[permaculture] RE: Major histocompatibility complex (MHC)

Russ Grayson pacedge at magna.com.au
Tue Mar 18 20:58:35 EST 2003


On Wednesday, March 19, 2003, at 01:01  AM, Marimike6 at cs.com wrote:

> First let me mention that it was I and not Eugene F Monaco who wrote 
> that the white man was a good example of a hardy weed. I may have 
> caused some sensitivities to bristle here

You didn't raise any sensitivities regarding race with me, Mike, and I 
assumed that the passage appeared as a quote in your email. I merely 
wanted to raise the value of reading issues through the spectacle of 
race. My concern is that doing this will do little more than imprison 
us in the mire of interracial and ethnic conflict, and we have seen too 
much destruction since the early 1990s that has been based on ethnic 
difference.

> I intended to focus on the qualities that create a weed-- that is, a 
> species that thrives in disturbed ground and that tends to outcompete 
> native species when introduced into a new area. A more accurate 
> definition would be "Western man", who by his aggressive and 
> acquisitive spirit, as well as by his advanced technology, tended to 
> exploit niches not exploited before he got there,

Not only 'Western man' - the people who became the North American 
indians must have had the qualities you describe to have made the 
trans-generational journey from north Asia to exploit the niches 
available in the new continent. I assume that, as a member of a 
tool-making technological species, their technology was a major factor 
in their adaptation to new conditions.

> and to prevail economically over local populations unable to compete 
> with him.
This was the situation in Australia with the Aboriginal people who have 
been here for at least 40 000 years. Was it Arthur C Clark who said it, 
or was it Jared Diamond in his book 'Germs, Guns and Steel'... I think 
it was Clark... who said that the people with the more advanced 
technology will prevail over those less advanced.

> The Chinese in the Pacific Rim and Latin America, the Indians in East 
> Africa and the Greeks and Syrian-Lebanese all over the world are other 
> examples of weeds that readily transplant and thrive. This is due to 
> their cultural, not gross racial, characteristics. They tend to 
> dominate economically.

Not to mention the Arabs who collected and traded in African slaves 
long before Europeans took it up.
>
> Likewise, my use of the words "man" and "he", above, should not 
> connote sexism  In common usage I believe such words as "mankind" are 
> still preferred over "peoplekind".

When I did my journalism/ media degree this was a topic of discussion, 
even then. While 'humanity' and 'humankind' were acceptable, as were 
terms ending in ' ...people' or ' ...person' (eg: spokespeople/  
spokesperson), they are clumsy in use. It was decided that the use of 
gender-specific terms would be acceptable on the basis of fairness, eg: 
'spokesman' where the person is male, 'spokeswoman' where the person is 
female. This seems to be the practice in the Australian media.

...Russ Grayson
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