Thought I pressed submit last night on this, but here it is now...FWIW...
It also spoke of it in terms of the need for self preservation and of turning the tables on an attacker, which I take to be the essence of irimi in Aikido. Demetrio replaced the term "aggressive" with "proactive," and assuming I understand the implication of this, I like that idea quite a bit as reflecting what I see as being essential to Aikido.
Also included was the idea of wanting to harm your attacker, which I read as having more than one possible meaning. I want never to hurt anyone, however, if I thought I had to break someone's arm in order to protect my kids, I would want to do so. I would also want to not do more than I absolutely had to in order to protect them. Having not read the book, I'm not sure exactly what Predatory Mindset denotes, but I'm hazarding a guess that it refers to the idea that some people will more or less freeze up (or otherwise become passive), while others will become assertive (by either fighting or "flighting").
I don't know about dumb. I'm inclined to think they're actually very much like people today, but with a different set of sensibilities. Regardless, just because they used this mindset as a matter of survival more often doesn't mean it's not applicable for the same reason today. Perhaps the lesser degree of exposure to the authentic need suggests greater consideration since "we" (generally speaking) have less opportunities to learn from those few experiences which do crop up from time to time.
The example given of
I think you're confusing things Matthew. You don't need predator mindset to turn tables on attacker or do tenkan or irimi. All the 'proactive' things you mention are nothing to do with predator mindset. In fact they are how to handle those with one so quite the reverse.
The 'dumb' of the past is about the use of such mindset which was considered normal. atahus cannibals, vikings, coquerers etc. Still today there are modern empire builders who through fear and greed feel they have to conquer other lands. Still in the corporate world it's all set up for aggressive takeovers like big monsters gobbling up victims and becoming conglomerates. Same ol same ol ignorance. I suppose it only becomes real to most when they become the prey, when they get conned or worse. Dumb and dumber I would say for those who justify it scream when they become the prey.
Time to find better ways I would say.