Friday, December 24, 2010

Some, More, Too Many

We're a social species. Groupness was chosen for us as a survival strategy by our species/environment ecology long before any of us as individuals could have been considered intelligent. The ploy that made us money yesterday can put us in the red tomorrow. I'm for groupness: never mind that I had no more choice in the matter than you did. But for the last few decades I've been dragging my feet about super-groupness. I've love mankind in ones, and occasionally by the dozen: but I dread all groups larger than what I believe was the correct size for a human group: maximizing around two hundred, two-hundred and fifty.

Group a um

I love Jesus, however rickety the sources of our stories about him. I love his twelve disciples. I love how Leonardo grouped them into sub-groups: three, three; six, six: seven: thirteen, with an odd extra, a female confusing everything.

Leonardo, Last Supper

I love the early church: a few hundred Christians, hiding from the Romans: like Jews hiding from Hitler. But I hate the Church.

I love Daniel Boone, Buffalo Bill ... but I hate nations. I hate two hundred million Americans become three hundred. I hate a world population of a billion become four billion, five billion ...

There are lots of good things that are good, good, good: but then become toxic. Human groups cooperate as well as compete, they love as well as hate, they help as well as sabotage. If Roosevelt opens the door for Stalin, that's nice; but when Mussolini cooperates with Hitler's murdering Poles, something's gone wrong. Even cooperation can turn toxic.

Watch out for human groupness turning super-toxic. I sometimes with we were back on the savanna, lucky to find a dead bug.

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