Caderno de quotes de livros: Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind

“Que baita livrão” é o que eu tenho a dizer sobre “Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind”, do historiador israelense Yuval Noah Harari. Passei vergonha lendo e me dando conta do meu minguado conhecimento sobre… Tudo. Um exemplo: eu sempre achei que os humanos evoluíram de forma linear – tipo, o Homo Ergaster evoluiu para o Homo Erectus, o Homo Erectus evoluiu para o Homo Neanderthal, o Homo Neanderthal evoluiu para o Homo Sapiens. NOPE! Há 100 mil anos, pelo menos seis espécies diferentes de humanos caminhavam ao mesmo tempo pela Terra! E: quando o Homo Sapiens chegou ao Oriente Médio e à Europa, a região já era habitada por Neanderthals. O que aconteceu com eles? Por que desapareceram do planeta? Harari escreve (tradução livre): “A tolerância não é uma marca registrada do Sapiens. Em tempos modernos, uma pequena diferença de cor de pele, dialeto ou religião é suficiente para levar um grupo de Sapiens a tentar exterminar outro grupo. Será que os Sapiens antigos seriam mais tolerantes com uma espécie humana completamente diferente? É bem possível que, quando os Sapiens encontraram os Neanderthals, o resultado tenha sido a primeira e mais significativa campanha de limpeza étnica da história”.

“What the eita?” Gif: reprodução

Eu tinha separado vááárias aspas para o caderno de quotes de livros, mas como a maior parte delas depende do contexto de um capítulo inteiro, vou listar apenas esta “pequena” passagem de uma página e meia:

“Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behavior, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist, so it would need no prohibition. No culture has ever bothered to forbid men to photosynthesise, women to run faster than the speed of light, or negatively charged electrons to be attracted to each other.

In truth, our concepts ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ are taken not from biology, but from Christian theology. The theological meaning of ‘natural’ is ‘in accordance with the intentions of the God who created nature’. Christian theologians argued that God created the human body, intending each limb and organ to serve a particular purpose. If we use our limbs and organs for the purpose envisioned by God, then it is a natural activity. To use them differently than God intends is unnatural. But evolution has no purpose. Organs have not evolved with a purpose, and the way they are used is in constant flux. There is not a single organ in the human body that only does the job its prototype did when it first appeared hundreds of millions of years ago. Organs evolve to performe a particular function, but once they exist, they can be adapted for other usages as well. Mouths, for example, appeared because the earliest multicellular organisms needed a way to take nutrients into their bodies. We still use our mouths for that purpose, but we also use them to kiss, speak and, if we are Rambo, to pull the pins out of hand grenades. Are any of these uses unnatural simply because our worm-like ancestors 600 million years ago didn’t do these things with their mouths?

Similarly, wings didn’t suddenly appear in all their aerodynamic glory. They developed from organs that served another purpose. According to one theory, insect wings evolved millions of years ago from body protusions on flightless bugs. Bugs with bumps had a larger surface area than those without bumps, and this enabled them to absorb more sunlight and thus stay warmer. In a slow evolutionary process, these solar heaters grew larger. The same structure that was good for maximum sunlight absorption – lots of surface area, little weight – also, by coincidence, gave the insects a bit of a lift when they skipped and jumped. Those with bigger protusions could skip and jump farther. Some insects started using the things to glide, and from there it was a small step to wings that could actually propel the bug through the air. Next time a mosquito buzzes in your ear, accuse her of unnatural behavior. If she were well behaved and content with what God gave her, she’d use her wings only as solar panels.

The same sort of multitasking applies to our sexual organs and behaviour. Sex first evolved for procreation and courtship rituals as a way of sizing up the fitness of a potential mate. But many animals now put both to use for a multitude of social purposes that have little to do with creating little copies of themselves. Chimpanzees, for example, use sex to cement political alliances, establish intimacy and defuse tensios. Is that unnatural?” (p. 147-148)

Caderno de quotes de livros: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale é uma das melhores séries que eu já vi na vida, ponto; então depois da primeira temporada, eu estava obviamente curiosa para ler o livro da Margareth Atwood no qual o roteiro é baseado, e eis que o anjo na Terra que é a minha amiga Jana me envia o livro de presente pelo Correio! <3 Brilha muito, Jana!

Não vou comentar sobre as semelhanças e diferenças entre as obras porque não quero dar spoilers, mas posso dizer que gostei das adaptações feitas para a TV (e para o presente – apesar do “grosso” do livro ser assustadoramente atual, ele é de 1985!), e acho que eles mandaram muito bem no desenvolvimento de todos os personagens.

Para o caderno de quotes de livros:

“When we think of the past it’s the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.” (p. 30)

“We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” (p. 56)

“Nothing changes instantaneoulsy: in a gradually heating bathtub you’d be boiled to death before you knew it.” (p. 56)

“The tension between her lack of control and her attempt to supress it is horrible. It’s like a fart in church.” (p. 90)

“I sit at the little table, eating creamed corn with a fork. I have a fork and a spoon, but never a knife. When there’s meat they cut it up for me ahead of time, as if I’m lacking manual skills or teeth. I have both, however. That’s why I’m no allowed a knife.” (p. 228)

Tome sorvete

Um pediatra especializado em cuidados paliativos perguntou a alguns de seus pacientes com doenças terminais sobre as coisas boas da vida. Que pancada.

UPDATE 18.02: ali em cima eu tinha colocado o link direto para o thread no Twitter, mas acabei de ver que, por algum motivo, os tweets não estão mais sendo mostrados na ordem :/ Vou copiar e colar para vocês lerem aqui mesmo. Do twitter do dr. Alastair McAlpine:

For an assignment, I asked some of my terminal paediatric palliative care patients what they had enjoyed in life, and what gave it meaning. Kids can be so wise, y’know. Here are some of the responses (Thread).

First:
NONE said they wished they’d watched more TV
NONE said they should’ve spent more time on Face Book
NONE said they enjoyed fighting with others
NONE enjoyed hospital
/1

MANY mentioned their pets:
‘I love Rufus, his funny bark makes me laugh.’
‘I love when Ginny snuggles up to me at night and purrs’
‘I was happiest riding Jake on the beach.’
/2

MANY mentioned their parents, often expressing worry or concern:
‘Hope mum will be ok. She seems sad.’
‘Dad mustn’t worry. He’ll see me again soon.’
‘God will take care of my mum and dad when I’m gone’
/3

ALL of them loved ice-cream.
/4

ALL of them loved books or being told stories, especially by their parents:
‘Harry Potter made me feel brave.’
‘I love stories in space!’
‘I want to be a great detective like Sherlock Holmes when I’m better!’

Folks, read to your kids! They love it. /5

MANY wished they had spent less time worrying about what others thought of them, and valued people who just treated them ‘normally’.
‘My real friends didn’t care when my hair fell out.’
‘Jane came to visit after the surgery and didn’t even notice the scar!’ /6

Many of them loved swimming, and the beach.
‘I made big sandcastles!’
‘Being in the sea with the waves was so exciting! My eyes didn’t even hurt!’ /7

Almost ALL of them valued kindness above most other virtues:
‘My granny is so kind to me. She always makes me smile.’
‘Jonny gave me half his sandwich when I didn’t eat mine. That was nice.’
‘I like it when that kind nurse is here. She’s gentle. And it hurts less’ /8

Almost ALL of them loved people who made them laugh:
‘That magician is so silly! His pants fell down and I couldn’t stop laughing!’
‘My daddy pulls funny faces which I just love!’
‘The boy in the next bed farted! Hahaha!’

Laughter relieves pain. /9

Kids love their toys, and their superheroes.
‘My Princess Sophia doll is my favourite!’
‘I love Batman!’ (All the boys love Batman)
‘I like cuddling my teddy’ /10

Finally, they ALL valued time with their family. Nothing was more important.
‘Mum and dad are the best!’
‘My sister always hugs me tight’
‘No one loves me like mummy loves me!’ /11

Take home message:
Be kind. Read more books. Spend time with your family. Crack jokes. Go to the beach. Hug your dog. Tell that special person you love them.

These are the things these kids wished they could’ve done more. The rest is details.

Oh… and eat ice-cream. /End

You should’ve asked (“era só pedir”)

Eu nunca tinha visto tanta gente da minha timeline no Facebook repostando um mesmo link. Trata-se do “Era só pedir”, tradução que uma página brasileira fez para o “Fallait demander”, série de quadrinhos da cartunista francesa Emma que fala sobre feminismo e a (não) divisão de tarefas domésticas. Estou colando aqui uma versão “oficial” que a própria autora divulgou no site dela em inglês; e este é o site original, em francês.