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  UC101 : The Class :Ishmael
University Colloquium: The Gorgeous Team


UC 101

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 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 had to settle down in one 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 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 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.

unlimited growth

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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