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EVOLUTION'S DULL

From Chris Wayan's journal, 1997/7/22


Z magazine has an article on the cruelty of evolution; it argues we can do better.

Well, I hope they're ready to dump capitalism too, then. Struggle struggle, keep the competition on their toes, little fish are made to be eaten... social Darwinism is alive and well, folks.

Though believing in reincarnation makes me less concerned with all that death. I endured years of chronic illness in America--unable to work full time. That makes you subhuman, here. I'd rather have been picked off by wolves and gotten on with a different life than barely survive, sick, shunned and scorned. Human society's crueler than predation: drags it out. No, what I resent about evolution isn't a quick bloody death.

Evolution's BORING. Hard work and no fun. Evolution and capitalism are both like baseball: 'a game of inches.' A minor error here and you're out, a tiny advantage there and you win this round. Climb the dominance hierarchy, work hard to feed the kids... Darwinian struggle is a grind!

I prefer the lazier, looser life on the fringes, away from the battle--island paradises, rich dabblers, freaks with nothing to lose, prodigies who change the rules. These lucky few have the leisure time to look beyond mere excellence and fine-tuned survival, to longer-term interests--creativity, planned change, spiritual questions, or pure knowledge (as if these are separate). Even deer and rabbits given leisure time will start to dream, though in the wild they usually lack safe enough nests to afford it. So... what I appreciate about my particular slack eddy of human society is that I do get the free time to try things that don't involve competition at all.

If you're pro-business, you're anti-stillness.

And dropping out from the capitalist rush to excellence is where happiness hides. And so does real originality--not a higher leap or sharper claws, but the fish clumsily crawling onto land--or tinkerers in a garage.

This rant was brought to you by the Cranky Corporation.



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