Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them." - Epictetus

First, tribes: tough life.

The defaults beyond the intimate tribe were violence, aversion to difference, and slavery. Superstition: everywhere.

Culture overcomes them partially.

Rainfall agriculture, which allows loners.

Irrigation agriculture, which favors community.

Division of labor plus exchange in trade bring mutual cooperation, even outside the tribe.

The impulse is always there, though: “Kill or enslave the outsider.”

Gradual science from Athens’ compact with reason.

Division of labor, trade, the mastery of knowledge, plus time brought surplus, sometimes a peaceful extended order and, rules diversely evolved and, the cooperation of strangers - always warring against the fierce defaults of tribalism, violence, and ignorance.

No one who teaches you knows what will happen.

image: Film adaptation of Into the Wild

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