Sapiens

Read any good books lately?
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Lausten
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Sapiens

Post by Lausten » Tue May 14, 2019 6:53 pm

Sapiens is more of a history book, but LGoG is my favorite forum. Also, he hammers on this idea of how things are "fictions". Money is a fiction, corporations are "legal fictions", that's an actual legal term. Religion fits right in to this of course. It gets a bit repetitive, he keeps showing how humans have held together as societies and accomplished things because we are willing to accept and agree on things that aren't really facts. Some of this is good sociology, but sometimes he strays from the sciences into his own speculation.

Like when he's comparing modern man, who has accepted this idea that work is a means to an ends, to hunter gatherers whose work was directly related to survival. It's true that there was a time when we only had to work 20 hours a week or so and otherwise had a pretty great life hanging around on the Savannah. Of course, a disease or drought could wipe out a tribe, but it's a trade off. He goes off on this thing about a young man dreaming of glory, then getting a job to pursue his dreams but ending up with kids and mortgage. Makes you wonder what his kids thought when they read that, like they are the reason for his high blood pressure or something.

Like I said, it's a mix.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by ElectricMonk » Tue May 14, 2019 7:53 pm

it's a great perspective to have.

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Re: Sapiens

Post by TJrandom » Wed May 15, 2019 9:10 am

I do believe it would have been the rare hunter gatherer who might have lived on just 20 hours of 'work' a week. Access to shelter, tools, moderated temperature, protein, fruits, tubers, salt, fresh water, partner, and defence – for self and dependants would surely take more than 20 hours of effort in even the best of environments.

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Re: Sapiens

Post by Lausten » Wed May 15, 2019 6:04 pm

This is just an introduction to the idea. I haven't studied it, and it's more of a hypothesis than a theory, but it makes some sense.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by OlegTheBatty » Wed May 15, 2019 7:58 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:10 am
I do believe it would have been the rare hunter gatherer who might have lived on just 20 hours of 'work' a week. Access to shelter, tools, moderated temperature, protein, fruits, tubers, salt, fresh water, partner, and defence – for self and dependants would surely take more than 20 hours of effort in even the best of environments.
Location location location. The Natives around coastal BC and southern Alaska, probably down to Puget Sound could support themselves from the sea with an investment of time that was like that or even less.

When I lived near Port Hardy, the bay could support me with about 1 - 2 hours/day working. Mind you I used a chain saw for firewood, so that would have been a time saver to some degree. In his Kwakuitl Ethnography, Franz Boas describes the Fort Rupert band as spending most of their time playing games with only occasional bursts of work (the men - women worked more but still had lots of daily leisure time). Even counting the defence of the band and raids on other bands as manwork, the men spent most of their time playing.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by OlegTheBatty » Wed May 15, 2019 9:55 pm

Just did some quick checking, the 20hrs/wk for hunter/gatherers seems about on par. ~1075 hrs/yr for those in Columbia/Venezuela/Brazil; 6.5/day, 2.5 days/wk for the !Kung in Botswana. Both studies done in the 1970's. Those were averages, some members of the tribe did quite a bit more than others.

2-3 hrs/day, every day estimated for those in post glacial Europe.

Mind you, there were no paid holidays back then.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by TJrandom » Thu May 16, 2019 10:19 am

I have never been in a survivalist situation, which IMO would be closest to hunter gatherer. But having watched survival reality TV shows, it seems impossible to me that just a few hours a day would suffice, even in the best of environments. But maybe not if their society is taken into account – with prior generation investments in accommodation, tools, selection of the best environment geographically available, etc. If hunter gatherer only eliminates agriculture and trips to the supermarket – but permits use of advanced tools, existing housing, etc. – and is more limited to the finding of food, then yes, I can see it only taking a couple of hours a day. Is this what we are talking about?

Yup - a google search found three to five hours a day in obtaining food - not in work broadly defined.

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Re: Sapiens

Post by ElectricMonk » Thu May 16, 2019 10:35 am

the amount of calories you actually need is pretty low if you live in the right climate and don't do much work.
Hunter-gatherers didn't starve, but they were probably hungry a lot.

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Re: Sapiens

Post by Lausten » Thu May 16, 2019 5:36 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:19 am
But maybe not if their society is taken into account – with prior generation investments in accommodation, tools, selection of the best environment geographically available, etc. If hunter gatherer only eliminates agriculture and trips to the supermarket –
The theory or whatever, explored in the book, what he calls "the biggest lie in human history", is that at first agriculture seemed to solve a problem of feast and famine. But, over a few generations, it created fields everywhere that needed to be tended and led to cities that needed engineering and a ruling class to handle the storage and distribution. By time we developed all that, we had forgotten how to live without all that. This gets expressed in a lot of ways and seems to get rediscovered every generation or so, but it's pretty hard to dismantle all of society when you can't even convince people of what you're trying to say.

For me, I don't like the idea of trading away medicine and scientific exploration, even philosophy.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by OlegTheBatty » Thu May 16, 2019 8:38 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:19 am
I have never been in a survivalist situation, which IMO would be closest to hunter gatherer. But having watched survival reality TV shows, it seems impossible to me that just a few hours a day would suffice, even in the best of environments. But maybe not if their society is taken into account – with prior generation investments in accommodation, tools, selection of the best environment geographically available, etc. If hunter gatherer only eliminates agriculture and trips to the supermarket – but permits use of advanced tools, existing housing, etc. – and is more limited to the finding of food, then yes, I can see it only taking a couple of hours a day. Is this what we are talking about?

Yup - a google search found three to five hours a day in obtaining food - not in work broadly defined.
That was most of the work. Women cooked, made clothing, did laundry and looked after the bratlings, hunted and gathered. Men hunted, gathered, and looked after the bratlings. Occasionally, shelters needed to be built, or tools made. That was about it.

One caveat - all the estimates I saw were talking about the men. Women would have worked longer hours than the men in most tribes, as they do now. One difference between men's and women's work - women figured out how to socialize and work at the same time. Men still mostly separate the 2.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri May 17, 2019 12:11 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:38 pm

One difference between men's and women's work - women figured out how to socialize and work at the same time. Men still mostly separate the 2.
Why would you say that? .........Just a different type of socialization. I see representations all the time that "the hunt" was an organized affair requiring communication, skill, hierarchy and so forth. Establishing who gets to screw which woman in return for a rabbit fur takes just as much socialization as does bitching about who got the best rabbit fur. Which reminds me of the famous story about "the blow rabbit" but thats a different subject.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri May 17, 2019 9:35 pm

The idea that primitive people lived on relatively few hours work and spent the rest of their time in leisure activities is a myth. More recent studies have shown that 60 plus hours per week hard work is more common. And with all that, they lived, on average, less than 30 years. The golden age is right now.

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Re: Sapiens

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat May 18, 2019 5:12 am

Jeebus Key-Rist===================================>it varied.

bobble head no think to apply one label across any continuum.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by OlegTheBatty » Sat May 18, 2019 1:56 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:35 pm
The idea that primitive people lived on relatively few hours work and spent the rest of their time in leisure activities is a myth. More recent studies have shown that 60 plus hours per week hard work is more common. And with all that, they lived, on average, less than 30 years. The golden age is right now.
Cite your recent studies. I could for my posts, but I was keeping it general. The point is that where the h/g tribe lives has a great deal to do with how much work they had (have) to do. It is entirely possible for there to be high leisure places and low leisure places.

All those I saw showed lower levels of work (for men). There are or were a lot more groups than I looked at.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat May 18, 2019 8:33 pm

Oleg

My information comes from a recent New Scientist. Most references will still tell you that primitives put in few hours. The disparity comes from the definition of "work".

Imagine a tribal hunter gatherer woman browsing the local area for bits of food. She will be at it for up to 12 hours, but it is a social time, talking with the other women doing the same thing. Most such people do not define that activity as "work" since it is pleasant. But for purposes of comparison, it has to be called work.

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Re: Sapiens

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat May 18, 2019 10:00 pm

Dictionary Skills.

Work.....activities.....socialization.

Define the words differently, and you get different conclusions. Always better to go to the base data set and form your own definitions? I find work + socialization NOT to lose any of its work attributes. I seriously doubt any scientiest would be so easily confounded...........or sexist?.......that way either. Lance almost always has an actual reference. so far.....every check on such references shows he has misinterpreted some exception or caveat that is clearly stated and goes opposite to his own summary.======>yeah, I know.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat May 18, 2019 11:14 pm

Bobbo

Wrong.

Each time, you reinterpret things to match your own prejudice. You then call the original conclusion a misconception on my part.

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Re: Sapiens

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat May 18, 2019 11:27 pm

ahhh.........if it would mean anything, I'd copy and paste.

...........................but it doesn't.

............................................................and I even accept that you truly don't remember.

Ha, ha.................Just one of the benefits of using pay walled sources?-------------------------------------------------??------
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Re: Sapiens

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun May 19, 2019 12:26 am

The reason for the paywalled source is that I subscribe and read. I do this to educate myself. Not to obscure. And as I pointed out, it is available in public libraries.

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Re: Sapiens

Post by Tom Palven » Sun May 19, 2019 11:11 am

One might say that some wolf packs only work once every week or two, but that they spend most of their waking hours looking for work, so too, perhaps, with primitive hunter-gatherers.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by landrew » Sun May 19, 2019 3:39 pm

I find a useful way to preview such sites is to open the page in a private or incognito window.
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Re: Sapiens

Post by landrew » Sun May 19, 2019 3:42 pm

Tom Palven wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:11 am
One might say that some wolf packs only work once every week or two, but that they spend most of their waking hours looking for work, so too, perhaps, with primitive hunter-gatherers.
It would vary considerably based on populations and the food supply. Boom-and-bust cycles of feast and famine are the norm for the natural world.
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