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Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Of cats and dogs

Ireland's photographs have not yet been sanitized, the legends we wrote there have not yet distilled properly and I have the worst child-inflicted viral infection-thingy I have had for many years. SO the tale of Ireland's vacation may have to wait for a few days. But a story will be told thereof. Eventually.

Onto current affairs before today's main topic. NOT wanting to be the harbinger of doom, or to harbinge anything at all really, I draw attention to the current state of the World's financial markets with no pleasure, but with a feeling of some vindication. I believe that I was the first contributor to this blogsite to introduce readers to the notion that societies cause themselves endless difficulty by engaging in complexity, and while it is true that I may well be the only regular contributor to this site, I do not believe that this lessens my achievement at all. The world's financial markets are in chaos. The real problem with this is that the last time that this happened, it was a person who was super rich already who profited. Mr George Soros might well have opened hundreds of charitable institutes, and may well be a nice uncle, I have no idea, BUT the very artificiality of the type of speculation that 'players' on the stock market engage in is a real and present danger to everyone else, I believe, not to mention the environment, good taste and the advancement of human society everywhere.

My father used to equate the stock market with betting shops, and I believe that no matter how many stupid, unpoetic, poncy, plummy, small-mouthed euphemisms these stock market speculators use, they are in fact, no better than my illiterate alcoholic grandfather who spent the family income betting on the outcome of the 3.30 at Chepstow. Stock market speculation is gambling, full stop. The players might use their own language to describe what they do, a language used by breathless journalists and bad novelists as if they are describing foreplay, where words like "exposure", "liquidity", "remuneration"(possibly the worst word in the English language), "bear pit", "Bullpen", "dynamic" are used as if they actually describe something, but the fact is these people are nothing but common gamblers. They create wealth the way an alcoholic gambling addict will go to the pub after a big win and spend loads of money, but it's nothing permanent, nothing substantial, nothing to be proud of. The real problem has been that they are taken seriously, the way far too many addicts are taken seriously, and, again like drug addicts and alcoholics, when it all goes horribly wrong, they take a lot of people down with them. The only difference between these people and drug addicts and alcoholics is that alcoholics often recognize that what they are doing is bad for society.

Why are the so called stock markets gambling, I hear you ask? Well, my father's explanation is a good one. It goes like this:

A market trader dealing in fish, fresh fish, will, if he or her, is reputable, only sell you fish that is available today, on the stall. They WILL NOT say to you

"OI, Governer. Give us ten quid now and I'll reserve some of tomorrow's catch in your name. Given that everyone loves a bit of haddock, we just know that I can sell your tenner's worth for twelve quid, so when I do sell it at that price, we'll make two quid profit"

THey will NOT say this to you because someone who operates in a real market deals in reality. The stock market, heavily dependent on "Futures" and "confidence", is anything BUT a real market. It is gambling.

OK. Polemic over. Back to cat and dogs....

Many thousands of years ago, similarly to that humans did definitely NOT gamble that the herds of wildebeest would sweep majestically across the 'prairie', bets also were NOT taken on which child would survive being mauled by the vicious predator 'we' had just domesticated. I say 'we' because if I am wrong, I want no part of 'we' and want instead to be a different species, perhaps 'homo cataffiliaticus'. The sense of this segment, if sense there be, is that I dispute strongly the outrageous claims made by some anthropologists that dogs were the first animals domesticated by humans. Domesticating dogs first is just gambling.

I should lay out the arguments. As I believe I have already proven, humans are, by nature NOT gamblers. Gambling is usually associated with an illness, with being a sociopath,with playing the stock market etc etc, and is, I would suggest, a pasttime dependant on a certain amount of luxury. Living on the brink between hunter gathering and an agrarian existence is not a place to risk one's existence, yet certain anthropologists would have us believe that these early humans traipsed out into the wild blue yonder, trapped a she-wolf, killed it, and then took the wild cubs back to camp with the specific intention of breeding Shitzu's as soon as they could find another litter(from a different she-wolf) with paqrticularly attractive eyes,. They would also have to kill the second she-wolf. Then , the same ganf of starving humans would have to invest a huge amount of resources on feeding all the pups. And, the same anthropologists would have us belive that they did this on a whim - as a trial run, as an invention. They would have us believe that ancient man woke up one night and decided to domesticate things that were wild, that did'nt want to be domesticated, and that required a huge amount of resources.

Consider, if you will, the original moggy. Sneaking round the sandhills of pre-civilization Egypt, hunting bunny-rabbits (sorry Grasshopper), when lo and behold, there, right in front of it's eyes is a whole family of mice feasting on a pile of grain collected by the homo sapiens. For the cat, this is a good gig - a regular supply of food, protection from predators, warmth. For the human, their precious grain is protected, and the amount of effort they have to put into the venture is limited.

I do not think there could be an argument. I do love dogs, and we are going to get a dog as soon as we can to enhance our menagerie, but as an introduction to risk-free domestication, cats are the way to go.

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