Neoteny

Keeping resolutions is hard. And this finishative business, I tell you, is super hard.

For instance: I broke the resolution I made a few weeks ago to stop reading. This week I read a book. An entire book.

I may claim as attenuating circumstance the fact that it was a non-academic book. Very much so. Though there are somethings in there I can definitely use in school work. In the middle of more or less explicit references to different types of body fluids and more or less elaborate descriptions of their flow, there are real gems, like the following:

“Neoteny” is “remaining young,” and it may be ironic that it is so little known, because human evolution has been dominated by it. Humans have evolved to their relatively high state by retaining the immature characteristics of their ancestors. Humans are the most advanced of mammals – although a case could be made for the dolphins – because they seldom grow up. Behavioral traits such as curiosity about the world, flexibility of response, and playfulness are common to practically all young mammals but are usually rapidly lost with the onset of maturity in all but humans. Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.

Tom Robbins, in Still Life with the Woodpecker, p. 19.

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