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QOTW Five

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1. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

When was it killed, the very last Dodo bird? And was she aware she was the very last one?

2. Posted by geog (Budding Member 24 posts) 11y

I know, well I think I know . . . 1681!

And I didn't know it was a she but I think she would know that she was the last one.

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Are we really sure it was 1681? Maybe it was January of 1682 or December of 1680...

Considering the intelligence level of birds, there is a very good chance s/he knew they were the last one. But, it would also depend on when the second to last one died. It could have been 10 minutes earlier and therefore, not much time to realize you are all alone in the world. And possibly too busy trying to flee from a predator to think about it. If the last was a female, there may have been eggs left behind. In her mind, she was not the last one as there were offspring waiting to be born. But, her death did ultimately end the dodos existence either way.

We also do not know if the last dodo was killed or died of natural causes. They were preyed upon by humans and the animals man introduced to the islands. But, again, the last dodo may have been the smartest of the species, able to keep itself from harm until the end of it's natural life span. If that were the case, then I would definitely have to say s/he may have realized they was the last of their kind.

4. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

Good answers! I am thinking more of a global existance. True the Dodo may have seen that is was the last one on the island, but there is no way of knowing if (s)he would be the last in existance.

Let's put a person in that situation. They are all alone, with only unknown creatures around. Nothing of their own kind. But hope remains that some day they will find others. Is that hope there, showing that in fact there are other humans in existance... this person may not see them ever, but the feeling they have goes along with existance.

Now say that the person is alone, no question about it. There is no other human in existance. The person does not know this for sure. Would they still have that hope? Or would the hope be lost along with the existance of all others.

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting Brendan

Let's put a person in that situation. They are all alone, with only unknown creatures around. Nothing of their own kind. But hope remains that some day they will find others. Is that hope there, showing that in fact there are other humans in existance... this person may not see them ever, but the feeling they have goes along with existance.

Now say that the person is alone, no question about it. There is no other human in existance. The person does not know this for sure. Would they still have that hope? Or would the hope be lost along with the existance of all others.

Okay - so it took me a bit longer to get back to this one... I had not forgotten!

So the basic questions - only one human in existence... Would they know it? Would they think there would be others like themselves? Would hope spring eternal?

Somethings will have to be taken for granted here... As there is only one human, everything that exists now - buildings, electricity, grocery stores, creature comforts, all of it would be absent. Now, this individual would have the capacity to learn, and by use of deductive reasoning over time, may come to realize that there could be others such as themselves. Initially, I don't feel it would be an inate feeling or belief. But, by watching the nature of flora/fauna (more specifically fauna), this individual would begin to recognize that there were multiple numbers for each species they encountered. Would they make the connection between the animals and their own situation? Maybe - maybe not.

There is the possibility that this individual would see their reflection in a pool of water and think it was a second person - just to realize by touching the water, the other one disappears. But, that would take for granted the whole idea of self-recognition. What if this person encountered larger primates early on. They may consider themselves part of the group, especially if acceptance by the group was afforded.

Anyway... My answers would be:

1) No, they would not know they were the only one of their kind.
2) Yes, over time they may come to realize there could be others.
3) Maybe, but I don't think hope would play into the equation until self recognition occured and then it is still an emotion brought about through want or need - something this individual may never experience.

6. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

That is an insteresting angle Isa. So you are thinking along the lines of a prehistoric world with a lone human walking around?

I was thinking more along apocolyptic demise. Say World War III starts, the world falls into nuclear chaos. Billions of people dieing. And eventually the last pockets begin to die from the nuclear winter enveloping the world.

Fast Forward...

All of the distant pockets of humans die off, you don't know this, but what you do know is the pocket of people you lived with for the last few years have all died. You used to eat Hufu before the war started so you decided to eat your party. You pack up and decide to move on, thinking to find another group of survivors.

My thought is though - would that hope of finding others exist anymore. Say there was you in decimated United States and one other last person in decimated Pakistan. Would some underlying life force connect the last two people giving them each the "hope" of finding another person. If one of those last two died would the hope go along with it.

Do I make sense?

7. Posted by SeeTheSky (Respected Member 558 posts) 11y

the last dodo bird isnt dead. its frozen in carbonite. and the only female left wanders north america today under the alias of bar bara stries sand.

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting Brendan

That is an insteresting angle Isa. So you are thinking along the lines of a prehistoric world with a lone human walking around?

Since defined parameters and/or variables were not presented, I chose my own.

Quoting Brendan

My thought is though - would that hope of finding others exist anymore. Say there was you in decimated United States and one other last person in decimated Pakistan. Would some underlying life force connect the last two people giving them each the "hope" of finding another person. If one of those last two died would the hope go along with it.

1) No.
2) See #1.

Okay, so a nuclear war has been waged, the survivors have died off - all but one (me), and I begin to wander the countryside...

Because I had been part of a surviving group, regardless of their ultimate demise, I am aware that some people did remain alive for a time. This knowledge, and human nature, would definitely have me believing more survivors were existing somewhere else. Now, my first thought - I will probably never know if I'm right or wrong. No matter how much ground I cover, given I found adequate food/water that was not radioactive (and how would I know without a Geiger counter with an unlimited supply of batteries), I would never travel the whole of the US before my own death. The longer I go without meeting anyone else, the more I would begin to feel completely alone - possibly to a point of thinking I may be the only surviving human. But, since I am still alive, hope would always be there - at least for me. As long as I am still breathing, my hope of finding others is still alive too. I also think that at some point, I would suspend my wandering for periods of time - especially in areas where food/water are plentiful and good shelter available. My thought being that if I stayed in one location for awhile, I and any other survivor on the same journey would not end up as ships passing in the night unseen.

My question here - would I become suicidal or give up the will to live after being alone for an extended period? I don't know. I don't think I would as I am such an optimist. But, the chance is always there.

As for the only other survivor being on the other side of the world... No, I don't think there would be that strong a "life force" that either, or both, of us would "feel" or "recognize" the other's presence. I believe we all have the ability to be tuned into others, but not without a great deal of skill. Now, maybe without all the clutter of other minds and outside interferences - it could happen. All that time alone would definitely cause me to focus my mind on something. I just don't see it happening though. I don't think either of us would ever know of the other's existence so the death of one would not affect the other's feelings of hope.

9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting SeeTheSky

the last dodo bird isnt dead. its frozen in carbonite. and the only female left wanders north america today under the alias of bar bara stries sand.

I knew she wasn't human!!!

10. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

You say you would have hope, I am wondering if that hope is connected to the existance of others. I mean you say you would have hope but how can you say that for sure.

What if hope is connected to whether or not there is another person alive for your hope to exist? I guess I don't really make sense.