From: Gary Moore <gottlos752004@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 2 May 2004 05:58:56 -0700 (PDT)
Bob Guevara <guevara.guevara@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
. 'Doing the Right thing' all the time is making a circle to protect the young when the predator has figured out how to break the circle.
Great piece Gary.
"But, once behaviorally adapted, the behavior tends to stay when
Given my experience of watching many hundreds (if not a few thousand) of
people get their behavioral patterns, I'm almost tempted to say that this
could also describe human being in the current epoch . Seriously
though, I don't intend to offend anyone.
Offend! Offend! You have stated Michael Crichton's precise point he has stated in numerous novels, and I tried NOT to imply that precisely so someone might pick up on it. And you did. Also, it was irrelevant to that specific conversation and therefore would have been preaching.
Michael Chrichton deserves much more serious attention than he gets. He is a thoroughly trained and experienced scientific observer as well as innovator. That he never mentions philosophy is a plus as far as I am concerned. His self observation and empirical method of changing his own character in his book TRAVELS is something of a marvel and possibly truly unique. He did not like the doctors he was around while at Harvard Medical School, so, while getting his medical degree and going on to the Salk Institute for a couple of years, he refused to be a doctor. But other people have done that: Arthur Connan Doyle, Piercy Walker.
He realized he twice, while scuba diving at Bonaire in the Carribean, that he knowingly and recklessly put himself in near-death situations. He truly had no specific reason to wish for death, he had everything he could possibly want and tried to achieve, but in reviewing his actions right before he went diving he noticed a strange prolectivity to question the safety of things he had no real reason to question. It was a strange anxiety, unfocused, but the only observable cause of his abnormally reckless behavior under water.
He hypothesized a number of possible causes for this 'over picky' pre-dive anxiety, but none were convincing. So, on the advice of a psychologist, he started keeping a diary recording every feeling he had, something he had been adverse to ever doing before. He found he did not at all like the person he discovered when he re-read the diary. He found he felt, but relatively rarely expressed it, hyper-critical of everybody and everything around him.
He goes to a nature reserve in Pahang Province, Malaya. He wants to see wild animals in the wild, especially tigers. He gets along alright with his very competent guide, but every one else he comes in contact with irritates the hell out of him because they interfere, to his mind, with his over-riding purpose of seeing tigers. Nothing goes right, nothing is seen, his manipulation of the situation is a total failure. Frustrated and irritable, he wakes up one morning in their camp near a villaqge to find a deer and its fawn have wandered into camp. They are use to human beings because the villagers feed them all the time. Then he hears the story of how that came about. The deer wanders one day into the village. The villagers welcome it and feed it. But they discover it has a violent adversion to goats and tries to kill them if possible. So what do the villagers do? They get rid of the goats. Crichton thinks at the time this is absolutely absurd, that the villagers had a dozen much more
practical paths of action to follow. But they never hesitated at the time: They immediately got rid of the goats and all the benefits having goats around brings. How stupid! His guide listens patiently to his berating of the villagers and says nothing. Then he slowly realizes on his own why he feels so miserable and has had such a miserable time on the trip: He has to have everything and everybody under control, that being that way even when successful doesn't make him feel good. And now when he is a complete failure, he realizes he could have had a very enjoyable experience at the reserve even without seeing tigers if he hadn't been concentrating so much on things going right and making people around him do what he thought was the right thing. The story of the deer became a rite of cleansing humiliation instead of just beautiful or quaint. He said when he finally got back to the States, he fely unusually good and has stayed that way.
This is a man that can change his character. How many people can do that even under the stress of extreme situations. But he does it time and time again, sometimes as a passive realization, but most of the time under his own initiative. Most people who are super-millionaires and highly respected as a matter of course think it absurd that anything could be wrong with their character. After all, everybody obviously thoroughly approves of them. But Michael Crichton truly does not look at himself through other peoples' eyes, and I do not think he even realizes how profoundly rare that is. He just goes on to the next thing that interests him, always changing according to his own desires, something which sometimes appals his publishers, business associates, and the book reviewers. But he never hesitates and he never stops. His eyes are wide open.
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