[Debate] Your past was someone's future; your present will be someone's past Catch-All

A lot of our topics are about current events, so the background to the discussion doesn't need to exhaust the depth of the topic to get to the point most people are interested in. So here's a catch-all thread for deeper dives, specifically the grand sweep of events and how our attachment to our own time can lead us to a distorted perspective.

This thread is a spin-off from another where the conversation turned to the male gender, but went beyond the scope of that thread. This piece was in the back of my head during that discussion:

A Bold New Theory Proposes That Humans Tamed Themselves: A leading anthropologist suggests that protohumans became domesticated by killing off violent males.

You can skip the rest of the bloat of that article and read the last couple of paragraphs if you want the info suggested by the grabby headline.

Yeah, I couldn't figure out a good pull paragraph to sum up what's in there--sorry 'bout that.

It caught my eye for the gender angle, and for the angle that we think of humans living in civilizations as the norm, but I dunno--more and more these days, it looks like a state of change. Something in between what was original, and what is inevitable. We can't go back to some per-civilization 'utopia', but we don't have to look at what's around us as normal and stable, either. Like once we become sedentary enough that it becomes worth conquering another human being, if that's a painful-but-inevitable stage we should look to get through as painlessly as possible.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

This thread is a spin-off from another where the conversation turned to the male gender, but went beyond the scope of that thread. This piece was in the back of my head during that discussion:

A Bold New Theory Proposes That Humans Tamed Themselves: A leading anthropologist suggests that protohumans became domesticated by killing off violent males.

This seems to be what the first several seasons of The Walking Dead were about. It was a whole lot of killing people that just aren't the right kind of people to settle down and start a civilization. The struggle is when to stop with all the murder, and to start a justice system. But that only works if you eliminate those that won't bend to justice.

One of the discussion m wife and I always had about TWD was that, to her, she didn't buy into the utter bleakness of humanity it portrays. It made sense to me, because when people get scared and transition into survival mode, there is an us vs them feeling that sets in that destroys trust and encourages a more war-like mindset. Not that there was murder, but the Fyre Festival attendees were the latest example of just how quickly people will turn on everyone if the conditions are right.

Both the Governor and Negan were prime examples of toxic masculinity. In this setting, you are not going to just kill off every problematic dude, but getting rid of the leaders that capitalize on this was essential for setting up new communities. At the same time, so was keeping some like Negan alive, as a standard that murder is not the primary way to deal with criminals anymore, even if that was a pretty critical mistake.

This theory reminds me of a story Robert Sapolsky often talks about regarding a baboon troop he studies.

Jayhawker wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:

This thread is a spin-off from another where the conversation turned to the male gender, but went beyond the scope of that thread. This piece was in the back of my head during that discussion:

A Bold New Theory Proposes That Humans Tamed Themselves: A leading anthropologist suggests that protohumans became domesticated by killing off violent males.

This seems to be what the first several seasons of The Walking Dead were about. It was a whole lot of killing people that just aren't the right kind of people to settle down and start a civilization. The struggle is when to stop with all the murder, and to start a justice system. But that only works if you eliminate those that won't bend to justice.

One of the discussion m wife and I always had about TWD was that, to her, she didn't buy into the utter bleakness of humanity it portrays. It made sense to me, because when people get scared and transition into survival mode, there is an us vs them feeling that sets in that destroys trust and encourages a more war-like mindset. Not that there was murder, but the Fyre Festival attendees were the latest example of just how quickly people will turn on everyone if the conditions are right.

Both the Governor and Negan were prime examples of toxic masculinity. In this setting, you are not going to just kill off every problematic dude, but getting rid of the leaders that capitalize on this was essential for setting up new communities. At the same time, so was keeping some like Negan alive, as a standard that murder is not the primary way to deal with criminals anymore, even if that was a pretty critical mistake.

Fortunately, the Fyre festival is not typical of how many communities respond in disasters. One, it was filled with rich assholes who aren’t used to hardship in any shape or form. Two, everyone had spent so much money that they felt entitled to whatever they could scrounge. And three, the festival organizers who could have provided some semblance of leadership and stability completely abdicated their responsibility. If you want a glimpse of the best that humanity has to offer, go listen to the Come From Away soundtrack. In that real story, a small and remote Newfoundland fishing town fed and housed thousands of stranded passengers who had to land there when all transatlantic flights were grounded after 911.

Fyre Festival = now we know what happens when the rich disappear to Galt Gulch.

If you could harness the power of entitlement, Fyrefest could have powered the U.S. for decades. For examples, search youtube for fyrefest and you can see just about every "significant" "creator" pretty much live streamed it.

Generally speaking, when disaster strikes humans mostly tend to band together. A state of dog-eat-dog anarchy is unusual and due to specific pressures, like in-group/out-group conflicts, not the default state of humanity. You need civilization to be excessively cruel.

I think our view of humanity was skewed because British Victorians didn't want to give up the option to become cannibals when their boat sank.

Gremlin wrote:

You need civilization to be excessively cruel.

That's a line I was looking for while fumbling around in those early posts! : D

Gremlin wrote:

I think our view of humanity was skewed because British Victorians didn't want to give up the option to become cannibals when their boat sank.

That made me laugh, I did a mock trial on that case in secondary, was selected as prosecution and got the bu##ers executed.

Well it was a catholic school after all.

Jeem wrote:
Gremlin wrote:

I think our view of humanity was skewed because British Victorians didn't want to give up the option to become cannibals when their boat sank.

That made me laugh, I did a mock trial on that case in secondary, was selected as prosecution and got the bu##ers executed.

Well it was a catholic school after all.

butters?

Buzzers. Or buffers.

EDIT: Or maybe butlers. Instructions unclear.