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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Hunter Gatherer = Being Hunted by Animals Red in Tooth and Claw

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  • Dieter Brand
    I don t believe that farming is primarily concerned with imagination. And I have no idea about the HGers, but I fail to see the relevance to present day life.
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 3, 2008
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      I don't believe that farming is primarily concerned with imagination.
      And I have no idea about the HGers, but I fail to see the relevance
      to present day life. There are very few hunting grounds left. Or
      did I misunderstand something?

      Do let us know more about why Fukuoka varies between the
      practical and the philosophical, I'm sure that would be of utmost
      interest to all of us.

      But you give up. Sorry, if we are not up to expectations.
      To me the primary function of language is to communicate; and
      if there is a problem with this group, that, to me, appears to be
      it's incapacity for dialogue.

      Dieter

      Bill Maxwell <true_tom@...> wrote:
      Philology may not make for good philosophy but that doesn't make the
      point any less valid. There's a reason why Fukuoka's writings vary
      between practical and philosophical. There's an issue in translation
      between his direct experience and his ability to communicate it to other
      people within the context of this specific society. That's a specific
      problem you see related in the postings of this group and the inability
      for no-till farming to achieve a solid foothold on the imagination of
      modern farming culture.

      Calling "hunter-gatherers" a "brutish lot" denies past archaeological
      evidence, current HG tribes, analysis of HG as a lifestyle and practical
      strategies to live. You have written of yourself as a practical person
      so it surprises me that you dismiss strategies -- and that's all these
      are, much like Fukuoka's method of farming is a strategy -- as archaic
      instead of time-tested. I even have a tough time considering this
      "humanity's cutting edge" since so much of what we're seeing is brute
      force applications brought about by the application of cheap energy.
      That's not cutting edge. That's brutish by any standards.

      I suppose after this e-mail I'll give up on the topic. It's not worth
      continuing on a farming group; I simply wish people to not immediately
      disregard ANY strategy that has a time-tested practical value, whether
      that's hunting, gathering, gardening or, most likely, a combination of
      all the above strategies depending on your bioregion.

      Best

      Bill Maxwell

      Dieter Brand wrote:

      > Philology never makes for very good philosophy, and the antiquity of a
      > language does not vouch for its ability to represent reality.
      >
      > Lets forget about the hunter gatherers, they where a brutish lot by
      > any standards. We are at the cutting edge of humanity here an now.
      >
      > Dieter
      >

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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    • Jeff
      While many groups through time have romanticized hunter-gatherer times. (THorou, Melville, etc), I m not sure that Diamond does this at all. Based on other
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 3, 2008
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        While many groups through time have romanticized hunter-gatherer
        times. (THorou, Melville, etc), I'm not sure that Diamond does this at
        all.

        Based on other Diamond works, I would take the position that rather,
        Agriculture is unsustainable, was not a "great" under taking, and all
        societies that are unsustainable eventually fail. It is more an
        explaination why agriculture suceeded despite its short comings.

        .. and then your right .... human history is a million years old, our
        species is much shorter, but even that, most of it we were chased by
        large dangerous predators, but 10,000 the equation changed. Not just
        because of agriculture, but the death of the mega-mammals. So not even
        the romanticized hunter-gather can be declared innocent.

        > Ask a great female evolutionist like microbiologist Lynn Margulis
        about this rather than Jared Diamond. She will tell you that
        hunter-gathering was a drunken bout of male excess,

        I'm not sure that the drunken bout of male excess hold true either.
        I'm not sure that it supported, but I see the hunting element of the
        equation being very much an adaption to a cold/ice age climate. Even
        now, the further north you go, the higher the animal portion of food
        in the naitive diet. The most plant heavy cultures are tropical or
        sub-tropical.

        The question is in a tropical climate why would you spend the energy
        and resources for hunting that results in less calories than spent
        (often the case in jungle hunting)??

        I think the answer to this is men's traditional role as defenders.
        Hunting would keep the muscles in shape, senses sharp and a group
        continuity that would aid a military expedition. In a gathering
        society territory is everything. You must know when to be where.
        Hunting may have been nothing more than an elaborate excuse to patroll
        the territory.

        Once a role is developed it is difficult to get rid of.....
        I think this may also be related to the power of the sexes, but I
        would need to more research on that one...

        > Bob Monie
        > New Orleans, LA
        > Zone 8 (vegan country)
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • macropneuma
        Apocrypha, smoothly wriiten. Without any whiff of rigorous evidence. Lynn Margulis is a renowned authority in micro-biology, not having any authority in
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 3, 2008
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          Apocrypha, smoothly wriiten.
          Without any whiff of rigorous evidence.
          Lynn Margulis is a renowned authority in micro-biology, not having any authority in
          anthropology.
          Jared Diamond is a physiologist and ecologist having worked extensively in Papua,
          especially on avifauna, with so called Hunter Gatherers, so while he's not formally an
          anthropologist, he's still renowned as a populariser of anthropological evidence. There's
          better writers than him on anthropology, and specialists in farming anthropology and
          archaeology such as Tim Denham and David R Harris. He even does over-simplify
          history in his popular books, but you can get a good introduction to history through
          anthropology from his books "Guns, Germs and Steel", "Collapse" recent in 2006 and he
          clarified "The worst mistake in the history of the human race" with a refinement and
          update in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee".
          That's it!

          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
          >
          > Want to romanticize hunter-gatherer times? Some anthropologists think the human
          race spent most of its time running FROM animals. Want to bring it back Jurrasic Park
          style, by cloning all the fierce beasts that used to chase us? Better buy some corporate
          stock now in aerodynamically balanced spears with longer flight paths, sharp feldspar and
          ash axes that sever vital arteries, and poison-dart blow guns to stop our natural predators
          in their tracks, otherwise, the massively multiplying animal populations will be painting
          pictures in the caves showing all the human prey dripping with blood that they have
          captured and fed to their young cubs and kids. The poet Gary Snyder likes to say that
          environmental maturity consists of imagining ourselves as dinner for some salivating
          carnivore in the wild.
          >
          > Let him, Jared Diamond, and all the rest of the golden days of hunter-gathering
          retrovists(almost always males, have you noticed?) take romance; I'll go with the
          (probably sensible female) inventors of horticulture and agriculture, bringers of blessings
          to humankind. Finally someone (a woman no doubt) had the good sense to see that
          families didn't have to expose themselves to an endlessly grim procession of invasions
          into the territory of one fierce man-child- and woman-eating beast after another. Finally
          humans (probably of the female persuasion) had the sense to grow their own food and
          wall themselves out of the animal- predator's snarling path.
          >
          > Ask a great female evolutionist like microbiologist Lynn Margulis about this rather
          than Jared Diamond. She will tell you that hunter-gathering was a drunken bout of male
          excess,
          > needlessly exposing families to hazard and vainglorious hormonal excitement. It was
          an old-boy network show, purely xx-chromosome rated. Let us thank our lucky stars that
          the women had the sense to civilize us, plant, sow, breed new varieties, and domesticate.
          They paved the way for peaceful, vegan existence. Only at the extremes of human
          imagination
          > (in Isaiah and the Garden of Eden) does the lion lie down with the lamb.
          >
          > Bob Monie
          > New Orleans, LA
          > Zone 8 (vegan country)
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Robert Monie
          Dear Macropneuma, Hunter gatherers may have really just gathered (mostly fruits and tender greens) and not hunted much at all. (Though they were themselves
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 4, 2008
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            Dear Macropneuma,

            Hunter gatherers may have really just gathered (mostly fruits and tender greens) and not hunted much at all. (Though they were themselves hunted by carnivores whose territory they impinged upon) The hunting part may have been of the tall-tale Paul Bunyan slaking his thirst by emptying Lake Erie variety. Big macho stuff of little significance--something to tell the women and kids when you were half drunk.

            Dr. Alan Walker of Johns Hopkins, who as an anthropologist microscopically examined more than his share of fossilized teeth and bone from the fabled hunter and gatherer period came to the conclusion that all these much-vaunted Tarzin-type heros were really frutarians. Paul Bunyan probably ate the Ur form of grapes and blackberries while he cleaned his ax and told about all the wild yak that got away.

            The romance and derring-do in the HUNTER-gatherer reconstructions comes from the basic physiological need that humans have for exercise and excitement. There's no denying the thrill of the chase--all the whooping and hollering, the brandishing of spears and arrows, the gnashing of teeth, the defeat (symbolic or real) of the prey. It's a memorable adrenalin rush and great cardiovascular exercise to be sure. Dr. A. William Menzin of the Harvard Department of Psychiatry (himself a raw food vegan) used to listen to cases of people who romanticized the old days when men were men all drenched in blood etc. etc. His advice was to take up some nice sport like archery, rowing, fencing, to get the circulation going and eat plenty of fruit and greens.Work out in the weight room, on some construction site, or in the garden or field. You will get everything the hunter-gatherers supposedly had without the blood and the gore. The rest of it (if it really existed at all) died with the
            dodo. As humans we have no physiological need for either hunting or meat. Our grandmothers were right: "eat your veggies and work hard."

            Ask evolutionist Lynn Margulis sometime about the male Darwinist struggle-for-existence illusion. Eve taught Adam to eat the fruit and stop molesting the animals. She had it right.

            Best wishes,

            And, by the way (from a previous post years ago), you are right about the berries and the veggies--you don't have to eat grain. Doctor William Menzin convinced me about that (though I stil eat some grain because I tolerate it).

            Bob Monie, gatherer, not hunter
            New Orleans, LA 70119
            Zone 8
            macropneuma <macropneuma@...> wrote:
            Apocrypha, smoothly wriiten.
            Without any whiff of rigorous evidence.
            Lynn Margulis is a renowned authority in micro-biology, not having any authority in
            anthropology.
            Jared Diamond is a physiologist and ecologist having worked extensively in Papua,
            especially on avifauna, with so called Hunter Gatherers, so while he's not formally an
            anthropologist, he's still renowned as a populariser of anthropological evidence. There's
            better writers than him on anthropology, and specialists in farming anthropology and
            archaeology such as Tim Denham and David R Harris. He even does over-simplify
            history in his popular books, but you can get a good introduction to history through
            anthropology from his books "Guns, Germs and Steel", "Collapse" recent in 2006 and he
            clarified "The worst mistake in the history of the human race" with a refinement and
            update in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee".
            That's it!

            --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
            >
            > Want to romanticize hunter-gatherer times? Some anthropologists think the human
            race spent most of its time running FROM animals. Want to bring it back Jurrasic Park
            style, by cloning all the fierce beasts that used to chase us? Better buy some corporate
            stock now in aerodynamically balanced spears with longer flight paths, sharp feldspar and
            ash axes that sever vital arteries, and poison-dart blow guns to stop our natural predators
            in their tracks, otherwise, the massively multiplying animal populations will be painting
            pictures in the caves showing all the human prey dripping with blood that they have
            captured and fed to their young cubs and kids. The poet Gary Snyder likes to say that
            environmental maturity consists of imagining ourselves as dinner for some salivating
            carnivore in the wild.
            >
            > Let him, Jared Diamond, and all the rest of the golden days of hunter-gathering
            retrovists(almost always males, have you noticed?) take romance; I'll go with the
            (probably sensible female) inventors of horticulture and agriculture, bringers of blessings
            to humankind. Finally someone (a woman no doubt) had the good sense to see that
            families didn't have to expose themselves to an endlessly grim procession of invasions
            into the territory of one fierce man-child- and woman-eating beast after another. Finally
            humans (probably of the female persuasion) had the sense to grow their own food and
            wall themselves out of the animal- predator's snarling path.
            >
            > Ask a great female evolutionist like microbiologist Lynn Margulis about this rather
            than Jared Diamond. She will tell you that hunter-gathering was a drunken bout of male
            excess,
            > needlessly exposing families to hazard and vainglorious hormonal excitement. It was
            an old-boy network show, purely xx-chromosome rated. Let us thank our lucky stars that
            the women had the sense to civilize us, plant, sow, breed new varieties, and domesticate.
            They paved the way for peaceful, vegan existence. Only at the extremes of human
            imagination
            > (in Isaiah and the Garden of Eden) does the lion lie down with the lamb.
            >
            > Bob Monie
            > New Orleans, LA
            > Zone 8 (vegan country)
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Robert Monie
            You re on the right trail, Jeff. I believe Alan Walker said that his microscopic evidence indicated a mostly plant food diet in humans till the Ice Age. Humans
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 4, 2008
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              You're on the right trail, Jeff. I believe Alan Walker said that his microscopic evidence indicated a mostly plant food diet in humans till the Ice Age. Humans were freezed out of their vegetation and had to make do in frosty "Freezeland" with meaty beasties till the thaw came. And the more North, the more people became convinced that they had to eat meat.

              Also much of the hunting ritual is purely for show, territorial marking, patrolling, game-playing, exercise hi-jinks, and male posturing. Read the medieval romance Sir Gawain for examples (in that one the knights and nobles show off their bright outfits and handsome horses and gear, and pile up mountains of words on how the captured prey was sliced and trussed, dressed and pressed.) Often behind all this hoopla stood the peasants in the fields, pulling up the turnips and winnowing the rye and wheat, so the feasters would really have something to eat.

              Relief came for the human race when it learned to grow its own food. Now we just need to do it sustainably.

              Jeff <shultonus@...> wrote:
              While many groups through time have romanticized hunter-gatherer
              times. (THorou, Melville, etc), I'm not sure that Diamond does this at
              all.

              Based on other Diamond works, I would take the position that rather,
              Agriculture is unsustainable, was not a "great" under taking, and all
              societies that are unsustainable eventually fail. It is more an
              explaination why agriculture suceeded despite its short comings.

              .. and then your right .... human history is a million years old, our
              species is much shorter, but even that, most of it we were chased by
              large dangerous predators, but 10,000 the equation changed. Not just
              because of agriculture, but the death of the mega-mammals. So not even
              the romanticized hunter-gather can be declared innocent.

              > Ask a great female evolutionist like microbiologist Lynn Margulis
              about this rather than Jared Diamond. She will tell you that
              hunter-gathering was a drunken bout of male excess,

              I'm not sure that the drunken bout of male excess hold true either.
              I'm not sure that it supported, but I see the hunting element of the
              equation being very much an adaption to a cold/ice age climate. Even
              now, the further north you go, the higher the animal portion of food
              in the naitive diet. The most plant heavy cultures are tropical or
              sub-tropical.

              The question is in a tropical climate why would you spend the energy
              and resources for hunting that results in less calories than spent
              (often the case in jungle hunting)??

              I think the answer to this is men's traditional role as defenders.
              Hunting would keep the muscles in shape, senses sharp and a group
              continuity that would aid a military expedition. In a gathering
              society territory is everything. You must know when to be where.
              Hunting may have been nothing more than an elaborate excuse to patroll
              the territory.

              Once a role is developed it is difficult to get rid of.....
              I think this may also be related to the power of the sexes, but I
              would need to more research on that one...

              > Bob Monie
              > New Orleans, LA
              > Zone 8 (vegan country)
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >






              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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