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Think about all kinds of infectious diseases, like mumps or measles or chicken pox. When a virgin population encountered those pathogens, it ravaged the population, and now they're childhood diseases, and eventually they won't even be that. That's our relationship with bacteria, going through time.
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war with poison and chemicals was not so rare in the ancient world ... An astounding panoply of toxic substances, venomous creatures, poison plants, animals and insects, deleterious environments, virulent pathogens, infectious agents, noxious gases, and combustible chemicals were marshalled to defeat foes - and panoply is an apt term here, because it is the ancient Greek word for 'all weapons.
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Fast food may appear to be cheap food and, in the literal sense it often is, but that is because huge social and environmental costs are being excluded from the calculations. Any analysis of the real cost would have to look at such things as the rise in food-borne illnesses, the advent of new pathogens, antibiotic resistance from the overuse of drugs in animal feed, extensive water pollution from intensive agricultural systems and many other factors. These costs are not reflected in the price of fast food.
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This medical view of an ideal male who was insulated from pathogens was inextricably bound up with a parallel discourse about the maintenance of strong ego boundaries, a psychic investment in one's bodily peripheries that effected a gradual closing (and, one might say, a closing off) of the male body, at once from the outer world of dangerous stimuli and from the inner world of threatening passions. Without a doubt, as Norbert Elias has shown, in the western world both men and women experienced a shift in their sense of personal boundaries during the early modern era where, amid changing social circumstances, rising thresholds of repugnance and shame were manifested among the upper-classes as a growing aversion to their own bodily functions and to the bodies of others. The changes wrought by new developments in table manners and etiquette were extended by the introduction of hygienic practices in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that endeavored to maximise the order and cleanliness of the social body while futher compartmentalising the bourgeois self as a discrete bodily unit.
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