and the USA
> who eventually get into the milk diet?

	We were discussing peoples who historically herded dairy cattle,
and were selected over generations to digest lactose (as adults -- as has
been pointed out here) -- which excludes pretty much all 'mongoloid'
peoples(?) As for immigrants who've entered our milk-happy culture: a not
insignificant percentage of 'caucasian' people are 'lactose intolerant',
and I would surmise that that percentage would shoot right up for
immigrants whose lineages were not caucasian (but I wouldn't know what
those percentages would be.)

	I think lactose intolerance has been one of those facts of Western
life that hasn't concerned those who don't have it (for instance, I was
only aware of it affecting my best friend -- I thought it was weird and a
shame that he simply COULD NOT eat breakfast cereal with milk in it!).
Now, however, capitalist drug companies have put that missing enzyme
(lactase) in a pill -- and all of a sudden we see commercials on primetime
TV flogging it..! You ask yourself, just who would be the market for such
a 'product'?, but just remember all those non-caucasians 'flooding' our
shores -- and the answer suddenly becomes clearer... Vietnamese icecream

  I guess one part of the question
> is answerable in terms of how a cultural practice developed as a response
> to particular environmental (resource) conditions.  While another part
> involves looking into how a group with such a cultural practice shaped
> conditions favorable to the continuation (reproduction) of the practice
> (where assuring access for a select group entailed deprivation for others).

	It'd be nice to know just how such historical biological changes
have come about...

> ON FUR: Again there's a diversity here, I think.  But some hard research
> on genes and adaptation would still help.

	Well, I sure hope there would be (didn't somebody mention
something?), but note that there are VERY few hairless mammals -- most of
those are large, tropical animals with high heat mass/low
surface-to-volume ratios (i.e. elephants, rhinos, hippos). We would be the
ONLY 'hairless'(?) species in our range. ANd why would THAT be..??

> ON FIRE, TV AND A SPECIE IMPRINT:  Is there anything definitive about
> social behavior being imprinted on the human specie's genetic code?

	Hell -- they're still claiming that cigarettes don't cause
cancer...  I think (Western) humans have great difficulty in seeing
themselves as just another animal (Judeo-Xian, etc., etc...), and thus
resist seeing ritual, primitive behavior as being gene-expression...

> about a simpler conjecture on the given-ness of sensory focus on contrasting
> objects of perception so that behavior of "primitive" families and
> TV "primitives" can be better differentiated; say, staring-into-the-fire
> comes after the fire is introduced into the family nest, that is,
> incidental to tending the fire (till the 'morrow)

	That would be HOW fire IS introduced into the 'family', but of
course, even wild animals are mesmerized by fire. What would be more to
the point genetically, I think, is that there WAS NO FAMILY NEST BEFORE
FIRE.  That fire gave the edge to our ancestors for them to be ABLE to
form what became the 'modern' extended family (the nuclear family is, of
course, a capitalist fiction. Unstable under these circumstances, it is
liable to fission -- quick! What's the half-life??), and that success as a
family unit which planned the hunt around the hearth, led to the quick
spreading of genes which 'imprinted' for fire -- INDIRECTLY -- but
imprinted nonetheless...

 while staring-into-the-TV
> is standard fare in dealing with boredom (alienation, if you will) in a
> highly regulated society; where sensory focus on contrasting objects of
> perception is just coincidentally (even structurally, perhaps) common to
> both.

	Well, that would be why it works -- after all, a TV is NOT a fire,
but you have to admit that people have this INCREDIBLE need to sit around
a warm object in the evenings together and listen to tall tales...

> ON PRIMITIVE COMMUNALISM AND THE FUTURE:  A worthy but dangerous source of
> romanticism yet a source too of historical facticity and demonstrability.

	Hey: every concept is a tool -- and every tool has two edges...

> One point here, however, is that the communals were "few and far between"
> (forgive the cliche, but it emphasizes the the point) in an environmet
> of plenty which changed as the feudals came into being and so on such
> that the facticity and demonstrability of an activity, cultural practice  or
> belief made dominant under and employed for reproduction of a mode may
> just remain a historical given and nothing else.

	What does it matter that our earliest ancestors were few? They had
a lot of obstacles to overcome in moving from being animals just like all
the others, to becoming us.

	'Civilization' is the history of enslavement of progressively
larger numbers of the world's peoples by more and more powerful armed
gangs. Once we finally get rid of these gangsters (they didn't exist
before, and they'll be history yet again), we can all get BACK to living
'communally' -- not as before, of course, but instead with all the
knowledge gained since the gangsters put our shoulders to the wheel...

	It CAN happen. I believe it with all my heart and I KNOW it from
everything I've learned about reality...


   Jim Jaszewski   <jjazz at>

   WWW homepage:   <>


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