What age are we in?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by arfa brane, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I recall reading a book by Joseph Campbell, about the different ages in our past and why (he thought) they happened.

    The first of these ages is the stone age, of course. Our ancestors used stone tools for a long time, Neolithic cultures didn't appear until quite recently compared to the million or so years of using stone to make sharp objects.

    So even more recently we have the age of agriculture and animal husbandry. We started trading more goods.

    So we go through the Industrial Age, presumed to be drawing to a close. We've had cars for over a century, we now have a world wide computer network, GPS, medical scanners etc.
    Who would have predicted the arrival of cellphones would mean it would be cheaper than a landline eventually?

    The technology arrives but goes redundant more quickly. Computer engineers keep improving the hardware; most home computers are less than 10 years old. Could the age we're in now be called the Age of Redundant Technology?

    Campbell's reasoning about the why is more or less, "because we needed it". We needed to invent agriculture to support larger groups. We needed the steam engine for similar reasons, related to transporting goods around more efficiently.
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    There is though, always overlap. Agricultural and Neolithic cultures still overlap today. A new age of whatever doesn't necessarily replace an older one.
    The automotive industry replaced the transport industry that used horses and oxen. It's still developing, but in the meantime computers have arrived.

    Still, there are humans living in an essentially tribal, Neolithic age. Certain island populations in the Southwest Pacific, say, or in parts of Africa. This culture is still being replaced. Following Campbell's rationale, these cultures don't need agriculture, or horses or cars, or computers; they're doing just fine.
     
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  7. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, under the banner of the anthropocene age, they are not doing fine. Subsistence existence is very much dependent on the predictability of weather patterns and animal movements (the very things the anthropocene age threatens to throw a massive spanner in to). As the pulse of the planet starts to get erratic, it is these vulnerable communities that will begin to feel the pinch first. Arguably, if (or perhaps we should say "when") the level playing field of the post apocalyptic world reveals itself, it may be these communities that have an advantage due to their skillset, so it could be a case of "those who cry first, laugh last" ... although if it comes to the point of subsisting off cockroaches in radioactive landscapes, one has to wonder how much laughter there actually will be.
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Isn't that kinda backwards? I'd say we able to support larger groups because we invented agriculture and we can transport goods more efficiently because we invented the steam engine. Nobody sat down and said, "We could support more people if we grew our own food close to the cave." She just thought it would be easier to gather food if it was in one convenient place - and larger populations resulted from that.
     
  9. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Actually in a consumerist society, our inventions seem to create our needs. Maybe when we reach "peak stupidity", things will change (assuming we don't render ourselves extinct beforehand).
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." -- Albert Einstein​

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  11. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    The populations are going to increase when war and disease and starvation aren't available to slow/stop them. The canal builders and railroad tycoons saw an opportunity, they didn't create it.
     
  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I was about to say we seem now to live in the cephalophallocene age.

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  13. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Awesome. Thank you! You really cut to the meat of the matter.

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  14. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Some times I just call it "The End Days".
     
  15. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    According to Campbell it happened because there was a pressure from population growth, it was anthropologically inevitable.
     
  16. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Necessity is the mother of invention. Large populations sans large-population-supporting technology simply equals high mortality rates.
     
  17. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    What's "Large populations" in these scenarios?
     
  18. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Anything challenging the trough of "peak population" according to collective community nous.
     
  19. gamelord Registered Senior Member

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    land of confusion age.
     
  20. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    We are at the turning point our history. We are in the midst of the second renaissance. Though things may look bleak now, we will look back on current decade as the time when humanity truly became self aware and gained consciousness as a whole
     
  21. gamelord Registered Senior Member

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    We are standing on a precipice that is for sure. Could be an era of dystopia or utopia depending on peoples choices.
     
  22. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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  23. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, no real numbers then. Got it.
     

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