My “Man of the Year” was Cesar Millan. I chose him because of all of the people alive today he is the one most likely to be watched with careful fascination 5,000 years from now. Why do I make such an outrageous claim for a dog-whisperer? Because of his profound understanding of the behavior of two species, dogs and humans. To watch his TV shows carefully is to observe a seemingly ordinary person take a diverse multitude of confused people, and dogs, and quickly turn them into reasonably functioning members of their respective species. The people involved with him frequently comment that it is amazing what he has just done to help them understand, and there is little doubt the dogs are equally appreciative of his repair of their relationship with their human.
What Cesar consistently does, and what other people do not do, is to see clearly what is before him. He then takes his observations, and makes clear assumptions as to why the subjects are behaving the way they are, and then precisely states what he believes are the underlying causal factors for their behavior. He then proceeds to test his assumptions with immediate behavioral challenges to the parties involved, both the humans, and the dogs. He is a pure natural scientist. Usually he is right with his first observation, and he gets an instant improvement in behavioral response from both the dogs, and the humans, but when that doesn’t work after a trial or two he changes his assumption, and changes his behavior, and then gets a more desirable response. What is wonderful from the observer’s point of view is that he explains what he is doing, why he is doing it, why it works, and he demonstrates exactly how you can do it too. He works within a limited field of actions, and reactions, but it probably has much broader application than just the dog-human interaction.
How would Cesar Millan apply his techniques to the Doomsday problem? He would start by saying, “I’m not a dog trainer. I rehabilitate dogs, and I train people.” I think that might be a good starting point because what we need to do is rehabilitate humanity, which is a species level reorganization, and to do that it is necessary to train people into a new way of thinking. This approach can also be derived from his statement, “Everybody wants common sense. The show is offering us a sense of primal connection we have lost through civilization.” This primal connection needed is a more realistic human understanding with the goal of maximizing of human vitality. That understanding is what has been lost through excess of civilization. What the world needs to survive in the long term is what Cesar is constantly saying, “After we establish ourselves as the pack leader, then we set the rules, the boundaries, and the limitations, and then we give our love and appreciation.”
[ I had a mis-save on WordPress and lost most of this blog beyond this point. It happened just as it was finished, and was proof reading. It did warn me with a message, “You can’t do that.” But I was just trying to Save. :-( How can it not Save? In the future I shall go to HTML mode do a Control-A, Control-C and paste that into a word processor for a saved backup before I do the WordPress Save and Publish or immediately whenever a warning message appears. :-) ]
He also says that every day we and our dogs need exercise, discipline and affection in order to thrive. He provides this to his dogs with a daily walk, but for the long term for humans it needs to be built into the fabric of society. That is, it is built into the social organization that people walk quite a lot, and that can be built into the layout of cities so that it becomes more convenient to walk, than to take a sit down form of transportation. Large university campuses have this quality of layout which encourages walking, and discourages driving.
Cesar says, “We are the only species that follows unstable pack leaders.” This leadership that Cesar speaks of must in the future be in the form of laws if there is to be a long term survival of the human species. That seems to be built into the political processes we humans use for determining who are the leaders. Our species can only exist in a large scale for a long time if there are laws which everyone understands, endorses, and are willing to see enforced. These laws apply to the leaders as well as the members of a social group, and so the political leaders themselves are not true pack leaders. This is what gives rise to the apparent fact that they are unstable leaders. In those situations where some individual becomes an absolute leader above the law, society tends to become even more unstable. Therefore it is that human made law has become our true pack leader.
Making a permanent society of high tech humans is not easy, and the present course of humanity is a soon-to-be-realized Doomsday disaster, but there is hope, and the hope must at a minimum lie with a population that lives within the limitations of the environment’s ability to sustain it.