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The other day I happened to be sitting in the barbershop waiting my turn and perusing a copy of National Geographic with a picture of a Fox on the cover. I have been seeing a red fox visit my gardens since before the snow began to melt so I began to leaf through the article and discovered that researchers in Russia have successfully domesticated the silver fox. What's more they have been able to show that the domestication is the result of genetic breeding for specific traits rather than due to nurture.

It turns out that this research has been ongoing for as long as I have been on the planet, maybe longer. Generation after generation has been bred either for positive or negative response to the presence of humans and behavior which once was the specialty of a few species like dogs and cats, farm animals and perhaps some lab rats, has now been observed in species which were previously resistant to domestication such as wolves and foxes.

After reading this I had a bit of mental flatulence and a cloud of thoughts escaped me in a moment of enlightenment.

Kate Winslet's Middleton's wedding. and the acceptance by the British that they have betters whom they  must fawningly adore.

The caste system in India

The idea that you have to work for a living but there is a class of people whom you work for...

The idea that you have to be trained, educated, instructed, certified in your appropriate role and should be compensated (or not) according to how well the training, education, instruction takes.

A Sci Fi short story entitled "How to Serve Man"

Democrats (spineless wimps who begin negotiations by caving and offering more than their partner in negotiations has asked for) are bred to be of service to their fellow man; ie; Republicans.

The possibility of domesticated endangered species of lions tigers and bears protected as pets and perhaps personal bodyguards.

Soldiers bred for aggression just as outlaws in prison and biker gangs have generations of parental reinforcement for allegiance to the gang rather than the law.

The role of religion in limiting the grant of marriage rites to those who agree to join in the consensus of the congregation to be law abiding even to the extent of men cutting off the ends of their dicks.

The idea that if something is possible for science that thing is inevitable for science.

Originally posted to rktect on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 03:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by A Perfect Conversation.


The Domestication of Humans

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Voice, goinsouth, irate, corvaire, Gabriel D

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 03:23:01 AM PDT

  •  Thought-provoking diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm going to try exploring some similar issues in a May Day diary for Anti-Capitalist Meetup.  There is certainly a powerful effort across this culture to inculcate in us the belief that hierarchy and the human misery it brings are natural.  May Day is a celebration of the spirit of rebellion against that idea among others.

    Are they trying to breed that into us as well?  Perhaps.  I wouldn't put it past them at least making the effort.

  •  About this: (0+ / 0-)
    Kate Winslet's Middleton's wedding. and the acceptance by the British that they have betters whom they  must fawningly adore

            Isn't just mostly Americans and the American media in particular who are doing the fawning? Out here in the real America I see nothing but a collective yawn, and even that is mostly because we are in between major sporting events.

    You want to complain ... look at these shoes ... I've only had them three weeks and the heels are worn right through. Eric Idle

    by irate on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 04:30:51 AM PDT

  •  Human husbandry is a "kinder, gentler" (0+ / 0-)

    alternative to what Cain did to Abel out of jealousy.  The exploitation of humans by their own kind to their detriment can be perceived as progress and might well account for the reluctance to recognize human rights.
    Indeed, the animal rights movement might well be perceived as a threat because, if the "lower" animal species have a right to life and to living freely, then can the rights of humans continue to be denied?

    Are humans still deprived of their rights now that slavery has been formally outlawed?  You bet.  Not only are children still considered the property of their parents, but people are tricked into consenting to the deprivation of their rights all the time.  And, as we saw with "stop loss" in the military, consent once given is like the traditional marriage vow, not retractable.
    Just the other day the SCOTUS ruled that consenting to arbitration in a contract with a communications company terminates an individual's right to seek redress in court.  No justice for you, ms. informed consent.

    by hannah on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 04:54:32 AM PDT

  •  there is support for this view (0+ / 0-)

    in brain size shrinkage (dogs brain is about 15% smaller than wolves). Bonobos brains are about 15% small than more aggressive chimpanzees. Human brains have shrunk about 15% in the past 20,000 years.

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 06:57:56 AM PDT

  •  I have little epiphanies like this... (0+ / 0-)

    all the time. But consider for a moment that domestication partly means to adapt plants and animals for human use. Kind of hard for humans to adapt themselves to use themselves under this definition.

    "Socialization" and questions about the role of the individual in society are the terms you're looking for. You might want to check out the (h/t whatever unknown kossack introduced me to this) there are the Milgram Experiments, whose implications you'll be interested in.

    "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
    Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Harvard University.

    by papicek on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 07:10:57 AM PDT

    •  Some people are domesticated by other people (0+ / 0-)

      To adapt humans for the use of humans consider the concept of leaders and followers. There is some evidence of some human's having domesticated other humans in a feudal relationship of sustenance in return for service that goes back before the domestication of dog's and cat's, beasts of burden, cattle, sheep, pigs etc;

      As for the "Milgram Experiment" there is a long history of such experiments in the literature of social psychology including what happens when students are randomly chosen to play the rolls of guards and prisoners.

      My bottom line on this is the advice of my sociology teacher to try all the things you know you won't like until you are not only free to do whatever you want to do but what you don't want to do as well.

      Her point was that our likes and dislikes are generally programmed onto us by our significant others, parents, peers, teachers, and authority figures of church and state, and that resistance to the programming is not futile, you don't really have to work for a living, get married, raise children, send them to school.

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 09:46:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  1984 (0+ / 0-)

        The largest group of people were the proles, the proletariat. They had the numbers to completely rewrite the rules of that society, but after generations of breeding into their roles of subservience, Big Brother was perfectly correct in predicting that they would not rise up.

        Brave New World.
        People are bred in huge identical twin batches and carefully altered in their natures for certain castes. Inculcated by social engineering to dislike the other classes, and to like their own, they are both physically and mentally indoctrinated into their class, and won't rise up due to positive ties that pull them into their niche and negative motivation to venture into the societal turf of other classes.

  •  Pooties have been domesticating humans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for several thousand years.  In return for noms, the human get protection against diseases spread by rodents.

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