Showing posts from June, 2020

But weren't humans "stupid, violent apes" before civilization?

This is another trope that is passed around to justify civilization: humans today are less violent (not true), and we are so much smarter now, right! Well, at least some of us. We've got PhDs, we can build rockets to Mars, we're about to become cyborgs with infinite artificial intelligence real soon, and on and on. 

But intelligence has multiple possible metrics. Emotional intelligence is not valued, and even less valued is intelligence regarding the nature of reality and the nature of our own mind. What it means to exist, be born, die, and so forth. Our most intelligent neuroscientists still have no idea how to explain the "hard problem of consciousness" (i.e. what is consciousness) in a meaningful way (though Karl Friston's theory might be good enough to simulate consciousness in a computer). 

These are questions that are not encouraged in our school systems because they don't produce any commodities, and certainly they don't produce proponents of technoc…

Our Lives Are Not Longer, Only Sicker

TL;DR: "Development" is a euphemism for genocide. See what Survival International has to say about this.

One trope I hear a lot from defenders of modern civilization is that life expectancy was dreadfully short before the modern period (they're afraid to talk about quality of life so they go for the length argument which seems winnable). Humans only lived to age 30 or something, right?
Well, that's completely false. Human life expectancy has not apparently differed much over the last 2,000 years. The reason the average (the mean, not the median) has changed is supposedly because infant mortality rates have been reduced. But have they? 

In fact, infant mortality rates are controversial to calculate even today. Officially, for example, the United States of America ranks near the bottom of the developed countries of the world for infant mortality. But Forbes magazine points out this is due to hidden factors in how countries label deaths of newborns. Were they "stil…

Everything you were taught is a lie.

(If you prefer, I made a more amateur but fun video presentation on this topic also.)

Thanks to our trust of psychopaths, we humans went from small bands of people who trusted each other and loved life (as in this modern day example, or this beautiful short video clip of Hadza saying they would never want to give up their way of life for a "civilization" in which people kill each other and themselves) to this "better" civilization, in which nobody knows anyone well enough to not rely on (usually negative) stereotypes, and half the resources are going to half a dozen people at the top. Those same people at the top make funny claims that this new system has lifted most humans out of "poverty." 
But who is poorer, someone who spends a few hours a day doing natural farmingor hunting/gathering, with still plenty of time for artwork, philosophizing, and community bonding rituals, or someone who works 40-60 hours per week to pay for rent on a place they don't …