How Does the World Work?

  • See the About page for a description of the subjects of interest covered in this blog.

Series Indexes

Global Issues Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad

Comment Policy

  • Comments
    Comments are open and welcome as long as they are not offensive or hateful. Also this site is commercial free so any comments that are offensive or promotional will be removed. Good questions are always welcome!

« Happy Spring Equiox | Main | Our Wishes Are Going to Come True! »

March 22, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


What graphics program do you use to create those?

George Mobus

Hi T0wnp1ann3r,

Still have trouble spelling that one!

I used PowerPoint to draw the graphics, then cut/paste to Paint and then save-as .png files. A poor man's way!


kiralık devremülkler

thank you. i love to read this type of information posts. again thank you...


George, in part one, Strategic Perspective, you write:

"My suspicion is that our species was just starting to evolve higher capacities for strategic thinking (which explains why we even know what strategic thinking is!) as an advancement of our evolving sapience. But with the advent of technology, and especially agriculture, the selection pressures that would have moved us further in that direction were removed. The result is that the vast majority of people do not think very strategically, even about their own lives let alone the lives of their fellow beings and the lives of future generations."

I have heard exactly the opposite argument used: agriculture forced hunter gatherers who thought in the short term to "plan for the morrow", thus evolving long term - strategic?? - thinking..

George Mobus


I've heard that argument too. But it really doesn't make sense. It isn't just the time scale for planning, but rather being able to think about different strategic scenarios that might obtain. Hunter-gatherers had to be aware of patterns of animal/plant behaviors including migration, but more importantly how these are affected by climate shifts, which took place over much longer time scales than human life. The wise elders of the tribe were responsible for directing the tribe to move or stay put based on their judgments of where a better living situation might be found.

The same is the case for interactions with other tribes. Those kinds of interactions are far more complex than interactions with crops or livestock! Once a military methodology was perfected to defend one's food production territory, there was no more need to consider long-term evolution of inter-tribal interactions. If the other guys attacked, then we would just be ready to fight them off. Not much strategic thinking going on there.

Agriculture doesn't actually require any long-term thinking beyond the cycles of seasons. Changing crop types with shifts in climate is a reactive adaptation rather than an anticipatory one. Managing crops and livestock and the methods of farming require astute logistical thinking and some tactical thinking, but nothing of the form of strategic thinking.


The comments to this entry are closed.