Lessons from Survivor

My wife watches a lot of reality TV, and so I'm exposed to a fair amount of second-hand Survivor. She commented today on how the contestants lose weight, and a lot of them come home with scars, parasites etc. They frequently compete for food, and seem to relish the simplest of meals or luxuries: a shower, some pizza, a cigar, etc.

I mention this just because it reminds me not only of how blessed we are, but at how crappy nature can be. It seems the Survivor locations in each season can mostly be described as pristine, or nearly untouched with respect to nature. Each location has been at a place that many might even enjoy vacationing - to get away from it all. Life looks tough in paradise. The contestants typically look dirty or scraggly, and I doubt most of them would live long lives without the periodic help of these prizes.

My point is that as important as our environment is, civilization and the division of labor are triumphs over nature and the harsh life it can impose - even amidst beauty. This is not a bold statement, just something that's easy to forget; something to keep in mind while we debate issues like drilling in ANWR.

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Speaking of reality

Speaking of reality television, did anyone else see that crazy obese Christian lady on Trading Spouses? I very rarely watch reality shows, but I saw that one and it was great.

Keep in mind that one major

Keep in mind that one major difference is that people enter Survivor without having advanced wilderness survival experience. If you live large chunks of your life learning to live in the jungle, you'll be able to survive there much better than if you spent lots of time learning, for instance, the streets of New York. (The converse is of course true, Crocodile Dundee notwithstanding.)

Our lives are certainly better, but realize that the survivors are less than competent in their new surroundings, which exaggerates the effect you notice.

I'll keep that in mind when

I'll keep that in mind when we start talking about holding Survivor in Alaska.

(Oh crap - did I just give the apologists for industrial America an idea?)