Bare Bones Ecology 023 Transcript – Human Nature

“Nobody wants to be told that they are part of the problem. You have to tell people something they want to hear if you are going to compete in this world. It’s human nature.”

I didn’t say that. When the hurricane is coming up the gulf, I don’t want anybody telling me it’s only a rainbow. I don’t think you said it either. When the tree is falling right over your head, you don’t want me to smile and suggest you might be happier if you move just a teeny bit over that way?” No. We both want to know the facts, so if it’s important we can respond appropriately, and as quickly as possible.

So who says it’s human nature to only want to hear sweet talk? Not me. My mommy warned me about that when I was just a pretty little tot. Things haven’t changed that much. You can smile, and maybe flirt a little, but never build your future on someone else’s line of sugar. Go for the real deal. So whoever said humans want a pack of pretty stories instead of the real deal, I think it was someone who doesn’t want us to know about the real deal.

And then he assumes I want to compete. Why would I want to compete in my community of colleagues? I can’t think of anything more exhausting than trying to live, all the time squaring off at every little bit of flotsam that floats by, when it would be so much easier to use it as a bridge over the troubled waters of life. And anyway, what’s to compete? We all want the same things, and believe me, it’s a whole lot easier to get these things if you have a little help. Whoever you are trying to compete with certainly won’t be much help to you, and anyway, I tried competition. In fact, I’m pretty good at it. But it’s just not fun. Fun is not competing with each other over essentially meaningless outcomes. Well, that can be temporary fun. But long-term satisfaction in life comes from working together with other people to solve real problems that we can actually improve if we understand them well enough and work together well enough.

Well OK, it might be your nature to compete. I’m told there are people who enjoy war, but I always wonder if it isn’t really the companionship they like. Or maybe, the person who said this to me is a really good con artist and he enjoys that game, but I don’t believe it’s human nature, because I don’t believe the human species would have survived so spectacularly if everyone had been at everyone else’s throats during all this growing time. One of the reasons we have succeeded so well is that we are a social species, and social species are programmed in their genes to be social. I think human people throughout history succeeded and overcame mostly by recognizing the realities of life and working together to over come them. It’s the instinctive, inborn nature of all social species to nurture their own kind. That’s what social species means. So that helpless teat-sucking child with no obligations and its glass always at least half full is human nature, up to about the age of six. After that, no excuses.

Now the corpo-nature, that’s a different matter. Corpo-nature is the innate nature of a corporation. It might very well be corpo-nature to deceive and coerce to get whatever they want, but then corporations are not human, are they? Or are they? They weren’t human up until this year, but I think some judge just decided that they are.

Does that mean. I mean if some judge says a corporation is human, does that mean it has human nature? Or does it mean humans have to act like corporations to have human nature?

Bare Bones Biology, on , and
KEOS radio, 89.1

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