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Endangered peoples

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2011 at 15:30
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Well, most modern people have not the skill to live like the natives in the Amazon. But many Brazilians actually goe there to try to get parts of its richnesses.
And who would want to except for your run-of-mill survivalist kook. To call grubbing for food on a daily basis so as to obtain a marginal diet is hardly Edenic and even your favored "Noble Savages" fight among themselves for the choice spots with riverine frontage and consign their rivals to the more treacherous areas of the jungl canopy. In this respect, Carcharadon, you simply reiterate your utopic fantasies and call civilization evil with a vehemce unmatched save in the rhetoric of some mad Hebrew prophet dressing up in animal skins and eating insects!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2011 at 15:31
Quote One can not accuse whole peoples for being selfish just because they want to go on living like they choose on their own land. If someone is selfish it is invaders who steal land and displace tohers just to enrich themselves.


They are selfish. They expect to use up more resources and land than the average person possesses to maintain an unproductive existence.

Quote Nope, there are actually studies doen about this.


Show me a study that proves that tribal people have access to a greater nutritional variety than people living in a modern, developed country. I challenge you.

Quote It is true in some cases but one cannot use it as a generalization. People with a limited diet (crap food) eat food that is of lowere nutritional value than most hunter gatherers. Also slum inhabitants in the third world (and too many also in the first world) eat less varied and healthy food than hunter gatherers.


You keep ignoring the Papuan example.

Quote Well, if you attack 10 persons and kill 5 of them you automatically kill a higher percentage than if you attack 1000 people and kill 5. So sometimes one cannot compare death statistics like that. But seen generally the western civilisation has ofcourse eradicated more people than all tribal people taken together in a similar timescale.


If someone attacked my country tomorrow and killed 2 million people, I would lose 3 relatives. If someone attacked your Xingu and killed 2 million... well that would not be possible. I am grateful that I live in a society where I am the first born of 4 children and I have 47 younger first cousins.

Quote Technology and ideology are often intertwined. So with increased ability to kill many times ideology becomes more agressive. Also with technology ideas are spread. With guns also ideas connected with the guns spread.


At the end of the day, the Anglo Celtic society I live in is a lot less militaristic, savage and cruel than that of the Zulu, Maori or Papuan. England had something useful to offer conquered people, which is part of the reason they were so successful as an empire and why so many countries have retained their institutions. In contrast to the Xingu and Papuans...

Quote Reread the report from Survival and see that the problems often come with modern society that forces tribal peoples into a unhealthy life style of powerty that affects their health.


If I want to know what it is like to live in a primative society that does not care about advancing the welfare of its people, I will ask my grandmother about her elders who died from easily preventable diseases before the invention of the NHS.

Your ridiculous advocacy group does not address the fact that tribal people live shorter, harder lives than people in modern society.

Oh, and by the way, where are your statistics that people in tribal societies live longer lives?

Quote As I said when one study the differencies in diseases one compensates for age.


No, you are just living in a fantasy world. I and everyone around me is still healthier than the Xingu. And we will outlive them by two generations.

Quote The fact that you got over your issues does not diminish the problems in our society in general. If everyone could get over it there would not have been so much drug abuse, mental illness, depression and similar.


Again, you are fixated on a false reality. the people around me are happy, safe and healthy. They will live long lives, use their skills to be productive, and far outperform the rather quaint tribal societies you quote.

Quote
 
They do not choose to be forced into powerty and loose the land that gave them their subsitence. Now they have become dependant on handouts from the modern society. Not strange if some die before they are 50.


If they refuse to adapt to the modern world, then they do choose poverty and weakness. If my brothers and sisters refuse to learn and work hard, they also choose poverty and weakness. But that's a hell of a lot better than starving in the amazon with cataracts and a dientamoeba infection of the bowel.

Quote Do not forget that some people get mesmerized by western propaganda that gives a false picture of a land of milk and honey.


Untrue.

They arrive, they tell their relatives how good it is, then their relatives try to cross here also.

Quote
 
Well, most modern people have not the skill to live like the natives in the Amazon. But many Brazilians actually goe there to try to get parts of its richnesses.


No one wants to live in the Amazon, because it is an inferior form of life in so many ways.

Face it, if it were so great, more people would do it. No one wants to, because everyone recognises that going to live in the Amazon is the equivalent to cutting decades off your child's and your own life expectancy. We have moved on from the times where we did not know where our next meal was coming from, and that is a good thing.


Edited by Constantine XI - 09 Apr 2011 at 00:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2011 at 19:01
Indeed. All people wants to progress. There is nothing wrong in that.
States should worry about preserving languages and knowledge, but that doesn't mean to keep people in concentration camps (reserves) in the jungle!

These peoples aren't primitive though. They are as human as you are. Theirs culture is primitive because lacks technology. With respect to beliefs, just compare those idiotic Abrahamic religions of "civilized" people with the beautiful legends of tribal peoples, and there isn't comparison to who is the dumbest.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2011 at 12:11



Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

They are selfish. They expect to use up more resources and land than the average person possesses to maintain an unproductive existence.

No. The selfish ones are those that invade other peoples land and use up or destroy their resources. That is the  real, extreme form of selfishness. The indigenous peoples shall not suffer because some of the large communities can not stem their uncontrolled expansion.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Show me a study that proves that tribal people have access to a greater nutritional variety than people living in a modern, developed country. I challenge you.

Well, just read Staffan Lindeströms studies from the Trobriand island. They are no hunter gatherers but they are subsistence farmers that also use wild resources, mostly from the sea. According to Lindestrands studies their health situation and nutritional status are better than many people in our modern world.

And as I said, many people in our modern world have no access to the full scope of foods because of socioeconomic inequality. Eveyone can not buy everything they see in the stores.

And it seems that dietary specialists and others are more and more studying the diet of hunter gatherers just because its variation and healthiness:

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/aboriginal_diet_and_nutrition?open


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

You keep ignoring the Papuan example.

Nope, but they are not all the worlds indigenous people. And do not forget that 25 percent of their food consist of other things, which varies between different Papuan peoples. In Papua there are both subsistence farmers but also a few hunter gatherer peoples. And some of the peoples around the costs fish. So also in Papua there are variation.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

If someone attacked my country tomorrow and killed 2 million people, I would lose 3 relatives. If someone attacked your Xingu and killed 2 million... well that would not be possible. I am grateful that I live in a society where I am the first born of 4 children and I have 47 younger first cousins.

Well, small peoples are ofcourse always more vulnerable for losses, counted in percent. But that do not take away the fact that the modern civilisation has killed off more native people than any native people, counted in both percent and actual numbers. Total extermination has not been so common among small tribal people, even if there are exceptions, swomething you always can find in all contexts.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

At the end of the day, the Anglo Celtic society I live in is a lot less militaristic, savage and cruel than that of the Zulu, Maori or Papuan. England had something useful to offer conquered people, which is part of the reason they were so successful as an empire and why so many countries have retained their institutions. In contrast to the Xingu and Papuans...

Well, the Zulu did not spread over the seas and exterminated a lot of other peoples. So in the long run your society has been more aggressive and made damage in a much larger scale.

And ask the people that was eradicated by the English if they feel they had gained something useful.



Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

If I want to know what it is like to live in a primative society that does not care about advancing the welfare of its people, I will ask my grandmother about her elders who died from easily preventable diseases before the invention of the NHS.

Your ridiculous advocacy group does not address the fact that tribal people live shorter, harder lives than people in modern society.

Oh, and by the way, where are your statistics that people in tribal societies live longer lives?

The lenght of life varies ofcourse also among tribal societies, depending on the environment they live in, but especially hunter gatherers live healthier lives, but not always longer. In our modern society we can keep people alive in different ways that they do not have the resources to do. But if they had the same access to health care as we, it is no certainty that they would live shorter. At least they would be healthier, more well excercised, eat healthier food, have a better mental health, and most probably live happier lives. Most often cases they already do, even if they do not always have access to modern health care (which a lot of poor people among the majority people in the third world, and even some groups in the first world do not have either).

It seems that you think that quantity of life is more important than quality. You seem to think that someone who are kept alive artificially is happier than someone dying earlier in a free and natural environment by natural causes.

Have you completely missed the debate about helping very ill, artificially kept alive people, to die?

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

No, you are just living in a fantasy world. I and everyone around me is still healthier than the Xingu. And we will outlive them by two generations.

Perhaps you have better health in some aspects, but still the Xingu seem to have better health than their neighbours from the majority population. And I bet that most Xingu is in better physical shape, ie more well trained, than you.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Again, you are fixated on a false reality. the people around me are happy, safe and healthy. They will live long lives, use their skills to be productive, and far outperform the rather quaint tribal societies you quote.

Well, than you are lucky. Unfortunately there are millions also in our western modern world that are not so lucky.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

If they refuse to adapt to the modern world, then they do choose poverty and weakness. If my brothers and sisters refuse to learn and work hard, they also choose poverty and weakness. But that's a hell of a lot better than starving in the amazon with cataracts and a dientamoeba infection of the bowel.

In most third world countries when aboriginal peoples are assimilated into the majority society they end up on the bottom of society, because of loss of their land, destroyed cultural integrity and different socioeconomic causes. They indeed loose more than they gain. Look at the pages of Survival International, there you can see several examples:

http://www.survivalinternational.org/

http://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/guarani


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Untrue.

They arrive, they tell their relatives how good it is, then their relatives try to cross here also.

Not always so, do not underestimate the power of western propaganda. Many becoes dissapointed and end up in some slum somewhere under circumstances much worse than in their earlier life.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

No one wants to live in the Amazon, because it is an inferior form of life in so many ways.

 

Actually a lot of Brazilians, Peruvians, Colombians and Equadorians move to the Amazon in the hope of being able to exploit its resources, either as farmers, loggers, mineral miners, gold miners, oil workers or ranchers. Unfortunately they have not the right skill or knowledge to manage the environment in a good and sustainable way so because of that their precense get very destructive.

I do not say that we all must live like people in the Amazon, or as hunter gatherers, what I am saying is that we ought to learn from these peoples and make use of the things in their lives that are advantageous and the knowledge that are positive and healthy for us. We should not just dismiss their experiences. The best is to combine the best things from our modern civilisation and the best things from their cultures. But as it is now, we too often just destroy these peoples, without giving them anything better in return. Better find a good way to mix their life ways with ours, a way that in the end could be to advantage for everyone.

 

Perhaps there are some light in the darkness after all, since indigenous knowledge are being given more attention. For example in Tanzania they have become more interested in traditional agroforestry (as practiced by the Chagga people) as a way of saving the agriculture in times of drought, instead of the vulnerable monocultures of so called modern agriculture.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2011 at 12:15
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Indeed. All people wants to progress. There is nothing wrong in that.
 
It depends how the progress looks like. The wrong kind of progress can be lethal:
 
 
Progress can Kill. How Imposed Development Destroys the Health of Tribal Peoples


 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2011 at 00:15
Quote No. The selfish ones are those that invade other peoples land and use up or destroy their resources. That is the  real, extreme form of selfishness. The indigenous peoples shall not suffer because some of the large communities can not stem their uncontrolled expansion.


The modern reality is that today you have societies which live together, some of which place a great emphasis on efficient use of resources and high productivity; and others which make inefficient use of land and resources. The benefits of modern civilisation can only occur because land and resources are used efficiently. Expecting people living a tribal existence to enjoy all the benefits of modern civilisation when they do not make an economic contribution to its creation is simply parasitic and unworkable.

Quote Well, just read Staffan Lindeströms studies from the Trobriand island.


I couldn't find anything on the web except in Swedish. Is this in English?

Quote They are no hunter gatherers but they are subsistence farmers that also use wild resources, mostly from the sea. According to Lindestrands studies their health situation and nutritional status are better than many people in our modern world.


You are doing it again, using the word 'many'. I'm guessing this 'many' probably includes people in countries like India & Pakistan - large parts of which I would hardly call modern or developed.

Which developed countries are you comparing these islanders to? What is their average life expectancy?

Quote And as I said, many people in our modern world have no access to the full scope of foods because of socioeconomic inequality. Eveyone can not buy everything they see in the stores.


Depends on what you call the modern world. Where I live, everyone has access to it - with the exception of children whose parents don't take proper care of them, but that's a separate issue.

Quote

And it seems that dietary specialists and others are more and more studying the diet of hunter gatherers just because its variation and healthiness:

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/aboriginal_diet_and_nutrition?open


An important thing to keep in mind is that because aborigines developed in isolation from farming and brewing, their bodies are genetically far worse at tolerating refined sugars, lactose and alcohol than people from the Old World continents.

But what you linked me above does not prove that aborigines do not have access to a healthier selection of foods in today's world. Tasmanian aborigines suffered thiamin deficiency due to the nature of the soil, resulting in goitre. And aborigines across the continent would have suffered terribly in later life from arthritis, bone fractures and breaks due to the absence of dependable sources of calcium. In today's world, they do not lack access to thiamin or calcium, not to mention all the other vitamins and minerals they need but would not have been able to find in the Australian wilderness.

Quote Nope, but they are not all the worlds indigenous people. And do not forget that 25 percent of their food consist of other things, which varies between different Papuan peoples. In Papua there are both subsistence farmers but also a few hunter gatherer peoples. And some of the peoples around the costs fish. So also in Papua there are variation.


When 85% of your food consists of yams, that's not variation.

Quote Well, small peoples are ofcourse always more vulnerable for losses, counted in percent. But that do not take away the fact that the modern civilisation has killed off more native people than any native people, counted in both percent and actual numbers. Total extermination has not been so common among small tribal people, even if there are exceptions, swomething you always can find in all contexts.


How do you know that? How can you verify that more people would not have died in inter-tribal warfare than through colonial conquests? You are again making assumptions.

Quote Well, the Zulu did not spread over the seas and exterminated a lot of other peoples. So in the long run your society has been more aggressive and made damage in a much larger scale.


No, the Zulu just spread over land and wiped out anything in their way, marching halfway across a continent and ruthlessly dealing with anyone who wanted to be left in peace.

Compared to that the British in Australia killed a lot fewer and generally showed a lot more mercy. I can't really imagine someone like Shaka Zulu showing the same impartiality towards a subject population like the Governor of NSW showed after the Myall Creek massacre.

Quote The lenght of life varies ofcourse also among tribal societies, depending on the environment they live in, but especially hunter gatherers live healthier lives, but not always longer. In our modern society we can keep people alive in different ways that they do not have the resources to do. But if they had the same access to health care as we, it is no certainty that they would live shorter.


That healthcare costs money and resources and expertise. Which can only be mustered through a modern education system, modern farming and modern industry. Which you seem to adamantly deny the importance of. You can't live a hunter gatherer existence and produce modern healthcare.

Many of those stressed out people you think should return to nature are doctors, who can only do the job they do by many years of formal education, working long hours and having a disproportionately high pay package offered as compensation.

You can't have it both ways.

Quote At least they would be healthier, more well excercised, eat healthier food, have a better mental health, and most probably live happier lives. Most often cases they already do, even if they do not always have access to modern health care (which a lot of poor people among the majority people in the third world, and even some groups in the first world do not have either).


Another list of your assumptions. Where you compare one tribe that is doing well out of living in the stone age and compare them to people living in slums in the third world. You and I live longer and healthier lives than people in those tribes, and you know it.

Quote

It seems that you think that quantity of life is more important than quality. You seem to think that someone who are kept alive artificially is happier than someone dying earlier in a free and natural environment by natural causes.

Have you completely missed the debate about helping very ill, artificially kept alive people, to die?


How callous of you. I suppose you think that if a 6 year old develops leukemia then we should just let her die all natural and happy, rather than be artificial and bring in the chemotherapy.


Quote Perhaps you have better health in some aspects, but still the Xingu seem to have better health than their neighbours from the majority population. And I bet that most Xingu is in better physical shape, ie more well trained, than you.


I'm definitely taller and more muscular than any of them - I have seen pictures of them. They are a small and scrawny people. My body fat is at 10%, equivalent to that of a pro athlete. I credit being in good physical condition to living in a developed country with excellent healthcare, access to an impossibly large range of foods, plenty of space for recreational activities and also thorough health focused education in a modern education system.

Those same resources are there for the rest of my countrymen.

Quote Well, than you are lucky. Unfortunately there are millions also in our western modern world that are not so lucky.


Life is what you make of it. The resources are there for people to live a happy and healthy life. If they don't make wise choices, then that is up to them.

Quote In most third world countries when aboriginal peoples are assimilated into the majority society they end up on the bottom of society, because of loss of their land, destroyed cultural integrity and different socioeconomic causes. They indeed loose more than they gain. Look at the pages of Survival International, there you can see several examples:


Unfortunately adapting to a new lifestyle takes time. No one said it would happen instantly. But once it does happen, then in most areas which measure quality of life the indigenous population will be better off than living in the stone age. Aborigines here already have a life expectancy of over 60, and that is steadily climbing.

Quote Not always so, do not underestimate the power of western propaganda. Many becoes dissapointed and end up in some slum somewhere under circumstances much worse than in their earlier life.


You're ignoring the fact that the vast majority (over 90%) of people who migrate to my country end up staying. If they didn't like it, they would leave. And I don't think the 10% who get homesick are proof of poor quality of living.

Quote Actually a lot of Brazilians, Peruvians, Colombians and Equadorians move to the Amazon in the hope of being able to exploit its resources, either as farmers, loggers, mineral miners, gold miners, oil workers or ranchers. Unfortunately they have not the right skill or knowledge to manage the environment in a good and sustainable way so because of that their precense get very destructive.


Exactly. If they thought 'going native' was so appealing, then they would do it. Instead they simply move to the Amazon and recreate developing society. Clearly living the tribal life has very little appeal to people from the outside - though clearly many tribal people find the idea of living in the modern world very appealing. What does that tell you?

Quote I do not say that we all must live like people in the Amazon, or as hunter gatherers, what I am saying is that we ought to learn from these peoples and make use of the things in their lives that are advantageous and the knowledge that are positive and healthy for us. We should not just dismiss their experiences. The best is to combine the best things from our modern civilisation and the best things from their cultures. But as it is now, we too often just destroy these peoples, without giving them anything better in return. Better find a good way to mix their life ways with ours, a way that in the end could be to advantage for everyone.


I don't disagree with any of that, that sounds perfectly intelligent and reasonable.

Ultimately what I am really saying here is that to some extent we must pursue intensive agriculture and industry in order to provide all the things which modern society has to offer. I don't believe we need to wreck our environment to achieve those things, and I don't believe it is inevitable that we do so.

If large sectors of my country were to go back to living in the wild, it would ruin my country. We would not have enough skilled professionals to keep the country working because too few people would have the work ethic or education needed. A life in the wild is poor preparation for high level mental tasks performed on a 9-5 basis with a high degree of precision and thoroughness.

There ae health problems in the developed world, but to a large extent these are a result of bad choices that people make. People choose to eat bad food, people choose not to play sport of exercise, people choose to drink and smoke and take drugs. These things don't happen because modern life forces it on people, these things happen because these things are available in today's world and people will continue to choose how to deal with them. The only way you can prevent this is with draconian punishments like what occur in Singapore. Even if people today went back into the wild to live, they would still find ways to grow drugs and brew beer and probably buy tobacco too. It's not so bad though, because you can choose not to pick up bad habits. Even today, the number of people who smoke in the past 20 years in my country has dropped considerably and shows every sign of continuing to do so. On balance, a society like mine does give people a longer and healthier life than people living in the Amazon, and so a well run modern country does have more to offer. That is not to say that certain things cannot be improved, but we already know what we need to do here - eat better, exercise more, consume less booze and tobacco and drugs. The answer does not lie in going to live in the wild, it lies in developing a more responsible and health conscious social ethic. Your solution is to deprive them of access to many foods and drugs forcefully by making them live in the wild, mine is to allow them access to a few pleasures and teach them to enjoy them with moderation and a sense of personal responsibility. You advocate coercion, I advocate freedom tempered with personal responsibility.




Edited by Constantine XI - 12 Apr 2011 at 01:41
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Survival international, once again? Jesus, I bet Carcha works there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2011 at 14:35

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

The modern reality is that today you have societies which live together, some of which place a great emphasis on efficient use of resources and high productivity; and others which make inefficient use of land and resources. The benefits of modern civilisation can only occur because land and resources are used efficiently. Expecting people living a tribal existence to enjoy all the benefits of modern civilisation when they do not make an economic contribution to its creation is simply parasitic and unworkable.

Unfortunately modern society do NOT use resources in any efficient or sustainable way. What modern society does is to waste resources for short time gain, something that will hit back on us in the form of destroyed environments, disturbed climate and and in the long run a worsen life.

And actually it is the modern society that parasites on the indigenous peoples by stealing and destroying their land and resources and make it impossible for them to live in a sustainable way.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I couldn't find anything on the web except in Swedish. Is this in English?

Unfortunately both Burenhult and Lindeberg (I unfortunately misspelled his name earlier) mostly write in Swedish. But there are some references:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/293509-the-kitava-diet/

Lindeberg studied the difference in dietary habits and health between westerners and islanders on the Trobriands and found that they lack most of the cardiovascular diseases that troubles us here in the west.

Even some of the islanders that did not have so much more physical excercise than westeners, and even if many had aquired habits like smoking they still had better values concerning cardiovascular health.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

You are doing it again, using the word 'many'. I'm guessing this 'many' probably includes people in countries like India & Pakistan - large parts of which I would hardly call modern or developed.

Which developed countries are you comparing these islanders to? What is their average life expectancy?

Once again you confuse life expectancy with life quality.

What one can learn if one listen to evolutionary physicists and evolutionary psycologists is that we humans have lived as hunter gatherers most of our time here on Earth. During that time we have genetically adapted to such a way of life. In the last ten thousand years many human societies have changed, faster and faster. Genetically we have not had so much time to adapt to our new life styles which means that we genetically still in a high degree are hunter gatherers. Our bodies and brains are adapted to a certain food, a certain level of excercise, a certain way to interact with other people, in small groups with a certain degree of equality between individuals. When we live in ways that depart to much from these inherited preferences we often get sick, both physically and mentally. That is why we often, even in the most rich societies are troubled by certain diseases and social problems.

As for example when concerning food, hunter and gatherers are considered to have a lifestyle that more correspond to what we are genetically designed to than we have in our modern culture.

Here is something about food and hunter gatherers:

Hunter-Gatherers: Examples of Healthy Omnivores

http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-8b.shtml

Here is a notice about mental issues and child rearing:
 
Child Rearing Practices of Distant Ancestors Foster Morality, Compassion in Kids
 
 

Quote Three new studies led by Notre Dame Psychology Professor Darcia Narvaez show a relationship between child rearing practices common in foraging hunter-gatherer societies (how we humans have spent about 99 percent of our history) and better mental health, greater empathy and conscience development, and higher intelligence in children.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

An important thing to keep in mind is that because aborigines developed in isolation from farming and brewing, their bodies are genetically far worse at tolerating refined sugars, lactose and alcohol than people from the Old World continents.

But what you linked me above does not prove that aborigines do not have access to a healthier selection of foods in today's world. Tasmanian aborigines suffered thiamin deficiency due to the nature of the soil, resulting in goitre. And aborigines across the continent would have suffered terribly in later life from arthritis, bone fractures and breaks due to the absence of dependable sources of calcium. In today's world, they do not lack access to thiamin or calcium, not to mention all the other vitamins and minerals they need but would not have been able to find in the Australian wilderness.

The access to healthier food in modern society is in much depending also on your socioeconomic situation. Not so many, even in our modern world can afford to buy the full variety of all foodstuffs, at least not very often. And (at least here where I live the most expensive meat for example is meat from wild animals, which is expensive and sometimes hard to get. If you study sites from the mseolitic, when people where hunter gatherers then they actually used a lot of wild animals, they had access to a variety of foodstuffs that are rather rare today. Also when it comes to wild fruits, berries and similar they also had access to things that is rather expensive, if you should buy it, or hard to get if you live in a town and do not have the possibility to travel far out on the countryside and get it). Now ofcourse the amount and variety among foddstuffs can also vary among todays hunter gatherers since they live in different environments with different richness in certain products. Also several of todays hunter gatherers, and many times also subsistence farmers, are also displaced to more marginal areas where the variety of food are perhaps not so high as in the areas they originally lived. For example, the San people in southern Africa had larger and better lands to hunt and gather on in old times, compared to today.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

When 85% of your food consists of yams, that's not variation.

It depends on what the rest consists of. If it is varied and rich in minerals, vitamins, protein and other healthy substances it can still keep you in good shape.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

How do you know that? How can you verify that more people would not have died in inter-tribal warfare than through colonial conquests? You are again making assumptions.

In colonial times ethnographic studies do not show exterminations among tribal peoples in the same scale as those that were conducted by the members of the civilized society, which spelled doom for peoples in South America, in parts of North America, Tasmania and other places.  

Also in the archaeological record one seldom see depopulations of the magnitude as those caused by the western civilisation. As for example in the Amazon one can see a sharp decline in native settlements from the time of contact.

And ofcourse colonial powers also had more technological and military resources so they could do more harm.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

No, the Zulu just spread over land and wiped out anything in their way, marching halfway across a continent and ruthlessly dealing with anyone who wanted to be left in peace.

Compared to that the British in Australia killed a lot fewer and generally showed a lot more mercy. I can't really imagine someone like Shaka Zulu showing the same impartiality towards a subject population like the Governor of NSW showed after the Myall Creek massacre.

Well, tell that to the aborigines of Tasmania (if you can find any), or perhaps you can tell it to the Pequots (and their neighbouring tribes) or the Conestoga or others in Eastern North America.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

That healthcare costs money and resources and expertise. Which can only be mustered through a modern education system, modern farming and modern industry. Which you seem to adamantly deny the importance of. You can't live a hunter gatherer existence and produce modern healthcare.

Many of those stressed out people you think should return to nature are doctors, who can only do the job they do by many years of formal education, working long hours and having a disproportionately high pay package offered as compensation.

You can't have it both ways.

Perhaps not, but you can still learn from tribal people and takes some of the best knowledge from them and adapt to our society. There are many things we can change in our society that can make us healthier and more harmonic. Maybe the knowledge of the tribal peoples can save all our lives.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Another list of your assumptions. Where you compare one tribe that is doing well out of living in the stone age and compare them to people living in slums in the third world. You and I live longer and healthier lives than people in those tribes, and you know it.

Well, unfortunately the tribal people when they are assimilated into the majority society too often end up in slums, so that is the reality they face, which means a decline in health.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

How callous of you. I suppose you think that if a 6 year old develops leukemia then we should just let her die all natural and happy, rather than be artificial and bring in the chemotherapy.

I was mostly talking of people who live out their old age as packages in some geriatric clinic. Perhaps they have not so high quality in life anymore. So a long life do not automatically mean a higher quality of life.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I'm definitely taller and more muscular than any of them - I have seen pictures of them. They are a small and scrawny people. My body fat is at 10%, equivalent to that of a pro athlete. I credit being in good physical condition to living in a developed country with excellent healthcare, access to an impossibly large range of foods, plenty of space for recreational activities and also thorough health focused education in a modern education system.

Those same resources are there for the rest of my countrymen.

I believe you could not keep up with them if you should live among them and try to do things they do in their lives. Many big, tall westeners have soon realized that they can not keep up with people that live in a way similar to the xingus.

And that goes for some other tribal peoples too. For example when Goran Burenhult (ethnoarchaeologist) and Staffan Lindeberg (physician and researcher in evolutionary medicine) visited these islands, Burenhult in his book Det ofullkomliga djuret (the Incomplete Animal) describes that they where amazed that old people in their 70s and even 80s could do physical excercises that most 50 year old people, or even 40 year old people, here in the west could not do.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Life is what you make of it. The resources are there for people to live a happy and healthy life. If they don't make wise choices, then that is up to them.

Its not so easy. Millions of people are not poor because they made the wrong choices, they are poor because of societal and socioeconomic structures and politics. Read the book The Spirit Level.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Unfortunately adapting to a new lifestyle takes time. No one said it would happen instantly. But once it does happen, then in most areas which measure quality of life the indigenous population will be better off than living in the stone age. Aborigines here already have a life expectancy of over 60, and that is steadily climbing.

Still they are getting deeper and deeper into social problems, drugs and similar.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

You're ignoring the fact that the vast majority (over 90%) of people who migrate to my country end up staying. If they didn't like it, they would leave. And I don't think the 10% who get homesick are proof of poor quality of living.

Well, how many of these people come from tribal people, let alone hunters and gatherer populations?

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Exactly. If they thought 'going native' was so appealing, then they would do it. Instead they simply move to the Amazon and recreate developing society. Clearly living the tribal life has very little appeal to people from the outside - though clearly many tribal people find the idea of living in the modern world very appealing. What does that tell you?

Well, it has little appeal because people in general have no clue how tribal people live. They are fed with myths about savages who are living short and hard lives. And most of them should not have the knowledge to live such life, it takes time to aquaire that grade of skill and knowledge.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I don't disagree with any of that, that sounds perfectly intelligent and reasonable.

Ultimately what I am really saying here is that to some extent we must pursue intensive agriculture and industry in order to provide all the things which modern society has to offer. I don't believe we need to wreck our environment to achieve those things, and I don't believe it is inevitable that we do so.

If large sectors of my country were to go back to living in the wild, it would ruin my country. We would not have enough skilled professionals to keep the country working because too few people would have the work ethic or education needed. A life in the wild is poor preparation for high level mental tasks performed on a 9-5 basis with a high degree of precision and thoroughness.

There ae health problems in the developed world, but to a large extent these are a result of bad choices that people make. People choose to eat bad food, people choose not to play sport of exercise, people choose to drink and smoke and take drugs. These things don't happen because modern life forces it on people, these things happen because these things are available in today's world and people will continue to choose how to deal with them.

 

The only way you can prevent this is with draconian punishments like what occur in Singapore. Even if people today went back into the wild to live, they would still find ways to grow drugs and brew beer and probably buy tobacco too. It's not so bad though, because you can choose not to pick up bad habits. Even today, the number of people who smoke in the past 20 years in my country has dropped considerably and shows every sign of continuing to do so. On balance, a society like mine does give people a longer and healthier life than people living in the Amazon, and so a well run modern country does have more to offer. That is not to say that certain things cannot be improved, but we already know what we need to do here - eat better, exercise more, consume less booze and tobacco and drugs. The answer does not lie in going to live in the wild, it lies in developing a more responsible and health conscious social ethic. Your solution is to deprive them of access to many foods and drugs forcefully by making them live in the wild, mine is to allow them access to a few pleasures and teach them to enjoy them with moderation and a sense of personal responsibility. You advocate coercion, I advocate freedom tempered with personal responsibility.

 

I do not advocate that we all shall live like hunter gatherers, but we could at least learn some of their knowledge, learn some of their ways to handle relational and social problems and learn from their approach to nature and sustainable ways to not destroy or exhaust the natural resources that we actually are depending on. If we could learn from that and find the right methods, we could live healthier, more equal and less destructive (both when it concerns human relations and natural environment) ways.

 

And we must also learn that it is not as easy that people alone can change their habits and life circumstances. That takes a more collective, social change, a change in social sturctures, in education, in prevailing ideals and politics. As long we have an unequal society that promotes uninhibitied consumption, selfishness, econoimic expansion and depletion of natural resources for short term gain and exploitation of people we will have alienation and metnal and social problems (including drugs and other expressions of an unhealthy lifestyle).

 



Edited by Carcharodon - 12 Apr 2011 at 15:42
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Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Unfortunately modern society do NOT use resources in any efficient or sustainable way. What modern society does is to waste resources for short time gain, something that will hit back on us in the form of destroyed environments, disturbed climate and and in the long run a worsen life.

Almost everything you said is wrong.

Modern society uses its resources very well. Which is not to say it couldn't do better, and must do better.

You couldn't keep alive 6 billion people on planet Earth without medicine, agriculture and transport. If you stop those things suddenly, at the month million of people would start to die.

So, please, don't be so ridiculous in your arguments. You can only put a couple of millions of troglodites living in a "natural" lifestyle.



Edited by pinguin - 13 Apr 2011 at 01:55
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Quote Unfortunately modern society do NOT use resources in any efficient or sustainable way. What modern society does is to waste resources for short time gain, something that will hit back on us in the form of destroyed environments, disturbed climate and and in the long run a worsen life.


Actually most European countries are using resources in ever more sustainable ways, proving you can have a high level of development without needing to go and live in the jungle. New Zealand is doing it too.

Australia uses resources sustainably, as 22 million people make use of an entire continent and so their ecological impact is still tiny.

Quote And actually it is the modern society that parasites on the indigenous peoples by stealing and destroying their land and resources and make it impossible for them to live in a sustainable way.


If indigenous people decide to sell their land, that is their business. They shouldn't be forced off it with violence. But at the same time they should not hoard vast tracts of land without using it productively and at the same time expect the nation that land is a part of to cover all their national security, education and healthcare needs. Everyone using government services ought to be able to pay for them so far as they have the resources to do so.

Quote

Unfortunately both Burenhult and Lindeberg (I unfortunately misspelled his name earlier) mostly write in Swedish. But there are some references:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/293509-the-kitava-diet/

Lindeberg studied the difference in dietary habits and health between westerners and islanders on the Trobriands and found that they lack most of the cardiovascular diseases that troubles us here in the west.

Even some of the islanders that did not have so much more physical excercise than westeners, and even if many had aquired habits like smoking they still had better values concerning cardiovascular health.


Thank you for that. I did honestly search for his research but as you did not spell the same correctly my searches did not produce anything.

The study reinforces what we already know but I don't think it tells us anything new: that people need plenty of exercise and a lot of high fibre foods with low caloric content and enough unsaturated fats to ensure they do not become overweight or suffer high blood pressure. Indeed, these things are all available to Westerners and others, but very often people take the easy and delicious option rather than the healthy one.

For other Papuans, especially those living in the highlands, the yam diet is the rule and I imagine the lack of variety cannot be very good for them. The people on Kitava have an exceptional diet compared to other Papuans.

Can you tell me what the average life expectancy is among the Kitava? I know that for Papuans as a whole, it is about 60.

Quote

Once again you confuse life expectancy with life quality.

What one can learn if one listen to evolutionary physicists and evolutionary psycologists is that we humans have lived as hunter gatherers most of our time here on Earth. During that time we have genetically adapted to such a way of life. In the last ten thousand years many human societies have changed, faster and faster. Genetically we have not had so much time to adapt to our new life styles which means that we genetically still in a high degree are hunter gatherers. Our bodies and brains are adapted to a certain food, a certain level of excercise, a certain way to interact with other people, in small groups with a certain degree of equality between individuals. When we live in ways that depart to much from these inherited preferences we often get sick, both physically and mentally. That is why we often, even in the most rich societies are troubled by certain diseases and social problems.

As for example when concerning food, hunter and gatherers are considered to have a lifestyle that more correspond to what we are genetically designed to than we have in our modern culture.

Here is something about food and hunter gatherers:

Hunter-Gatherers: Examples of Healthy Omnivores

http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-8b.shtml

Here is a notice about mental issues and child rearing:
 
Child Rearing Practices of Distant Ancestors Foster Morality, Compassion in Kids
 


While I don't disagree with any of that, it doesn't address the point I made nor the question I asked.

Quote The access to healthier food in modern society is in much depending also on your socioeconomic situation. Not so many, even in our modern world can afford to buy the full variety of all foodstuffs, at least not very often. And (at least here where I live the most expensive meat for example is meat from wild animals, which is expensive and sometimes hard to get. If you study sites from the mseolitic, when people where hunter gatherers then they actually used a lot of wild animals, they had access to a variety of foodstuffs that are rather rare today. Also when it comes to wild fruits, berries and similar they also had access to things that is rather expensive, if you should buy it, or hard to get if you live in a town and do not have the possibility to travel far out on the countryside and get it). Now ofcourse the amount and variety among foddstuffs can also vary among todays hunter gatherers since they live in different environments with different richness in certain products. Also several of todays hunter gatherers, and many times also subsistence farmers, are also displaced to more marginal areas where the variety of food are perhaps not so high as in the areas they originally lived. For example, the San people in southern Africa had larger and better lands to hunt and gather on in old times, compared to today.


I know that in my country, with the level of economic benefits provided to even the worst off, people can enjoy a balanced diet and have access to all the nutrients they need. And that is year round, their diet is not restricted by the availability of foodstuffs in different seasons like what occurs in cold Sweden during the winter.

Also, people in today's world, thanks to intensive agriculture and global trade, have access to a far wider range of foodstuffs. I can go into my supermarket and know that I have access to 10 times as many different foods as the aborigines are likely to find in the bush.

Quote It depends on what the rest consists of. If it is varied and rich in minerals, vitamins, protein and other healthy substances it can still keep you in good shape.


If 85% of the diet is nutrient poor, it is doubtful the other 15% can compensate for that.

Quote

In colonial times ethnographic studies do not show exterminations among tribal peoples in the same scale as those that were conducted by the members of the civilized society, which spelled doom for peoples in South America, in parts of North America, Tasmania and other places.  

Also in the archaeological record one seldom see depopulations of the magnitude as those caused by the western civilisation. As for example in the Amazon one can see a sharp decline in native settlements from the time of contact.

And ofcourse colonial powers also had more technological and military resources so they could do more harm.


That's not true. We have written accounts from the Romans proving that Germanic tribes living their traditional and egalitarian existence were very often in the habit of massacering entire tribes (if the tribe was lucky, the conquerors might merely enslave the women). Life on the steppe was likewise very brutal, people living their traditional existence in harmony with nature produced some of the most macabre brutalities history has ever recorded.

The Zulu were indeed far more brutal to the Bantu than the British were to the Tasmanians. One only needs to actually study the two conflicts.

Even in modern times, you have tribes whose capacity for violence far surpasses anything the industrial world has produced, with claims that the violent quarrels of these tribespeople killed 6 out of every 10 of their people:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1459532/posts

You have chosen to ignore this evidence and instead create a stereotype of the peaceful native. If given the choice between a 25% chance of getting fat and a 60% chance of being killed by enemy tribesmen, I will take my chances with the doritos and beer.

Quote Well, tell that to the aborigines of Tasmania (if you can find any), or perhaps you can tell it to the Pequots (and their neighbouring tribes) or the Conestoga or others in Eastern North America.


There are many descendents of the Tasmanian aborigines alive and well today. Tasmania was a region with very little in the way of good hunting, had few decent plants to feed on and has some very broken terrain with poor soil. The aboriginal population of the area was estimated at only a few thousand at the time of European arrival, which was then heavily reduced through disease. Conflict between settlers and natives over land killed a few hundred people, roughly half Europeans and half naives. When the survivors agreed to be transported elsewhere, there were not that many of them (due to the low intial numbers and also the heavy toll from disease).

That's a very different story to the massacres and atrocities of the Zulu against their neighbours. But I will leave you to read up on that.

Quote Perhaps not, but you can still learn from tribal people and takes some of the best knowledge from them and adapt to our society. There are many things we can change in our society that can make us healthier and more harmonic. Maybe the knowledge of the tribal peoples can save all our lives.


Well we already know not to eat bad food and to get more exercise. So I don't think their way of life provides us with any great revelation there.

They probably do have some local knowledge of the nutrional and medical value of certain plants, that would be useful.

But besides that? We can't abandon the infrastructure of the modern world and all the wonderful things it has given us. Because what tribal cultures offer as an alternative seems very limited by comparison.

Quote Well, unfortunately the tribal people when they are assimilated into the majority society too often end up in slums, so that is the reality they face, which means a decline in health.


Yes, it is a sad fact that adapting to a new culture takes time. But it will work eventually if managed properly.

Quote I was mostly talking of people who live out their old age as packages in some geriatric clinic. Perhaps they have not so high quality in life anymore. So a long life do not automatically mean a higher quality of life.


I wouldn't have shortened my great grandmother's 92 year lifespan if given the option. I like to think that one of the ways our society has developed morally is that we take care of our very old and our disabled. Oh an at 90, my great grandmother could still tell some of the funniest jokes you would ever hear. I, for one, am very grateful to live in a world where she lived long enough for me to have known her.

Quote

I believe you could not keep up with them if you should live among them and try to do things they do in their lives. Many big, tall westeners have soon realized that they can not keep up with people that live in a way similar to the xingus.

And that goes for some other tribal peoples too. For example when Goran Burenhult (ethnoarchaeologist) and Staffan Lindeberg (physician and researcher in evolutionary medicine) visited these islands, Burenhult in his book Det ofullkomliga djuret (the Incomplete Animal) describes that they where amazed that old people in their 70s and even 80s could do physical excercises that most 50 year old people, or even 40 year old people, here in the west could not do.


Sure, the ones that survived into their 70s and 60s. If your solution to having a fitter society is just to let anyone die who develops a condition in middle age, then that's not a world I want to live in.

Quote Its not so easy. Millions of people are not poor because they made the wrong choices, they are poor because of societal and socioeconomic structures and politics. Read the book The Spirit Level.


But for many in our society, it is a result of poor choices. Which means we need to better educate them to make wise choices, and put incentives in place that also encourage healthier choices. Like what they have been doing with smoking, where in my country we are seeing a steady decline in this harmful activity.

Quote Still they are getting deeper and deeper into social problems, drugs and similar.


No, they are instead living longer, getting a better education and doing less drugs than 10 years ago. And this is set to continue.

Quote Well, how many of these people come from tribal people, let alone hunters and gatherer populations?


Not many. Our government usually tends to let in people who are considered economically useful and healthy. Tribal people with low economic value and untreated illnesses would not likely take priority over the many other hopefuly migrants in the qeue.

Quote Well, it has little appeal because people in general have no clue how tribal people live. They are fed with myths about savages who are living short and hard lives. And most of them should not have the knowledge to live such life, it takes time to aquaire that grade of skill and knowledge.


It also takes a huge amount of time and effort to leave behind a tribal life and learn about how to survive and succeed in urban environments. And yet tribal people still make the effort in their millions. That in itself is significant.

Quote

I do not advocate that we all shall live like hunter gatherers, but we could at least learn some of their knowledge, learn some of their ways to handle relational and social problems and learn from their approach to nature and sustainable ways to not destroy or exhaust the natural resources that we actually are depending on. If we could learn from that and find the right methods, we could live healthier, more equal and less destructive (both when it concerns human relations and natural environment) ways.

 

And we must also learn that it is not as easy that people alone can change their habits and life circumstances. That takes a more collective, social change, a change in social sturctures, in education, in prevailing ideals and politics. As long we have an unequal society that promotes uninhibitied consumption, selfishness, econoimic expansion and depletion of natural resources for short term gain and exploitation of people we will have alienation and metnal and social problems (including drugs and other expressions of an unhealthy lifestyle).



Sure thing.


It remains a question of just how much of the tribal society's way of life we should adopt. I think Western civilisation has produced a great amount of value for its people and I would not want to throw away that valuable foundation. While tribal societies may have some valuable lessons, they do not have all the answers. A tribal lifestyle merely hints at what is possible when a restrictive existence is adopted by people: for the vast bulk of humans a hunter gatherer lifestyle is not practical. For reducing our obesity epidemic we will need to change values and attitudes. We know this already, and the example of tribal living doesn't really change the reality for urban dwellers.

I think we can accept that the modern developed state provides us with a good foundation to use our resources more efficiently and with ecological responsibility, science advances constantly and in societies with the political willpower we are improving the lives of ever more people.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2011 at 03:27
Originally posted by Carchafantasy Carchafantasy wrote:


All peoples have their problems, but especially among hunter gatherers the amount of violence is rather low.


What a lie.
You very well know that the people murdered in the hunter gatherer times were higher than in any other time in history. This has been proven by serious studies, and it is quite obvious if you read the chronicles, even by native authors.


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Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:


No, the Zulu just spread over land and wiped out anything in their way, marching halfway across a continent and ruthlessly dealing with anyone who wanted to be left in peace.



Indeed, the Zulu was a very brutal people, that was stopped only by extermination. It was not the only case. All the continents had examples of cruel peoples that scared everybody else, and that ruled by brutal force. Just think in the Aztecs or the Jibaroes headhunters, in the Americas. The Polynesian wars were quite brutal as well. And that without mention the brutality of the Mongols, for example.
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Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:


No, the Zulu just spread over land and wiped out anything in their way, marching halfway across a continent and ruthlessly dealing with anyone who wanted to be left in peace.



Indeed, the Zulu was a very brutal people, that was stopped only by extermination. It was not the only case. All the continents had examples of cruel peoples that scared everybody else, and that ruled by brutal force. Just think in the Aztecs or the Jibaroes headhunters, in the Americas. The Polynesian wars were quite brutal as well. And that without mention the brutality of the Mongols, for example.


Exactly right.

If I decide to only look at countries lik New Zealand or Denmark or Iceland, I can claim that developed nations are all peaceful. But that creates a false stereotype. There also exist agressive and expansionist developed societies such as Russia.

Carch is doing the opposite, focusing only on selectively chosen tribal groups while ignoring the more violent ones, and then creating a false stereotype.

If we want to look at examples of peaceful societies with good conflict resolution, why not look at New Zealand and Costa Rica?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2011 at 11:49


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Actually most European countries are using resources in ever more sustainable ways, proving you can have a high level of development without needing to go and live in the jungle. New Zealand is doing it too.

Well unfortunately modern lifestyle also means a lot of destruction of environments, use of toxic substanvces, climatic deteroiration, loss of biodiversity and other problmes. It can hold for a time but not always. Seen globally we see how earths resources diminish, how we pollute and how our world every year becomes more poor, counted in living beings, species and living habitats.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

If indigenous people decide to sell their land, that is their business. They shouldn't be forced off it with violence. But at the same time they should not hoard vast tracts of land without using it productively and at the same time expect the nation that land is a part of to cover all their national security, education and healthcare needs. Everyone using government services ought to be able to pay for them so far as they have the resources to do so.

Unfortunately indigenous people not always ell their land, to often it is taken away from them. Also many indigenous people own or manage their land collectively, and if one or a few are tricked into selling the land and sign some document, it does not mean that everyone agreed to sell the land. Such transactions seem not unusual historically speaking, and still today these kind of questions causes strife within indigenous populations.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Thank you for that. I did honestly search for his research but as you did not spell the same correctly my searches did not produce anything.

The study reinforces what we already know but I don't think it tells us anything new: that people need plenty of exercise and a lot of high fibre foods with low caloric content and enough unsaturated fats to ensure they do not become overweight or suffer high blood pressure. Indeed, these things are all available to Westerners and others, but very often people take the easy and delicious option rather than the healthy one.

For other Papuans, especially those living in the highlands, the yam diet is the rule and I imagine the lack of variety cannot be very good for them. The people on Kitava have an exceptional diet compared to other Papuans.

Can you tell me what the average life expectancy is among the Kitava? I know that for Papuans as a whole, it is about 60.

Well, it is not higher for Kitavans, but it seems they live a healthy life up until they die, they do not age in the slow degrading way that we see here in the west. Also if and when they have reached the age 45 the expectancy for the rest of the life is comparable with western society. They have a higher infant mortality though than western society which probably can be explained by less access to  modern medical care. At least according to Burenhult who has worked together with Lindeberg.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I know that in my country, with the level of economic benefits provided to even the worst off, people can enjoy a balanced diet and have access to all the nutrients they need. And that is year round, their diet is not restricted by the availability of foodstuffs in different seasons like what occurs in cold Sweden during the winter.

Also, people in today's world, thanks to intensive agriculture and global trade, have access to a far wider range of foodstuffs. I can go into my supermarket and know that I have access to 10 times as many different foods as the aborigines are likely to find in the bush.

Yes, I can agree that potentially a modern country has more access to a variety of foodstuffs and other goods. But still our system, peoples social and economic situation, level of education and other factors hinders many to make use of the variety. And some of the most healthy substances (as meat from wild animals instead from domestic ones) is not very common or accessible.

For example, how many westerners eat beef, pork, lamb and chicken instead of wild animals as in my country elk, wild boar, deer, wild fowls as grouse, capercaille, black grouse, hazel grouse, wild pidgeons and many, many others who was on the menu of our hunter gatherer (and in some extant also to our subsitence farmer) ancestors? Also how many eat as many fish, snails, insects, wild tubers, wild fruit, wild berries as our ancestors? Also in our society you can find thiese foodstuffs but few have the possibility to havet hem on a daily basis.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

That's not true. We have written accounts from the Romans proving that Germanic tribes living their traditional and egalitarian existence were very often in the habit of massacering entire tribes (if the tribe was lucky, the conquerors might merely enslave the women).

Life on the steppe was likewise very brutal, people living their traditional existence in harmony with nature produced some of the most macabre brutalities history has ever recorded.

Well, I compared mostly to the same time as the colonial powers where active, as in America from the 15th century and onwards, where you hardly find such exterminations in precolumbian times (even if the higher civilisations as Aztecs and Incas could wage war in a larger scale) as you see after the arrival of the Euroepans.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

The Zulu were indeed far more brutal to the Bantu than the British were to the Tasmanians. One only needs to actually study the two conflicts.

Still the result was more devastating for the Tasmanians than for many of the groups the Zulus waged war against. The pure blooded Tasmanians dissapeared totally, even if they still have descendants of mixed origin.

 And seen as a whole the British empire ofcourse killed of more people in many more places than the Zulus. And if you look at British (including settlers born in America but of british stoack) warfare against people in eastern North America it was as brutal, or more brutal than any Zulu campaign.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Even in modern times, you have tribes whose capacity for violence far surpasses anything the industrial world has produced, with claims that the violent quarrels of these tribespeople killed 6 out of every 10 of their people:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1459532/posts

Unfortunately I do not put too much trust in a source as this:

Quote Free Republic is the premier online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. Were working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America. And we always have fun doing it. Hoo-yah!

It sounds to much like the very common, exaggerated missionary propaganda that have for years skewed the picture of native peoples.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Well we already know not to eat bad food and to get more exercise. So I don't think their way of life provides us with any great revelation there.

They probably do have some local knowledge of the nutrional and medical value of certain plants, that would be useful.

But besides that? We can't abandon the infrastructure of the modern world and all the wonderful things it has given us. Because what tribal cultures offer as an alternative seems very limited by comparison.

We, do not have to abandon everything, but we can gradually reorganize our society and ways of life in order to not destroy our environment and the biodiversity as we do now, and in order to be able to live a more healthy life.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I wouldn't have shortened my great grandmother's 92 year lifespan if given the option. I like to think that one of the ways our society has developed morally is that we take care of our very old and our disabled. Oh an at 90, my great grandmother could still tell some of the funniest jokes you would ever hear. I, for one, am very grateful to live in a world where she lived long enough for me to have known her.

Well, it is also somewhat depening on the will of the old and diseased him/herself. Some people feel that their quality of life because of age and sichness has degraded in such way that they ask for relief. But it is a tracky question and one must see every case separately. But the main point is that you are not neccesarly more happy if you live a longer life. Sometimes a shorter happy life can perpahs be better than a longer but miserable one.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Sure, the ones that survived into their 70s and 60s. If your solution to having a fitter society is just to let anyone die who develops a condition in middle age, then that's not a world I want to live in.

I do not say that, My point is just as I write  above, you are not always more happy or even fit just because you live longer.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

 But for many in our society, it is a result of poor choices. Which means we need to better educate them to make wise choices, and put incentives in place that also encourage healthier choices. Like what they have been doing with smoking, where in my country we are seeing a steady decline in this harmful activity.

But our society makes it easy to make the wrong choices because of its structure, because of cultural reasons and because of the alienation many feel in an unequal society, especially if you are raised in a socially disadvantaged environment. The social heritage is not always easy to break, which a lot of statistics show.


Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

No, they are instead living longer, getting a better education and doing less drugs than 10 years ago. And this is set to continue.

One can ofcourse hope so. Bob Randall though, gave a rather gloomy picture in the film Kanyini.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

It also takes a huge amount of time and effort to leave behind a tribal life and learn about how to survive and succeed in urban environments. And yet tribal people still make the effort in their millions. That in itself is significant.

It is probably more easy to adapt to a life in the city than to learn to live in the wilderness in the same way as hunter gatherers or tribal subsistence  farmers. But in both cases it ofcourse also depends on what support you get from people around you.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Sure thing.

It remains a question of just how much of the tribal society's way of life we should adopt. I think Western civilisation has produced a great amount of value for its people and I would not want to throw away that valuable foundation. While tribal societies may have some valuable lessons, they do not have all the answers. A tribal lifestyle merely hints at what is possible when a restrictive existence is adopted by people: for the vast bulk of humans a hunter gatherer lifestyle is not practical. For reducing our obesity epidemic we will need to change values and attitudes. We know this already, and the example of tribal living doesn't really change the reality for urban dwellers.

I think we can accept that the modern developed state provides us with a good foundation to use our resources more efficiently and with ecological responsibility, science advances constantly and in societies with the political willpower we are improving the lives of ever more people.

 

Some of the mental and physical aspects of tribal and especially hunter gathrer life style ought to be possible to adopt. We can learn, or be inspired by a rather sustainable way of using natural resources, we can in certain situations and in certain environments use traditional knowledge in horticulture, aquaculture, agroforestry and similar. And perhaps we can learn to live a more mentally stimulating life, with less chronic stress.

 

Here is a little hint about what one can call the life as an adventure lifestyle of hunter gatherers. It also gives hints on how we can implement some of this in modern society:

 

Quote Life as an adventure

There is an aspect to the HG lifestyle that has received relatively little attention, an aspect that I have called "life as an adventure": the life of a hunter-gatherer is a sequence of smaller and larger challenges, positive as well as negative, with the main characteristic that most challenges are unpredictable, of short duration, and of extremely diverse type and intensity. In contrast, agricultural and industrial societies prescribe a highly regulated life, where tasks and duties are predictable, constant, uniform, and rule-bound.

While HG challenges can be very stressful, e.g. running away from a bear, falling from a tree or crossing an ice-cold river, this stress is typically acute, i.e. intense and of short duration (seconds to hours). The rush of adrenalin is followed shortly by a pleasurable feeling of relief. The stress of modern life, on the other hand, is typically chronic, i.e. of low intensity but long duration (weeks to years). Examples are waiting for an evaluation report, preparing a PhD thesis, or enduring the daily traffic jams. This produces continuously high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which tends to break down muscle, suppress the immune system and promote obesity, anxiety and depression.

The modern approach to tackling challenges is based on formulating far-away goals, detailed planning to reach them, discipline and regularity in implementing the plans, and a strong sense of duty in order to keep on track and stick to the plan. This entails a constant worry about whether you are doing the right thing.

Hunting and gathering, on the other hand, cannot rely on planning, as it is impossible to predict precisely where or when a significant opportunity (e.g. prey to catch, or fruit to collect) or danger (e.g. a predator) will be encountered. This leads to a much more spontaneous, opportunistic style of problem solving, characterized by features such as intuition, improvisation, exploration, adaptation, and play.

There is plenty of evidence that this more playful HG style of living is what our brain was actually selected for, and what it is best at. Moreover, applying this lifestyle stimulates brain and body to further develop themselves. On the other hand, suppressing it, by sticking to unflinching rules and duties, produces chronic stress and its attendant health problems. This means that we would be happier, healthier and more effective if we could live more in the HG way.

That may seem naive and utopian, but the present state of our science, technology and economy perfectly allows such a more relaxed attitude. The strictly disciplined following of rules may have been necessary to build up the wealth we have now. But nowadays our technology has become so powerful that we can delegate that type of activities to machines. It is precisely the following of formally defined rules that machines are good at, while the more creative, "adventurous", intuitive aspects of problem solving are better left to humans.

http://ecco.vub.ac.be/?q=node/127

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2011 at 13:09
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:


What a lie.
You very well know that the people murdered in the hunter gatherer times were higher than in any other time in history. This has been proven by serious studies, and it is quite obvious if you read the chronicles, even by native authors.

 
Actually, according to much of the ethnographic studies hunter gatherers, epecially those who live in small units, sometimes called bands, have a rather low level of agressivity, internally and externally. But at times of extreme crisis and external pressure ofcourse even these peoples can resort to violence. The amount of violence in agricultural societies are mostly larger, which can be seen in archaeological material already from relatively early agricultural societies. For example here in Scandinavia we can see an increasing amount of violence and of symbols of violence in the transition of cultures from mobile hunter gatherers to later more sedentary agriculturalists.


Edited by Carcharodon - 13 Apr 2011 at 15:01
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