The Bnetwork Guestbook Archives: 12-30 June 1997
Long overdue...Quinn, under the guise of fiction, has successfully broken
scientific taboo: by bringing what his characters term "The Law of Life" into the
Human context and into public awareness.
To the Biologist, this "Law of Life" is in largely the theory behind Ethology (the
study of animal behavior from an evolutionary standpoint) and Sociobiology (the
study of the biological determinants of social behavior). Both of these areas share
the concept that animal behavior is centered upon gene survival, behavior which
allows the most success in the propogation of an individuals own chromosomes,
or as in the case of the more "social" species (ants, bees), the propogation of the
species as a whole. Ethology is an older concept where this gene survival
behavior was considered instinctual, whereas Edward O. Wilson takes things
further by demonstrating that much of social behavior itself is of genetic origin.
My point here is this; that because of our cultural/religious "backwardness", in
particular what I would term the persistant "Scope's monkey trial mentality" in
society, politics, academia, etc., research in these sciences as it applies to the
Human context has been completely discouraged: and those scientist who have
dared to propose that these concepts also apply to the Human have been greatly
chastized by even there own peers.
Just thought everyone should know, for no doubt there is much we might learn
from other, perhaps more "highly successful" members of the animal kingdom;
that is if we can once and for all extinguish the Social Darwinist and
Anthropocentric ideas that lurk within!
Autumn Mullins <Adgm039@aol.com>
Naples, FL USA - Monday, June 30, 1997 at 21:33:07 (PDT)
We need more master storytellers like Daniel Quinn.
Mikal Shapiro Capps <email@example.com>
Mission, Kansas USA - Monday, June 30, 1997 at 21:13:15 (PDT)
I thought the problem presented, being totalitarian agriculture, was so elementary but so complex to see at first. For Daniel Quinn to be able to look at history and our culture and come up with this problem/anicdote was brillent. It was such a different way of thinking. It really drew up my roots of thinking to look at the history before "history."
Becky Carney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Birmingham, Michigan USA - Saturday, June 28, 1997 at 11:16:24 (PDT)
Have read Ishmael, Providence and B. All are so excellently written my
simple words cannot even begin to express what they have done for me.
All I know is that we all MUST share them with family and friends. It
is not a luxury or pleasure. The stories NEED to be read by many. This
is the only way I can see that will truly reach enough people to make
any real difference. I show all that I can, refer chat friends to this
and Ishmael website. I hope that the message reaches at least a few of
them and that they in turn share with others.
Thank you Mr. Quinn for being such an eloquent teacher. You're words
have inspired me!
Janelle Skare <SkarWife@aol.com>
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA - Thursday, June 26, 1997 at 15:56:32 (PDT)
Neither "Ishmael" nor "The Story of B" necessarily revolutionized my thinking, though they certainly refined it. DQ's arguments are presented in such a logical and clear manner. If one accepts the opening premises, one is on for the whole ride.
Mostly, Ishmael and B have convinced me of things that I have supspected and awakened ideas lying beneath the surface and looking for action. I have yet to answer the question, "Now what?". I live my life to the best of my abilities. I have introduced serval others to both books. I talk and think and think and talk, but what to _do_?
Perhaps it is being done, and I am part of it. Maybe there will not be a sudden sense of action, a clear sense of purpose. We have several thousand years of inertia to overcome, and this will take time. Though there are two things of which I am absolutely certain: Taker culture cannot go on indefinitely, and "sustainable growth" is an oxymoron.
Thank you, Mr. Quinn. More later...
Sean J. McLaughlin <email@example.com>
Morgan Hill, CA USA - Thursday, June 26, 1997 at 07:56:11 (PDT)
I am blown away. That sounds melodramatic, and I guess I'm good at that, but it's true. The reason I know this book is so amazing is that I _don't_ necessarily accept every word - I certainly don't think it's the final word - but I'm completely engaged with it, trying out what it means to be B in every daily choice and interaction.
Actually, what I'm up to right now is creating curriculum for what I realize is a program - one that brings inner city kids to the woods for one day. So here's the opportunity: how to bring the message of B - and Richard Bach, and Parker Palmer, and so many other thinkers who have influenced me - to these kids? How to become B with them? I'm not looking for answers, just exploration.
Kira Sherwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Missoula, MT USA - Wednesday, June 25, 1997 at 07:00:06 (PDT)
Whats the deal with this page? I think the book should be read by everyone.
Its the best news I've heard in a very long time.
Kristopher Hedley <www.Loraxxis@aol.com>
west kingston, RI USA - Monday, June 23, 1997 at 21:46:26 (PDT)
I've always been a person who questions everything. I've always questioned the way society claims things should be, and I've questioned the beliefs of my own religion (my religion by upbringing, not by choice). Mr. Quinn has helped to clarify many things that I had suspected all along, but frankly had been too ignorant to conclude or map out myself. The basic structure of animism makes sense to me, yet, like everything else, I still question some of B's views. I will be visiting the site often with questions and ideas, but I want to thank Mr. Quinn for really thinking, and then searching and then clearly explaining. I'm not B yet, because I do have some things to clear up, and I stink at trying to explain animism to others, but count me in as an advocate.
Sincerely - Robin
Robin Salter <email@example.com>
Richmond, Virginia USA - Monday, June 23, 1997 at 12:15:50 (PDT)
Beach reading starting 6/28/97. I'll come back and
let you know then. Thanx.
Russ Hopfenberg, Ph.D. <RussH100@aol.com>
Chapel Hill, North Carolina USA - Monday, June 23, 1997 at 09:57:20 (PDT)
I enjoyed the books!
Castine, Maine USA - Sunday, June 22, 1997 at 17:21:50 (PDT)
long i have thought on the state of society and what part i am to surve. ishmael and b put many of my thought together and sparked in me the desire to do whatever i can to make a difference. i talk to whoever will listen to "a new idea" and have witnessed "awakenings" before my eyes. thank you for everything you have shared with me , and more than anything KEEP TALKING!
seth roberts <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ft. collins, colorado USA - Saturday, June 21, 1997 at 18:35:10 (PDT)
Hola! Actually, my point wasn`t to find out what to do, usually I know that, but to get in contact with others, preferably europeans. Doesn`t seem to work. What`s wrong with europe, especially germany, where so many trashbooks became bestsellers. Noone seems to care, once again it seems like the work is on me, I try my best in my little free time. `What to do´has never been a real question to me, I got more plans than time or money, and, that`s the most important point, people to help me. Ideas for sustainable business and living, real living are one thing, but most people simply don`t DARE to leave Mother Cultures dullness and illusionary safety. It needs more than just Quinns insights to make people change their life ( at the same time I read Ishmael I read the Guru Papers and EarthFirst/Green Anarchist news), in a sense it needs a Warrior/Revolutionary personality to step out of this society`s flow and say "No,I won`t do that", leaving behind all those tranquilizers and upper`s it provides. It`s hard. But it`s real life, it`s risky, but it`s your life, not that of millions and millions of others. Laws and Regulations might be a problem sometimes, but you can take them as the seasons, you got to deal with them somehow, but you need not let them rule your life. There`s always some way to "Do thy will". Respect to all those Earth First, Green Anarchist, ALF, ELF, etc. Activists, And to the vegans especially, it might not be the perfect answer, but as there`s no way to live as hunter-gatherers for us, it is a good answer.
"Community of life" I think community is the key word, community is what we lost, and what we need the most, and Mother Culture told us that Money means community. What a lie!!! Resurrect real community if you wanna overcome modern lifestyle!
Last words: I really feel sorry for all those out there who think they can`t live w/o a car!
confused but sincerely, Alex
Keen on responses
Alex Neumann <Stephan Gitz@T-online.de>
Verden, Germany - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 10:54:58 (PDT)
How very SYNCHRONOUS! I AM "BEE", so named by my family some 37 years ago.
My intentions and research oriented toward the same RESONANT values you present.
THE EARTH IS ALIVE, a conscious ENTITY with whom we are inseperably connected. The sooner humanity can AWAKEN to this relationship, the sooner we can take our MAGICAL LEAP in evolution. Industrial society is KILLING us.
Will get your book at early opportunity, and hope to meet w/your network in TIME.
Bee "BZ" Browzer <email@example.com>
Pahoa, HAWAII HAWAII - Sunday, June 15, 1997 at 13:26:00 (PDT)
Hi all --
A few new features are just around the corner...chat/discussion rooms...database of people B...and much more!
Do you ever wonder what you might be missing at this site? Check this out...
Do you ever who's site this is?!? Here's something new for you:
Comments? Suggestions? Always welcome!
Alan, the Bnetwork Webmaster <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Houston , Texas USA - Saturday, June 14, 1997 at 15:58:21 (PDT)
I'm a college teacher. I've used Ishmael with good results in a freshman writing course and a jr-sr level argumentation course.I'm thinking of use The Story of B in that upper level course. But with some trepidation, as my college is currently into a v
ery right wing, conversative Christian, pro-T-agriculturist, patriotic mode. B is a more direct challenge to those assumptions, which I think my students need, and as was born out by their positive experiences with Ishmael. I'll be thinking this over for
the rest of the summer. If there's anybody out there with my kind of problem, I sure would like to hear from you.
Phil Carman <email@example.com>
Hollister, MO USA - Thursday, June 12, 1997 at 09:18:38 (PDT)
Hello again.. Its time for me to sign the guestbook. Haven't done so in a while, and I like to do it about twice a month..so anyway... I had some firsthand experience at what its like to be "B" today....
At my college we have an electronic bulletin board- type system.. In the religon section I'm constanly challenging the status quo, and recently, the topics have gone beyond religon. I frequently bring up the state of affairs in the world today... I talk a
bout my message, and write about change, and why we can't just sit around and wait for God to clean it all up..etc...Anyway, A number of Christians objected to me, saying that I was being too general.. That not all Christians sit and wait for God to clean
it up.. and make it all better. But I thought to myself.."Really?".. I thought, "Its not just devout Christians that assume this.. Even People who aren't hard-core tend to envision that the end is near, and that armeggedon is upon us.. They assume that t
his is God's punishment for our sins..".. Maybe I am being a bit general, so I'll say here that I don't mean ALL..
But anyway, what I'm trying to say is that many belive that its Gods punishment.. They fail to see that religon plays no part in this.. That it is the Direct result of a certain species behavior that has caused all this destruction, and those behaviors a
re leading us to extinction.. Whether there is or is not a God..its our actions that brought us here.. God, or his wrath have nothing to do with it...
Ok.. soo. this one person, who actually is pretty open-minded, said all my talk about paragdim shifts and sustainability is a "load".. she says she doesn't belive in what I'm saying.. She thinks the way to "save" the earth is through programs.. and throug
h little things like being vegan, and cleaning up your community... And says that how dare I speak about all this change, and not do my share in the here and now..(not her exact words). Its so hard to show her why little programs just won't cut it.. We d
on't have time.
.She thinks that I'm all talk...
So I told her what I do besides spreading the message to help our situation.. Like the "little things"(except I am not a vegan or a veggie..)...
It did make me realize that maybe there are more "little" things I could be doing... And there probably are.. But we cannot afford for the masses to be subdued by these small acts.. I feel I must make it clear how urgent the situation is.. and How we can'
t continue living like we do, and change some little things(programs) in hopes that it will make it all better. It can be SO hard to show people whats really going on here....But its good for me to be challenged.. It shows me what lies ahead, and how hard
the task really is going to be....
I feel confident that we can make an impact..
We will just have to be a bit louder than usual, and maybe cause some ripples..
We may need to sacrifice the comfort of relying on programs.. It is a bit rough on the outside, without the support of mother culture. But with each other to support us in our efforts, we can start to feel comfortable with our message.. and we can start
to make the message heard...
Please write back with any comments, questions or suggestions(sounds like a ceral box!). Really though, I'd be glad to hear from ya!
Kurt Finguerra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bend, Or USA - Thursday, June 12, 1997 at 03:19:12 (PDT)