Saturday, October 03, 2015

Weekend meditation: In human interactions, there are forces more powerful even than yoga, feng shui, and Irish dancing


Can there really be a force more powerful than Irish dancing?

by Ken

The pen is mightier than the sword, we've been told, and it's a theory, at least. No doubt there have been time when it has been true. There are fewer claims, you'll note, for the superior might of the sword of such weapons as handguns, automatic rifles, conventional bombs, and thermonuclear devices.

You'd think more attention would have been paid to what we might call the Hierarchy of Forces. So as a weekend thought provocation, I thought I would throw out a couple of choice contributions to the literature I've stumbled across.

First there was yesterday's Dilbert. I think we've all noticed Dilbert's Pointy-Headed Boss growing steadily -- um, what's the clinical term? -- nutsier lately. And encountering, at least in his familiar corporate world, depressingly little pushback. And then came this demonstration of force:

[Click to enlarge.]


And tonight I happened to be watching a rebroadcast on one of my local public TV stations of a 2004 Midsomer Murders called "The Straw Woman," in which DCI Barnaby is enmeshed in a string of murders in the village of Midsomer Parva involving witchcraft, or so the gullible villagers are being led to believe. Naturally this isn't helpful to the inspector in cracking the case, and we find him venting his frustration at one of those famous Barnaby family dinners. His daughter Cully offers this interesting perspective on the subject of witches:

"Everyone needs to have something they can feel good about hating."

And, we might add, something they can feel good about fearing.


A fist thing

I found this photo of a fist accompanying a 2012 ZME Science post titled "Punching may have shaped evolution of human hand." The post describes research reported by University of Utah researchers. After discussing the adaptability of the human fist to punching, the report note points out:
Researchers note that the human hand is also shaped for an increased dexterity in handling a number of objects and tasks, so they presume that the hand evolved both for dexterity and punching force – two things which don’t exactly go hand in hand.

There may, however, be only one set of skeletal proportions that allows the hand to function both as a mechanism for precise manipulation and as a club for striking,” the researchers write. “Ultimately, the evolutionary significance of the human hand may lie in its remarkable ability to serve two seemingly incompatible, but intrinsically human, functions.
Makes you proud to be a human, no?

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