Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hunter-Gathering Blackberries

You say you want an evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me it's a revolution
Well you know
Apologies to ©Lennon/McCartney

Death is now following you on Twitter
Julia Segal

Yours truly at Washington Square
We ain't see nothing yet!

Much has been written about the homo sapien's opposable thumb.

Monkeys don't have opposable thumbs and so cannot easily hold objects in one hand. The evolution of opposable thumbs has lead to the advanced grasping-capable human hand, and in turn, to the ability to walk on two legs. Because hands were busy holding things, bones, leaves, meat and so on, legs were free to do the walking. Or so the theory goes.

But what now? Have you ever seen business people using Blackberries? They hold them in both hands and tap out the letters with their THUMBS.

Now I've tried to do this, but even though I've used a keyboard for 30 plus years, I've never completely mastered knowing the location of the keys. I type with one finger, Mister Point. And navigate using two eyes.

Most Americans learned to type in high school, and can do so with their eyes closed. So it's no big shift for them to move from two-hand typing to two thumb typing.

Even men with big fat thumbs seem to be able to selectively tap those small Blackberry keys without error.

So, given how we humans develop, it stands to reason that our thumbs will evolve to fit the function - form, fit and function - of the minute keyboards so necessary in handhelds ...

If I were an artist I could draw the thumbs of our descendants in the year 3000. They will be slender almost tentacle-like things. Creepy.

Human use of hands, latter part of 20th Century
But that's how it will be. Believe me!

It strikes me that much has been written about what we evolved FROM, and how human features, such as walking upright and using hands and feet simultaneously, were part of our EVOLUTION and our resulting supremacy in the animal kingdom. But what of the future?

We women no longer need men to hunt for our food. Aù contraire. And men do not need us women to gather berries; they buy their own. And the thick thumbs of both sexes are hardly user-friendly from a Blackberry's point of view.

We really need to build up a composite,a visual police-type profile, of our descendants.

To use a ninety eighties' concept, we need to DECONSTRUCT. Or is that, CONSTRUCT? Whatever.

Will we look better? Will we find non-Blackberry uses for our tentacle-like thumbs? Unfortunately we will not be around to see.

So I suggest we all make effort to do CAVE PAINTINGS, showing our midget opposing thumbs - a time capsule for our less than elegant descendants.

Thumbs up!

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