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Old 05-29-2017, 09:06 AM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,142
MD2000's post at position 13 is the closest to my response to this.

As an Historian, I have become aware (apparently more than most) that most explanations of human behavior come AFTER THE EVENTS THEMSELVES. In fact, the whole notion of coming up with a question like the one posed for this thread, is the result of people getting into the habit of explaining human events as being due to deciding things in advance, when a careful and unprejudiced study of the actual past, reveals that most of what has happened before was not premeditated at all.

I have my own personal theory as to how things came to be as they did, which this subject area hinges off of. My theory is based on noticing that the various "cradles of civilization" that we have come to recognize, the so-called fertile crescent in the ME, the Nile basin, the valleys of China and so on, all had the same basic set of things in common: great fertility, concentrated in a location surrounded by a wide expanse of barren territory. To my thinking, civilization was an accident, caused by humans stumbling into a hospitable environment, and being unable to easily migrate out of it again. Discovering animal husbandry and agriculture would have followed naturally, unless everyone killed each other off.

And remember too, how damnably long it took for humans to change from hunter-gatherer to "civilized." Had they been making a reasoned choice, they would have chosen much more quickly.

But most of all, I want to point out that most lists of why "agriculture is cool and hunter-gathering is not" are based on values assigned to each after the shift. After we were already stuck with the latter. This observation is informed as well, by a fairly recent new interpretation of some of the early myths, such as the many "out of Eden" kinds of stories. The idea there, is that transitioning to agriculture was not at all a smooth and peaceful event, and that many hunter-gatherers fought against it. We know that exactly that happened in the United States, during the transition from cattle ranching to a more inclusive economy.

Last edited by igor frankensteen; 05-29-2017 at 09:06 AM.