The Complexity of Ancient Humanity

See "Ancient yet cosmopolitan" in Aeon for a survey of the complexity of cultures of humans spanning back 300,000 years. Notably:

  • tough times lead to genetic drift, and prosperous times lead to cultural blossoming and remixing.
  • All humans are genetically the same within 0.1%.
  • Our species-wide common ancestor was alive 2000 years ago.

Against the Grain by James C. Scott

  • before agriculture and sedentary life, we were balanced. then we sat around and thought a lot, creating writing and culture to keep us busy, since we were no longer moving.

Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein

  • An Amazonian tribe, the Piraha, who do not conceive of objects, dead things, or past and future. They play at objectification but will not earnestly participate.
  • Similarly, anthropologists presume that prehistoric humans did not possess the capacity for hypothesis before 40-60 ka (kilo-anni, thousand years ago). Could it be possible that they simply knew better than to leave the flow of the present moment? All of our problems and maladies seem to arise from avoiding the present.
    • As Daniel Dor puts it in his book The Instruction of the Imagination (2015), a Rubicon was crossed: β€˜For the first time in the evolution of life, humans began to experience for others, and let others experience for them.' This was the birth of language.

Cosmology Interpretations

The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff

  • in brief the continuum is the experience of life we have evolved to expect over the eons of survival and many cascading generations of thrival that have led to this embodiment, to this lifetime
  • outside of the continuum we feel lost, we suffer, we are busy. within it we are in flow, we are natural and easy. yet another dichotomy that maps to Easeness vs. business
The Complexity of Ancient Humanity