Re: Paleolithic Lifestyle Services

1

I don't even have a job.


Posted by: U. Awl | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:09 AM
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I ask only a small percentage of the profits for having come up with the idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:10 AM
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Excellent!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:13 AM
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I love this idea. But you leave out the bit where the service would ensure that the cache was also known to a family of bears, which wouldn't have been fed for a week.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:21 AM
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I've never tried it, but I can't imagine raccoon tasting very good.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:25 AM
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I've never tried it, but I can't imagine raccoon tasting very good.

A fussy hunter gatherer is a hungry hunter gatherer. Get it down you, son.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:27 AM
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5: This guy would probably not agree. He is also probably much closer, in spirit, to the idea of hunter gatherer than anybody in the NYT article.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:35 AM
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As for LB's business proposition, I'd need to know if it came with insurance and paid vacation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:41 AM
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You know who you need to help you figure out where to hide the food such that it won't be discovered before the paleolifers get there? Hobo consultants. Nobody hides food better than a hobo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:50 AM
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5: I love the way the article treats a 69-year-old retiree hunting and selling raccoons for a living as a heartwarming human interest story. You go, American dream.

I also love their reference to Michigan's "difficult and protracted deindustrialization" as though it's a passing phase. Are economic times going to improve once it's complete? How large is the state's raccoon population?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:59 AM
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C'mon, DS, get on board with the reprelapsarian paradise. All the cool kids are smeared in animal fat and grinning from ear-to-ear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:02 AM
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10: I thought it was pretty heartwarming compared to the other news coming out of Detroit. As far as raccoon populations, I think they are pretty much dependant on how much food/space there is. There's one that lives behind my house somewhere. I thought maybe he'd gone, but his tracks showed in the new snow. My neighborhood isn't de-populated, so I can't shoot it without the neighbors calling 911.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:06 AM
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Is the original post referring to anything specific? I would guess some NYT article, but I see no link. If so, it reminds me of this. Just like the link in 7 and HBGB's "This country is so broken" post, it might make an impressive or heartwarming story, but very quickly becomes frighting or depressing of you think about it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:09 AM
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How large is the state's raccoon population?

Two to three million at the beginning of each year's hunting season.

If an economy recovers in a state and there's nobody there to see it, does it make headlines?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:11 AM
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14: In the linked article, they state "Many raccoons are killed by vehicles while crossing highways...." I don't know how they get away with making that kind of wild claim without putting in a citation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:17 AM
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15. Carl Hiaasen, passim.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:20 AM
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10: When the deindustrialization is complete, the acid rain will stop, the native sugar maples will return, the vacant lots will be filled with trees, and both maple sugarmaking and elegant, high-density lumber will become important industries.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:22 AM
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15: Is this sarcasm?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:26 AM
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I thought it was pretty heartwarming compared to the other news coming out of Detroit.

My bar, let me lower it for you.

2-3 million raccoons is not enough to support very many retirees. Typically, each trophic layer is 0.1 times the size (in biomass) of the layer below. So there's a total of roughly 15,000 tonnes of raccoon, which will be able to support 1,500 tonnes of retiree, which equates to roughly 20,000 individual equivalent retirees, and there's 1.3 million retirees in the state of Michigan.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:27 AM
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13: Frightening. If. I'm so ashamed.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:27 AM
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18: Lots of people say they've seen a raccoon that was hit by a car, but if you press them for details, it turns out they are really telling the story of a friend of a friend who says that they ran over a raccoon. Some of the stuff by the side of the road sure looks raccoonish, but I don't think we want to assume. When will they start DNA testing all roadkill?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:32 AM
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Shorter 21: Yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:34 AM
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13: It was this article, ninnies in NYC pretending to be cavemen by eating lots of meat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:50 AM
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2-3 million raccoons is not enough to support very many retirees

Tejas not only has raccoons, if not as many as Michigan then certainly much bigger raccoons, plus enough armadillos to support vast rampaging hordes of cranky retirees.

I'm counting on it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:52 AM
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But the armadillos give you leprosy. I'm afraid of the prospect of millions of armed and leprous retirees roaming Texas.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:54 AM
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You don't eat the Armadillos. You ride them, like Roombas.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:55 AM
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Raccoons can give you rabies. You pay your money, you take your chances.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:55 AM
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I think squirrels out west have the plague. Nature is an asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:58 AM
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Italics and my comments, like armadillos, mate for life.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:58 AM
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Obviously there is not enough raccoon to go around. If only we had some way of raising animals in captivity, and distributing their meat to the populace at large.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:05 AM
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What about nutria? They're exotic pests, right? If we turn hungry retirees loose on nutria, maybe we can drive them to extinction where they're pests. (The nutria, not the retirees.)

I'm not clear on exactly how formidable a nutria is, or what the food value of one is. But it's a thought.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:09 AM
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The more desirable service to the contemporary paleo-fetishist would be to arrange for large predators and brutal, murderous hillbillies, randomly and abruptly, to pursue the customer through the streets of Williamsburg.

"Hey, Darshan! Check out the awesome aerobic workout I'm getting fleeing these flint-spear-wielding ex-cons!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:09 AM
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Nutrias are like tribbles, right?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:09 AM
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33: I think we'd need to expose them to both Vulcans and Klingons to be certain.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:13 AM
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Nutrias are like tribbles, right?

That's what I thought. I remember watching a documentary about them and they showed some hunters on boats in the canals at night. They had rifles and spotlights and were shooting the nutria from ten yards or less.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:14 AM
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Nutrias are like tribbles, right?

But more nutriaitious.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:14 AM
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LB, I think you should call this "community-supported foraging".


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:18 AM
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35: There was an episode of Insomnia with Dave Attell in which he went along with wildlife control officers that shot nutrias. I believe this was in New Orleans.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:20 AM
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I'm afraid of the prospect of millions of armed and leprous retirees roaming Texas.

Well, what with the leprosy, would they be armed for very long?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:21 AM
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Mmm, Nutrialoaf.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:21 AM
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38: Maybe that was what I saw, but I don't remember watching Dave Attell. Maybe he saw whatever it was I saw and then did his own bit? Or maybe I have very loose standards for what is a 'documentary.'


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:23 AM
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You know what this idea needs? Secondary merchandising. Low-rise loincloths, rancid squirrel face cream, iPhone atlatls: the paleomodern is defined by his accessories.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:23 AM
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Loincloth? I bet you could get a better mark-up on a penis sheath.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:28 AM
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iPhone atlatls:

Okay, this is brilliant. Just an app -- maybe it could define, say, a crosstown bus as a mammoth. It'd have to be something whose location was on the internet in real time, but assume that Google Maps tracks individual buses exactly. You run at the bus, swinging your iPhone like an atlatl; the app decides if your virtual spear hit it in a vital spot (unlikely, but you'd have a shot), and if you make a kill, it texts you the location of a big cache of meat.

Maybe you'd need a couple of spear hits to bring down a bus, and the cache would be big enough for several urban cavemen to share.

(There are some bugs in the idea -- it might worry the bus drivers a bit. But I'm sure it'd all work out.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:30 AM
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iPhone atlatls

Would these be atlatls designed to lob your iPhone into the canal from 500 metres or iPhone atlatls to launch a spear while texting your friends?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:33 AM
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Even better, unlike the Wii Remote, the iPhone has no wrist strap. I look forward to the first video of an excitable hipster accidentally whipping their iPhone through a bus windshield.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:34 AM
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Regarding iPhone atlatls, I own an artisan-made sling.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:35 AM
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Also, you know what's not being properly explored as a hunter-gatherer source of nutrition? Bugs. Grubs, larvae, the whole nine yards. Committed paleos would be eating roaches.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:36 AM
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Further to 44: If there's anyone out there with the skills to actually make this, or any recognizable version of it, happen, please do -- the idea is yours.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:43 AM
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Are there no Aussies here?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:44 AM
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44: The MTA has been dreaming about tracking individual buses for years, but of course they're really strapped for capital right now. I smell a public-private partnership opportunity.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:47 AM
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51: Maybe planting a solar-powered transmitter on a moving bus could become a new test of manhood. Once you succeed, that bus is now on the system for both paleomoderns and commuters. Then people would give you presents and congratulate you on your Bus Mitzvah.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:51 AM
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OMG synergy. Can we get Knecht to write the business plan?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:57 AM
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The way to do it is not with GPS (also, way to give away my concept, LB! Hmph) but with augmented reality; you point the iPhone camera at a vehicle, it both determines speed and direction and estimates size, which allows it to assign a species. You throw the spear, then point the camera back at the vehicle to see if the spear hits. Then you have to chase the now-wounded bus until it stops, dead, at a light, and then attempt to gut it by wedging the phone into the gas tank.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:58 AM
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I own an artisan-made sling. to 43.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:59 AM
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56

The bus-taggers of Gotham will be the new worm-riders of Dune.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:00 AM
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attempt to gut it by wedging the phone into the gas tank.

I am weeping at my desk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:01 AM
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57: I do that every Monday.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:03 AM
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You could expand this idea to cover all sorts of civic virtue for food plans. Picking up litter = "gathering berries".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:07 AM
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Littering = Planting berry trees?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:12 AM
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That's not how berries work. Public defecation = planting berry trees.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:15 AM
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re: 51

In Oxford they track buses. There are websites where you can put in a bus-stop number and it'll tell you when a bus is due. Some stops also have digital displays [and there's an SMS number, too].

e.g.

http://www.oxontime.com/pip/stop_simulator.asp?naptan=69345486


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:18 AM
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The whole real-time bus tracking thing usually ends up with the service operator having the information long before they figure out how to make it accessible to the public. (MBTA employees can fire up a web app showing the location of every bus in the system in real time, but there's a public feed only for four of the lines, and it's still experimental).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:22 AM
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I heart this idea.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:29 AM
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I was struggling to figure out why paleomoderns would want to hunt yoghurt until I looked up nutria and realised it's what you guys call a coypu.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:46 AM
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I called a 'hedgehog' and Dannon Danimals Crush-Cup.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:48 AM
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The thread may have moved on, but as a public service I'd like to note that if you find yourself wondering about the food potential of, say, the nutria,* the National Academies have the book for you: Microlivestock: Little-known small animals with a promising economic future. Microcattle! Giant rats! Iguana! Om nom nom.

*Nutria = coypu. Chapter 17!


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:56 AM
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67: They want $67.50 for a .pdf of that book. Those little animals had better be really promising.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:00 AM
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Squirrel melts!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:01 AM
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Moby, you can read the whole thing free online. There's a link at the lower left.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:02 AM
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70: I see that now. Also, per page 222, "The fur is particularly valuable because the female's nipples are so high that the soft belly fur is unbroken." Which means you don't need coypu bras.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:09 AM
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Just watch out for them tasty, tasty squirrel brains.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:11 AM
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Oh noes, they're everywhere! I went out to run this morning and saw a crescent moon and star IN THE SKY. How can Obama allow these terrorist bat signals?

|>


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:22 AM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine/10psyche-t.html?em=&pagewanted=all

>

Quite interesting.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:25 AM
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74: Fascinating.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:36 AM
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Survival geocaching.

But you may need some "creative" sources of protein in an emergency/survival situation. So mark a location where you have witnessed aplenty the following: red ants (bigger and tastier than the black variety), grasshoppers, and night crawlers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:41 AM
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56: The bus-taggers of Gotham will be the new worm-riders of Dune.

I think subway train tagging might be more apt. (You have to "tag" it first on the surface by getting on somewhere in back, and then run up to the most forward "segment" to control it before it gets to some predetermined destination.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:45 AM
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A proposed improvement for your iPhone app. Every so often, at random but frequent intervals, it begins to flash an alert with the words "You have raw skin on your arse" and vibrate. It refuses to stop for the next 24 hours, perhaps alternating with the message "Fucking cold, innit?"

As an undocumented easter egg, it could suddenly announce "DYSENTERY: GAME OVER!" at least once a year.

I like Lizardbreath's idea, and I like Sifu's proposed implementation even more, although it does remind me that I read this morning that Palm has just announced that you can develop "plug-ins" for the WebOS browser-cum-GUI that are written in C and execute in a sandbox in the browser, because the games people have been complaining that trying to implement all their fancy graphics in JavaScript sucks.

I do think there should be some sort of social element - it tells all your friends if you missed the elebus and where it's going now. Because nothing passes the time as well as pointless one upmanship, bitching, resentment, and violence.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:54 AM
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I'll take the Gothamite paleomoderns seriously when they start using New York's most abundant food resource.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:02 AM
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You mean Super Deer, of course.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:13 AM
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Spare us your modernist ethics. New York's most abundant food source, at least if you consider ease of acquistition, is a different critter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:13 AM
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||
No more masturbating to Erich Rohmer. A tragic loss, no doubt, for the Unfogged community. Who else made films about young, lovely women chasing after their prof de philo?
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:16 AM
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cum-GUI

Yuck.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:18 AM
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84

You could work with this guy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:19 AM
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85

And these guys.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:19 AM
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86

Those two articles must take a long time to read.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 12:16 PM
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If only you were literate, you could tell for yourself.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 12:17 PM
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Sorry, I've been spending the last couple of hours fleeing from some guys in loincloths with flint spears.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 12:17 PM
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I figure I got the gist of them from the URLs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 12:18 PM
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85: I would very much like to join the Explorers Club. A friend was a member but let it lapse because he lives out West.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 12:39 PM
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74 was one of the more interesting things I've read in a long time. Though I don't know anything about the topic. I wonder a bit, though, if mental illnesses are converging because of the spread of American-style capitalism, not just American-style diagnoses.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 12:59 PM
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I'd think not just American-style capitalism, but specifically American media content. People worldwide can be immersed in US culture without ever coming here, and I can see that leading to picking up US patterns of reacting to psychiatric problems.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 1:04 PM
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74 made me wonder when the DSM will finally have a code for "fear of penis retracting into your body."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 1:05 PM
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Because that seems like a huge improvement over castration anxiety (not that castration anxiety is in the DSM specifically either).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 1:06 PM
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If the article is to be believed it's also the result of the spread of an American/Western understanding not only of what the significance of various mental outrages are, but also of what the repertoire is in the first place. That you can do this, be that, etc., because of this, and it will mean that. It's not hard to believe that ideas about mental illnesses in a population can affect what illnesses are manifested (not to mention diagnosed) in it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 1:08 PM
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92 makes a lot of sense.

It's also interesting in that the disease-ification of mental illness in the US is heavily driven by the need to collect insurance payments, which makes the international consequences even weirder.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 1:16 PM
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Heal thyself.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 2:14 PM
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Score 1 for the medicine men, I guess.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 2:15 PM
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On the OP: last week they said on QI that hunter-gatherers got 90% of their food from women's work. They aren't necessarily reliable (the episode's topic was "Girls and Boys" and had some ev-psych stuff that raised my hackles) but it's interesting to think about.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 2:28 PM
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My snap reaction to that is to wonder if they're confusing hunting and gathering with men's and women's work. I'd believe that 90% of calories come from gathering rather than hunting, and I'd believe that men do more hunting and women more gathering proportionately. I have a really hard time, though, believing that men didn't do any gathering at all (if that's the claim), and that in any case that they only brought in 10% of the total calories. Maybe, but it seems implausible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 2:48 PM
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My snap reaction to that is to wonder if they're confusing hunting and gathering with men's and women's work.

I'm quite certain they are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 2:54 PM
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I doubt most hunter-gather groups could have survived without men doing a significant amount of gathering, considering (i) how much matter has to be gathered to provide a human being's caloric requirements and (ii) how difficult hunting likely was when relying on primitive weapons.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 2:55 PM
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Don't be ridiculous. As if men would condescend to do anything but impregnate females and hunt!

how difficult hunting likely was when relying on primitive weapons.

The most amazing thing I ever learned about hunting is that it's possible (or so they say) to run down deer.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 2:56 PM
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||

Brock farewell meetup tentatively scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, around 6. Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge.

Please e-mail me.
|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 2:56 PM
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How do you score the various parts of pishkun 'harvesting'? There is gathering. Or is it all hunting?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 2:58 PM
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102: If this argument were true, than all the macho jerks that refused to do women's work would have died off. However, there are still many macho jerks around to this day. Therefore the argument must be false.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:02 PM
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The most amazing thing I ever learned about hunting is that it's possible (or so they say) to run down deer.

I have read as much but never met anybody who has seen the thing done. In one version, "run down" covered a multitude of tactical arrangements to direct the deer into a shallow, muddy bog for the coup de grace.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:02 PM
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102: "then" not "than"!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:03 PM
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108: 106 not 102!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:04 PM
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106: We refuse to do women's work because women's work, as women never stop complaining when they aren't trying to get us to do it, is boring and sucks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:04 PM
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111

109: Food not bombs!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:05 PM
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How are you supposed to run down a deer if your exercise program is all about sprinting and jumping?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:05 PM
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Step one is changing your exercise program.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:07 PM
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You sprint and jump in order to startle the mastodon, then it runs down the deer.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:07 PM
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112: Give the deer lots of work, an ugly office, and no positive feedback.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:07 PM
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I had no idea Rube Goldberg went back that far.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:08 PM
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The most amazing thing I ever learned about hunting is that it's possible (or so they say) to run down deer.

Possible for primitive hunter-gathers, stunning specimens of athleticism. Not really possible for you or me. That's the point of the paleo thing.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:08 PM
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115: I thought that was faculty members with no grants. I'm so confused.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:09 PM
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NPH, I sent you an e-mail.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:09 PM
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118: Do they even get an office?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:09 PM
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I don't know about deer, but I do know that two college students in reasonably good shape can run down an antelope.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:12 PM
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My snap reaction to that is to wonder if they're confusing hunting and gathering with men's and women's work.

This could be. Apparently some gathering is considered men's work. Apparently among the Ache honey gathering is men's work because it involves tree climbing and such.

For this tribe it the percentage of calorie obtained by gender is closer to 50/50:

Men and women forage in alternating patterns. All Hiwi spend less than three hours away from camp on subsistence activities everyday. Women spend more time away from camp when the roots are in season. Men spend more time away during the early wet season, but men spend the same amount of time hunting or fishing in every season. The extra time away is spent gathering honey, eggs and mangos. The Hiwi men produce more food on an average day than women do all season except the late wet season when the roots become ripe. Men produce an average of 3,000 calories a day, with more calories acquired during the wet season than the dry season. Women produce less than 1,500 calories in the dry and early wet seasons and over 3,000 in the late wet season. During the dry season men fish more than they hunt. Men also gather fruits especially mangos. Women accompany men on hunting and fishing trips, but do not participate (Hurtado 1990).


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:13 PM
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119: Responded.

Running down a deer doesn't sound all that difficult if you can manage to keep the deer in sight. They're sprinters, not distance runners, and people are pretty good distance runners.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:28 PM
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I have totally been addicted to and started following those paleo web sites. It is basically Atkins with specific favored exercises. (sprints, weightlifting, walking -yes, jogging- no)

There is a lot of wishful thinking though. Tracking animals really is just endurance cardio. Hunter/gatherers really don't lift very heavy things in short bursts. Honey is the favorite food of the Ache.

On the other hand, Atkinsy diets are a good way to lose weight and marathon runners don't look all that healthy to me.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:37 PM
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today [May 29, 1805] we passed on the Stard. side the remains of a vast many mangled carcases of Buffalow which had been driven over a precipice of 120 feet by the Indians and perished; the water appeared to have washed away a part of this immence pile of slaughter and still their remained the fragments of at least a hundred carcases they created a most horrid stench. in this manner the Indians of the Missouri distroy vast herds of buffaloe at a stroke; for this purpose one of the most active and fleet young men is scelected and disguised in a robe of buffaloe skin, having also the skin of the buffaloe's head with the years and horns fastened on his head in form of a cap, thus caparisoned he places himself at a convenient distance between a herd of buffaloe and a precipice proper for the purpose, which happens in many places on this river for miles together; the other indians now surround the herd on the back and flanks and at a signal agreed on all shew themselves at the same time moving forward towards the buffaloe; the disguised indian or decoy has taken care to place himself sufficiently nigh the buffaloe to be noticed by them when they take to flight and runing before them they follow him in full speede to the precepice, the cattle behind driving those in front over and seeing them go do not look or hesitate about following untill the whole are precipitated down the precepice forming one common mass of dead an mangled carcases; the decoy in the mean time has taken care to secure himself in some cranney or crivice of the clift which he had previously prepared for that purpose. the part of the decoy I am informed is extreamly dangerous, if they are not very fleet runers the buffaloe tread them under foot and crush them to death, and sometimes drive them over the precepice also, where they perish in common with the buffaloe.-- we saw a great many wolves in the neighbourhood of these mangled carcases they were fat and extreemly gentle, Capt. C. who was on shore killed one of them with his espontoon.


Posted by: Meriwether Lewis | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:38 PM
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You know, I can imagine running down a deer. Not today, but I've been in shape where I could keep running for a long time, and if I had the skills not to lose track of it when it got too far ahead, I'd believe I could tire the deer out.

Then I picture myself, as a huntergatherer, walking up to what is actually a fairly large animal with a pointy stick in my hand, and the next step seems implausibly difficult.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:38 PM
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Deer really aren't all that big.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:41 PM
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Why?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:42 PM
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Because they stop growing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:43 PM
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The book mentioned in the linked article in 84 is phenomenally entertaining--a truly excellent read.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:44 PM
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Because she left her obsidian knife back in the cave? No: it's because Buck is supposed to be doing this part.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:45 PM
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130 is me.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:45 PM
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No: it's because Buck is supposed to be doing this part.

It seems pretty cruel to have him kill his conspecific like that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:46 PM
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127: Compared to anything else I've ever tried to kill with a pointy stick, they're big.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:47 PM
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The hunting method of 125 is the origin of my favorite place name: Head-Smashed-In.

Also, if you're looking to kill game paleolithic style you'd be better off picking smaller game and throwing rocks at them. I've seen people pick off rabbit sized animals this way. Running down a deer is a dumb way to hunt.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:48 PM
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Rabbits aren't very nutritious, though. Recently discovered: the hind legs of rabbits are meatier than the forelegs, but the forelegs are tastier.

You'd be even better using a sling than just throwing rocks. But is that neolithic technology? Probably not, if atlatls are paleolithic, but I have no idea.

A trebuchet is sort of an übersling; maybe you could use one for taking down mammoths.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:52 PM
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I like to pick up field mice and bop them over the head.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:55 PM
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I DON'T LIKE YOUR ATTITUDE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GOOD FAIRY | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 3:56 PM
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I feel entitled to three chances.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:01 PM
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Capt. Clark and Drewyer killed the largest brown bear this evening [May 5, 1805] which we have yet seen. it was a most tremendious looking anamal, and extreemly hard to kill notwithstanding he had five balls through his lungs and five others in various parts he swam more than half the distance acoss the river to a sandbar & it was at least twenty minutes before he died; he did not attempt to attact, but fled and made the most tremendous roaring from the moment he was shot. We had no means of weighing this monster; Capt. Clark thought he would weigh 500 lbs. for my own part I think the estimate too small by 100 lbs. he measured 8 Feet 71/2 Inches from the nose to the extremety of the hind feet, 5 F. to 1/2 Inch arround the breast, 1 F. 11 I. arround the middle of the arm, & 3 F. 11 I. arround the neck; his tallons which were five in number on each foot were 4 1/8 Inches in length. he was in good order, we therefore divided him among the party and made them boil the oil and put it in a cask for future uce; the oil is as hard as hogs lard when cool, much more so than that of the black bear. this bear differs from the common black bear in several respects; it's tallons are much longer and more blont, it's tale shorter, it's hair which is of a redish or bey brown, is longer thicker and finer than that of the black bear; his liver lungs and heart are much larger even in proportion with his size; the heart particularly was as large as that of a large Ox. his maw was also ten times the size of black bear, and was filled with flesh and fish. his testicles were pendant from the belly and placed four inches assunder in seperate bags or pouches.-- this animal also feeds on roots and almost every species of wild fruit.

[May 6, 1805] saw a brown bear swim the river above us, he disappeared before we can get in reach of him; I find that the curiossity of our party is pretty well satisfyed with rispect to this anamal, the formidable appearance of the male bear killed on the 5th added to the difficulty with which they die when even shot through the vital parts, has staggered the resolution several of them, others however seem keen for action with the bear; I expect these gentlemen will give us some amusement shotly as they soon begin now to coppolate. saw a great quantity of game of every species common here. Capt Clark walked on shore and killed two Elk, they were not in very good order, we therefore took a part of the meat only; it is now only amusement for Capt. C. and myself to kill as much meat as the party can consum; I hope it may continue thus through our whole rout, but this I do not much expect.


Posted by: Meriwether Lewis | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:02 PM
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The thing to do is to acquire and train some buffalo from Buffalo. Those things really buffalo buffalo.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:03 PM
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It's true that Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo. But that doesn't mean that you need to acquire or train Buffalo buffalo yourself. After all, buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo too.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:05 PM
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is testicles were pendant from the belly and placed four inches assunder in seperate bags or pouches.

TMI, dude.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:07 PM
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We can count your resolution staggered, nosflow?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:12 PM
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he had five balls through his lungs and five others in various parts

He had like thirty goddamn balls.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:13 PM
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After all, buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo too.

I believe you meant, "After all, buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo too."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:14 PM
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re: 127

I don't know, some of the deer we get in the wood near our house are pretty bloody big, and, as far as I know, those aren't particularly large by North American standards.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:15 PM
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146: No, he didn't. Though maybe "buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo too" would work.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:15 PM
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148: Dammit, you're right. I miscounted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:17 PM
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Slings are definitely paleolithic technology.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:18 PM
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deer we get in the wood near our house are pretty bloody big,

You're the one who claims that moose are wee, right? I will never understand the Scots.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:19 PM
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Also, re: running down deer.

Humans are amazing endurance athletes compared to most species, especially when it's hot. The ability to sweat, bipedalism, and lack of body hair really helps. Humans can run for hours. Most animals can't.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:19 PM
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lack of body hair

So, not Ogged.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:21 PM
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Recently discovered: the hind legs of rabbits are meatier than the forelegs, but the forelegs are tastier.

I bet the cavemen knew that millennia ago, neb.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:23 PM
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Recently discovered by me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:23 PM
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153: Ogged could swim down a beluga whale.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:25 PM
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155: On Standpipe's cooking blog?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:26 PM
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There was a couple of articles re: running and endurance predation in New Scientist a year or two back. Afaicr, it's basically humans and dogs. Nothing else gets much of a look in in terms of sheer dogged (ahem) endurance when running down prey.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:26 PM
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The ability to sweat....

It just means you're growing up.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:32 PM
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The more desirable service to the contemporary paleo-fetishist would be to arrange for large predators and brutal, murderous hillbillies, randomly and abruptly, to pursue the customer through the streets of Williamsburg.

Could be a good sideline for Kyrgyzstani wedding planners.



Posted by: Econolicious, Ala kachuu | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:40 PM
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126: You know, I can imagine running down a deer. Not today, but I've been in shape where I could keep running for a long time, and if I had the skills not to lose track of it when it got too far ahead, I'd believe I could tire the deer out.

This is sort of freaking me out. Really? I gather studies show that .... But honestly, deer? The tracking would, yes, be key, because those guys, the deer, they are outta there mighty fast. I tend to think that no matter how doggedly you may persevere, that deer is going to be laughing at you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:41 PM
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re: 161

Hunter gatherers do it all the time. The deer has a head start, but it can't keep it up for long. Long enough to evade big cats, and other animals that go for rapid bursts of explosive energy. Humans can just run and run and run. Usually they seem to aim to wound it and then they just chase it down.*

* and in lots of places they use dogs as little hairy adjuncts ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:44 PM
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When I was a kid I once ran down a small bird. Just kept chasing every time it flew until it was too tired to fly away again. Then I showed it off and let it go.

I did not find $20.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:48 PM
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This discussion reminds of a story relayed to my by a friend who heard it while tending bar.

Apparently someone was out hunting and drinking, and drank a little bit too much and decided to try to chase down a deer. I don't recall the exact details but the story ended with this person getting repeatedly kicked by the deer and pretty seriously injured.

As LB said above, you still need to be able to take the deer down when you catch it, and deer are strong.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:50 PM
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161: Oh, I'm not imagining that on the fittest day of my life I could keep up with a deer, just that I could catch up to one often enough to exhaust it. And the superhuman tracking abilities so I didn't lose it along the way are assumed, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:51 PM
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It's also interesting watching those big cat wildlife documentaries and seeing the lions slink off sneaky and afraid when humans come near. Not humans in jeeps with guns, but Masai-type guys with long pointy sticks. Humans with long pointy sticks being fairly bad-ass once there's more than a couple of them working together.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:53 PM
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Relevant.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:56 PM
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Part of that is, if I understand predator-thinking correctly, that getting hurt at all is a pretty bad outcome for a lion -- a lion with a limp isn't going to be eating much until its leg heals. So the lion doesn't have to think it's going to actually lose a fight with the guys with the pointy sticks to want to avoid the fight, it just has to think that the guys with the sticks might hurt it some before it dismembers them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 4:58 PM
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re: 168

Yeah, although a continual theme in these documentaries is educating the herders/villagers not to just kill the lions when they get to be a pain in the arse.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:01 PM
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What, after all, is more annoying than an obstreperous lion?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:03 PM
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re: 170

Quite. Refusing to dress for dinner, insisting on red wine with fish ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:04 PM
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It should be telling that, if you want to catch a human, you use...humans and dogs, even after the invention of the helicopter. If you've got one of those, you use humans, dogs, and a helicopter.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:07 PM
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It should be telling that, if you want to catch a human, you use...humans and dogs

I'm told that an infant also works, if it's clear to the target human that it isn't your own.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:08 PM
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I admit I've lost track of the point of this exercise in deciding which animals one could hunt down and kill.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:09 PM
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168: mind you, this is what Germany in 1914 thought it was doing with the Royal Navy. Sometimes, chasing a lion is...as daft as chasing a lion.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:09 PM
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174: I think we've concluded that it's one of the boringly common things that you can't just let spontaneously happen just like that in a David Brooks/Weekend Guardian sort of way, like souffles, particle accelerators, job security, all that stuff.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:13 PM
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One can't decide, but only determine, which animals one could hunt down and kill.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:14 PM
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I'm told that there are parts of four deer carcasses in the next door neighbor's back yard today. The magpies are enjoying a rare winter feast. I think it's probably lions, but will have a better informed opinion when I get home and take a look around.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:16 PM
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177: LB v. deer at 300 paces. Go!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:18 PM
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(the neighbors are both bankers).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:19 PM
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Relevant.

And making me want to re-watch Project Grizzly.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:26 PM
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I just had the best idea ever only to find that the exact comment has appeared before.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:37 PM
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And was in response to my linking the same askme post.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:38 PM
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179: Hint to LB: at that range, a rifle works better than a spear.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:39 PM
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I still don't understand 176. Is it just to say that hunting down and killing an animal, with your bare hands, as it were, is something you have to take care at, as in the making of a souffle?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:42 PM
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185: No firearms. Also no teamwork. 300 paces is the first spying of the deer. Commence.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:46 PM
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Please, God, let the paleos start eating the pigeons.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:50 PM
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My thoughts, at greater length.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 5:59 PM
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The first sentence of this article is currently odd.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:00 PM
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182: And in the following comment, which was posted almost two years ago, PGD is complaining that this place just ain't what it used to be. I am beginning to suspect that prelapsarian Unfogged never existed, and in fact is just a myth invented by the man to keep us down. That or this place just has a really massive, enormous decay time constant.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:01 PM
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The idea that a person now, born in 1970s or 1980s America, and to a line of people who have evolved through thousands of years of changing and modernizing conditions, has a body better suited for survival in paleo conditions, is hard for me to relate to. For my part, I'm fairly certain that I've been permitted to survive to the ripe old age of thirtysomething largely thanks to the fact that modern life has made calories cheap and easily accessible, and I don't have to work that hard to survive. If I had been born in the paleolithic, and truly had to muscle after every calorie and forage and gather and kill my food, I wouldn't have been one of the caveman champions, I'd have been one of the footnoted millions who were winnowed out to make room for the few strong survivors. In fact, looking at my parents and their parents, I'm pretty sure I'd never have been born -- I am bred from a long line of half-blind weaklings who are bad at storing calories and get tired really easily. My whole evolutionary branch would have been snapped off at the base.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:52 PM
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165, etc.: There's an old anthropolgy class film from the early Sixties showing a trio of Africans hitting a giraffe with a poisoned arrow and then trotting after it for three or four days until it finally collapsed.

'Twas very influencial in my decision not to become a hunter-gatherer.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:55 PM
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Can one safely eat the flesh of a poisoned giraffe?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:56 PM
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192: I think I may have seen that! Yeah, me Masai, me can run down a deer. Yeah, right.

Isn't there something about a way to soak out the poison or something? No idea.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:59 PM
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Can one safely eat the flesh of a poisoned giraffe?

I have always wondered the same thing about hunting with poison from poison arrow frogs. Does cooking the meat deactivate the poison? That stuff is pretty nasty.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 6:59 PM
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Wild rabbit or hare isn't lean when you cook it right. Lard it after browning, then braise the hell out of it, let it set for a day or four, then braise it some more. I had some recently. Yum, just watch out for the little bits of lead.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:00 PM
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That assumes that you have a supplemental source of fat with which to lard your bunny, which is probably not the situation of those who succumb to rabbit starvation.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:04 PM
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Recently discovered: the hind legs of rabbits are meatier than the forelegs, but the forelegs are tastier

Rabbits for sale.
For pets or meat.

-- Roger and Me

84 is great.

... curing a black bear ham he intended to smoke in a homemade smoker improvised from plywood and an electric hotplate.

Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:10 PM
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Some sad sacks have spent the better part of the 20th century chasing wabbit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:16 PM
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I am beginning to suspect that prelapsarian Unfogged never existed, and in fact is just a myth invented by the man to keep us down.

The great myth of declension exposed.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:26 PM
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193: I'm remembering the poison being something they got from the sap of some plant and boiled down to a sticky white stuff that coated the arrowhead. I have no recall of the specifics after half a century though.

In any event, this was their standard technique for critters too big to take down right away so the poison couldn't have been too bad if eaten. There are some poisons that are inactivated by digestive systems, they have to be directly introduced into blood to work.

Now that I think of it, rattlesnake venom must be like that or the "suck the poison out" technique would never have gotten any traction at all.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:26 PM
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Yeah, me Masai, me can run down a deer.

Aren't you confusing your African and Native American stereotypes here?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:42 PM
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Others are others, Sifu.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:45 PM
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Shut up, bwana paleface asshole.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:45 PM
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188: good post. I'm curious about this, though:

And I definitely don't think it has much resemblance to the diet of the earliest humans

I don't really understand this. Granting the points already mentioned about the fact that modern fruits, vegetables and meats are no doubt very different than their paleolithic counterparts--in no small part due to agriculture--why do you think these diets have have little resemblance to early human diets? I mean, I understand your point that we don't really have a good grasp of what early humans ate, but aren't there a relatively limited set of possibilities? And don't those possibilities consist primarily of meats (and seafoods), nuts, fruits, and vegetables? I'm not really seeing any other options.

If your point is just the limited one that we don't have a good sense of the mix of these things in early human diets, that's of course true. But that's openly acknowledged by paleo-dieters. You're not right that they pretend that everyone used to eat the same thing. Indeed, many stress the fact that, although we don't have a great sense of what the earliest humans ate (and there's no doubt that different groups in different geographies ate quite different things), we do have a sense of the wide variety of diets seen among modern indigenous hunter-gatherers. And the amazing thing (they claim--I don't know enough to assert this myself) is that--despite this high variety--these societies all seem measurably healthier than populations eating modern agriculture-based diets. Ergo, it's hypothesized that it may not matter much what combination of nuts, vegetables, fruits and meats you eat, so long as you stick to those food groups, which were the only ones available to 99.99% of our evolutionary ancestors.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:46 PM
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I'm pretty sure Brock is just trying to be as sober as possible.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:49 PM
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Yeah, that Btock guy was way funnier than this guy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:50 PM
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Brock, do you remember editing the page in 189 last night?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:52 PM
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I'm not a careful typist when I'm drunk, it's true. I don't actually understand why typos are thought to be so hilarious around here, but I'm glad you get a kick out of them.

I did not, to my knowledge, edit the link in 189.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 7:58 PM
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Now he's being as stodgy as possible.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:00 PM
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I always thought - and I am more than willing to be corrected on this, if I'm extrapolating too much from present hunter/gatherers* - that hunter/gatherer animal protein was much less likely to come from large cuts of meat (where meat = antelope steaks), and instead come in the form of insects, grubs, shellfish where possible, and very small mammals and birds.

*Or, more likely, the Clan of the Cavebear novels.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:00 PM
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Shut upFuck you, bwana paleface asshole clown.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:01 PM
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Sober and stodgy. That's me.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:01 PM
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It was the bankers after all, not lions. Oh well.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:02 PM
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I had a conversation on vacation with people who seemed to know more than me, and who were asserting that a major cause of death of men on the veldt was in battle. Is this actually true?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:02 PM
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Battle with mastodons or battle with one another?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:04 PM
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With each other.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:05 PM
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Then yes, that's true. It's still true today.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:06 PM
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If your point is just the limited one that we don't have a good sense of the mix of these things in early human diets, that's of course true. But that's openly acknowledged by paleo-dieters.

This is pretty much all I was saying. If you say they acknowledge this, I'm willing to concede the point. I really know nothing about these people that I didn't read in the past two days.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:08 PM
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215: Present-dayish hunter gatherers tend to war a lot, but I really don't know how much of that is related to being pushed onto marginal lands by the agriculturalists. I think Papua New Guinea is one of the classic examples of that. As for death rates, no idea. North American Indians tended to minimize deaths in battle, if some scholars writing about the shock of their adjustment to a Western style of warfare can be trusted.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:08 PM
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I was trying to argue that groups were so sparse back then that they didn't necessarily have to fight and die that much if they didn't want to. Maybe life has always been one big high stakes video game, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:10 PM
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The extent and nature of warfare in hunter-gatherer and subsistence agriculturalist societies is a hugely contentious issue in anthropology and archaeology.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:10 PM
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223: Do they go into battle over it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:13 PM
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they didn't necessarily have to fight and die that much if they didn't want to

The same could be said of many people today, and yet...


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:13 PM
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Further to 219, I guess the main quibble I would have is that while we have lots of information about hunter-gatherer adaptations in agriculturally marginal areas, we have very little information about how hunter-gatherers would have used areas that were (potentially) agriculturally productive before the advent of agriculture. There might be some counterexamples (California comes to mind), but I think the data available on them is pretty limited.

Another problem, of course, is that we don't actually know what sort of environment humans initially evolved in.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:14 PM
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I won't claim that 218 is based on any substantive knowledge in anthropology and archaeology.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:15 PM
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these societies all seem measurably healthier than populations eating modern agriculture-based diets.

Do these Paleo-nutritionists have thoughts about balancing agricultural products with hunted/gathered products? After all, it's not until well into the 19th century that game stopped appearing regularly on Americans' tables, and Mediterranean peoples (for one, they just happen to be the only ones I've read about) regularly foraged for wild vegetables and hunted various small creatures into the 20th century. And then of course, earlier, the Native Americans of North America mixed agriculture with hunting/gathering with what appears to have been success. They certainly struck the 16th century English as incredibly healthy.

And when they say that they were healthier, they mean lacking the chronic diseases of the industrialized diet, right? Because it seems pretty clear that they were regularly colonized by parasites, and they must have had a huge child mortality rate in lean years. I think I'll stick with my heart attack at age 65, rather than die at 1, thanks.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:15 PM
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Today we never fight anyone that we're not immediately adjacent to.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:16 PM
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And since I'm linking to myself already, here's a post from a while back about the warfare issue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:17 PM
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California comes to mind

The way I have always heard it taught is that California was such a productive and fertile region without agriculture that it simply wasn't necessary to go to the bother of developing it. No idea how true that is.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:18 PM
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Do these Paleo-nutritionists have thoughts about balancing agricultural products with hunted/gathered products?

This is an important issue too. Foraging and agriculture aren't mutually exclusive; there's a whole continuum between absolute reliance on one and absolute reliance on the other, and most societies have been somewhere in between.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:18 PM
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230: I've heard that too. It's certainly true that it was very productive for foraging, and that there's no evidence that agriculture was ever introduced before the Spanish, but I don't know how much of a causal conclusion can be drawn from the evidence available.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:20 PM
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Do these Paleo-nutritionists have thoughts about balancing agricultural products with hunted/gathered products?

No idea.

And when they say that they were healthier, they mean lacking the chronic diseases of the industrialized diet, right?

Yes.

Today we never fight anyone that we're not immediately adjacent to.

Right. Like WWI. Or WWII. Or Korea. Or Vietnam. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:20 PM
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Well, Brock, you have to understand that modern transportation and, especially, missile technology has vastly expanded the reach of the concept of adjacency.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:21 PM
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Note that prehistoric Californians wouldn't have had to invent agriculture on their own; they definitely had extensive trade contacts with agricultural people further east, and could easily have emulated their practices if they'd wanted to.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:21 PM
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Sober, stodgy, and Standpipe's other bloggy, all rolled together in one Brock.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:21 PM
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Note that prehistoric Californians wouldn't have had to invent agriculture on their own

Are we talking about Pauly Shore?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:22 PM
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No.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:23 PM
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Foraging and agriculture aren't mutually exclusive; there's a whole continuum between absolute reliance on one and absolute reliance on the other, and most societies have been somewhere in between.

When you say "most", you mean "most within the last 10,000-12,000 years", right? (That's probably implicit in your use of the word "society".) Which means this has really only been true for an extraordinarily small, and recent, slice of homo sapiens history.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:24 PM
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235: Yes, as soon as I began to think about it I realized that take on ag and CA assumed a number of contentious (and largely untrue) things - in particular the idea that the California Indians lived in a vacuum. Not something I've spent a great deal of time thinking about, obviously.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:25 PM
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Should we start talking about Pauly Shore?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:26 PM
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I lived in a vacuum for a while. Dust mites are surprisingly nutritive, but I got tired of the incessant sneezing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:26 PM
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Am I to understand that 228 was intended as a joke?

People died. That's not funny.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:27 PM
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When you say "most", you mean "most within the last 10,000-12,000 years", right?

Yes. Which does exclude most of human history, it's true, but does include the societies comprising most humans who have ever lived. So.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:28 PM
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241: No.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:28 PM
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Champlain was impressed with Iroquois/Huron warfare, esp. treatment of captives.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:28 PM
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Humans have a long tail, historically.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:29 PM
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Brendan Fraser was the prehistoric Californian. Pauly Shore was one of the specimens of modern man.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:29 PM
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but does include the societies comprising most humans who have ever lived. So.

I hadn't really thought about this, but it's a great point.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:29 PM
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Dammit, Ned.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:29 PM
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Montaigne was impressed with the warfare of whatever autochthonous Americans he was talking about.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:29 PM
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Champlain was impressed with Iroquois/Huron warfare, esp. treatment of captives.

The Mourning Wars are probably my favorite topic in colonial Native American history to teach.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:32 PM
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Brendan Fraser was the prehistoric Californian. Pauly Shore was one of the specimens of modern man.

Oh, good point. Remember Bio-dome?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:34 PM
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Do you have your students watch Black Robe?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:37 PM
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No.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:38 PM
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234: global village fight!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:39 PM
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I will when I get the chance to teach a non-condensed version of colonial America. I shall sit in the back and blush every single time a bad word is uttered.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:40 PM
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253: it's still there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:40 PM
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Would the Miwoks of California be considered hunter-gatherers? I definitely remember that they foraged for acorns, which they then pounded to smithereens in specially established pounding-holes in granite slabs (in order to leech out acorn-toxins) and then baked into cakes. That sounds like somewhere between foraging and agriculture to me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:43 PM
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I don't remember bad words. I might have been distracted by Sandrine Holt, though.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:43 PM
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259: Yes. They're preparing gathered products, not planting and tending to the tree that produces them.

260: I might be conflating the book and the movie a little. I've read the book more recently.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:45 PM
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259: I didn't see any evidence of agriculture when they held that big party after Luke killed the Emperor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:46 PM
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And to further extend on 261.1, oaks aren't a domesticated species. Lines do get blurry. Deer are by no means a domesticated animal, and yet Indians encouraged their numbers by burning woods, producing better habitat. In the Amazon, natives altered the soil and planted the seeds of non-domesticated trees where they wanted them. But they're not practicing classical agriculture.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:48 PM
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262: See, I thought it would be racist to make that joke. Racist!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:50 PM
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I thought there was evidence of not quite agriculture - some kind of irrigation system - among the Paiute in eastern California.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:52 PM
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yet Indians encouraged their numbers by burning woods, producing better habitat.

How does that work? Because it's easier to move about?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:54 PM
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I got 1491 for christmas, and is two thirds through. I want that hickory cream.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:55 PM
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Yes, and something about new growth and oh, don't make me think so hard, Stanley. You'd think I'd have my Cronon memorized by now.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:55 PM
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I don't remember bad words in Black Robe, but I do remember seeing it without the tv editing after seeing it with the tv editing first. Apparently, people in colonial times had sex.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:55 PM
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I got 1491 for christmas, and is two thirds through.

So about 1000.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:57 PM
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Why do I make such dumb jokes?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:57 PM
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269: Yes, I realized only after that I was thinking about the book, not the movie. What I remembered was that when I had watched it I knew there was some reason why a classroom showing would be slightly uncomfortable - that would be the sex, not the swearing, which remained in the book and didn't make it to the movie.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 8:58 PM
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I thought there was evidence of not quite agriculture - some kind of irrigation system - among the Paiute in eastern California.

That sounds familiar, although I don't know any details. There was also definitely extensive irrigation agriculture among the Yumans in the lower Colorado valley, part of which is in California. When people talk about the California Indians not practicing agriculture, they usually mean the groups west of the Sierras, who definitely didn't. Further east things are more ambiguous.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:01 PM
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I spent three-five hours today trying to get this joomla extension to work, complete waste of time. Also, there are a million free and commercial joomla templates out there and there all ugly. And I have an unrelated deadline that I'm ignoring. /whine


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:03 PM
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California Indians not practicing agricultureCalifornia Indians not practicing agriculture

Maybe they didn't have to practice, because they were just born naturals and didn't need to practice. Phenom farmers. Has anyone considered that possibility?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:04 PM
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What, that was an awesome classic unfogged joke. And I need cheering up.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:04 PM
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I'm not a born natural at pasting.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:05 PM
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When people talk about the California Indians not practicing agriculture, they usually mean the groups west of the Sierras

Yeah, and often it comes down to talking about the Bay Area mainly - especially when people talk about the fertility of the land. Not that my knowledge is really any more extensive.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:05 PM
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276 to 271.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:07 PM
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264: talk to George Lucas; it's where the name came from.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:09 PM
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Yeah, and often it comes down to talking about the Bay Area mainly - especially when people talk about the fertility of the land.

I think this is probably because the ethnographic record is more extensive for the Bay Area than for other parts of the state, many of which are very poorly understood. But this isn't really my area of expertise either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:10 PM
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I blame the Spanish.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:11 PM
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280: No one who created a character like Jar Jar Binks could be accused of racism.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:11 PM
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There's a lot of blame to go around. The Americans certainly deserve a substantial chunk.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:12 PM
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284 to 282, although I suppose the Americans are largely to blame for George Lucas's racism too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:12 PM
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278: They're also talking about Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and the Foothills, and the Central Valley. I haven't read much, but it seems to me that many of the examples are drawn from those regions.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:15 PM
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I don't know about the other coastal counties, but my impression was that very little is known - in the historical literature, I don't know about the anthropological - about the Central Valley. Except that rebellious peoples hung out there, to the chagrin of the Spanish. But it's been a long time since I've read California history.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:19 PM
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So what makes a plant species domesticated?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:21 PM
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Force.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:22 PM
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288: It stops peeing on your carpet.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:23 PM
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288: I am sure you're right that much of the research has been done on the Bay Area; I more meant to say that I've also seen studies discuss the Miwok (both the Coastal and Plans and Sierra groups) and the coastal counties. But I'm from the Central Coast, so it is entirely possible that I remembered those examples best and they were extremely scanty in comparison to the others.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:24 PM
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All my plants are pot-ty trained.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:25 PM
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The Central Coast is pretty well documented archaeologically, I believe; I'm not sure about the ethnography. The Santa Barbara/Ventura area is very well documented, and the Chumash have received a lot of attention as one of the best examples of complex hunter-gatherers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:27 PM
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Heebie's stoned again, isn't she?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:30 PM
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Good to know that I wasn't just thinking of Island of the Blue Dolphins.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:31 PM
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Can anybody ever really be stoned? Like, when you stop and think about it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:35 PM
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Clearly I should have been reading the anth/arch stuff if I wanted to know about hunter-gatherers; obviously most of the history work focuses on contact/post-contact. But the Central Valley still sounds relatively unknown.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:35 PM
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Some people smoke undomesticated plants and get paleoed.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:36 PM
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298 is fine work.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:39 PM
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296: Yes.


Posted by: giles kobe | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:41 PM
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Some people smoke undomesticated plants and get paleoed.

Paleolithic, of course.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:42 PM
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What the hell is the lithic diet?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:43 PM
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Relevant-ish Mitchell and Webb clip!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:45 PM
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297: Comity; I didn't mean to overstate the amount known at all!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:46 PM
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What the hell is the lithic diet?

Stone soup, mostly.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:48 PM
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But the Central Valley still sounds relatively unknown.

Yeah, I'm trying to think of anything I've read about the Central Valley and not coming up with anything.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:49 PM
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306 is great out of context.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:51 PM
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I'm overly influenced by a few small things I've read about the Miwok, which now of course I can't remember the names of.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:53 PM
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Shouldn't Megan be telling us that the Central Valley wouldn't be productive without irrigation, or something like that? (if true)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:54 PM
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(productive relative to the coast, that is)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:54 PM
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I think the problem with habitation in the Central Valley is that it was a large lake (ok, I'm sure there's a better term for that) for a large section of the year; what I remember reading about (and this is getting really, really fuzzy as I did this reading about 8 years ago) is people who used parts of the valley seasonally.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:58 PM
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I'm sure there's a better term for that

"Playa."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 9:58 PM
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Here we go.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:17 PM
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Sounds like the Central Valley was an important area in prehistory, but almost all of the evidence has been destroyed by modern agricultural development.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:19 PM
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California prehistory - who would read that?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:20 PM
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Google's drop down table of contents never fails to irritate me. Why can't they just take me to an image of the contents page (like they used to)?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:23 PM
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has been destroyed by modern agricultural development.

I would like to see extensive restoration of the riparian habitat of the Central Valley. We used to be the breeding site of many extremely cool birds; not so much anymore. Better management of the wetlands has led to a huge rise in waterfowl - clearly the riparian areas should be next.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:27 PM
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317: California's budget crisis will either have to get much better or much, much worse for that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:37 PM
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But what about all those mortgages underwater right now?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:41 PM
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Don't try to house real animals with metaphorical water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 10:44 PM
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OT: I've been rewatching Season 1 of FNL today. You guys sure Tim Riggins is a heartthrob? He's such a ne'er-do-well! He's an alcoholic! He sleeps with his paralyzed friend's girlfriend! His hair is all greasy!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:20 PM
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Nothing like a greasy-haired, alcoholic, teen lothario to get the heart racing, Otto.

More seriously, it's clear that Matt Saracen (or perhaps Coach Taylor, if one looks outside of the high school cast) is the best romance choice on that show (of the men), but the bad boy with a heart of gold and washboard abs cliche is a pretty deeply ingrained sexxxxy trigger.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:27 PM
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I'm going to quit showering and start showing up to lab shirtless and drunk in the hopes of becoming known as the bad boy neuroscientist.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:29 PM
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And yes, I am one to talk, as my objects of on-screen lust are seldom chosen because of their, er, personalities.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:30 PM
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Landry is also pretty adorable, too. I tried so hard to forget that ridiculous plot element in Season 2 that sometimes I forget him altogether.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:35 PM
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220

Present-dayish hunter gatherers tend to war a lot, but I really don't know how much of that is related to being pushed onto marginal lands by the agriculturalists. ...

As Malthus would point out, something has to be limiting their populations. Starvation, warfare, something.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:47 PM
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230

The way I have always heard it taught is that California was such a productive and fertile region without agriculture that it simply wasn't necessary to go to the bother of developing it. No idea how true that is.

Sounds like nonsense to me. What were the population densities? I grew up in California and wouldn't have wanted to have to live off the land. Which was semi-desert.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-11-10 11:52 PM
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California was more densely populated than most of North America (I think perhaps the Pacific Northwest beat it?) with an estimated population of around 300,000, if I remember correctly (and I know demographers argue about this number constantly).

And the points made above about the Bay Area and other coastal regions are important; certainly the arid regions of California were not nearly as productive as others.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 12:06 AM
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No, actually all of California was exactly as it was when I was a kid, always.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 12:08 AM
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Related


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 1:30 AM
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Late to the party but ISTR that the male/female split in terms of calories varies a lot with environment - Inuit men provide almost all the calories because it's all meat, and they do pretty much all the hunting. (Not to say that the women just sit around, of course - making Inuit clothing in particular is labour-intensive.)

I grew up in California and wouldn't have wanted to have to live off the land. Which was semi-desert.

Playa hater.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 2:55 AM
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I wonder how many calories the clothing is worth - as in, you'd need to burn X additional calories to keep warm without it.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 3:14 AM
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my uncle does property insurance and was telling me this story about coons getting into a house while a guy was in europe on business for a few months.

I suppose with all the empty houses in dtroit, theres a lot of raccons.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 3:21 AM
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332: This is the Arctic here. I think without the clothing you would die.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 3:42 AM
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Don't hate the playa, hate the lack of game.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 3:52 AM
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334: True. Its value in terms of heat - i.e. energy, i.e. fuel - must be very high. It just struck me as an interesting way to quantify the comparison.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 4:01 AM
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This is the Arctic here. I think without the clothing you would die.

It's widely assumed that Neanderthals - serious arctic specialists - wore clothing, for just that reason. But there's no evidence for it. Certainly they didn't sew. So possibly the value of clothing is overrated.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 5:08 AM
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I don't think the Neanderthals lived in the Arctic. They lived in Europe and western Asia.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 5:14 AM
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Not that we're talking about deer anymore, but the tactic I read is this: deer run in a characteristic curving path. If you're fast you can run in a straight line and intersect their curve at the crucial point. Our ancestors sure were good at calculus.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 5:14 AM
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They lived in Europe and western Asia.

During an ice age. It was bastard cold.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 5:16 AM
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I've heard that from people with direct experience about rabbits. If you spook a rabbit, and it runs off to the right, you wait a minute and a half and it will appear right back in front of you coming from the left.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 5:24 AM
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Ooh, LB! I sent heebie and you an e-mail requesting a post about the Brock meetup.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 5:36 AM
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Same data as 104?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 5:39 AM
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Landry is also pretty adorable, too what Matt Damon would look like if he sustained a savage beating.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 6:28 AM
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||
If you were a right testis, would you want to share the scrotum with that?
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:18 AM
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Ooph... that new post is a doozy. Pulling it probably doesn't make sense at this point, but wow. That will teach me a lesson about sharing TMI on the internets, I guess.

I may not be around again for a while.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:29 AM
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Oy, sorry -- when BG asked, I assumed it was cool. I'll take it down if you want of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:49 AM
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346: Mockery of that sort comes from deep affection.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:50 AM
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Oh, wait, the mockery rather than frontpaging the meetup was the problem? I suppose I'd still take it down if you wanted, but I have no sympathy. As tologosh said, we kid because we love.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:53 AM
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347: Better would be a half-dozen new posts, to quickly bury it. But that's probably asking too much.

On second thought, deleting it is probably better than nothing. I think. I'm torn about it, actually. But it might make me feel a little better.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:56 AM
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the mockery rather than frontpaging the meetup was the problem?

No.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:57 AM
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I'd be btummed if Btock leaves us when he leaves Btoston.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 9:00 AM
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351: Never mind then, poopyface!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 9:01 AM
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Better?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 9:02 AM
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Brock doesnt like the love?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 9:11 AM
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354: Yes. Sorry for that--you (and BG) are entirely blameless. An explanation, in case you're confused: there's a certain Mrs. Landers*, who, knowing that Mr. Landers reads unfogged with some regularity, has herself taken to perusing the front page of the website (possibly even by RSS, unfortunately), but who, generally bored with what she sees there (no offense intended), hasn't much delved into the comments. And it so happens that this same Mrs. Landers knows neither her nor her husband's secret identity, a fact which Mr. Landers has taken some degree of care to ensure. And although Mr. Landers' efforts in this regard have been, when considered objectively, wholly unsatisfactory--comically inept, one might even say--they have nevertheless been, to date, successful. A variety of factors instill in Mr. Landers a strong desire to preserve this admittedly precarious state of affairs, not least of which being the possibility that, believing himself to be adequately pseudonymous, Mr. Landers has, on occasion, in the past, written comments that were not intended for Mrs. Landers' rather delicate sensibilities, at least not as attributable communications. (Not intended for Mrs. Landers not because of any general lack of forthrightness on the part of Mr. Landers, mind you, but because of the possibility that certain such comments lacked the diplomacy in tone that is characteristic of communication in all harmonious domestic relations.)

There was nothing damning in the redacted post, of course, but Mr. Landers feared there was enough identifying detail to prompt speculation in the mind of this same Mrs. Landers. Speculation which could prove to be ruinous.

*A pseudonym.


Posted by: Temporarily Anonymous Commenter | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 9:55 AM
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Jesus Christ, I wasn't trying to kill the blog.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:08 AM
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Appealing to Jesus won't help you now, blogslayer.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:15 AM
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Man, I have a hard enough time with the idea that my water blog is hidden from my employers (and my other blogs from my parents). It'd be way harder to be keeping an identity from my spouse.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:22 AM
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I always forget that most normal people don't hang out online with their spouses.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:27 AM
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That most people find the place boring is critical to such anonymity as I preserve, as well. It's not hard to find someone if you're here all the time accumulating details, but most folks who are here that much are mostly harmless (one hopes).


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:30 AM
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I'm going to kill and eat you, NPH.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:34 AM
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I think Apo could run NPH down. Hone in on him like a missile. Stab him with a pointed stick.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:48 AM
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Or run a herd of lawyers off a cliff. That's my fear.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:54 AM
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There's a whole lot of people who'd think a Head Smashed In Bar Association a great idea.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:56 AM
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How about that tofu dish?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 10:59 AM
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356: You're either a brave man or an idiot, TAC. But at this point I have no advice that I think would help. Maybe Fleur could call your wife and talk her through the process of acceptance and forgiving?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 11:05 AM
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361: Although it can lead to more anonymity than you want. I really had a hard time attracting Buck's attention to this place enough to make him understand that I really was spending a lot of time with people here; "I chat with people in the Unfogged comments" was totally insufficient disclosure because he wasn't processing it. Solved it by dragging him to a couple of meetups, but there was a period there where I was distinctly worried, even though he knew in some sense about Unfogged, that he was going to suddenly wake up to the amount of interaction going on and feel unpleasantly surprised.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 11:12 AM
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You're either a brave man or an idiot, TAC.

Can't I be both?


Posted by: Temporarily Anonymous Commenter | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 11:14 AM
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"Honest, all the penetration is metaphorical!"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 11:15 AM
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369: In fact, I understand it commonly works that way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 11:16 AM
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I think you're going to have to tell her that you're the apostropher, TAC.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 11:17 AM
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371 to 370.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 11:18 AM
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that he was going to suddenly wake up to the amount of interaction going on and feel unpleasantly surprised

As has been noted, enhanced disclosure isn't the only feasible solution to this problem.

372: I don't know if I like that idea. Being hunted down and eaten is bad enough; I'd rather not be nuked to death in a plastic cup.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 11:52 AM
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As has been noted, enhanced disclosure isn't the only feasible solution to this problem.

Well, yeah. I could probably be having hot sweaty cybersex in the comments here and the odds that Buck would ever read it would be slim, and go down even further if I hadn't ever told him the comments were interesting. But enhanced disclosure is certainly the lowest-stakes solution, in that there's nothing to go wrong after that point.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 11:58 AM
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375: you told Buck about the penis-picture contest, right?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 12:00 PM
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Buck entered.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 12:01 PM
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Does he know that?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 12:07 PM
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Would it matter?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 12:08 PM
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What Megan wants to know is did he come on his own, or did you enter Buck, naked.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 12:12 PM
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I hardly dare mention this, but if anybody remembers the OP, here's a real life Palaeoanthropologist on the caveman diet.

I don't think there's anything harmful about adopting a hunter-gatherer-like diet. I do doubt whether it's the most healthful diet for some people -- the point of "adaptation" is to increase offspring number, not longevity! Besides, some populations have been adapting to agricultural diets for ten thousand years.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 1:11 PM
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Way to make the joke explicit explicit, Eggplant.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 1:20 PM
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Buck entered.

Metaphorically.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 1:21 PM
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From the link in 381:

The most healthful diet for you might be the diet of your recent ancestors, not your Paleolithic ones.

Indeed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 1:26 PM
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LB tried to pass off Buck, Entered as "art", but it's really just homemade porno if you ask me.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 1:28 PM
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Hunter-gatherers can't afford to ignore low hanging fruit.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 1:30 PM
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And now suddenly I'm thinking of the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album in a whole different light.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 1:31 PM
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I think I see where LB can get some customers.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 5:55 PM
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http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/11/avatar.movie.blues/

This link was supposed to be in 388.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 5:59 PM
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Buck entered.

I'm pretty sure this isn't true.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 7:36 PM
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Aren't you violating the sanctity of cock-blog communication?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 7:37 PM
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No more than you were.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 7:41 PM
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Not so -- I am making claims about communications that never in fact took place, and so cannot be sacrosanct. You, on the other hand, are revealing facts about communications that did take place. I have the moral high ground here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 7:43 PM
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But only we know what actually did or did not take place.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 7:47 PM
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Your point?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 7:52 PM
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That our diversion is an innocent one.

You're the one who gave the game away, with your unschooled reaction. tsk tsk, el bee.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 7:53 PM
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The unfogged cock photo contest has, of course, achieved mythical proportions throughout the internets. I'm surprised there's not a wikipedia entry. Given that the photos are lost or abandoned, however, discussion of said contest is ... well, let's call it an urban legend.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:10 PM
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Wasn't the idea of photos to prevent claims of mythical proportions?


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:11 PM
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It wasn't a contest, actually.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:14 PM
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tsk tsk, el bee.

That's la abeja to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:15 PM
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399: Yeah, someone said "contest" upthread, and I rewrote my comment a few times in puzzlement; it winds up sounding, qua urban legend, like a contest, though. Oh well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:22 PM
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Details for the curious.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:24 PM
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I find the linked thread in 402 difficult to read. I guess I've read it before. Still, though. Such gaiety, such frivolity! And it was late 2006!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:45 PM
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Such gaiety, such frivolity! It was late 2006, and I was in love—little knowing it was for the last time!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:47 PM
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Seriously, man. It was before everything went all wackadoodle. I wasn't reading unfogged at the time myself.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:52 PM
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I am delighted that the sentence cited in 189 is only partially emended.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-12-10 8:55 PM
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HOW TIMELY.

Science. 2009 Dec 18;326(5960):1680-3.
Mozambican grass seed consumption during the middle stone age.

Mercader J.

Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada.

The role of starchy plants in early hominin diets and when the culinary processing of starches began have been difficult to track archaeologically. Seed collecting is conventionally perceived to have been an irrelevant activity among the Pleistocene foragers of southern Africa, on the grounds of both technological difficulty in the processing of grains and the belief that roots, fruits, and nuts, not cereals, were the basis for subsistence for the past 100,000 years and further back in time. A large assemblage of starch granules has been retrieved from the surfaces of Middle Stone Age stone tools from Mozambique, showing that early Homo sapiens relied on grass seeds starting at least 105,000 years ago, including those of sorghum grasses.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 8:08 AM
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It was before everything went all wackadoodle. I wasn't reading unfogged at the time myself.

Coincidence? I think not.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 8:13 AM
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that thing about avatar describes my re lationship to any adventure/scifi/fantasy/romance/YA books


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 8:15 AM
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407: Cool. Thanks for linking that. Will have to check it out.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 8:17 AM
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I'm surprised there's not a wikipedia entry.

Maybe somebody could add it to the Confidence Games entry. You could call it the nosflow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 8:22 AM
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My favorite part of the cock-picture story is the coda.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 8:41 AM
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On TAC and spousal perusal, it's interesting to me that AB is fully aware of this place - and makes fun of me over the time I spend here (if she had any idea...), but, afaik, has never visited on her own (I've had her read occasional interesting/funny posts or comments). I don't know how much of it is boundary-respecting and how much is genuine disinterest, but I'm pleased regardless. I think it's safe to say that my anonymity is nominal (ha!) at best.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 9:25 AM
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I always forget that most normal people don't hang out online with their spouses.

Indeed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 9:52 AM
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Late to the thread (or rather, I was here early and didn't keep up, but...), but I saw a couple things brought up that I still have something to say on, so...

205
And the amazing thing (they claim--I don't know enough to assert this myself) is that--despite this high variety--these societies all seem measurably healthier than populations eating modern agriculture-based diets.

First of all, "healthy" is complicated; someone said upthread that the relevant thing in a hunter-gatherer society is for adults to have as many kids as possible that survive to adulthood, but now, we are more concerned about maximizing the longevity of our own bodies. Also, there are also a lot more differences between the lifestyle of the average person 20,000 years ago and 200 years ago or today. Nutritional content of diet is arguably the least difference. One possibility: hunter-gatherers had either a moderate or a sprinter's exercise routine, compared to today's fat-assed lifestyle or constant arduous work on a preindustrial farm. Another: disease. Cities were cesspools and breeding grounds of diseases for centuries, from around when heavily populated cities existed to when people figured out the importance of sanitation. There are a lot of horrible diseases that probably didn't exist at all back in the paleolithic era, or were no more harmful than the common cold today.

Also, I loved how around the 280s, two different conversation threads converged on the same thing. That doesn't happen too often.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 3:01 PM
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Bernd Heinrich wrote Why We Run because, partly, he wondered if humans really could run down deer or antelope.

IIRC, deer eventually, antelope ha!, and somewhere in there a grad student was required to shave a camel.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-13-10 8:20 PM
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