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genius and it’s roots

Written on July 26, 2005

Two notes on a similar topic, recently brought to light:

scribble, scribble, scribble…:

Who first ate an oyster? And was he put up to it by a buddy? I’ll give you two shiny rocks if you eat that. Who was the first guy who looked at a horse and thought I bet I could ride one of those, and then jumped on? Who first looked at a round object and a round hole and thought it might be fun to toss the former through the latter? And who first decided to keep score?

The Deep North:

But what we wondered was, how on earth did anyone find out? Anyone who has disembowelled an ox presumably has a fairly hefty day’s work in front of him: in the thrifty Europe of the past, just about everything was used, but the gall bladder and its contents were, even by the standards of the ancien régime, wholly and absolutely inedible. Who on earth, rather than getting on with the unspeakably messy jobs of boiling up the tripe, making salami casings from the intestines, etc., wandered off with the brute’s gall bladder, saying ‘ooo, I wonder what this does?’ and started messing about with ink? And how did he get away with it, when there was so much to do? It’s one of those great human discoveries it is hard quite to imagine coming about, like, IF you get the cyanide out of cassava root, it is quite tasty, and highly nourishing. What Darwin-awardee of remote history went on experimenting after his mate had sampled raw cassava, gone blue, clutched his throat and dropped dead? There should be some sort of medal.

So how do people learn about the capabilities of organs, plants, minerals, etc.? And at what cost?

[composed and posted with ecto]

Filed in: the value of X.

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