Our meddling, exploitive species personality

I’ve been reading Diane Ackerman’s fine new book The Human Age. In the conclusion, she makes an interesting observation about our penchant for tinkering (and destroying):

“It’s time we acknowledge our personality– not just as individuals, but as a species.  … our personality as a species includes wide streaks of tinkering and meddling.  It is an important part of our character; we’re unable to leave anything alone. Let’s fess up to being the interfering creatures we are, indefatigably restless, easily bored, and fond of turning everything into amusement, fashion, or toys.  We Anthrops can be lumbering, clumsy, and immature. We’re also easily distracted, sloppy as a hound dog’s kiss, and we hate picking up after ourselves.  Without really meaning to, we have nearly emptied the world’s pantry, left all the taps running, torn the furniture, strewn our old toys where they’re becoming a menace, polluted and spilled and generally messed up our planetary home.”

The Human Age– The World Shaped by Us  by Diane Ackerman, 2014
In addition to the motive of economic development and personal financial gain for a relatively few, perhaps this helps explain why the Corporation for Economic Development is so intent on messing with the White RIver.  Perhaps part of the answer is provided by Ackerman– so we can also continue to leave all the taps running.

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