View Poll Results: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

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  • Hunting and gathering

    19 48.72%
  • Agriculture

    20 51.28%
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Thread: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

  1. #31
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Niether of these "mistakes" was the worst, IMHO, as both allow people to survive and become productive. The worst mistake is either crime or welfare, as both take from others yet produce nothing of value in return. Any society that tolerates either is wasting valuable resources.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  2. #32
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    On the other hand a hunter gatherer society never would have overpopulated the world as we have done. The population would likely have stayed fairly stable. One check in the positive column for them.
    Hunter gatherer societies, in fact, have hard time increasing population at all. People keep dying off young, being killed by animals they hunt, starving, dying of complications from pregnancy, dying of diseases, subject to parasites.

    On human life expectancy:

    AVERAGE WORLDWIDE HUMAN life expectancy reached 66 years in the first quinquennium of the twenty-first century, with extremes at the country level ranging from 39 years in Zambia to 82 years in Japan (United Nations 2007). Average life expectancy has increased linearly at almost three months
    per year over the past 160 years
    Among traditional hunter-gatherers, the average life expectancy at birth varies from 21 to 37 years
    Which doesn't mean that hunter gatherers typically die at that age. Much of the difference lies in infant and child mortality:

    Infant mortality is over 30 times greater among hunter-gatherers, and early child mortality is over 100 times greater than encountered in the United States.
    but it does give some insight as to why population increases more rapidly in modern society than it did before the advent of agriculture and the building of civilization.
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  3. #33
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Hunter gatherer societies, in fact, have hard time increasing population at all. People keep dying off young, being killed by animals they hunt, starving, dying of complications from pregnancy, dying of diseases, subject to parasites.

    On human life expectancy:


    Which doesn't mean that hunter gatherers typically die at that age. Much of the difference lies in infant and child mortality:



    but it does give some insight as to why population increases more rapidly in modern society than it did before the advent of agriculture and the building of civilization.
    the way it was presented to us in college, was the big mistake was when we decided to stand erect. we then not only started to fight against gravity and motion by not creeping, but we also exposed our vital parts more easily to attack by an enemy or predator which led to the necessity for weapons.

    agriculture led to cities and cities are the biggest mistake of all, especially the way they've all been built near the coasts and inland waterways, messing up the most biologically productive ecosystems with their wastes. cities don't produce anything useful to the environment and consume more oxygen and water and release more carbon dioxide than other organisms can compensate for (e.g., plants to fix the carbon and re-release the oxygen in the city can't even come close to keeping up with us)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro -- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

  4. #34
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Thinking of our advancements from an ecological point of view, of course they will seem like mistakes. In that sense, the agricultural revolution was a "mistake" the way smoking your first cigarette or drinking your first drink is a mistake if you become a drug addict (the whole gateway argument). The agricultural revolution led to the next revolutions (scientific, industrial/oil, computer) which have happened in accelerating fashion. The upsides to these revolutions are great, in that we've become homo collossus, but again from the ecological point of view it's like graduating on to the next drug... which eventually leads to a crash.

    I actually think the worst mistake was that we didn't ration oil when we discovered its power. The explosion in our oil use has contributed to a state of Peak Everything, where we continue to accelerate toward a critical breaking point. As soon as the oil depletes, everything will come unraveled.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 07-07-12 at 03:53 PM.

  5. #35
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Worse mistake in the History of the Human Race is exploiting foreigners as cheap foreign labor like slavery, but it doesn't have to be chains and whips slavery. The vampiric, blood dripping from fangs, drive for profit.

    This slows down (or reverses) the process of mechanization (industrialization).
    Last edited by Matt Foley; 07-07-12 at 04:35 PM.
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  6. #36
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by from_article
    Archaeologists studying the rise of farming have reconstructed a crucial stage at which we made the worst mistake in human history. Forced to choose between limiting population or trying to increase food production, we chose the latter and ended up with starvation, warfare, and tyranny.
    This statement cannot be denied. We built a caste system with the extra time afforded to the tyrannical.

  7. #37
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Foley View Post
    Worse mistake in the History of the Human Race is exploiting foreigners as cheap foreign labor like slavery, but it doesn't have to be chains and whips slavery. The vampiric, blood dripping from fangs, drive for profit.

    This slows down (or reverses) the process of mechanization (industrialization).
    This made me laugh out loud.

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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    i think industrialization was our worst mistake.

  9. #39
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
    i think industrialization was our worst mistake.
    I mean just think, if there had been no industrialization, computers would have never been invented and I would have been spared having to look at your ridiculously stupid avatar.

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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    I mean just think, if there had been no industrialization, computers would have never been invented and I would have been spared having to look at your ridiculously stupid avatar.
    speaking of avatars, the Dude Abides.

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