> Hi Ian,
> Then there are the conundrums: How did we discover metals
> could be extracted from ore if we exposed the rocks to
> temperatures above the normal heat a fire produces? Where did
> the weaving of fibres originate to form cloth or the knotting
> of thread to form nets? Also, it seems there was some wider
> knowledge of the geometry of the Earth, Solar system,
> mathematics and engineering all combined in order to build the
> pyramids and monuments like Stone Henge - all supposedly
> achieved by ostensibly farming communities.
Even more interesting, how in the world did someone think to grind a bunch of grain into a slurry and let it sit around and ferment? Did the 'brewing' style of fermenting come first or the 'baking' style? You do have to wonder how someone would think the smelly mess resulting from fermentation would be drinkable. Or how they would think to make dough by deliberately contaiminating their food, let it sit and 'spoil' for a while, and then bake it.
The only 'primitive technology' that you could figure how people might accidently discover is pottery. It's not to hard to see how people could notice that clay will dry and harden when exposed to fire. There's clay all over. :) But all of the others are pretty amazing things to 'just develop' among uneducated savages.
> One final point, how civilised are we today? If we are talking
> about inteligent living and a sustainable future then I think
> we've lost the plot. The Australian aboriginals arrived there
> over 60,000 years ago. When Cook discovered Australia there
> were only about a half million aboriginals inhabiting the whole
> continent of Australia. Over the course of the last 250 years
> or so we've devastated local wildlife and destroyed the
> aboriginal way of life. And all this has been done under the
> guise of progress and our definition of civilisation. I think
> we're probably better described as techno-barbarians, obsessed
> with making money and exploiting the world for our own selfish
> gain. On the broader issues we are not proving to be very
> clever at all, and simply because we've placed great store in
> wealth and security over the past 10,000 years doesn't mean it
> was the right thing to do. In fact, what we call civilisation
> is nothing more than a great experiment in managing our
> over-population and reliance on our own inventions.
Remember the famous exchange where the reporters ask Gandhi what he thought of "Western civilization" and he replied 'it would be a good idea'? :D
No we're not very civilized today. We are very technically advanced barbarians. I think that Jung's insistence on this point is one of the major reasons for his unpopularity in certain circles.
> For all we know this pattern of boom and bust going back
> 150,000 years is the evidence of man's attempts at
> civilisation. Each population crash could be the result of a
> man-made disaster or a natural phenomena. We know that sea
> levels have risen steadily over the past 20,000 years so any
> evidence of cities may be 100s of feet under the ocean. In
> 30,000 years time, will there be any evidence of our
> civilisation or, will science just tell them there was a period
> of global warming and the human population crashed? And how
> would any survivors live in a world where industry and
> technology no longer functioned? Would the future
> archaeologists discover we lived in small groups fashioning
> stone tools from flint, growing crops and hunting animals?
> Would they find we slowly developed the ability to mine copper
> and make bronze and then iron and steel? Or perhaps their
> world would be radically different from ours today. What if
> their religion tells of the dangers of over-population and a
> reliance on technology and the problems of greed, wealth and
> power? Perhaps they didn't allow secular beliefs to override
> the more fundamental principles of sustainable living and
> maintaining a balance within nature. Perhaps, just perhaps,
> they live in a paradise, a global community free from fear and
> suspicion, free from the worries of earning a living or
> exploiting resources in search of wealth and the ravages of
> 'progress'. Now that's what I call civilisation.
> Food for thought...
Yes, there is no 'scarcity' of anything vital today. Technology can provide more than enough of everything important (food, clothing, and shelter) for everyone. But our exploitative economic system maintains artificial scarcity in order to 'motivate' people to work and produce excess wealth for the ruling classes. The activites of true civilization are only peripheral to our current 'culture'. It's hilarious to see anthropology turned back on the tribe of 'modern' man...
The Mysterious Fall of the Nacimera
The Nacimera and the Tsiruot
Body Rituals Among the Nacimera
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