Monday, April 27, 2020

845: The Transition....

It must have been a daunting task to convince people that land, animals or even people can be someone's property. 
After all, hunters and collectors shared pretty much everything. 
In addition, with the invention of property, inequality between people began to grow. 
After death, properties were even passed on to subsequent generations. Thus, the legacy was invented, which further widened the gap between rich and poor. 
It is fascinating that in exactly this period, after the end of the Ice Age, the first wars also broke out. 
It was precisely when we settled in one place that we built the first military fortifications, according to archaeological research. 
Cave painters began to depict archers attacking each other. Numerous skeletons have been excavated dating to this time, with clear signs of violence. 
How did it come to this?
Scientist  see two possible reasons: the first on is, that there was something to fight over, land and cattle.
Wandering hunter / gatherers formed rather open groups and time and again they met other groups. Switching from group to group must have been common practice.
Villagers, on the other hand, became focused on themselves and their possessions. Homo sapiens changed from cosmopolitan to xenophobic.
One of the main reasons yet to work together with strangers was actually war. Tribes forged alliances with other tribes.
You can imagine how the proces went on through the ages: military leaders were needed. At a given moment such a military machos became a permanent leader.
Because Homo sapiens had given up his nomadic way of life, he lived close together with others on one spot and also close together with domesticated animals.
Measles, smallpox, tuberculosis, syphilis, malaria, cholera, the plague: all these plagues were created after we gave up our nomadic lifestyle.
All these illnesses were a present from our new pets, the sheep, cows, ducks. It still happens.  
In 2007, Q fever broke out in the Netherlands: the largest recorded outbreak of the disease in the world, a really dangerous disease.
Q fever is an infectious disease that is spread to humans by goats and sheep. And today we have our COVID-19 allegedly from bats.
With the emergence of the first major settlements, religious life began to change radically. For the first time, people believed in powerful and vengeful gods.
As I said in the previous lecture, by settling in one place and the switch to agriculture we got trapped in our own "invention".
Agriculture and property became things to fight for and so the smaller villages were overpowered by the larger villages, these again by cities, which were again annexed by provinces. 
Alliances had to be scaled up further to form larger armies. And eventually this led to the last disaster, which Rousseau would also write about:
the birth of the STATE.
Thank you for your attention again....

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019

The Discussion

[13:15] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:15] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what lies beyond the state?
[13:15] herman Bergson: My pleasure CB :-)
[13:16] herman Bergson: So far perhaps the EU
[13:16] CB Axel: I can't help thinking that during our hunter/gatherer phase that we didn't fight.
[13:16] CB Axel: Wouldn't one family fight another over a good patch of land with lots of good food?
[13:16] herman Bergson: From archeological finds it seems to show that we didn't fight in that era, CB
[13:17] Dien (djdien.bailey) is offline.
[13:17] CB Axel: I think we need to look for more evidence.
[13:17] herman Bergson: It seems that groups just moved on to other places instead of fighting
[13:17] CB Axel: I honestly don't believe that there wasn't conflict.
[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): there was room enough on the planet then
[13:18] herman Bergson: Oh there may have been....
[13:18] CB Axel: I suppose so.
[13:18] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje...
[13:18] CB Axel: They would have had less to carry with them if they had to move to another place.
[13:18] herman Bergson: groups were small and the  land was wide...
[13:18] herman Bergson: so why fighting if you can go elsewhere
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah I guess
[13:19] herman Bergson: Dont forget....homo sapiens is reluctant to use violence
[13:19] CB Axel: I guess once they started farming there would be farm tools that they'd have to carry around, too.
[13:19] herman Bergson: I said...the moment we developed the idea of property there was a reason to fight each other :-)
[13:20] herman Bergson: But that was what we call the Neolithic era
[13:20] herman Bergson: starting about 11.000 BC
[13:21] herman Bergson: Before that we were hunter/gatherers
[13:21] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): but animals also fight each other
[13:21] CB Axel: Yeah. Apes do.
[13:21] herman Bergson: It happens...but not for amusement...
[13:22] CB Axel: And they're not farming.
[13:22] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): I fail to see what a state-less world would look like
[13:22] herman Bergson: They don't fight each other to enrich themselves for instance
[13:23] herman Bergson: I guess a state-less world isn't possible anymore....
[13:23] CB Axel: Don't they fight over territory?
[13:23] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): A world without frontiers, who would we pay our taxes to? how would we orchestrate our efforts to build organ-donor networks, hospitals, roads
[13:24] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): Yes, we seem to share with them the territorial instinct
[13:24] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): which I guess was present before we abandoned our nomadic lifestyle..
[13:24] CB Axel: So if they're fighting over territory then they're fight over what to them are riches.
[13:24] herman Bergson: animals  fight for territory indeed, but don't kill for it...they chance the intruder away
[13:25] CB Axel: Ever since primatologist Jane Goodall’s pioneering work at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania in the 1970s, researchers have been aware that male chimps often organize themselves into warring gangs that raid each other’s territory, sometimes leaving mutilated dead bodies on the battlefield.
[13:26] herman Bergson: YEs indeed...that was a great shock to Jane Goodall in those days....she kept it silent for a long time
[13:26] CB Axel: I know that's long, and I'm sorry, but we're not that different than chimps.
[13:26] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): how would we protect the elderly and pay them retirement pensions, or build up educational systems, its difficult enough to coordinate a nation, coordinating the whole world is mission impossible
[13:26] herman Bergson: Chimps are indeed mean fellows
[13:26] CB Axel: And we're not?
[13:27] CB Axel: Anyway, I think Elizabeth is right that we need some sort of government.
[13:27] herman Bergson: If you want a straight answer is NO in my opinion
[13:28] herman Bergson: We have ethics....we are bale to have amoral debate...
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): most people are ok I guess
[13:28] herman Bergson: Good point Bejiita ^_^
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like us in here
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we are not mean
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:28] CB Axel: bale?
[13:29] herman Bergson: In stead of fighting each other we have learned to share, created democracy and so on
[13:29] CB Axel: Oh, able. Sorry. I get it.
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:29] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): what did Rousseau propose?
[13:29] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): as an alternative to the State?
[13:29] CB Axel: So language is why we don't fight as much as we could?
[13:29] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): small autonomous communities? or .. some sort of anarchic paradigm? um
[13:29] herman Bergson: Well diplomacy is a great thing indeed CB
[13:30] CB Axel: I'm trying to understand how different early man was from other apes.
[13:30] herman Bergson: Retounon al la nature....:-) if I am not mistaken Elisabeth
[13:31] herman Bergson: But we'll discuss this question in the coming lectures
[13:31] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): according to Yuval Noah Harari the difference resides in the fact that thanks to abstract thought we learned how to collaborate in large groups in a synchronized manner towards a common goal.
[13:31] herman Bergson: My French is bad...Retournon
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): how can we returner to nature again?
[13:31] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): nods
[13:32] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): interesting.. these days that idea is quite popular
[13:32] herman Bergson: We can't of course....that was Rousseau's observation....civilization had ruined us
[13:32] herman Bergson: We have lost our natural state
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) is online.
[13:32] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): returning to nature, growing your own vegetables, setting up small independent eco-villages
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:33] herman Bergson: quite a job with billions of people today in big cities
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): brewing your on beer
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): own
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that ive wanted to learn for a while
[13:33] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): Rousseau seemed to be hyper-focused in the bad aspects of civilization and forgot to look into all the advantages maybe
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even theree are already so many good tasty one available
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:34] herman Bergson: You got a point there Elisabeth...
[13:34] herman Bergson: Elisabeth
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:35] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): synchronized and FLEXIBLE manner*
[13:35] herman Bergson: What is clear is, that homo sapiens walked a specific road....
[13:36] herman Bergson: I think that there is no logic in just happened that way due to environmental circumstances, opportunities etc...
[13:36] CB Axel: Gemma just let me know that her boss scheduled a conference during this class. That's why she's not here. :(
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): damn her boss!
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki
[13:37] herman Bergson: Besides that I think the route is also shown by the brain....the choices homo sapiens made
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is the route taken by free will?
[13:37] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): our brain has not actually changed much in 40.000 years I think?
[13:37] herman Bergson: He's fired CB....
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): taken
[13:38] herman Bergson: No...I don't think so Elisabeth...
[13:38] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): Yuval N. Harari says that if we took an homo Sapiens from the planes of East Africa from 40.000 years ago and dressed him up + gave him a hair-cut.. he would be identical to an instagramer
[13:38] herman Bergson: we had the four lobs , the 1.4 cc volume....since 15.000 years ago
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:39] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): let me re-check the number of years
[13:39] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): its been a while since I read sapiens
[13:39] CB Axel: Today's brain is just more full of cat videos.
[13:39] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): Axel lool
[13:40] herman Bergson: The time table is on the wall behind  d you Elisabeth
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:40] herman Bergson: no no videos here!
[13:40] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): im googling Cognitive Revolution Harari Sapiens, sec
[13:40] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): :p
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes Herman:)
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I don't look at cat videos too much though, I google more UE4 stuff
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and code
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well not just that
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but the cats are a classic yes
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:41] herman Bergson: comes after porn, Bejiita :-)))
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha well sort of
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I gue
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ss
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:42] herman Bergson: but all about pussies
[13:42] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): 70.000 years ago, thats when the cognitive revolution happened (abstract thought, language..
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe that is why
[13:42] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): shrugs
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): internet is a strange beast
[13:43] herman Bergson: CB...I once was sitting on a terras and a Woman addressed her dog in German....
[13:43] herman Bergson: and I wondered does she know her dog understands German
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe she only speaks German to it
[13:44] CB Axel: Maybe it was an Alsatian. :)
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's the tone of her voice
[13:44] herman Bergson: YEs was a german lady
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and germans bark like a dog...
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): listen to the language:)
[13:45] CB Axel: She's lucky she and her dog understood the same language.
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ACHTUNG!
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): LOL
[13:45] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): lol
[13:45] herman Bergson: Anyway...Guess it is time to end our discussion, unless you wish to continue
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sorry bergie:)
[13:45] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): nice points, ty
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): food for thought
[13:45] CB Axel: Interesting lecture and discussion.
[13:46] CB Axel: Thank you, everyone.
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa gonna eat a pan pizza and code React
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and then sleep
[13:46] herman Bergson: You are always welcome to have another dinner here Elisabeth :-)
[13:46] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): ty
[13:46] Elisabeth (elisabeth3210): ^^
[13:46] herman Bergson: So...thank you all agin for this pleasant class and debate...
[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:46] CB Axel: See you all next week. :)
[13:47] CB Axel: Bye
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): stay healthy
[13:47] herman Bergson: Bye CB
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye all
[13:47] herman Bergson: Bye Bejiita...happy coding

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