I find the bestiality paradigm almost shocking assumed Bullet’s normality of it. Seriously, given our perception and relationship throughout time, donkeys?! I agree with Camilla, apparently bestiality was not frowned upon back then like it is today. Sure, sexual preferences are (for most) an intimate topic. I can reasonably see a present-day discussion of sexual preferences to include and not be ridiculed for what Bulliet explained as a rise of sexual fantasies between humans. Perhaps that would be what it might feel like to discuss bestiality back then: private but normal. Today, if an intimate sexual preference discussion included bestiality, it would be not so easily received (and not viewed as “natural”).
The discussion of the merging of the words “ass,” a donkey and, “arse,” a person’s bum that was too vulgar to use in public, made me realize that perhaps the entire origin of our language would provide clues about who we were and what our relationships were like throughout history. It was only in America that the confusion of the world surfaced (in Brittan “arse” is still the only vulgar word).Maybe this confusion of the words in America points to our increasing disconnect to our deep evolutionary history. Is it possible that this lack of word origin understanding (among other factors) positioned us to develop a post-domestic society (categories again!) of industrial agriculture? This fits nicely with the “dumb-ass” discussion question Camilla posted.
I found The Horse, the Wheel, and Language readings intriguing. The horse chapter had more horse-specific data and measurements than I have ever really cared to understand. The results can be appreciated nevertheless. For example, bit wear (as so defined in the reading) indicates that a horse has been ridden or driven. It was interesting to note that large horse herds would have been difficult to keep without riding them. I think back to our discussions of animal predispositions allowing them to form bonds with humans, where there is a horse (or a dog or a dolphin, etc) there is a human who will try to ride it.
The invention of the wheel is monumental. I enjoyed the explanation of how it connected cultures across the land into one interacting system. It was the wheel for the carriage pulled by domesticates that created a new global consciousness; a transportation revolution! (Similarly, I think it is time for another revolution in transport that redefines our relationship with oil and fossil fuels but that’s another discussion entirely)
We’re taking about our heritage and a food system that began by innovation, geographic luck, and animal propensity.
Finally I enjoyed recognizing the inherent errors our system of historical, scientific, and other types of studies. It does not mean we should stop studying. It means we must be so adaptable and flexible to include the standard deviations, or error percentages of information in the dark or not accounted for. If you ask me, there’s something to the old fashioned beliefs that make sense like preserving your food the
old fashioned way”.