Sunday, February 08, 2015

Bean Counters at the Apocalypse

For 100 years, dogs were inbred and got sicker. 

No one in the genetics community said much of anything except to celebrate the fact that they now had a new source of giant lab rats in which to look for genetic diseases in humans.

Let us celebrate deformed dogs said the geneticists!

Now the world has passed geneticists by while they were asleep at the switch.

Who cares what the geneticists have to say NOW?

All they can do NOW is quantify, vacillate, and pound out words that others will try to use to equivocate.

They are like bean counters after Hiroshima -- they can explain the physics, the megatons, the blast. They can count the dead, the numbers burned, describe in great detail how they were burned, and try to predict the mortality rates of the survivors.

Completely useless information.

What the people of Hiroshima needed after the bomb were not bean counters or physicists, but bulldozers to bury the dead and clear the rubble, and a plan and materials with which to rebuild.

Geneticists know nothing about dogs or people, organizational structure, or economics.

They may think they are needed to rebuild, but they are not.

They have no frame of any kind in which to work, much less a new frame to offer.

Like the bean counters at Hiroshima; they are certain the future will need to be quantified, but NO, they have no architecture, no pipe, no craftsmen, no law, no building materials, no equipment, and not a clue as to how to organize Japanese society.

The question now in the world of dogs is not about genetics. 

It is about organization and economics.

The largest canine market in the world -- the American Kennel Club -- is in collapse.

What, if anything, will replace the American Kennel Club?

Is anything actually needed to replace it?

I would argue not for the most part.

The few true hunters with hunting breeds will create their own associations based on broad type, as we see now.

The rest is all pageantry and heraldry and about as useful and about as needed.

Meanwhile, the geneticists walk around measuring the blast radius, and clucking about whether the first shock blast was air pressure or heat, and what the curve of burn and radiation mortality will look like.

Bring out your dead. Bring out your wounded!

The scientists are here to count them.

They are thrilled to be able to study so much destruction in one location.

And they now have a new theory. 

And that theory is that the way forward involves more guidance from people just like them!

Meanwhile, across England, Europe, and the world, the lurcher men, the fox hound men, the shepherds, the beagle runners, the folks with cross-bred pound dogs, and the terriermen are raising healthy dogs every day.

And no one is asking them how they do that without consulting a geneticist OR a publicist.

Those with rough hands and few social pretensions have nothing to teach the well-educated and the posh, right?

Those without a string of letters after their name or 50 stamps in their passport could not possibly point the way forward, right?

And never mind that those with rough hands are always the ones who rebuild what the theorists break.

Never mind that it is the stone mason with rough hands that builds the cathedrals in which we pray, the law houses in which we judge, and the walls of our very own gardens.

So NO, do not ask the stone mason about his terriers, lurchers, or hounds.

What could HE know of dogs?


jeffrey thurston said...

Wow! Shades of my Dad (H, David Thurston) ! He spoke like you do of the molecular biologists he (a plant pathologist) thought were overanalyzing and pretending to know something about actual Third World farming. He preferred to actually go and seek out the small farmers worldwide and learn their ways- slash/mulch, tapado- other methods I can't remember now. He saw the genetic diversity they (small farmers) protected and how their impact environmentally was minimal. He thought of the molecular biologists as pursuing interesting but useless stuff. Bring out your dead indeed! He thought a lot of Academe was fiddling while Rome burned.

jeffrey thurston said...

PS- I would include American pig hunters in your group of dog people who are helping preserve actual working non-purebred dogs. I've seen some amazing dogs and their feats on you-tube, Some even use JRTs in some capacity.