Strategies for Survival Part 1
Strategies for Survival Part 1

© 2006  American Sound Press


Strategies for Survival was written as a performance text to be spoken aloud between the presentation of five recorded pieces. There are four sections of the text. In  performance, each section was preceded by a musical recording. A fifth musical recording was played as an encore following the last text.

The text may be used in performance in a similar way, or with live music played between the four sections of the text, including at the beginning and end.

Within the text, I have referenced authors of various theories, papers, and books. These are not to be read aloud. Some of the shorter statements have been extracted on-line from

The first performance took place on April 1st, 2006, in the Pozen Center at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Recorded pieces were composed from samples borrowed from the earliest known music, and from 20th and 21st century music and sound, reconstructed to accommodate my own requirements. The recorded pieces ranged in duration from 3 to 13 minutes each. Altogether, the performance lasted about an hour.

-J. H.


Strategies for Survival


I try never to underestimate someone else’s pain.

Ideas are reproduced through culture, and effect our behavior.

In his landmark paper on reciprocal altruism, Robert Trivers states that ‘almost all social behavior is either selfish or altruistic, or has such effects’.

China is the world's oldest known continuous civilization.

The prominent role that the eyes play in predator-prey relations in nature has led to the evolution of numerous eye-mimics: ‘ fake eyes , located, for example, on the wings of butterflies have evolved to deflect the predator’s attack onto a relatively harmless part of the anatomy.  (Robert Trivers)

In the 20th century alone, over three million people have died from earthquakes.

In the fall, most deciduous trees produce a chemical that repels insects from laying eggs on the leaves of the trees. As a result, the trees display striking autumnal color changes.  (W. D. Hamilton)

It requires a sequence of 31 integers to describe the number of possible patterns in an array of 10 by 10 black and white squares.  (Stephen Wolfram)

When frightened by a predator, a certain species of tree lizard will change to a brownish color in order to mimic the color of the tree limb on which it rests.

Sometimes I will go to a professional basketball game by myself and listen to Rigoletto on headphones, or waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr. played by a small string ensemble.

Symbiosis generates complexity, while natural selection creates diversity. Each operates independently of the other.

The only South East Asian country that has never been colonized by a Western Power is Thailand.

In women, the longer the 2nd finger compared to the 4th finger, the greater her number of children. In males, the shorter the 2nd  finger compared to the 4th, the greater his number of children.  (John Manning)

The ratio of 2nd to 4th finger length in humans is a predictor of in utero testosterone levels, and correlates with aspects of autism, dyslexia, migrane, heart disease, stammering, obesity, autoimmune disease, sexual preferences, abilities in skiing, soccer, language, music, and mathematics.
Ancient Egyptians kissed with their noses instead of their lips.

At one time, physicist Isaac Newton was Keeper of the Mint in England, where he gave many long jail sentences to counterfeiters who violated Newton’s passion for truth.

Honey is the only food that doesn’t spoil.