I can resist anything, except temptation! (Oscar Wilde)

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in human ecology

Village life put demands on the minds of adults that resembled distorted versions of the growing pains of typical children of Homo sapiens everywhere. Perhaps the greater complexity of life in village society did not actually counterbalance the simplification of the nonhuman environment. Thus, the difference between the psychological world of the adult and the child in the villages was not as great as that between adults and children among the ancestral hunters. This is not what one expects from the traditional view of history. But history itself, an idea accounting for a made world, was invented by villagers as a result of five thousand years of strife and struggle to hold environment and self together. As a simplistic, linear, literal account of events and powers as unpredictable as parental anger, history is a juvenile idea.… we must stand apart from the conventions of history, even while using the record of the past, for the idea of history is itself a Western invention whose central theme is the rejection of habitat. It formulates experience outside of nature and tends to reduce place to location. To it, the plaints and passes of the desert fringe are only a stage upon which the human drama is enacted. History conceives the past mainly in terms of biography and nations. It seeks causality in the conscious, spiritual, ambitious character of men and memorializes them in writing.[1]


  1. Shepard, P., 1998. Nature and madness. University of Georgia Press. 

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