2 Comments

  1. Matt Kaukeinen
    November 19, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

    I highly recommend Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael as a source for engaging many of the different fields of knowledge (history, ecology, etc.). If you are a speaker concerned with changing things by showing people a better way, you will like it.

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  2. Matt
    November 28, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

    Years ago I read Ishmael as well. At the time, it made me think about our society and it was a catalyst for forming questions about our society. If I remember correctly, one of Quinn’s premises is that humans for the vast majority of our existence lived just like the other species do…taking only what we need…living in harmony if you will. But then at some point in recent history (the last 10K years or so) we changed. We began to farm the land & build up surpluses of food. The food was then traded/sold/etc. The shift away from a hunter gatherer lifestyle spurred our population expansion. A point Quinn really wants to drive home is that most of us do not regard the hunter gatherer human existence as history. Therefore, we believe things are now as they always have been. The answer to solve our “problems” is to revert back to taking only what we need. Probably for most people the idea of solving issues like population growth, food supply, water quality, the extinction of other species by going to back to a hunter gatherer society is not only something they never considered but it is not on the table.

    The reality is that unless something dramatic (perhaps catastrophic) were to occur more of the world’s population will exile themselves from the tribal life. But is this a bad thing? Most of the world’s population is striving for prosperity which might just be good for society and the planet.

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/

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