August 09, 2008

Human Evolution and the Environment

An interesting talk by Paul Ehrlich at the Long Now Foundation called The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment.

The first four steps on our path to dominance:
1) Living up in the trees [binocular vision, judging distance, grasping hands]
2) Down from the trees
3) Up on two legs
4) Language with syntax

A considerable gap, then the next four, which are rather obvious, but added for completeness:
5) Agriculture
6) Writing
7) Printing
8) The Industrial Revolution

Related. An overview of Merlin W. Donald's theory of How our mind, brain and culture evolved. Many of the actual papers, which I've yet to dig through, in pdf form here.

"The story you tell yourself is largely the story you're living"
Terence Mckenna in his farewell speech to the community, Posthumous Glory, via Lorenzo

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