By Michael Johnstone (Editor)

ISBN-10: 1588461874

ISBN-13: 9781588461872

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Additional resources for Burok Torn: City under Siege (D20 Generic System)

Sample text

This period of ecological rupture created a sustained deviation in social habits that led to unnatural levels of violence. Ap e C o u s i ns & H a r d - W i r e d V i o l e nc e 37 An anthropologist who critically reviewed Power’s book noted a number of rather serious errors in her scholarship. But, while he warns against non-specialists taking her work at face value, he concludes that her thesis cannot be dismissed as readily as her handling of the evidence with which she supports it. Despite its faults, it is founded on a true and troubling statement: “Despite more than 30 years of study … there is no firm agreement as to the social organization of [chimpanzees]”.

Again, there is a clear capacity present; there’s no room for literalist Noble Savage nonsense. But in the end, an accurate gauge of the real issue, propensity, is for the most part a thorny mystery—no matter how seductive the apparent solidity of statistics can be. There’s a final point worth making about how much we need to factor in epigenetic variables when we look at chimps in their “natural” state: they’re an endangered species. 97 Major threats include habit destruction, poaching (“bushmeat”), and infectious disease—all directly or indirectly attributable to encroaching 38 Wa r & t h e N o b l e S ava g e human populations.

56 Imagine that. The carnage of these chaotic hubs of street violence, only condensed down to a small-scale foraging situation and wrought with basic weapons and bare hands. One pictures endless aggression, ceaseless bloodbaths… In short, Hobbes’ “continual fear and danger of violent death”. However, the reality is rather different. This seemingly sky-high murder rate in a population of around 150 (a typical San band) pans out to, on average, one killing every fifteen to twenty years. Once a generation.

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Burok Torn: City under Siege (D20 Generic System) by Michael Johnstone (Editor)


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