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Thread: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

  1. #131
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    I believe that life today is on average less nasty, brutish, and short than it was back then.
    Don't work out, work in.

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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    I agree that dehydration sucks a lot. But hunger is not that bad, I heard.
    Tell that to the starving toddlers in Somalia.

    Are we better off than the prehistoric man?-starving-children-jpg


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

    Bud, you're going to have to explain that one to me. I'm pretty sure I do not get what you mean, or why you seem to view this as a negative.
    Last edited by Goshin; 09-07-12 at 09:24 PM.

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  3. #133
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    I believe that life today is on average less nasty, brutish, and short than it was back then.
    *giggle*

    solitary poor things we are.
    A screaming comes across the sky.
    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    We evolved to be the way we are now. Well...technically speaking we self domesticated ourselves to be the way we are now. Genetically speaking, our genes have been evolving at an accelerated rate over the last 50,000 years. We are more of a socially cohesive species than prehistoric man ever was, hence why we can now form nations rather than just tribes. Of course, we have lost a bit of our individuality in that transition but as long as we maintain enough to keep totalitarian leaders out of power then we generally do well to keep our competing group disagreements civil if not always rational.

    As far as violence is concerned, even with the great atrocities of the 20th century, we are far, far less violent than we were in the past.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    The economy will improve under this bill. If a few people die, it will be for the betterament of this country.

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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Tell that to the starving toddlers in Somalia.

    Are we better off than the prehistoric man?-starving-children-jpg





    Bud, you're going to have to explain that one to me. I'm pretty sure I do not get what you mean, or why you seem to view this as a negative.
    Well everyone's age seems to be 20+ here and I know that they think differently. But I would like to stay truthful to reality. Forever, in all historic ages, losing one's life was everyone's greatest fear as well as the greatest legal punishment too. So, we all carry our lives as a great package that is easily hurt, like some pair of balls. This is like an addiction. However reality doesn't care about any of this, there is nobody who would have a "job" of accounting for our lives. So the best practice is then to distance ourselves from it, that way we can go ahead and we will not feel the loss of our lives as something destructive or punishing to us. The prehistoric man naturally understood this. (I guess for the high mortality rate around him.) But modern comfort does the opposite and leads us into the delusion that our life is something bigger, hence we now have a very big addiction (to it).

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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    We evolved to be the way we are now. Well...technically speaking we self domesticated ourselves to be the way we are now. Genetically speaking, our genes have been evolving at an accelerated rate over the last 50,000 years. We are more of a socially cohesive species than prehistoric man ever was, hence why we can now form nations rather than just tribes. Of course, we have lost a bit of our individuality in that transition but as long as we maintain enough to keep totalitarian leaders out of power then we generally do well to keep our competing group disagreements civil if not always rational.

    As far as violence is concerned, even with the great atrocities of the 20th century, we are far, far less violent than we were in the past.
    Can this be only because 20th century populations grew faster than the kill rate of generally deployed weapons?

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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    Can this be only because 20th century populations grew faster than the kill rate of generally deployed weapons?
    Unlikely. Weapons have gotten considerably better to the point that we could literally kill off every human on the planet in a matter of hours. If we were as violent as our prehistoric cousins...well...the cockroaches would have a lot more room.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    The economy will improve under this bill. If a few people die, it will be for the betterament of this country.

  8. #138
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by ab9924 View Post
    Well everyone's age seems to be 20+ here and I know that they think differently. But I would like to stay truthful to reality. Forever, in all historic ages, losing one's life was everyone's greatest fear as well as the greatest legal punishment too. So, we all carry our lives as a great package that is easily hurt, like some pair of balls. This is like an addiction. However reality doesn't care about any of this, there is nobody who would have a "job" of accounting for our lives. So the best practice is then to distance ourselves from it, that way we can go ahead and we will not feel the loss of our lives as something destructive or punishing to us. The prehistoric man naturally understood this. (I guess for the high mortality rate around him.) But modern comfort does the opposite and leads us into the delusion that our life is something bigger, hence we now have a very big addiction (to it).

    Ah, okay. I sort of thought it was something like that, but I wasn't sure and wanted to be clear.

    Humans fear death. All animals respond to the threat of death with a reaction that, if it isn't fear, certainly resembles it. It is instinctive to avoid death. I'm quite sure primitive man was no exception.

    Now, I'm reasonably sure that isn't exactly what you meant. You're talking about the value we place on our lives, and I would add "on life in general".

    Yes, in the days when 1/3rd of children died before reaching 20... when a lot of 20-somethings died of simple infections or small wounds or by violence or accident or any of a host of other reasons... when living to be 40 was quite an accomplishment, and death was a pervasive thing that you saw a lot of... yes, I'm sure it had a profound affect on how people thought about life.

    The thing is, I'm not so sure it was a positive effect.

    In studying historical texts and records and the written accounts of people who lived in such times (which basically means most of human existence prior to the 19th or 20th centuries), yes they were perhaps more accepting of death as a part of life. They were more inclined to be risk-takers than modern man, in many cases... after all, if you know that the odds are iffy that you'll even live another ten years, you have less to risk than someone who expects to live another 50 years.

    Risk-acceptance isn't necessarily a positive, however. It can result in destructive behaviors.

    There's also a downside to putting less value on your life.... in many cases you will tend to value the lives of OTHERS less as well. Clearly, if you study history and historical figures, many people seemed far more willing to harm and kill others for short-term gain than is the case in most of the civilized modern world.

    Short lifespans would also tend to make long-term planning and goals somewhat less attractive to many people. There would be more orphaned children, who might or might not be taken care of by the tribe... this can vary in different primitive cultures, some will and some won't (take care of orphans). Retaining knowlege and skills long-term would be tricky... anyone with a valued rare skill would need to try to pass it on to apprentices as fast as possible, lest the tribe lose it entirely via the skilled man's early demise.


    There is no reason to assume that living in a society where early death was common would produce anything like serenity and peaceful acceptance. History and anthropology do not support such a hypothesis. It would be just as likely to produce a grim and doomful mind as a serene one.

    Read about Gilgamesh the King. He was a legendary warrior king of Babylon, reputedly a incredibly brave fighting man... yet he was also said to fear death greatly and spent great effort trying to find a way to avoid eventual demise. This ancient chronicle is an excellent view on the dichotomy of the human condition in an era when a short life was commonplace, and a legendary character who was a brave risk-taker yet still feared death and sought to avoid it.

    You don't have to de-value life in order to be brave.


    So tell me why exactly is valuing life such a negative to you? Or under-valuing it such a positive?

    You're undoubtably young, and probably have little worry about dying of natural causes anytime soon. You don't seem to know much about the scuzzy underbelly of society, so I'm guessing that you don't live in a dangerous high-crime area. Why do you think you NEED to put aside an attachment to life? There's no indication that your environment requires such a detachment. Has someone you care for died recently?

    How you choose to view life, and the inevitability of death, is a very personal matter which may involve philosophy, religion, environment, family influences, social influences, and many other factors... but it will ultimately be YOU who chooses how you will view it and cope with it.

    To me, a short life is often tragic, because there is so much you would miss. Accomplishments, children, grandchildren.... WISDOM, which rarely begins to set in before 30, is another thing missing.... there's a reason why many primitive tribes had a council of elders... which often meant anyone over 28... because time and experience gives you perspective in a way that cannot be matched.

    You are young and have barely scratched the surface of the potential of your life. I advise you to value it and treasure it, despite knowing that one day you will lose it... given time, you will understand why I say this.

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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.'.."

  9. #139
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Tell that to the starving toddlers in Somalia.

    Are we better off than the prehistoric man?-starving-children-jpg





    Bud, you're going to have to explain that one to me. I'm pretty sure I do not get what you mean, or why you seem to view this as a negative.
    So really - for a lot of people in the world - life just isn't much different. Maybe they're even worse off.
    A screaming comes across the sky.
    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
    Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow

  10. #140
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    Re: Are we better off than the prehistoric man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    So really - for a lot of people in the world - life just isn't much different. Maybe they're even worse off.

    It is a complicated issue, involving many things.

    Politics... some groups get pushed out in to the desert...

    Lack of development, government corruption.

    Lack of knowlege, lack of equipment to farm properly.

    Too much population for the land to support in some areas, whether agrarian or HG.

    Cultural and social issues...

    Big complicated mess that isn't going to be solved with any quick fixes.

    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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