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Beer

How Beer Gave Us Civilization 325

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-cause-and-solution-to-all-of-life's-problems dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Jeffrey P. Khan writes in the NY Times about how recent anthropological research suggests that human's angst of anxiety and depression ultimately results from our transformation, over tens of thousands of years, from biologically shaped, almost herd-like prehistoric tribes, to rational and independent individuals in modern civilization. The catalyst for suppressing the rigid social codes that kept our clans safe and alive was fermented fruit or grain. 'Once the effects of these early brews were discovered, the value of beer must have become immediately apparent,' writes Khan. 'With the help of the new psychopharmacological brew, humans could quell the angst of defying those herd instincts. Conversations around the campfire, no doubt, took on a new dimension: the painfully shy, their angst suddenly quelled, could now speak their minds.' Examining potential beer-brewing tools in archaeological remains from the Natufian culture in the Eastern Mediterranean, the team concludes that 'brewing of beer was an important aspect of feasting and society in the Late Epipaleolithic' era. In time, humans became more expansive in their thinking, as well as more collaborative and creative. A night of modest tippling may have ushered in these feelings of freedom — though, the morning after, instincts to conform and submit would have kicked back in to restore the social order. Today, many people drink too much because they have more than average social anxiety or panic anxiety to quell — disorders that may result, in fact, from those primeval herd instincts kicking into overdrive. But beer's place in the development of civilization deserves at least a raising of the glass. As the ever rational Ben Franklin supposedly said, 'Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.'"

+ - Climategate 3.0 has occurred->

Submitted by
DTyndorf
DTyndorf writes "Mr. FOIA has done it again. He has released a password (to a select few) which provides access to the over 200,000 emails of the Climategate scandal.

In an email, Mr. FOIA also explains his decision to leak these documents:

"When I had to balance the interests of my own safety, privacy\career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades, the first two weren’t the decisive concern. ... Most would agree that climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material “might”. The scale will grow ever grander in the coming decades if things go according to script. We’re dealing with $trillions and potentially drastic influence on practically everyone. Wealth of the surrounding society tends to draw the major brushstrokes of a newborn’s future life. It makes a huge difference whether humanity uses its assets to achieve progress, or whether it strives to stop and reverse it, essentially sacrificing the less fortunate to the climate gods. We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it’s not away from something and someone else. ... It’s easy for many of us in the western world to accept a tiny green inconvenience and then wallow in that righteous feeling, surrounded by our “clean” technology and energy that is only slightly more expensive if adequately subsidized. Those millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc. don’t have that luxury. The price of “climate protection” with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations. Conversely, a “game-changer” could have a beneficial effect encompassing a similar scope. If I had a chance to accomplish even a fraction of that, I’d have to try. I couldn’t morally afford inaction. Even if I risked everything, would never get personal compensation, and could probably never talk about it with anyone. I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again ... Even if I have it all wrong and these scientists had some good reason to mislead us (instead of making a strong case with real data) I think disseminating the truth is still the safest bet by far."

Well played, sir.

Mr. FOIA's actions have indeed helped turn the tide on an imaginary crisis that was beginning to look like an international fait accompli."

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