Rob Kall: I know that, in the 1800s, the theory about early humans was that they were brutal people who suffered and struggled; and what we now know from studying the Bushmen, the San people of the Kalahari, is that their average workday is two or three hours, and they've got a great life, and it's not hard at all, and we work profoundly harder than them.
Daniel Quinn: Oh yeah. It's incredible. If you pick up a can of peas, and you think of the incredible amount of work that went into putting that can of peas on your shelf - it took thousands of people to do that! (laughs) It's just amazing; everything we have represents that kind of output of energy and calories, and then everybody thinks they had a hard life, primitive people have a hard life. We're the ones who have a hard life.
Rob Kall: So this is the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360 AM. I've been speaking with Daniel Quinn. He's an author, a person who is a cultural critic who has explored the bigger picture of the relationship of man with the planet. And Daniel, I have a question for you that I think you'll be able to answer. While we were talking before I started recording the conversation, you mentioned to me that Oprah asked you a question that you weren't ready to answer at the time.
Daniel Quinn: Yes.
Rob Kall: What was the question and what's the answer?
Daniel Quinn: The question was: "Your book is all about "Leavers" and "Takers." What are Leavers and Takers?" (laughs) I was thinking, oh my God, how in the world can I answer that? And years later I would have been able to say, I define them this way: Leavers are people who leave the rule of the world in the hands of the Gods, and takers who've taken the rule of the world into their own hands. Da dah! Finished.
Rob Kall: All right.
Daniel Quinn: (laughs)