The original sin.
This article has made me reconsider two of my cherished views.
– I had argued with Justuju in the past that hunter-gatherers enjoy a poorer quality of life compared to agriculturalists, industrialists and post-industrialists. This article rubbishes at least one of these claims, as far as the progression is concerned.
– Quoting Diamond:
At this point it’s instructive to recall the common complaint that archaeology is a luxury, concerned with the remote past, and offering no lessons for the present. Archaeologists studying the rise of farming have reconstructed a crucial stage at which we made the worst mistake in human history. Forced to choose between limiting population or trying to increase food production, we chose the latter and ended up with starvation, warfare, and tyranny..
I am guilty of this anti-archeology bias. I have also been in the clutches of a progressivist dogma.
“Why is it that with nothing but improvement behind us we anticipate nothing but disaster before us?” — Lord Macaulay, 1830