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Is It Better To Be Short?
An amusing opinion published in the New York Times on New Year's Day suggests that There Has Never Been a Better Time to Be Short:
From where I stand — at five feet even — being tall is a widely held fantasy of superiority that long ago should have been retired.
It made sense to fawn over height when it facilitated survival. Ages ago, when the necessity of defending oneself cropped up daily, if not hourly, tall people could more easily protect their families and bring home some woolly rhino flank. Today, those who have the stamina to sit in an office chair all day bring home the plastic-wrapped meats.
I confess that the first thing I thought of when my wife brought this opinion piece to my attention was not entirely positive. In his elaborately creepy minor novel Hellstrom's Hive, published in 1972, Dune author Frank Herbert describes a group of people who decided in the 1800's to retire underground and imitate the insects. They use chemical and pheromone signals to tell each other what to do, they have their own Hivespeak finger language and use procreative stumps to obtain wild (non-Hive) genetic contributions.
The Hive denizens strongly appreciated the idea of small, efficient workers:
"He was one of the smaller, energy-saving new breed, dark and slim, filled with a nervous energy and willingness to please..."
Probably not what the OpEd author had in mind...
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