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Thread: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

  1. #111
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    There are still some areas, in South America and Africa, where primitive tribes continue to pursue a hunter-gatherer lifestyle with little difference from Stone Age times.

    Perhaps you could go live with them for a few years. If you survive, you can come back and tell us all about how better it was than air-conditioning and modern medicine.

    Until you've had some experience of living this way, I consider your views likely to be romanticized, looking at the concept of primitive living through rose-colored glasses as it were.

    Have you ever spent a week in a wildnerness area, living off what you can carry in on your back? This is far easier than living a Stone Age lifestyle... and it can be fun for a while, but eventually it becomes a bit wearisome and you're ready to return to civilization.

    On several occasions, I have gone with my son and a large group of like-minded folk into an undeveloped area and built a temporary "village" in the middle of nowhere, with what we could haul in our vehicles or build on-site, then lived in it for up to a week.... then tore everything down and made it disappear like it had never existed. For the duration, we lived a little bit like a "tribe" of sorts... we cooked communal dinners and ate together, worked together, socialized together... had people who were in charge of security, of cooking and logistics, of sanitation, of water supply, etc etc. It was fun for a week or so... but after a while there are things about civilization you miss and you're about ready to go home.

    Still waiting for you to fill me in on all this wonderful social stuff about primitivism that I'm missing....
    Sounds like a Rainbow Gathering.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  2. #112
    Educator / Liar Champion ab9924's Avatar
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    I keep seeing this pop up, but why the assumption that in prehistoric time they worked short hours? What are we defining work as? Only the time spent hunting/gathering? All else is leisure?

    I would imagine most of the evening were spent doing activities such as knapping a spear point, or weaving baskets, cooking food, making clothes. Would this not count as part of their work load? What about going out on a hunt and staying out for days at a time?

    Choosing to work a full work week so that one can afford cable TV and go out to the movies, and take an occasional vacation and so on is a bit different than HAVING to work for you and your clans very survival. What we define as "work" for most people is easy-peasy compared to subsistence living.

    Now if it were a 40+ hour work week digging a ditch, or doing construction, or other hard labor something, then I might be more apt to say its a viable comparison, but a "laborious" week of sitting in front of a computer and talking on a phone? that's no worse then having to spend every evening whittling spear shafts and knapping stones for your next hunt.. with the added bonus of not having a hunt that you must go on.
    Okay, with this kind of differentiated comparison, I can agree with. It looks like a bunch of modern work styles are easy compared to the pre-historic guy's, but not all. But even with the background maintenance works of clothing etc. I think the prehistoric ones worked less hours than we do, timewise.

  3. #113
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    Okay, for example, in a prehistoric society, everyone in the horde/group had a role. It was never the role of getting fat whilst idle or wondering about one's own usefulness. Every member was accepted unconditionally, and they understood their roles and worked it.

    In modern society, every acceptance is conditional, every role is questionable, and every value is only a consequence of erratic market volatilities.

    So, the prehistoric guy had mental security, and from that, he could bid for physical security. The modern guy can have neither.

    So how exactly do you KNOW that in primitive societies everyone had a role and was accepted unconditionally? Given that there is no historical record of Stone Age hunter-gatherers, only archeological evidence and hypothetical maunderings.

    What we DO know about primitive tribal cultures is mostly from observing tribes that remained primitive into the 19th and sometimes 20th centuries.

    For instance, did you know the Eskimos, due to limits on their food supply, often put old folks in a boat and pushed them out into the ocean to die alone?

    Did you know there are tribes that practice "exposure" of unwanted infants? (putting them out in the wilderness alone to perish of thirst or be torn apart by animals)

    Did you know that many primitive tribes practice ostracism of members who do not keep all the tribal customs and taboos? Being expelled from the tribe is tantamount to a sentence of death.


    So much for unconditional acceptance...

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
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    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

  4. #114
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    Sounds like a Rainbow Gathering.

    Not exactly. Most of the folks I hang with are ex-Military, former LEOs or firemen or First Responders, and suchlike.


    We share a certain mindset, and we get each other's jokes.
    Last edited by Goshin; 09-07-12 at 08:24 PM.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

  5. #115
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    How did you convince her family not to tell her that she is making a mistake whilst shooting 45 calibers at you?
    (Okay, but really, this is sooo interesting, all the girls I know would not take this to marriage, how does this work?)

    Man, you need to get out more.

    My first wife was 10 years younger than me. Her second husband was about fifteen years older than ME.

    My best buddy is 48, he's married to a 33 year old.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

  6. #116
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Not exactly. Most of the folks I hang with are ex-Military, former LEOs or firemen or First Responders, and suchlike.
    They've been doing it large scale since the seventies.

    20,000 plus in a temporary city.

    A year later it takes real woodcraft to tell they were even there.

    Better rep with Forestry than the Sierra Club.

    The guy i used to do LE liason work with, head of Rainbow security, is a gun totin, hard drinkin ex-Marine that you'd swear was a biker.

    They once got word that a child molester was hiding out at the gathering. Ho.eboy found him, trussed him up and delivered him to the local cops.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

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    Educator / Liar Champion ab9924's Avatar
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    How many homeless people do you know? I'm an ex-cop and I've spent a lot of time on the "bad" side of town. Most homeless people don't belong to a gang. Most gang members live in a house and drive a car and finance it through drug dealing and etc. Joining a gang is usually about where you were born and who you grew up around, not about being homeless.
    This is even more interesting.

    Okay, under this logic then, homeless people are the bottom of the pile, I guess. Since they are not accepted, have no role, and their value is invalidated, they are a good example of what we lost by replacing the prehistoric social structures with civilization. Is their life expectancy longer than an unequipped survival trip in a wilderliness?

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    Educator / Liar Champion ab9924's Avatar
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    The biggest myth is that primitive peoples lived in "harmony" with nature.

    The reality is they moved when they had eaten every animal and plant within walking distance of the camp. So much so that it usually took more than one year for the environment to bounce back.

    The extinction of megafauna in North America is suapisciously concurrent with the spread of Homo Sapiens. Makes sense since they evolved without homonids.
    I guess this shows how we started to trade our mental security for our physical security, to lose both.

  9. #119
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    This is even more interesting.

    Okay, under this logic then, homeless people are the bottom of the pile, I guess.

    Very much so. But 1) there aren't really that many truly homeless and 2) most long-term homeless are homeless due to either drug addiction or untreated psych disorders or both, rather than simply losing a job.


    Since they are not accepted, have no role, and their value is invalidated, they are a good example of what we lost by replacing the prehistoric social structures with civilization. Is their life expectancy longer than an unequipped survival trip in a wilderliness?
    Some of them survive without a fixed abode for many years, despite in many cases being middle aged or elderly and not in the best of health.

    In large part this is due to civilized charities like soup kitchens and homeless shelters (Second Presbyterian in my town runs several), aid from orgs like the Salvation Army and Miracle Hill, as well as things like raiding the dumpsters outside McDonald's in the middle of the night.... which is a lot easier than trapping gophers with a hand-carved figure-4 deadfall trap, lemme tell ya.

    Those who aren't deranged or druggies tend to get a job and a home after a while. I just helped a guy who was living in a church run homeless shelter get employed with my company, he now has a place to live and a vehicle to drive and is getting back on his feet.

    So you see it is not all as cut-and-dried as you have been postulating.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

  10. #120
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    I guess this shows how we started to trade our mental security for our physical security, to lose both.


    Friend, both mental and physical security are largely a matter of mindset. That is, much of it takes place in the mind; is determined in large part by attitude, will and determination; and is in large part a matter of choice as to how you will view the world and your life.

    Those who are determined to find a way to survive, tend to do so. Those who are determined to arrainge their life to suit their own happiness, tend to be happy... especially if they know the secret: focus more on the good than the bad. Those who wish physical security can obtain a reasonable measure of it if they were willing to put forth the effort....

    These things are just as true whether you are hunting a job or hunting a mammoth; whether you are living in a grass hut or an apartment or on a farm; whether the greatest threat to your physical security is the loss of prime hunting grounds, or the loss of a job, or getting on the wrong side of the local street gang.

    Life is largely what you make of it.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

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