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. #41
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Personally, I think Lucas' Star Wars "prequel" was the Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.

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

    Worst mistake of all mankind, hard to say. Mankind ****ed up a lot, and still does. Agriculture doesn't even make the top 1,000 of this list.
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  3. #43
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daktoria View Post
    I'm not really sure what you're talking about. The Vikings were sustained primarily through fishing and livestock. Agriculture is kind of hard to cultivate when you live in a frigid climate:

    Viking Food: 800 - 1100 AD
    Climate, the Dark Age, and their own social organization created opportunity. The elan of their society and their naval technology put them in a position to seize the opportunity.

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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).
    Slowing down the development of technology in order to maintain slave societies was done by both Classical Greeks and Romans.

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

    Everybody makes mistakes. But some mistakes are fatal.

    The clearest mistakes I can think of are:

    1. The decision of the Imperial German General Staff to allow Lenin and his entourage to travel from Switzerland to St. Petersburg in a closed train in 1917. The idea was to get Russia out of the First World War as a combatant. The Imperial Germasn succeeded in the short run, but they allowed creation of the Soviet Union. And what did the Soviets do to Germany in 1945. Blowback.

    2. The Ming Dynasty was a great blue water naval power with effective control of the waters from East Asia to the Coast of East Africa in the first part of the 15th century. But divison in the Ming Court led to the burning of the logs of the Great Ming Fleet, and the termination of Ming China as a great naval power. About 90 years later the Europeans showed up on the coast of China, and the great Chinese ordeal began.

    3. Montezuma the Aztec and Atahualpa the Inca had no idea who they were dealing with when they encountered Cortez and Pizarro respectively. Their peoples never recovered.

  6. #46
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Di Salvo View Post
    Slowing down the development of technology in order to maintain slave societies was done by both Classical Greeks and Romans.
    It was also a major part of their downfalls. Slavery is great until the populace comes to rely strictly on slave labor.
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  7. #47
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    This is some pretty theoretical history and I'm not sure I'm completely swayed by Jared's argument. He literally compares different contexts of history ignoring certain key issues. The first would rise out of this particular text:



    While seemingly "solid" in its historical background, the underlined part ignores that even though starvation is certainly a problem for populations dependent on agriculture, these same populations also have near infinite populations growths and are less susceptible to extinction. It's also feels redundant to point out that agricultural populations are more technologically advanced than hunter gatherers.

    I think Jared Diamond is a brilliant historiographer, however he's not really convincing in his theories. They definitely help explain why some populations have managed to conquer others (for those who read Guns, Germs and Steel) but they're not really convincing as far making an argument against progressive views of technology. If anything I find A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright to be far more convincing (if not ominous) for why we should be weary of technology.
    I think Diamond's reference to agricultural communities conquering and replacing hunter-gather societies was directed largely to prehistoric times rather than the historic era of conquest addressed by Guns, Germs and Steel.

  8. #48
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Di Salvo View Post
    Slowing down the development of technology in order to maintain slave societies was done by both Classical Greeks and Romans.
    And every other culture that used it, including the backwards South which is still suffering to this day.
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  9. #49
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Obviously, having driven the Neanderthals to extinction was a grave error. Can you imagine a football team that had them as linebackers? It would be unbeatable!
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  10. #50
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    Re: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Obviously, having driven the Neanderthals to extinction was a grave error. Can you imagine a football team that had them as linebackers? It would be unbeatable!
    Meh, they were already out the door, just as the homo sapien today will need to make way for the homo superior.
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