Saturday, January 31, 2009

Animal blogs and other things

Well, it's time for a good old rant I think. The subject is something that got asked on a forum I frequent and is basically 'do you think a Hamster should have their own blog?'

My emphatic answer to this is 'NO'. It is trivial banality at it's worst and lessens any sort of authoritative impact any blog may ever have. Worse, it is an extreme form of anthropomorphism that I regard as frankly unhealthy. It is pure fiction being written by someone who truly believes that what they are typing is what their hamster is thinking... I could probably go on like this for a long time, but that's probably enough for now :)

Now don't get me wrong, I like having pets. I like having hamsters (something that Anita has gotten very into since we moved in together, as some may know :)) and when we have a bigger house want to get more and even get other pets (cat, dog, baby... you get the picture ;)) but a pet peeve of mine is this whole animal empathy movement. I don't quite get how some people can project complex emotions onto an animal that is clearly not capable of feeling it... well, I can get how it happens (basically assume that their feelings on the observation are the animals feelings) but I don't see how so many people manage it to such an extreme extent that is almost beyond the rational.

I guess it is just another case of evolutionary empathy going to the extreme. I don't seem to be afflicted as much because I appear to have less empathy than most (still not sure if this is a good or a bad thing...) but it definitely seems to be the path of the world at the moment. For every person that speaks up in defence of science, rationality and adhering to ideas that as far as we can tell are real, there seem to be a dozen speaking out for some far-fetched belief and asking us to become irrational and take it on faith. It's like people think that rationality has no craziness to it (anyone who has ever looked into quantum mechanics knows otherwise... pure craziness that is experimentally proven) or that there is no beauty to a 'cold, stark, scientific view' (again, I would strongly argue otherwise, and against the 'cold, stark' part, as I have done previously).

Still, I seem to be in the minority nowadays, especially on this subject if I continue to frequent hamster forums :) Just had to rant a bit, hopefully I managed to get some form of point across :)

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