Unkown Blogger Pursues a Deranged Quest for Normalcy

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Adapt or Die

Posted by ubpdqn on June 26, 2013

The times they are a changing indeed. Neurochemistry, time and the most precious family support (my sole unwaivering allies) are working to restore and perhaps improve my outlook. I recently experienced a spike in mood, almost elation (something I had not experienced for years). Spike have rapid declines as well as steep upstrokes and this was no exception. However, the moments of clarity and focus allowed the accumulation of some optimism, resilience perhaps.

Homo sapiens emergence, still a blip on the earth’s timescale (order of 10-4), heralded the extinction of the hardy and still longer timespan neandert(h)als more than 25000 years ago. The convergence of climatic change and loss of competitive advantage appear to have precipitated this erasure (genetic data suggesting little evidence for interbreeding). The neandertals were strong, but inflexible and less adaptive than homo sapiens. They were efficient hunters but used closed range limited scope and high risk weapons. They did not modify them. They were carnivores and there is no evidence they changed their diet, despite environmental circumstances changing. In contrast, homo sapiens showed adaptive behaviours: progressive refinement of tools, collective strategies for food gathering, diversification of diet. There was a major negative population pressure (bottleneck explaining the much more limited genetic variant relative to our simian relatives) but homo sapiens endured and neandertals did not. Almost certainly random factors and other factors were important influences and this reductionist story has limitations. However, adapt or die seems to be a simple inference to contemplate.

I am, sadly, in many ways more neandertal-like, than I care to acknowledge. The climate has changed and my pattern of responses have been narrow. However, I have sensed that the social milieu (in my case solely my family), neurochemical changes and perhaps internal capacity for more adaptation give me hope.

I never watched sport as a child or a young adult. This has changed. The video is symbolic of the joy of the unexpected.

This tree has shed its leaves…it is bare but stands defiantly waiting for warmer times…and so do I.
Peace to all.

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