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Why did Totalitarian Agriculture take hold 10,000 years ago?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by jkr View Post
    Amazon.com: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (9780393317558): Jared M. Diamond: Books

    Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.
    I found him trying to appeal to white guilt a bit too heavily.

    What I found compelling was his argument about how Eurasian civilizations were destined to dominate the world. Eurasia had the easiest time developing agriculture for at least 2 good reasons: Eurasia's broad reaches of latitude contributed to easy spread of agriculture by virtue of less hybridization being required, and of the world's (dozen or so) staple crops, all but 3 originated there. Unlike Australia, North and South America, and Africa, Eurasia had animals suitable for domestication, and via easy vectors of disease transmission from domesticated animals to their human masters, exposure resulted in an increased resistance to disease to which indigenous peoples on other continents succumbed. Further, its the large land mass led to easy warfare by a multitude of nations being able to walk to the attack thus fostering mastery of weapon design and application. All these combined to give the "guns, germs, and steel" advantage that led to easy subjugation of the rest of the world.
    Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
    Starting Weight: 294 pounds
    Current Weight: 235 pounds
    Goal Weight: 195 pounds

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Man is Truth
      haha dude what about the asians?
      Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
      Starting Weight: 294 pounds
      Current Weight: 235 pounds
      Goal Weight: 195 pounds

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      • #18
        Originally posted by CaveWeirdo View Post
        ... mutation made the grain stick to the head of the wheat instead of dropping off easily.
        That the grain "waits for the reaper".

        A very small percentage of wild grain tends not to fall easily. Most of it not doing so in cultivated grain is an (unintentional) artifact of gathering it and carrying around over a number of generations. See, for example, After The Ice:

        Amazon.com: After the Ice: A Global Human History 20,000-5000 BC (9780674019997): Steven Mithen: Books

        I think you have to see people as exploiting a variety of different foodstuffs obtained through a variety of different strategies. One or more may come to predominate at different times, depending on a number of factors. No one, as it were, sits down and decides on a form of life -- although reading some writers on archaeology of the recent past one might think so. It embodies an anachronism, because whatever the advantages of a particular form of life might be how would you know what they were in advance? It seems to have been the influence of V. Gordon Childe, and indirectly Marxism, that tended to make people think in that way.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by AyaPapaya View Post
          BC = Before Christ
          BCE = Before the Common Era

          Means the same thing...just takes the religious reference out of it.
          Common Era is meaningless outside the Christian context. Other religions employ their own dating system. Look at an Arabic coin sometime, and you will see something like "2005 ~ ١٤٢٦" on them, the latter part being 1426AH.

          AD and BC are only common to Christians. Trying to pretend otherwise is delusional.

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          • #20
            I suspect it's our own fault. Why did all the megafauna disappear at the end of the Pleistocene? Why did almost all the large marsupials disappear from Australia? Why did the giant birds disappear from the Pacific islands? What happened to the dodo?

            We had to turn to agriculture, because we'd killed off much of our preferred food.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by orielwen View Post
              I suspect it's our own fault. Why did all the megafauna disappear at the end of the Pleistocene? Why did almost all the large marsupials disappear from Australia? Why did the giant birds disappear from the Pacific islands? What happened to the dodo?

              We had to turn to agriculture, because we'd killed off much of our preferred food.
              You are also forgetting about the mammoth.

              http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...xtinction.html

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              • #22
                Originally posted by billp View Post
                Common Era is meaningless outside the Christian context. Other religions employ their own dating system. Look at an Arabic coin sometime, and you will see something like "2005 ~ ١٤٢٦" on them, the latter part being 1426AH.

                AD and BC are only common to Christians. Trying to pretend otherwise is delusional.
                I don't think anyone's trying to pretend the dating system wasn't invented by Christians, I think it's just intended to make non-Christians a little more comfortable with using the nomenclature by not forcing them to write "in the year of our Lord" (which is what AD means) or "before Christ" on secular documents that have nothing to do with religion. It would be pointless and confusing to change the actual number of the years at this point since it's so heavily entrenched, but a change of abbreviation is easy to make as you go. As an atheist I'm certainly more comfortable with it.
                Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

                My Primal Journal

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Bobert View Post
                  You are also forgetting about the mammoth.

                  Humans were final cause of woolly mammoth extinction - Telegraph
                  Um, he said "megafauna".
                  Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

                  My Primal Journal

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Uncephalized View Post
                    Um, he said "megafauna".
                    Wouldn't that include a mammoth?

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