RE: Why Europe is so Contrary

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Mon 09 Dec 2002 - 10:14:47 GMT

  • Next message: Jeremy Bradley: "Re: The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing By Lee Harris"

    At 07:16 AM 8/12/02 -0800, you wrote:
    >> >> > Snip......Grant:
    >> >> >> for example, seems to mark the begining and end of the dynosaurs.
    >> >> >> Mitocondrial eve marks the beginning of mankind. This way of
    >> >> >> looking at the universe seems so engrained in our nature that it
    >> >> >> must occupy some deeper place in our makeup than a cultural meme.
    >> >> >>
    >> >> >> Grant
    >> >> >>
    >> >> > I don't think so Grant cos some cultures, mostly ones that we have
    >> >> > defeated, had achieved stability and sustainability within their
    >> >> > environments. These folk view 'development' as undesirable or bad.
    >> >> > For them harmony with the nature that they found themselves in was
    >> >> > the primary goal of existence. In all cases that I have found, such
    >> >> > cultures have narrative patterning and content which predicates this
    >> >> > cultural 'norm'. That's the short answer. Jeremy
    >> >>
    >> >> Not many cultures that I am aware of have achieved this stability with
    >> >> their environment, unless you include the possibility of 'die back'
    >> >> when things are scarce. Most cultures expand to the extent of their
    >> >> resources. If Hitler was not aware of this we would have been spared
    >> >> WWII.
    >> >>
    >> >Other examples of enviromnetally suicidal indigenous tribes are the
    >> >ancient Easter Islanders and the Anasazi indians of the American
    >> >southwest. It is a meme and a myth, kinda like the old 'noble savage',
    >> >'ancient sage' saw, that older cultures were always wiser.
    >> >>
    >>Look Joe, I know that I am a devout environmentalist but the only culture
    >>that I am aware of which could be described as "environmentally suicidal"
    >>is our modern industrial one. Just to touch the edges, if the 'developing
    >>nations' were to 'develop' to the stage that the affluent West has it would
    >>cost us another three planets worth of resources, and the pollution would
    >>have killed us long before that anyway.
    >>Peace, simplicity, and environmental care are what we need for
    >>sustainability. If we could achieve those goals I would say that we had
    >>reached a highly evolved state.
    >>Only low animals foul their surroundings and waste their resources Joe. I
    >>am not saying, "older cultures were always wiser". What I am saying is that
    >>it is a meme and a myth that newer cultures are always wiser.
    >Hunters and gatherers where necessarily kinder to their environment than
    >industrialists. But archiologists and anthropologists have traced the
    >extinction of many large animals to the same time in the past that humans
    >showed up on the shores of a continent. This includes australia, which
    >stayed H&G until Europeans came along. When there were relatively few
    >humans on earth their impact was bound to be less. The more of us there
    >are, the greater our impact is going to be. The only way we can go back to
    >lessening that impact is to reduce our numbers. If we don't do it
    >voluntarily, the earth will do it for us by becoming unlivable. As we
    >continue to foul the air, the water and the land by our large numbers and
    >voracious appetite for animals, minerals and power, our world cannot help
    >but change in response. Look at how much it has changed in just the last
    >100 years.
    I agree Grant, more numbers = more impact, unless those people are smart enough to use their environment wisely. This entails a bit of lateral, and selfless, planing. Not that I think that we, as a species, have much of a chance of surviving as long as the crocs, but there may be a chance for some of our descendants to make it into the next millennium - if we take care of what we have now. Now I'm not saying that we have to go back to the stone-age, we have advanced technology and that can be used to enhance our ability to manage the resources we have at our disposal. I think that most of the degradation of the last few hundred years has been caused by greed and warfare and that if we modify our behaviours in these regards we will survive longer. As for extinctions, I was not saying that H&G civilisations caused no damage - just that it was less than we do because they did not accumulate beyond their needs as we do. Cheers Jeremy

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon 09 Dec 2002 - 10:17:45 GMT