[thechat] rationality is not enough (was: New Year's Resolution)

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Mon Jan 6 14:17:01 CST 2003

Hi Judah,

Good stuff, But I dunno about this one.  I'm not sure what it means that
'agriculture fits well with the organization of our brain'.

I always thought it arose from laziness. Hunter/Gatherers would have learned
where the mango trees grew and what time of year they would become ripe.
Eventually they would establish a 'route' to take them from one natural
'orchard' to the next for their seasonal gathering forays ... probably
camping in similar areas.  Eventually one of the brighter of the lot would
figure agriculture out -> "Damn I hate hiking around gathering freaking
mangos. ... Gee ... Funny how there always seem to be a lot of new mango
trees in the middens ... Hmmmmmmm"


('Ham', however, proved to be a much tougher concept to develop.)

-----Original Message-----
From: Judah McAuley [mailto:judah at wiredotter.com]

A good example is agriculture.  Agriculture has been incredibly
successfull.  Why?  It has long been assumed that it is because people
who had it were healthier, happier, and had more children.  Research
doesn't indicate that was the case.  Hunter gatherer groups, especially
early on, had a healthier, more balanced diet, they had more leisure
time, and they were less susceptible to plague, drought, flooding, war,
etc.  So why did agriculture suceed?  Because its an idea that fits well
with the organization of our brain and people who accepted it lived
close together which made it easier for more memes to propagate.  It is
alot easier for an idea to gain critical mass in a large, dense
population than it is in a small, dispersed population.

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