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Reversing Evolution--Man Learns From Monkey

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Message Don Scotten

A remarkable nature presentation on TV on January third this year depicted chimpanzees venting their aggression against a particular tree. They would pound the tree with their fists and their feet and even pick up stones as large as a foot in diameter and throw them against the tree. These were brief encounters and strictly individual efforts. Subsequent to the venting the chimpanzees left the area and there was no socializing--again, it appeared to be an individual, personal activity.

The presenters of this documentary speculated on how unusual the behavior was and thought it might be to mark territory but mostly concluded they had no idea as to the why of the behavior ... In particular, they did not ask the obvious, most logical question: what would be the consequence of to the social fabric of the chimpanzee troop if the aggression expressed against the tree were instead carried out within the chimpanzee troop?

This is an entirely speculative piece and I hope to promote just that--serious speculation. Consider, if you can, the possibility of community organizers creating venting sites--our version of a venting tree--where individuals could punch, kick and abuse this specially created 'thing' placed there for that purpose and then get back in their car and go home or to work. What would be the consequence of this experiment to domestic-violence statistics or even gang violence. This venting post would provide for ritualized release of violence and not a place to socialize--a strictly personal activity.

So, interesting possibilities I think. This theme could be useful in the lives of those who seek power politically. What if Trump spent his ire on his own presidential venting post rather than the arbitrary drone murder of an Iranian general? There is great opportunity here for creative conjecture and the experiment would cost very little and the potential savings in lives and soul damage meaningful.

Finally, I confess I could not retrieve the information on this documentary on Google. There were endless presentations showing chimpanzees killing each other and engaging in violence but not this displaced-aggression piece. Apparently very few troops are known to exhibit this aggression-venting behavior.

Don Scotten

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I am an ordinary citizen who for the first sixty years of his life was mostly disinterested in politics. Then George Bush and Dick Cheney intruded into my consciousness and I realized politics is important and determines who lives and who dies. (more...)

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