2 comments on “Exist Anew Podcast: Are We Better Off Since the Advent of Agriculture?

  1. Thank you for a great discussion. You raise many points I would like to respond to, but most of them will wait for another time. I follow a low fat vegan diet. Rather than defend my diet ideas, I prefer to see what I can learn from a discussion of other views. My slogan is “let’s listen to what we do.” I am learning to look at how something IS, rather than how it agrees with me and I can also consider how I might grow rather than how I’m right and all others are wrong. I try to look for what we share rather than “I’m right and you are wrong”. I used to a little cleaning in a nursing home. I often asked the residents what they had learned in their lives, because I believed at the end of their lives they had a chance to reflect on what is important. Their reactions to my questions were always similar. First, no one had ever asked them that question. No what ever asked what they had learned. Odd? Second, what they believed was important was always similar. Yes, family was important, but there was something beyond that. I won’t say what the answer was, but I bet you can tell me. “If you want to do or try something,………….” I have said that one of the items of my bucket list (I’m now 71, so I have a bucket list) is to be able to run free in our natural world like I remember doing one time about 55 years ago. I remember running through the woods on an abandoned returning to nature logging road, even joyfully jumping over a couple of logs. 2 1/2 years ago I weighed 60 pounds more than I do now. I did not dare to dream of doing that again. I did some mountain biking on my ancient hard suspension bike. The last two years I rode near the back of the pack in the Trek Across Maine–180 miles over three days. But somewhere I started to admit that what I really wanted to learn to run free again. I didn’t dare tell anyone for a long time, because I was afraid I couldn’t do it. I wanted to learn to run freely in the mountains. I started running a few times in hiking boots up the local ski slope. I knew there was a fine view from the top, but what I did not realize is how much more vivid it is when one has run up the the hill and can look out and think, “I earned this.” It went from being pretty to being beautiful. From that’s nice to that’s wonderful. The other day I ran for around an hour or so for the first time in the Cathance Nature Preserve in Topsham. There was unbelievable beauty. About 1/2 way in the run I saw some green blackberries. I found two that ripened enough to eat, so I enjoyed them. Near the end of the great, and slow, run I found a small patch of wild raspberries and ate about 1/4 of a handful. Slowly, thoughtfully. Even more beautiful because I had “earned it”. So seldom do we earn our food these days. Feeding body AND soul. It’s all about sharing rather than arguing. As you guys know so well.

  2. I am not sure if this is a good question. First how we define freedom and work are defined by a given culture — a hunter/gatherer would not understand going to an office and working 9-5 the same way we would not understand surviving in their time period. There are similarities however in the sense that they would continuously develop technologies to ease tasks in life (this has led to present day where a toilet now flushes itself once your ass leaves the seat), they had art and creativity as we do today, and they also were susceptible to believing in higher powers.

    This morning I was listening to a TED talk given by Steven Pinker on violence and I wanted to bring that up because I think his theory should be a factor when considering humanity over time. Based on his research we are less violent now then at any point in humanity. This deserves some consideration when thinking about then versus now. http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html

    Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there a is a huge disconnect with the natural world today and that one of the most important things we can do socially and as an individual is to reconnect with our environment any way we can. Without doing so would be detrimental as a species as our survival is directly linked to our environment.

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