All posts by loomispw

Comment on Ratting Around by loomispw

I like this argument, and I made it in a different way in a different comment, however, mice share a lot of the same qualities of rats we dislike, and we don’t hate them the same way we hate rats. I think how we view animals does make a huge difference and mice are loved for their cuteness.

Comment on From Rat King to Lab Rat, and everything in between by loomispw

I think one of the reasons we dislike rats is because of how much they resemble us. They fall into a type of uncanny valley. One of the interesting parallels is that as rats are forced to live in closer quarters their behavior changes, resulting in greater deviancies from the norm. These deviancies included greater aggression and greater social withdrawal. This could be seen as similar to how higher density populations exhibit a higher rate of psychological distress.

Comment on Reindeers are Better Than People? by loomispw

The idea of domesticated people makes me think of The Time Machine, where humanity had diverged into two groups, a society of effeminate idle people, and the cannibalistic under-dwellers who feed on them and provide them with material goods. Except in such an extreme sense I can’t see “domesticated people” being applicable in the sense you’re using it.

Comment on Reindeers are Better Than People? by loomispw

Apparently there have been projects to introduce reindeer herding in Alaska as early as the 1890s, between 20 and 30 years after it was purchased from Russia. ( That reminded me of another similar project, introducing camels to the mid-west. Unfortunately they didn’t work well alongside horses and couldn’t deal with rocky terrain. (

Comment on Goat Song/Class Discussion by loomispw

I actually liked the graphic descriptions of living with the goats and the kids’ births. I grew up reading James Harriot’s books, which detailed the life of a country veterinarian and contained many such descriptions. I believe my post addressed some of your topic questions, particularly the genetic and social effects of pastoralism.

Comment on Physical Effects of Domestication by loomispw

It would be interesting to see if monkeys or other species of animals could be bred to develop or rely on their own technology and domesticates. I remember reading about dolphins developing and spreading new fishing techniques among themselves. I would be interested in seeing the results of any concerted effort to breed an animal for greater brain volume.