One wonderful thing about transhumant pastoralism is that it's a mode of animal husbandry which takes its principles of organization, most of them, from the tendencies or puissances internal to the animal themselves. "A thread." 1/n
One consequence of that is that when you try to understand how it works you find yourself jumping to another level, a larger context, from which what you thought you see appears to be in fact the opposite of what you thought you see. 2/n
"What!?", you ask. 3/n
For example, you thought that what you see is the shepherd making the flock move, during the course of a day or of a year — but in fact it's obviously the animals, their needs, tendencies, desires, and puissances, that make humans move along with them... 4/n
...and indeed help them (humans) find in themselves a desire and puissance not to live a settled existence — those who can't find that in themselves find a way to get out of the business and they move away from the animals. 5/n
Another example would be the bell on the bellwether, you thought you heard a bell but then you realize it's a weapon of sorts... 6/n
...the bell is a weapon because it tells members of the flock where the flock is, and knowing where the flock and joining the flock is is the weapon of the flock against predators, how it protects itself, and it's a highly effective weapon... 7/n
...of which the effectiveness is reflected in the intelligence of the predators, wolves, hyenas, the stratagems they have to deploy, being attentive to their own smell, the direction of the wind, the illness of one ewe, or that she just gave birth & it's a good time to prey. 8/n
The meria3 would probably be another example, newborn lambs immediately imprinted to be intercessors between the will of the shepherd and the will of the flock... 9/n he's being fed milk by hand by humans and you think that you're seeing the dawn of domestication again but you're also seeing humans finding in themselves the potential to be a mother to a ram. 10/n
And on and on it goes but in every case it requires trying to see things from a larger pattern of coevolution that connects. 11/n

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More from @sylvaindarwish

24 Nov
Bateson was always very interested and even troubled I'd say about the fact that in analog, animal communication, a "not" signal is not available. They can't straightforwardly send a message and transform it through "not"...
e.g. they can't straightforwardly say: "I will not fight you". This is how he once put it:
"What goes on between animals is evidently characterized by, amongst other things, the absence of 'not'- the absence of a simple negative. While they can forbid each other-say "don't"-they can in general not deny a message which they themselves have emitted. They cannot negate."
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