Echidna Knows:

“The war between good and evil is in reality an imposition of stupidity and simplicity over wisdom and complexity.” (p4) Tyson Yunkaporta – Sand Talk

Echidna at Theodolite Ck/Woodgate 2019

Last week was a bit hectic and full-on so not a lot of time for the blog, but I found myself re-reading Tyson Yunkaporta’s remarkable book; Sand Talk. So it is this week’s booksnap. I also kind of wanted to highlight the fact we have this remarkable book in the USQ library and if you read one book on indigenous thinking and culture this year read this one. The call number is 305.8991507YUN.

Reading this book is like experiencing intellectual fire works, ideas explode with a vibrancy and colour that is awe inspiring. A book that embraces complexity and yet explains with such clarity. Intellectually playful and entertaining, Sand Talk was hands down the best book I read in 2019, well worth a re-read. The most important book discussing indigenous thinking or culture since Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu. Very different to Dark Emu which looks at the past. Yunkaporta is focused on how indigenous thinking might save our future. So if you are in the market for an entertaining and stimulating read I highly recommend Sand Talk.

Bronte has pinched my copy of Sand Talk and is currently reading it, she has said she can see why I was so impressed with it and she agrees that it is indeed the best book of 2019. Indigenous culture has a lot to teach us in terms of responsibility to the planet.

I am being a bit frivolous but I see echidna’s and emu’s in a very different light since reading this book. Those clever echidna’s and those narcissist emu’s. Yunkaporta vividly illustrates his ideas. And since I have not really had time for the blog this week I am being a bit lazy and just sharing a little bit from Sand Talk in the hope it might tempt others to pick up this great read:

“Sometimes I wonder if echidnas ever suffer from the same delusion that many humans have, that their species is the intelligent centre of the universe. They are smart enough: their prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain used for complex reasoning and decision making, is the biggest in relation to body size of any mammal. Fifty per cent of the echidna brain is used for some of the hardest kinds of thinking. In humans, it is not even thirty per cent.”

He goes on to say:

“I don’t know why Stephen Hawking and others have worried about super-intelligent beings from other planets coming here and using their advanced knowledge to do to the world what industrial civilisation has already done. Beings of higher intelligence are already here, always have been. They just haven’t used their intelligence to destroy anything yet. Maybe they will, if they tire of the incompetence of domesticated humans.”

And it gives me an excuse to post an image of the ever cute if often overlooked echidna. The image above was one taken at Woodgate last year where we saw several of the whimsical little monotremes. On that occasion we were there towards the end of winter. Winter is breeding season for these guys, so the normally shy animals tend to be a bit more out and about. Curiously, I actually had a look on Unsplash to see if I could find a better image and much to my surprise found them described as rodents and hedgehogs, they are neither. I guess outside of Australia they are not a very familiar creature.

Hopefully this week I will have more time for the blog, we did plan on exploring Lightening Ridge but that plan was cancelled due to the border closures, so this week I have a few days off and we will spend it exploring beach and bush a bit closer to home.

#BookSnapSunday is a weekly bookish Instagram meme hosted here at Gum trees and, if you would like to join in please feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments below. All you have to do is post an image of a book. Happy reading!

2 thoughts on “#BookSnapSunday – Sand Talk :

    1. I know I was really shocked to see them described as a rodent, definitely not our best known native then, yes not as cute as kangaroos and koalas but still fascinating little creatures.

      Liked by 1 person

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