Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trial and Error

As you get older you do get wiser. It’s not that you’re necessarily that much smarter but you’ve picked up all these life experiences through trial and error. Trail and error is still one of the most effective ways of learning.

Imagine life as one of the earliest of our ancestors. They had to learn EVERYTHING by trial and error. They couldn’t google it. They didn’t have Wikipedia. They couldn’t call a friend. There wasn’t anybody to ask.

Think about it. They’re all sitting around wondering why they can barely move and one by one they seem to drop dead after three to seven days. Water! Suddenly one of them discovers that if you drink water, you don’t feel like that. Trial and error.

But then they’re sitting around again.

Gorrak: “Ugh. Me hurt inside and growl noises coming out from here.”

Other Cavemen: “Kill him. He has an evil spirit in him.”

Of course, ultimately after killing each and every person that became hungry they soon realized that this was a inevitable natural experience that everyone had. They had to conclude either

a. Evil spirit possession was just a reality and must be dealt with through death
b. Perhaps it was like the water thing. If we eat something then maybe this won’t happen.

Trial and error.

Of course, then you have them eating anything. Dirt. Hmmm, cross that off the list…it tastes like dirt and doesn’t help. And obviously as the bodies pile up by eating poisonous plants they start to notice a pattern. Eat this, don’t eat that. Trial and error. I’m sure they perhaps even got wise enough to convince the stupid cavemen to do the trail tasting and then waited to see the effects…

I’m sure menstruation perplexed the hell out of them. “She’s bleeding…kill her before she dies anyway.” And as the bodies again piled up they figured out that she only bleeds for a few days and survives. Then they worship her. And hunt food for her. And suddenly they have this list of things they must do for her. But they don’t. Hunting for food is hard enough and they still want time to go throw rocks at each other (let’s face it…there were no sports so they had to improvise on how to waste their time). So in a key pivotal moment they shift the burden of work onto her sighting the hunting/gathering as a major stressful situation that equates to the 2,583 other activities that must be performed to survive.

I’m sure there were so many humorous trial and error snippets from early history. “What if I take this rock and thrust it upon my friends head?” Friend screams, grabs a different rock and thrusts back. Trial and error…don’t thrust rocks into heads.

What fun times…

37 comments:

Sully Sullivan said...

This was a nice post. Very inventive.

I haven't been around a lot lately. I assume you've returned from your trip. How was it?

Bee said...

Huh! I never thought of this before! I just thought there was no life before I came into the world.

2 things.

Why is there always a Caveman named Gorrak?

How much money can I save on my car insurance?

Bee said...

Ha! I beat everybody to the Geico reference! :o)

Memarie Lane said...

I always wonder how they figured out sex.

VE said...

sully - Awesome trip. Nobody died. The river will survive. The blog moves on. Oh, and I built a time machine while you were gone too...

bee - Gorrack was quite popular back in the day. Well...waaay back in the day. You can save all of your car insurance. With the price of gas you won't be able to afford one soon anyway...

bee - I cannot believe you snagged the dubious Geico joke! Obviously I'm going to have to pay that assistant of yours more to distract you...

marie - Trial and error (I'm sure it's not pretty...)

Kurt said...

You may have gone too far with the menstruation thing.

VE said...

kurt - Is there a line? I always seem to be over it somehow...

lime said...

on the plus side, they weren't subjected to almost two years of presidential campaigning at a time.

lime said...

wait...i guess all that rock throwing was a precursor, huh?

Yes, my name is Arizona said...

My husband doesn't hunt for me, but he does fetch me coffee now and then....

VE said...

lime - Ha ha. Guess you figured out that on before I could even comment. I'm sure they had these pretty early...they had to blame somebody for the failed hunt...

arizona - And that is a grueling activity that surely warrants a poker night with the boys or several hours of sports watching.

Sarah said...

Those photos kept making me think of Clan of the Cave Bear...Darryl Hannah as a Cavewoman...genius!

Dee said...

Thank goodness we lost the prominent brow LOL

angie said...

Brilliant. And funny. ;)

VE said...

sarah - Darryl Hannah. From cavewoman to mermaid to alien replicant. She was so stereotyped...

dee - Yes, but then steroids gave it back to some.

VE said...

angie - Whew. Glad it was funny. I don't need Kurt commenting that it wasn't funny again...

Megan said...

I'd much rather stay around camp than have to go out and kill and skin things.

VE said...

megan - I think they do all the skinning and cleaning at camp. I'm not a hunter though. I tend to go to restaurants instead...

Kanrei said...

Mr Hanky on periods: I don't trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die.


Me on life before I was born: I don't remember it so I seriously doubt it actually ever happened. If it had, I am sure I would have some memory of it.

On trial and error: have younger siblings who trust you and have them try most things out first. If they live, you follow.

Kanrei said...

The biggest mystery to me is heroine. Somebody had to look at a poppy plant, decide to use a part of that plant, then subject it to numerous chemical treatments, then decide to inject it straight into their veins. Or mushrooms: somebody saw something growing out of cowshit and said "yum."

VE said...

kan - Ha! Of course if I am interpreting your logic there, that means your conception didn't happen since you do not remember it and therefore you aren't really here...

Oh, good call-outs on the drugs. I believe the motivations were spousal nagging and desk jobs...

Roy Scribner said...

I always wondered how long it took for the potato to catch-on. Somebody had to dig that thing up and then decide to take a bite.

Quickroute said...

The second picture has me craving KFC drumsticks - they had the coronels secret formula back then right?

Kanrei said...

that means your conception didn't happen since you do not remember it and therefore you aren't really here...

Actually I do remember it. Years and years of therapy have tried to help me repress it, but I do remember it well. I can't look at midgets and clown shoes any more as a result.

cathouse teri said...

I think you might be crazy.

MJ said...

The first thing that came to mind when I read this post was sex. Think about THAT trial and error...

Beth said...

You've nailed the division of chores thing - the why and how of it.
Well done.

Megan said...

More on the skinning & cleaning - Didn't you ever read Clan of the Cave Bear? Not even the naughty bits? They always chop up that mammoth right where he falls...

Serena Joy said...

Funny post. You know, though, times haven't really changed all that much.:-)

Alice said...

I was waiting for all the trial-n-error in the sexual realm from you. ; )

Jacki said...

Ha! I am with Marie. Curious minds want to know.

VE said...

roy - And even after they took a bite and it sucked raw...who thought to cook it?

quickroute - Shhhhh...the secret formula is PEOPLE!!!!!

kan - It doesn't surprise me. Besides, clown feet ARE scary.

teri - Just crazy enough...just crazy enough

mj - Trust me, I think about it all the time ;)

beth - You gotta get the fundamentals down. That's what I keep saying...

megan - Did I miss some naughty parts? Damn. You seem to know a lot about this skinning and cleaning stuff. I think if you brought down a mammoth what else could you do but do it right there. They're a little hard to drag back home. Easier to bring the home to it. Besides, it's not like they owned a lot back then anyway.

sj - Interestingly...they haven't!

alice - Ha ha. I know...surpised a bunch of you that I didn't go there. Trust me, you don't want me to really go there. It might not be pretty...

jacki - Read the alice comment above. That's good advice...

leelee said...

2 opposing thumbs up for this witty essay!

Alex L said...

Trial and error, Cavemen make shitty sitcom called 'Cavemen', and find out its a stupid horrible show... just another small part of the learning process.

Queen Goob said...

You and Bee are BOTH dorks!

VE said...

leelee - Yeah, my thumbs never agree either...

alex - Not like anybody said 'I told you so' either...

queen goob - Ok, as long as Bee is dorkier though...

Bonnie the Boss said...

My husband works for the power company. That is how they figured out the rubberglove rules.
Some guy grabs the power line with his bare hand then gets shocked to death. New rule in book, wear rubber gloves when touching 72,000 volts. We haven't evolved very far.