Frans de Waal and a fate worse than death
Eric Michael Johnson with Frans de Waal (the bright glow on my face isn't because of the sun).
I'm presenting on my bonobo research today, so I apologize for the sporadic posting recently. It's been a little crazy. However, a funny thing happened yesterday. I met one of my heroes. This doesn't happen to me very often and the feeling was . . . what's the right word? . . . nice. Perhaps a little more than nice. Somewhere between nice and indescribably vast joyful excitement.
Frans de Waal (recently one of TIME's 100) has been most responsible for inspiring me to pursue the work I am currently doing. For those of you who haven't encountered his work before, dive right in to his latest book Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are. For those of you who want a more academic example of his writing you simply must, must, MUST, read Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved.
I will write about his talk a little later, but I just wanted to take a moment before my presentation to bask in this warm feeling (if nothing more than to distract myself from the panic I will soon be experiencing as I engage in an activity many view as being worse than death - if Jerry Seinfeld is to be believed).
“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”