Fri Feb 8, 2013, 04:41 PM
joshcryer (57,907 posts)
I think you should check out his rebuttal to Kurzweil.
The people you list appear to me to have a more ideological influence than an intellectual influence (ie, they make him want to approach the problem a certain way, but he is not ignorant of other thinkers).
Ferhout incorporates primitivist thought in his critique of centralized capitalist industrialism as do I, and would I, if I felt like going into why human civilization is probably going to survive the coming onslaught and transcend to the point of being one with the galaxy and the eventual super galaxy that shall coalesce in 100 billion years. But I don't think that's part of the discussion for this forum as human action is causing an extremely dire situation for life on this planet and there's even a possibility that we extinguish it completely.
I'll live you with this (from his rebuttal to Kurzweil, relinking just in case):
As Marshall Sahlins shows, for most of history, humans lived in a gift economy based on abundance. And within that economy, for most food or goods people families or tribes were mainly self-reliant, drawing from an abundant nature they had mostly tamed. Naturally there were many tribes with different policies, so it is hard to completely generalize on this topic -- but certainly some did show these basic common traits of that lifestyle. Only in the last few thousand years did agriculture and bureaucracy (e.g. centered in Ancient Egypt, China, and Rome) come to dominate human affairs -- but even then it was a dominance from afar and a regulation of a small part of life and time. It is only in the last few hundred years that the paradigm has shifted to specialization and an economy based on scarcity. Even most farms 200 years ago (which was where 95% of the population lived then) were self-reliant for most of their items judged by mass or calories. But clearly humans have been adapted, for most of their recent evolution, to a life of abundance and gift giving.
In my arguments with primitivists in the past, I would use this exact same argument, and it left them baffled. Because I agree with them more than I disagree. It's really a frustrating thing to be sure!
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