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I was randomly reminded of my list of Five Tools that make humans what we are, materially speaking, vs. other animals:
knives: artificial and replaceable teeth and claws
spears: knife on a stick, for ranged or missile fighting. cheating!
clothing: for adapting to a wide range of environments
bags: to carry stuff
fire: to scare other animals, shape the environment, and cook

I first thought about that list after learning that my advisor's son couldn't wear a backpack through his high school; they had to run from class to class clutching things in their arms, with stopovers at their lockers. That seemed pretty dehumanizing to me, even more so after that list; only clothing was left...

Arguably, also housing as a difference; other animals make nests or burrows, but I don't know how often "shelter from the elements" is part of the function there. Probably at least sometimes.

***

I previously mentioned the Swiss voting to restrict immigration; elsewhere, someone said they thought that was a killer argument against direct democracy, though they didn't explain their reasoning, if any. Yesterday, I learned of something from the other end: in Spain, the government is on track to re-ban abortion -- despite 70-80% opposition in popular polls. There's big protests too, tens of thousands of people -- but let us face it, protests have no reliable power whatsoever. It's just a bunch of people shouting; what matter is elections.

I don't know if the ruling conservatives don't believe in polls (that seems to be a recurrent thing) or really believe in banning abortion despite electoral risk or figure that a lot of the people pissed at them will still vote for them anyway due to higher priority issues.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/386230.html#comments

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
martianmooncrab
Feb. 14th, 2014 09:28 am (UTC)
my advisor's son couldn't wear a backpack through his high school;

I went to high school before there were school backpacks (only hikers and climbers had those sorts of things!) and we lived. You learned to chose what was necessary and had to plan your trips to your locker or classes.

We also had a dress code and a closed campus.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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