|UC101 : The Class :Ishmael|
Quotes from and questions about
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Dr. F. Riegelhaupt
Page # Quote or Question
3 Why so exaggerated a reaction? "I threw the paper to the floor", " I choked and cursed and spat and...
4 TEACHER seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.
26 What prevents them from releasing the world from captivity?
They're unable to find (SEE) the bars of the cage.
37 Mother Culture first mentioned. Takers/Leavers. Define.
39. It's the journey that's going to change you. (Songs with this theme, "Blowin' in the Wind' , El rey, etc.)
41 story - a scenario interrelating man, the world and the gods
to enact a story is to live so as to make it a reality
to strive to make it come true
Leavers - 2 to 3 million years ago, Takers - 10-12,000 years ago
Chapter 1 Leavers, Chapter 2 Takers
42 or 2 separate stories based on 2 entirely different and contradictory premises
43 It's an explaining story, like How the elephant got his trunk...
How things came to be this way from the beginning until now.
44 They put their shoulders to the wheel during the day, stupefy themselves with drugs and television at night, and try not to think too searchingly about the world they're leaving their children to cope with.
45 living mythologically
50 No creation story is a myth to the people who tell it.
52 creationists - "except for..."
54 creation myth - the fanciful tale you tell your children about the origin of the world.
59 The Takers regard the world as a sort of human-life-support-system, as a machine designed to produce and sustain human life.
60 Every story...is the working out of a premise...
61 The world was made for man...then it belongs to us and we can do anything we damn well please with it.
68 ...man had to settle down in one place...to begin to master his environment =agriculturalist
69 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent
settlement - division of labor - technology - trade - commerce - math - literacy - science - middle of story
Takers - world is a human life support system, designed to produce and sustain human life
72 The world was made for man, and man was made to rule it.
73 to conquer it - to rule it
75 It's the price of enacting a story that casts mankind as enemy of the world
82 and under human rule. It was meant to become a paradise but people screwed it up
83 spoiled by stupidity, greed, destructiveness and short sightedness
84 But given a story that puts them at odds with the world they will live at odds with the world
they will act like lords of the world...they will conquer it like a foe
among the people of your culture, it was assumed that the whole of human history was your history
(prehistoric - based on our definition of history and civilization ( Dr. Flo)
Given a story to enact that puts them is accord with the world, they will live in accord...but given they're at odds ...and conquer it like a foe...inevitably bleeding at their feet, as the world is now
85 Takers: passionate and unwavering dependence on prophets
Look up Wovoka and Ghost Dance and The Cargo Cults of the South Pacific
87 Mother Culture allows us knowledge about certain things like atoms and space travel and genes but not how to live.
88 There should be a whole branch of science devoted to it. Not a very scientific procedure for such a scientific people.
Two things about people according to Taker mythology: 1. something fundamentally wrong with them, and 2. no certain knowledge about how they ought to live...
89 Perhaps the flaw is that he doesn't know how he ought to live.
#1-6: The world given to man = paradise - always screwing it up 'cause doesn't know how to live...heading toward catastrophe
90 why drugs, TV, booze, suicide, insanity
Sightseeing - tourist sees what's there daily
It (the world) ends at the border of culture
91 Your map says it isn't there (a new way of thinking)
Ishmael is a tourist so he sees it all. (Dr. Flo)
92 a wall at the boundary of thought in your culture
92-3 flying metaphor a law can't be changed by a vote
99 Man is part of a community upon which he depends absolutely.
The community of life
100-1 And when you're on the brink of extinction or the laws governing life might be relevant to you
101-2 Newton's law of gravity
not discovering the phenomenon but rather "formulating it as a law"
Ishmael wants to formulate knowledge about life in the community of life as a law
no distinction between humans and bees
103 Ishamel's minilecture "3 tricks" 1. man not center, 2. evolves like other creatures, 3. same laws govern man as others
104 Comply - live forever - analogy with laws of gravity and aerodynamics
105 It's possible to build a civilization that flies
108 They were in free fall. (Look up Thomas Robert Matthias and Robert Wallace)
109 Peter Farb - paradox "Intensification of production = increase in population
110 Trial and error - bad way to build a civilization
114 A's, B's and C's - eat each other
115 law is method for discovering law is = look for what they never did - eliminate irrelevancies
117 broke the law. Look for what he did that they never did
The system that has worked is orderly
lion doesn't massacre gazelles.
118 Law that protects not only the community as a whole but species within the community and even individuals: the peace-keeping law, fosters life for all
and then about 10.000 years ago a branch of Homo Sapiens Sapiens said
119 Man is exempt. The gods never meant man to be found by it.
flout the law - bring society to death Explanation " people fundamentally wrong - human nature flawed.
120 Every single thing that is prohibited when the law they incorporated into their civilization a fundamental policy.
121 And now...pay penalty
I needed someone to talk to and solitary drinkers are lucky in this regard - they always have someone to talk to.
Ishmael had a curriculum
122 You're got to have a plan. You start here, move to this point, that point and...then voila. One fine day you're finished...I just didn't want a teacher, I wanted a teacher for life.
125 student wanting to avoid assignment, human procrastination and denial
126 4 things that Takers do: 1. exterminate their competitors, 2. destroy their competitors food to make room for their own, 3. deny their competitors access to food, 4. food storage, not wage war.
129 The law promotes DIVERSITY - survival factor for the community itself
130 we're at war with the world. ABC's of ecology
131 Whenever a population's food supply increases, that population increases
132 Once you exempt yourself from the law of limited competition, everything in the world except your food and the food of your food becomes an enemy to be exterminated.
133 ...you end up with a community in which diversity is progressively destroyed in order to support the expansion of a single species. (Peter Farb Humankind)
Agriculture doesn't have to be a war waged on all life that doesn't support your growth
134 I can't have settlement unless I have agriculture.
135 TEACHER "You're not listening - Settlement is a biological adaptation practiced...human settlement is not against but rather is subject to the laws of competition.
137 Mother Culture talks out of both sides of her mouth - population explosion = global population control, but famine = increased food production
enacting a story that gods made the world for man
138-9 Stop increasing food production, limit population
141 a cultural boundary, Navajo/Hopi example
142 limited growth - easier than going to war
Examples of diversity better than homogeneity
143 -not built on law of limited competition = crash = destroy community to support own expansion
144 enables species to survive to avoid extinction
Mother culture must be finished off in order to survive. She has no existence outside of our minds.
Once you stop listening then she ceases to exist. "Those who threaten the stability of the community by defying the law will be eliminated."
146 Takers - lonely - in enemy territory
Leavers "not seething with discontent.
148 healthy and self-sustaining. Culture is a mother everywhere and at every time - nurturer of human societies and life styles
152 Diagrams - timelines
154-5 Near East, Taker People adopted a Leaver story about their origins
155 Leavers lack Takers Knowledge to rule the world
156 Story - "How gods acquired the knowledge they needed to rule the world."
157 Explaining Takers problem with locusts, etc.
159 we send good and evil interns...
160 the knowledge of who shall live and who shall die
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