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RE: [newtech-1] Are you evolved?

From: Dean C.
Sent on: Saturday, February 2, 2013 12:11 PM

Hi Michael,

You are right, further humanity is a dubious question……though still curious about peoples thoughts in the newtech community about it (and you are right about sailing…..you only need to look at Chatham islands to understand that).

You are also right that Jareds position in
Guns Germs and Steel was “some” of it was geo related eg crops spread from the nile delta east and west easier than north and south for the Americas. However this was only 1 of many ideas explored.

 

I’m still thinking if push came to shove how many “ipads” really could be developed if a room full of modern people were asked to start from scratch. Are we really that evolved or are things like www.Lumosity.com and other new ways of pushing the edges where we should be focused on.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

Dean Collins

[address removed]

[masked]

[masked]  (Sydney in-dial) 

[masked] (London in-dial)

 

 

 

From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Michael Carroll
Sent: Saturday, February 02,[masked]:59 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [newtech-1] Are you evolved?

 

As I recall, the argument of 'Guns, Germs and Steel' was not that certain groups of people lacked the ability to evolve, but that they the right conditions were not present for them to do so: they lived in a remote area without access to the raw ore (or other materials) needed to make advanced metals, their agricultural output was not enough to sustain a society of specialized laborers, a lack of threats from other tribes nearby didn't give them any reason to develop metal spearheads that could pierce leather armor, etc.

 

I think that Jared Diamond (the author of GG&S) would argue, then, that NOT knowing how to build a metal spear, or iPad, or many of the things we take for granted creates one of many necessary sets of conditions required for innovation to occur. In other words: That we can live in a society where individuals (and companies) can specialize in a very particular, arcane area and not worry about wasting time/mental resources in reinventing the fishing hook is a positive thing.

 

Also, not to nitpick, but I'm not sure what you intend to mean by "furthering humanity". What qualifies as furthering humanity? What doesn't? Some would argue that sailing furthered humanity in an enormous way. Others would say that it destroyed many groups of indigenous people by spreading diseases that they had no immunity against and that ultimately decimated their populations and cultural heritage. I'm not saying that "furthering humanity" isn't a noble goal--just curious what standards should be applied to judging its success.


Michael

On Feb 2, 2013, at 11:30 AM, Dean Collins <[address removed]> wrote:



i read this article a few days ago;

- http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/For-40-Years-This-Russian-Family-Was-Cut-Off-From-Human-Contact-Unaware-of-World-War-II-188843001.html?
For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II
In 1978, Soviet geologists prospecting in the wilds of Siberia discovered a family of six, lost in the taiga. Thus it was in the remote south of the forest in the summer of 1978. A helicopter sent to find a safe spot to land a party of geologists was skimming the treeline a hundred or so miles from the Mongolian border.....

Very interesting to see which parts of their lives broke down and couldnt be replaced.


I've been thinking about these issues a lot over the last few months.

Dont know if you saw the documentary Guns Germs and Steel but reading the book and there’s a comment in there that struck me about how some tribes were not able to evolve into metallurgy...made me think...throw 100 Americans into a jungle today....how many of us could develop a metal spear or fishing hook or pot to make dinner in.

Very few i think.

But feel free to continue thinking you are evolved as you read this post on your iPad in your pajamas, but look around the room, if you had to-what if anything in that room could you build yourself.

 

I guess the point of this post for the newtech community is I am wondering….is there something else we should be working on to further humanity. Is what you are building right now this weekend going to “further humanity” in any meaningful way?

 

Is there something else we should be building? – thoughts?

 

 

Regards,

 

Dean Collins

[address removed]

[masked]

[masked]  (Sydney in-dial) 

[masked] (London in-dial)

 

- http://blog.collins.net.pr/2013/02/are-you-evolved.html

 

 





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