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Thread: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

  1. #121
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    If you want the virtues of a rougher life, of which there are many, along with the deeply integrated family and social structure but don't want to live in a cave nor skin an animal to use his fur as underwear, than join the Amish community where you can have a decent mix of the goold ol' work ethic without having to worry about a broken arm or leg being a death sentance because you can no longer hunt.
    Or, go to Afghanistan and start your own tribe! Just make sure you hit the tanning bed hard before you go lest you be IED's continually. And, if you get the aforementioned broken arm or leg, you can just walk up to your friendly neighborhood FOB (forward operating base) where American servicemembers will be glad to care for you.....FOR FREE!! Yep, that's right. The American gov't (tax payer) will give you free health care over there too. Make sure you show them your hands though. They tend to not like it when guys approach an ECP (entry control point) with their hands under their man dress.
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  2. #122
    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
    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...
    Okay, I still can't help thinking that all these beat prisons, homelessness, and nursing homes. For example, I would say that those old Eskimo guys had a better death after the initial 2-3 days of hunger pangs that the agony of homeless guys or nursing home hospice inmates. And being chased out into the desert away from the tribe is LOT better than fighting every day in jail. Isn't it?

  3. #123
    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
    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.




    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.
    I think that if I was homeless, I would want to die and disappear. I guess this is the same as those prehistoric clansmen who lost their place and were pushed out for something like breaking a taboo. What on Earth makes a homeless guy want to get back on his feet?

  4. #124
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    I guess I could then say, that this will-to-live seems an externally imposed program inside us, but then I would sound stupid. Probably the better analysis of this is that our attachment to our lives is simply fear, the fear of the unknown, I speculate.
    Could be fear. maybe we're afraid of missing something.

    You don't want to miss out on marriage, sex (yes, even after 40!), grandkids, retirement, catching that big one, a perfect day in the park.

    Whatever reason, we're programmed to avoid our own deaths. It's a survival mechanism. Without it, the human race would most likely not have survived this long.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance. It is the illusion of knowledge" Stephen Hawking

  5. #125
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    Okay, I still can't help thinking that all these beat prisons, homelessness, and nursing homes. For example, I would say that those old Eskimo guys had a better death after the initial 2-3 days of hunger pangs that the agony of homeless guys or nursing home hospice inmates. And being chased out into the desert away from the tribe is LOT better than fighting every day in jail. Isn't it?

    How do you know? You've never lived in a nursing home or a prison, nor been an Eskimo or a tribesman... all you have to go on is second and thirdhand info and the theoretical musings of the "we never should have invented agriculture" crowd.

    Ever been dehydrated? It's horrible. I'd hate to die of thirst or hunger, it would suck.

    My parents lived at home until they died in their 80's. We, their children and grandchildren and kin, took care of them. My Dad did spend a few weeks in a nursing home, once when he was in bad shape, but we didn't like it so we brought him home to pass his final months.

    In his last few months my father could no longer walk without help, and he had trouble concentrating and remembering things a lot. I spoke with him on the day he died though, and he had a big smile for me, his son, and he looked happy to see me and glad I was there to spend some time talking with him.

    My mother lived at home until she passed away. She spent her last couple days in Hospice, where they gave her meds to make her as comfortable as possible. She died with her family around her and passed peacefully.

    Read about someone dying of tetanus before the invention of tetanus vaccine. It is a horrific and ugly thing, and could happen to you regardless of age. All it takes is a tiny little infected wound and a lack of modern medicine.


    Prisons are a bad place to be, but then again if you act as a predator towards members of you own society you shouldn't expect to be coddled. Even so, prisons are typically not as bad as fiction and movies make them out to be. Every prison I've visited in the course of my duties appeared to be reasonably well-run and pretty orderly, and while violence occurred it was not an everyday thing.

    As for the homeless, well yeah a lot of them need to be in mental institutions or drug rehab... but there are limits to what society is willing to pay for. Just because modern society isn't perfect is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water, and assuming you are halfway sound of body and mind you don't HAVE to be homeless, or remain homeless for very long. There are many charities that will be glad to help you get back on your feet if you're willing to work.
    Last edited by Goshin; 09-07-12 at 08:06 PM.

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  6. #126
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    I think that if I was homeless, I would want to die and disappear. I guess this is the same as those prehistoric clansmen who lost their place and were pushed out for something like breaking a taboo. What on Earth makes a homeless guy want to get back on his feet?

    The desire to survive and the will to do what is necessary to achieve that goal. In this case, all he had to do was show up for a job interview, pass a drug screening and driving report, and show up for work and do the job. Then save money until he could get a cheap vehicle and rent a place to live. Does that really sound so hard, so impossible? Many do 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.'.."

  7. #127
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    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.
    I think that they did not, their entire lives were dependent on their work, on their hunt on their preparedness. Waking at the brink of dawn.. hunting until you go t dinner on the table (if you were successful), often coming home in the evening or staying out overnight Getting home with the kill, having to dress the kill, skin it, portion it, tan the hides, whittle needles from the bones, smoke some of the meat, and cook dinner. Then perhaps take some time around the campfire making those spearpoints for the next hunt, maybe telling a few tales in the meantime, perhaps a few hours fornicating, and then another day of work ahead. Packing up all your belongings roaming for miles to follow the herds, setting up camp, unsetting up camp, more following the herd, another kill, another huge batch of work processing the carcass for materials essential to your survival.

    I don't know, I just don't seem to spend a lot of my evenings cutting down trees and processing toilet paper to wipe my ass, or having to carve a toothbrush and affix boars hair into it, or carving a turkey bone into a sewing needle all that much. My evenings are spent doing what I want to do (my days are as well at times), not what I HAVE to do just to survive.
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  8. #128
    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 do you know? You've never lived in a nursing home or a prison, nor been an Eskimo or a tribesman... all you have to go on is second and thirdhand info and the theoretical musings of the "we never should have invented agriculture" crowd.

    Ever been dehydrated? It's horrible. I'd hate to die of thirst or hunger, it would suck.

    My parents lived at home until they died in their 80's. We, their children and grandchildren and kin, took care of them. My Dad did spend a few weeks in a nursing home, once when he was in bad shape, but we didn't like it so we brought him home to pass his final months.

    In his last few months my father could no longer walk without help, and he had trouble concentrating and remembering things a lot. I spoke with him on the day he died though, and he had a big smile for me, his son, and he looked happy to see me and glad I was there to spend some time talking with him.

    My mother lived at home until she passed away. She spent her last couple days in Hospice, where they gave her meds to make her as comfortable as possible. She died with her family around her and passed peacefully.

    Read about someone dying of tetanus before the invention of tetanus vaccine. It is a horrific and ugly thing, and could happen to you regardless of age. All it takes is a tiny little infected wound and a lack of modern medicine.


    Prisons are a bad place to be, but then again if you act as a predator towards members of you own society you shouldn't expect to be coddled. Even so, prisons are typically not as bad as fiction and movies make them out to be. Every prison I've visited in the course of my duties appeared to be reasonably well-run and pretty orderly, and while violence occurred it was not an everyday thing.

    As for the homeless, well yeah a lot of them need to be in mental institutions or drug rehab... but there are limits to what society is willing to pay for. Just because modern society isn't perfect is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water, and assuming you are halfway sound of body and mind you don't HAVE to be homeless, or remain homeless for very long. There are many charities that will be glad to help you get back on your feet if you're willing to work.
    I agree that dehydration sucks a lot. But hunger is not that bad, I heard.

    And, from what you are saying, doesn't it look like that modern society has greatly boosted our addiction to our own lives?

  9. #129
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    How do you know? You've never lived in a nursing home or a prison, nor been an Eskimo or a tribesman... all you have to go on is second and thirdhand info and the theoretical musings of the "we never should have invented agriculture" crowd.

    Ever been dehydrated? It's horrible. I'd hate to die of thirst or hunger, it would suck.

    My parents lived at home until they died in their 80's. We, their children and grandchildren and kin, took care of them. My Dad did spend a few weeks in a nursing home, once when he was in bad shape, but we didn't like it so we brought him home to pass his final months.

    In his last few months my father could no longer walk without help, and he had trouble concentrating and remembering things a lot. I spoke with him on the day he died though, and he had a big smile for me, his son, and he looked happy to see me and glad I was there to spend some time talking with him.

    My mother lived at home until she passed away. She spent her last couple days in Hospice, where they gave her meds to make her as comfortable as possible. She died with her family around her and passed peacefully.

    Read about someone dying of tetanus before the invention of tetanus vaccine. It is a horrific and ugly thing, and could happen to you regardless of age. All it takes is a tiny little infected wound and a lack of modern medicine.


    Prisons are a bad place to be, but then again if you act as a predator towards members of you own society you shouldn't expect to be coddled. Even so, prisons are typically not as bad as fiction and movies make them out to be. Every prison I've visited in the course of my duties appeared to be reasonably well-run and pretty orderly, and while violence occurred it was not an everyday thing.

    As for the homeless, well yeah a lot of them need to be in mental institutions or drug rehab... but there are limits to what society is willing to pay for. Just because modern society isn't perfect is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water, and assuming you are halfway sound of body and mind you don't HAVE to be homeless, or remain homeless for very long. There are many charities that will be glad to help you get back on your feet if you're willing to work.
    Primitive people were all homeless, weren't they?
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance. It is the illusion of knowledge" Stephen Hawking

  10. #130
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    I think that they did not, their entire lives were dependent on their work, on their hunt on their preparedness. Waking at the brink of dawn.. hunting until you go t dinner on the table (if you were successful), often coming home in the evening or staying out overnight Getting home with the kill, having to dress the kill, skin it, portion it, tan the hides, whittle needles from the bones, smoke some of the meat, and cook dinner. Then perhaps take some time around the campfire making those spearpoints for the next hunt, maybe telling a few tales in the meantime, perhaps a few hours fornicating, and then another day of work ahead. Packing up all your belongings roaming for miles to follow the herds, setting up camp, unsetting up camp, more following the herd, another kill, another huge batch of work processing the carcass for materials essential to your survival.

    I don't know, I just don't seem to spend a lot of my evenings cutting down trees and processing toilet paper to wipe my ass, or having to carve a toothbrush and affix boars hair into it, or carving a turkey bone into a sewing needle all that much. My evenings are spent doing what I want to do (my days are as well at times), not what I HAVE to do just to survive.

    Exactly right. I don't buy into this nonsense that primitive HG's had more leisure time than modern people.

    There was a time when I was out of work for about three months and atypically had trouble finding another job. Unemployment scarcely paid the bills and there was almost nothing left for groceries. We had some bagged bulk rice and grits and a few canned goods, and for meat I went hunting in the woods every couple of days.... alternating job hunting with animal hunting you see.

    Let me stress that we were NOT totally dependent on what I killed for food, just for the meat portion of our daily rations. Let me further point out that I had a modern firearm and ammunition, steel blades, metal cookpots and an electric range to cook on.

    It was still quite a lot of bother to hunt, kill, clean and dress and butcher animals, and to cook them, even though I had modern tools and it was to SUPPLEMENT our food supply, not act as our only supply. There were days I came back empty-handed and that would have sucked if we hadn't had the bagged rice and grits... which are agricultural products...

    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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