[ExI] david statue coincidence

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Aug 22 16:14:54 UTC 2016

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of BillK
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2016 7:41 AM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] david statue coincidence

On 22 August 2016 at 14:38, spike  wrote:
>>... Let us consider what that looks like from the point of view of the 
> surrounding people....What is stopping us from getting all the same force multipliers?
> Why didn’t Goliath’s guys all take up slingshots the day after the 
> fatal combat?

>... In this probably fictitious story David cheated by bringing a gun to a sword fight...

His legendary victory redefined the notion of cheating.  This had enormous impact.

>...He could have lobbed stones at Goliath all day long, running further away if heavily-armoured Goliath got too close. But really it was just one of many stories attributed to David after he became Israel's greatest hero...BillK


This in itself brings up a related but important point.  Family histories shape the family.  The deeds of the fathers shape the ethical foundation of the descendants.

Consider Hebrew mythology.  The patriarch Abraham sired two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, both of whom became the father of nations.  The storyline soon forgets about Ishmael and follows Isaac and his sons, Esau and Jacob.  Esau was the favored one,  the big burly elder son, strong, manly was he, his father's favorite.  Isaac was elderly and blind, so the younger trickster son hatched a plot to disguise himself as his older brother by putting sheepskins on his hands.  Esau had hairy hands but Jacobs were smooth.  He managed to fool the blind elderly Isaac, who conferred his blessing on Jacob, who then got outta town.  

Esau returned from the hunt, went in to receive the deathbed blessing from his elderly father who was powerless to undo the birthright blessing he had already given away to that shyster Jacob, who had already fled.  All Isaac had left was a curse that had already been prepared for his younger son whose moral fiber was questionable at the time, clearly transitioned by the ruse to proven.  His questionable morality now definitely deserved the prefix im.  In the odd view of life in those days, the old man had only a blessing and a curse.  The blessing had been stolen, so the other son is cursed.  Weird.  The blessed son prospered and the cursed son withered.

Keep reading if you wish.  It's all in Genesis chapter 25 and following.

Blessed younger son took his stolen blessing and went to find a bride.  Everything he touched turned to gold.  He agreed to work for his uncle Laban for seven years for his younger daughter, Rachel.  Not wanting to be stuck with a spinster daughter, Uncle Laban tricked his son in law by switching the bride and bride's maid, so that Jacob married the older daughter.  Upon discovering the ruse, Jacob worked seven more years to obtain the younger daughter who he also married.  Two wives.  Sisters.  The mind boggles.

The story of Jacob is filled with accounts of uncle/nephew or son-in-law/father-in-law cheating each other, which is the point of my recounting the story.  In our family histories, we make good guys out of all direct ancestors, even if they were not really good guys.  Jacob is written up as the good guy, even though he was a liar and a cheater.  His hapless uncle is also the father of the race, being the father of both brides.  He too was a trickster.  

So... we have a case where family legends shaped the memetic foundation of a people.  We have a meme that cheating in business is OK, so long as everyone prospers in the end (as both Jacob and his uncle/father-in-law did, by Jacob's simultaneously dishonest but clever business tactics.)

Jacob's older wife Leah produced ten sons, his beloved younger wife Rachel (who also resorted to trickery) produced only the two, Benjamin and Joseph.  These dozen sons formed the twelve tribes of Israel.  Ten of those came to naught, but Benjamin and Joseph's tribes combined to form the mighty nation of Israel.  Many generations later, David came along, slew the man who would have been a distant cousin if the story has any basis in fact.  Still more generations passed, producing Daniel, whose story contained element borrowed from the patriarch and father of the nation Joseph.  

Still later, Jesus of Nazareth came along, among whose most remarkable achievements was somehow finding a dozen British guys living in the Middle East: James, John, Peter, and the others.  To this day it is most mysterious how Jesus and those twelve Englishmen got there, what they were doing in Israel, and how they learned to speak with that marvelous and grammatically flawless royal Shakespearean dialect.



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