Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Feces-throwing primates rule the world!

As humans have a primate origin, sometimes we can gain valuable insight into human behaviour by studying primates. For instance, primates are known for throwing shit at things when we are angry.

It is true we don't literally do this anymore. Well, not often. But it is still embedded within our psychology. In our language--we might say, "my boss just shit all over me after presentation," or perhaps, "I'm tired of all your crap", or even, "let's go over there and beat the shit out of them!". 

I find it terribly amusing and a little frightening to consider that psychologically we do not much differ from those little monkeys up in the trees throwing shit at each other.

Only we have rockets and nuclear weapons.

In fact we can view the history of warfare as the development of better and better means of throwing shit. The relentless march of technological progress in warfare has been driven by the need to improve three parameters--1) range; 2) accuracy; 3) explosive yield.

Over the years we have progressed from the invention of the catapult to the ultimate dream of primate-kind--brave American technicians sitting in bunkers in Nevada hurling shit at unsuspecting Afghan villagers by remote control. Intercontinental shit-throwing!

We've even managed to hurl some of our shit right out of the solar system!

The war policy of the western powers ever since WWII has been predicated around throwing large volumes of shit from aircraft. Victory through air power!

Viewing some of our modern political problems through the prism of our primate past may provide an interesting perspective.

There is currently considerable consternation over the Iranian regime developing the ability to hurl shit 2,000 km. Why a country that can hurl shit right out of the solar system feels this is a problem is unclear.

There is a lot of noise coming from Israel, which is close enough to be struck by the Iranian shit-flinging devices. But they have tremendous retaliatory capacity--enough to completely bury Iran. Nevertheless they endlessly lobby the US to ensure that American shit will be added to Israeli shit in an attack on Iran.

Meanwhile, the shit-throwing continues in Libya.

"As of March 20, Royal Canadian Armed Forces have been ordered to begin 
flinging poo at forces loyal to Colonel Qadaffi."

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