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Do hunter-gatherers have it right?
BBC ^ | May 19, 2009 | Tom Feilden

Posted on 05/24/2009 2:54:08 PM PDT by decimon

Listening to Tom Standage talking about his new book, An Edible History of Humanity this morning I was reminded of a paper written by the anthropologist and author Jared Diamond in the late 1980's.

Diamond described agriculture as, "the worst mistake in the history of the human race".

Farming was, he argued, a catastrophe from which we have never quite recovered. With agriculture came "the social and sexual inequality, disease and despotism, that curse our existence".

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: evolution; gagdad; godsgravesglyphs; onecosmos

1 posted on 05/24/2009 2:54:09 PM PDT by decimon
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To: SunkenCiv

Puperflect paleo ping.


2 posted on 05/24/2009 2:54:54 PM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon

I guess in a way he’s right, ‘cause if we stayed hunter-gatherer, this idiot wouldn’t be around.


3 posted on 05/24/2009 3:00:33 PM PDT by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: decimon
With agriculture came "the social and sexual inequality, disease and despotism, that curse our existence".

God. To be stupid, yet paid well. Although, looking at Obama and Geithner, it does appear entirely possible.

4 posted on 05/24/2009 3:01:09 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Putin warned Obama not to pursue Marxism. Obama has ignored him.)
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To: decimon
Those were the days.


5 posted on 05/24/2009 3:02:26 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Putin warned Obama not to pursue Marxism. Obama has ignored him.)
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To: decimon

Hunting and gathering is fine for a small society with lots of room to hunt and gather in. It helps if you don’t mind living on the edge of starvation as well.

If the billions of people on the planet today were to try it, cannibalism would become commonplace inside of a year as flora and fauna was wiped out on a scale never before seen.

Yep, farming has been a real disaster. LOL


6 posted on 05/24/2009 3:03:39 PM PDT by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: decimon
He must really hate vegetables.
7 posted on 05/24/2009 3:05:50 PM PDT by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: Carry_Okie; hiredhand

Well this is weird ....


8 posted on 05/24/2009 3:07:43 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: decimon

A hunter-gatherer economy is utterly incapable of supporting an advanced civilization. The very system of writing by which Jared promotes his ideas would never be developed without the surplus provided by agriculture. The most advanced economy possible without agriculture is that of our own NW coast. And there only because of uniquely favorable climate and other circumstances.

The article doesn’t mention the true reason agriculturists took over. Farming can support something like 500 to 1000 or more times the population. Any tribe that refused to adopt it was quickly overrun by their newly more numerous neighbors.


9 posted on 05/24/2009 3:09:13 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.)
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To: decimon

Migratory Hunter-Gatherer’s require Wi-Fi.

I’m still hard lined.


10 posted on 05/24/2009 3:10:58 PM PDT by awake-n-angry
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To: decimon

11 posted on 05/24/2009 3:13:28 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: decimon

Well . . Mr. Standage could off himself and thereby help his cause . . . .


12 posted on 05/24/2009 3:15:53 PM PDT by jeffc (They're coming to take me away! Ha-ha, hey-hey, ho-ho!)
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To: decimon

If mankind had not started farming, how could they have gotten a sufficient supply of the “necessaries” to make a sufficient supply of beer?


13 posted on 05/24/2009 3:16:19 PM PDT by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: decimon
With agriculture came "the social and sexual inequality, disease and despotism, that curse our existence

when man invented the first crops, the first liberals invented altruism and redistributionism

14 posted on 05/24/2009 3:21:49 PM PDT by mjp (pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, independence, limited government, capitalism})
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To: decimon

“With agriculture came “the social and sexual inequality, disease and despotism, that curse our existence”.

This is what the ‘social justice’ world view does to people... It distorts history in an effort to change the future.

Agriculture created a situation where technological innovation paid off and it laid the groundwork for the free market system. Excess production could be traded or sold. It also created a lot more free time, time used to advance social development... precisly the effect he thinks it DIDN’T have but SHOULD have had.

He’s a smart man made into an idiot by a leftist world view, where ALL things are political.


15 posted on 05/24/2009 3:25:24 PM PDT by navyguy (The National Reset Button is pushed with the trigger finger.)
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To: decimon

With lefto-enviro-schmucks you always have to read between the lines.

He doesn’t really mean we’d all be better off living like Paiutes eating cockroaches on the desert floor.

What he really means is, shut down 90% of all productive capacity in the Western World and put him and his friends in charge so that most of us can live like slaves and he and his friends can rule the roost.

When lefto-enviro-schmucks say they yearn for the hunter-gather lifestyle, what they really mean is they want a global Zimbabwe with them in charge.


16 posted on 05/24/2009 3:26:40 PM PDT by samtheman
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To: KrisKrinkle

Beat me to it. No agriculture, no beer. Case closed.


17 posted on 05/24/2009 3:32:40 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: decimon

This is the type of person who thinks that Earth would be a wonderful place if there were no humans on it. But like Henry David Thoreau, who adored nature, he only adored it during the day. At night, he wanted the warm security of a cabin, with a hearty meal of good tasting food prepared by a cook, and a soft bed to sleep on.

I would hazard to guess that the author lives in a congested city, in a small, overpriced luxury apartment, and the only time he experienced real nature was as an asthmatic 14 year old, sent by his parents to “Camp Broken Rubber”, as it would translate from the pseudo-Indian name. Where camp counselors would play the guitar while everyone sang Where Have All The Flowers Gone and eat spaghetti every night.

In other words, his idea of Hell on Earth would be to have to live for a week on Ted Nugent’s ranch. Because after living to this drivel, Ted would probably reenact any number of variations of “The Most Dangerous Game”, in which his guest would have an hour to make himself scarce before Ted went after him with a compound bow.


18 posted on 05/24/2009 3:42:30 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: potlatch




19 posted on 05/24/2009 3:51:11 PM PDT by devolve ( . . . . . . . . . Obama confiscated Teacher & Police Union pension funds? . . . . . . . . . . .)
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To: Sherman Logan
A hunter-gatherer economy is utterly incapable of supporting an advanced civilization.

What you say is clearly true. However, don't you on occasions lean back and think, "Hmmm, a life of hunting and fishing, no yard to mow, no job to work at, just hunting and fishing . . . "

20 posted on 05/24/2009 4:02:50 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: cripplecreek

Farming allowed a larger population. Farmers had more descendants, creating a Darwinian advantage for the farmers. That is why farming spread.


21 posted on 05/24/2009 4:06:29 PM PDT by tbw2 (Freeper sci-fi - "Humanity's Edge" - on amazon.com)
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To: decimon

I could do it. But I get to be the priest. I need hot showers, I want to surf the net during work hours, and fresh brewed coffee half a dozen times a day. Just want to make that clear before we get too far into it.

But yeah, hunter gatherer. Sounds great.


22 posted on 05/24/2009 4:09:38 PM PDT by marron
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To: decimon
"the worst mistake in the history of the human race"

But it led to vodka, so that made it ok.
23 posted on 05/24/2009 4:11:40 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: devolve
LOL cute post devolve, he's swingin.....after that beer he'll feel like this;

BONGA WONGA

24 posted on 05/24/2009 4:24:06 PM PDT by potlatch
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To: Sherman Logan

Which means that in a Darwinian context, the farmers became adapted better, more fit and survived.

The problem in Saudi Arabia is between the ultra conservative herders of the desert and the settled ag dependent cities. The same is true in Afghanistan


25 posted on 05/24/2009 4:47:51 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Crucify ! Crucify ! Crucify him!!)
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To: Squantos; Carry_Okie

I’ll defer to C.O. I’m sure he can properly explain why the BBC author is wrong is much fewer words than I can. :-)


26 posted on 05/24/2009 4:52:02 PM PDT by hiredhand (Understand the CRA and why we're facing economic collapse - see my about page.)
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To: decimon

Sunday, May 24, 2009
The Stone Age Economics of the Left: Who Would Jesus Bail Out?
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8580258&postID=6278454552434880646


27 posted on 05/24/2009 7:08:35 PM PDT by Matchett-PI ("Conservatism is about freedom, and fighting people who want to take it away." Rush Limbaugh)
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An Edible History of Humanity An Edible History of Humanity
by Tom Standage

Audio CD
Hardcover
Hardcover
Hardcover


28 posted on 05/24/2009 7:40:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: decimon; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

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Thanks decimon.
With agriculture came "the social and sexual inequality, disease and despotism, that curse our existence".
IOW, its sufficient to say that the writer of that is stupid.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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29 posted on 05/24/2009 7:42:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: decimon

Come now. Agriculture did not cause sexual inequality.


30 posted on 05/24/2009 8:08:45 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (It's all resistance...and it's all good.)
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To: navyguy
It also created a lot more free time

It may have done this in aggregate. However, most examinations of hunter-gatherer societies show that they only need about two to three hours a day to get their daily sustenance. Kind of like lions, from what I understand.

31 posted on 05/24/2009 8:25:39 PM PDT by Fractal Trader
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To: JimSEA
However, don't you on occasions lean back and think, "Hmmm, a life of hunting and fishing, no yard to mow, no job to work at, just hunting and fishing . . . "

Not if I have to make the line, make the hook, make the pole, and make everything I need to make those things....

And that is just the fishing.

32 posted on 05/24/2009 8:55:18 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (The mob got President Barabbas; America got shafted)
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To: Hoosier-Daddy

We’d be spending all our time surviving, protecting what we had, watching our backs for someone that is bigger and stronger than us, or in roving bands. Life would be much, much worse in many, many ways.


33 posted on 05/24/2009 9:14:43 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: decimon
From the articole's comment section:

11. At 09:16am on 20 May 2009, yarbles1234 wrote:
Surely the reason agriculture spread is because agricultural societies can support an army.

...and the demise of agriculture will be because agricultural societies can support excess Liberal academics.

As to With agriculture came "the social and sexual inequality, disease and despotism, that curse our existence," I was under the impression that The Noble Savage had had a stake driven through its heart decades ago.

34 posted on 05/24/2009 9:38:08 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (The mob got President Barabbas; America got shafted)
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To: Sherman Logan

You’re absolutely right. The point he’s trying to make is that agriculture is a compromise. Quality of life was sacrificed for the sheer power of numbers.

Advanced civilization comes much much later (Thousands of years). Until very recently most people have been serfs, and have had a very poor quality of life.

Another point that he does not make, but I believe to be true, is that we would all be healthier if we ate a hunter gatherer diet. Meat, vegetables, fruits, NO grains.


35 posted on 05/25/2009 1:10:17 AM PDT by MetaThought
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To: MetaThought
Another point that he does not make, but I believe to be true, is that we would all be healthier if we ate a hunter gatherer diet. Meat, vegetables, fruits, NO grains.

Yes, it would be a healthier diet,, but if you were growing your own food, you would get enough exercise that you could afford to eat a lot more carbs.

Speaking as a Farmer here,,, this guy is nuts. He has no idea how difficult it is to grow enough food to feed a family for an entire year. Certainly, it can be done,, but it would be a pretty boring diet.

I prefer to specialize in a few crops, and depend on other farmers to grow the other things I feed my family.Somebody needs to hide this guy's STUPID PILLS before he writes his next book.

36 posted on 05/25/2009 1:30:19 AM PDT by Iowa Granny (A Penny Saved, is a Penny TAXED)
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To: decimon
"With agriculture came "the social and sexual inequality, disease and despotism, that curse our existence". "

Such nonsense.

All of these conditions are present in some hunter-gatherer cultures.

None of these conditions are present in every agricultural culture.

In short, agriculture did not cause any "curse of our existence." It's a ridiculous article.

37 posted on 05/25/2009 5:42:45 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective...)
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To: decimon

One of the comments in the article was “Humanity is a virus, someday Earth will find a cure”. And deadb0y was serious about it.
This pseudoscientist referenced in the article blames nearly all of societies ills on agriculture. He just needs to add racism, sexism, and homophobia to complete the list. Definitely an ivory tower academic with no exposure to the outside world, and would say that we on this board have “sheltered lives” for disagreeing with him to boot.


38 posted on 05/25/2009 6:37:10 AM PDT by Fred Hayek (Minnesota - You all can go to hell. I'm going to Texas.)
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To: decimon
Diamond described agriculture as, "the worst mistake in the history of the human race".

That hardly seems to be the theme of his book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.

39 posted on 05/25/2009 7:39:06 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: bert
The problem in Saudi Arabia is between the ultra conservative herders of the desert and the settled ag dependent cities.

I get your drift but I believe it's inaccurate at the present time.

There is very little agriculture in SA, for obvious reasons. Even the few remaining herders aren't dependent on their animals for survival. They herd in Toyota pickups and SUVs provided by government subsidies.

In reality, every single person in SA is utterly dependent on exported oil. If the country were ever shut off from the outside, the vast majority would quickly die.

You are correct historically speaking. Up until the oil bonanza there was constant conflict between the settled and nomadic populations.

40 posted on 05/25/2009 7:42:23 AM PDT by Sherman Logan (Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
Agriculture did not cause sexual inequality.

Right now in Oz there is a lot of argument over whether Australia should impose their egalitarian standards on the aborigines, in whose culture women have no say.

Actual observed hunter-gatherer cultures have generally had well-defined sex roles, with the women in much the inferior position.

The theory that ancient unobserved societies had total sexual equality tells us a great deal more about the fantasies of the "historians" than it does about the life of ancient people.

41 posted on 05/25/2009 7:49:08 AM PDT by Sherman Logan (Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.)
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To: decimon
For the average subsistence farmer - the vast majority of the world's population - life is still pretty nasty, brutish and short.

This is really silly. Less than 1/3 of the world's population is engaged in agriculture, and a good percentage of those operate well above subsistence level.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture

42 posted on 05/25/2009 7:53:36 AM PDT by Sherman Logan (Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.)
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To: Sherman Logan
The article doesn’t mention the true reason agriculturists took over. Farming can support something like 500 to 1000 or more times the population. Any tribe that refused to adopt it was quickly overrun by their newly more numerous neighbors.

Yeah, who immediately cut down the rain forest and caused global warming! :-)

In his book Connections, James Burke traces agriculture as such to the invention of irrigation rather than depending on seasonal floods. This led to individuals being able to produce more than they and their families could consume so they began to barter with others for the surplus. This led to numbers, mathematics and accounting. And so it went until here we are today with one progressive step leading to another and not always linear or expected.

It is an interesting book.

Of course if liberals, or progressives if they prefer, had their way we could trace our problems back to procreation. Without that none of our ills would exist. It is a biological fact that if your parents never had children you probably won't either.

43 posted on 05/25/2009 10:37:40 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government)
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