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How to Build or Rebuild A Civiliation

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posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 08:52 AM

Originally posted by crgintx
The name of Paolo Solieri's village is ArcoSanti. It an amazing work of architecture but I seriously doubt that humanity is ready to give it's consumerism.

I just found it finally yesterday, and it's a really fascinating site, and I'm rather impressed with Paolo's work. It turns out he's also apparently partnered in the past with Frank Llyod Wright (another famous architect), and according to what I've been able to find, he invented the concept of an Arcology.

You're right, society itself isn't ready to fully give up its consumerism, but everyone I've discussed Arcosanti with so far has nodded and said "That's the sort of place I want to live in someday"... which is, to me, really indicative of a possible future.

My personal goal in the study of Arcosanti is to replicate the effort in Texas, of creating a small self-sustaning community, where one's "job" is the betterment of that community. Additionally, the knowledge gleaned from Paolo's work might make the rebuilding of civilization much easier, since resources and infrastructure will be scarce after Situation X.

Originally posted by crgintx
That said I believe that consumerism is about to take a strange turn as more and more people are aware that unbridled materialism isn't going to be sustainable. Welcome to the age of the enlightened consumer.

Ah, but it is also coming with a price. Although there are some who would certainly pose arguments to the contrary, people are no longer being defined by their race, religion, gender, or sexual preference, or even their looks, but instead by their buying habits. Companies are now freely admitting to the vast amounts of data collection, and then adjusting their stocking and advertising based upon the data collected. You are no longer black, christian, male, and straight, but rather you are someone who buys one six-pack of beer every two weeks, preferred brand of XYZ, but susceptable to a sale if brand ABC is cheaper, and when you purchase this item, you pick up a snack food, usually from brand FGH but more importantly, you pick it up at the midway point between the beer and the register, even if it costs up to 10% more than the preferred brand. Your time in and out of a store is as short as possible, meaning that if the store wants to sell you the most stuff, they will need to bump up the price of both beer brands at once, and stock the cheapest "at cost" snack item priced at 10% above the preferred snack item, sitting at a convenient and easily visible point en route to the register.

These are all invisible profiles that we never think about, and far far more complex than what I just mentioned, and is, frankly, the future of how in-store shopping will be run, and to some degree, is already being run. Wal-Mart's top secret data collection center in Arkansas is the best example I can think of regarding this so far.

Originally posted by crgintx
Consumers are starting to demand fair trade products. No govt interference necessary. Many corporations are looking beyond the next quarter's earning statement at long term survivability.

I've actually begun to notice this myself, though only at Central Market so far. Most of my produce nowadays is bought from the local farmer's market instead of grocery stores, so "Fair Trade" doesn't really apply most of the time to my purchases, but I did notice Fair Trade Coffee for sale at Central Market, and was curious to know more, and learn what some corporation's idea of "fair trade" was.

Originally posted by crgintx
Every wonder why many Latin American countries despise the US? Just ask them about Dole or the United Fruit Company .

Oh, yes indeed! I actually wrote an E2 article about it years ago.

You're right. Those guys are bastages. They now go under the name "Chiquita Brands" and are one of the many reasons I buy my produce at local Farmer's Markets.

Actually, come to think of it, I'm gonna do a Survival post on the Farmer's market's value to the community, and the chances of one's survival.

posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 02:01 PM
thelibra - Thanks for your well thought out and well constructed replies

I don't agree with most of what you say but do respect your opinion and also am a realist enough to know that, should there be a Situation X, yours would be the most likely outcome.

None the less i have have my ideology's still in place and would like to reply to some of your answers...

Well, considering the alternative is anarchy and barbarism, I'd rather take the feedback.

Anarchy and Barbarism may be the initial effect, of a Sit X, but eventually (assuming man has lost all the technology we use today) we would fall back to a mixture of hunter gatherers and basic agricultural techniques.

There is no reason to believe that early man (aboriginals) behaved like savages... If we look at the hunter gatherer society's that still exist they are mainly peaceful people who enjoy a good life.

Yeah, but, ummm... that's what people are. Worker bees.

Consider this. If you removed civilization altogether, even to the point of taking away all material possessions, house, car, tools, clothing, etc... and put man back to square one in terms of what they have, what would man do?

Sorry but i have to disagree... If by worker Bee's you mean we need to work to survive (catch fish, make clothes etc...) then yes, we are. But the trouble is most of the time, in today's society, we work so that other people higher up the chain can get rich... Do you think that people where all miserable until the invention of computers, DVD's and all the other junk we think we need?

Do you really think that man kind is so shallow... what he would do is survive... Hunt, gather, socialise in the evening over a feast... You know... do the stuff that man has done for the vast majority of his history until civilisation came along.

Let not forget that "civilisations" have only been around for a fraction of human existence. And since civilisation the majority of the world has suffered so that a few can bathe themselves in riches!

Are you so attached to all this modern junk that you don't know how to just sit in silence and enjoy the sun setting? Or just peacefully wait for initial jerking of your fishing line? Do you not get pleasure from watching nature do its thing?

This, in my opinion, is the problem. Man has forgotten the simple pleasures in life and has had his brain pumped with so much garbage (sensory overload) that he is constantly seeking the next thrill.

Power, wealth and luxuries are now the things that man craves and the world is worse off for it!

How do you presume that these needs be met without work? Should they just fall out of the sky? Should he steal them from his neighbor? Or should mankind remain unevolved, unadaptive, and live only in a reactionary state to his environment? If your opinion is the latter, I invite you to examine the neanderthals and their fate, as this was the case with them, and they eventually died out, natural selection favoring sapiens for their ability to plan ahead and imagine the future and work towards it.

Man should work for what he needs to survive without destroying the other life's that co-exist on this planet. The downfall of the neanderthals is a prime example of why this "expand and conquer" mentality is bad. Are we supposed to give ourselves a big pat on the back for the fact that we where responsible for the extinction of an entire species??

Homo Sapiens will always seek work because in order to satisfy our needs we must first be productive. Even if it is their own isolated house, in the middle of nowhere, with narry another human around for miles, they must work to eat, they must work to keep a shelter, keep it in good repair, work to store food through the winter, work to have firewood to keep warm, etc... Work, work, work. Those that do not work will either die of exposure or starvation, or they will have to have their needs met through the labor of someone else. In other words, a non-worker becomes a parasite.

At no time did i say that man shouldn't work!! I said worker bees because i believe man shouldn't work for a big fat queen bee. Now for the bees it works just fine... but for humans... i don't think so.

That's a pretty bleak outlook on life. One wonders why bother even getting up in the morning, when eventually you know you'll probably just die someday anyway, or you could get shot, or you could end up having to breathe polluted air, or you might end up witnessing a war. I'm sorry to say that is a mindset that will get weeded out by neccessity once adversity rears its ugly head, because once adversity hits, it's either stand up or lay down. Me, I like standing.

Its not a bleak outlook at all... Do you think the Hadza of Tanzania have a bleak outlook because they don't want to move to the city and screw the tops on toothpaste tubes in some factory?? No, they enjoy life to the full, in a way which we have forgotten. We are obsessed with complicating life. The Hadza have no police, no military, no DVD's, CD's etc... unyet there children still smile and the adults still dance and sing!! In fact the only thing that is a threat to them is our civilisation that is gradually encroaching on their land.

There was a time when all men lived as the Hadza do and i feel that these would have been far more rewarding times and less stressful.

You can also use the reindeer herders of Siberia as a good example. Their lifestyle has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. They do no damage to the Forrest's they inhabit and co-exist with nature while still enjoying life. I see a documentary on them and one of the herders was asked "being so far from civilisation and hospital what do you do if someone gets sick?" the herder just laughed and said "we don't get sick"

We treat nature like its some kind of battle... us vs it... well its not a battle... in fact true survival, i believe, should not be called survival at all... it should be called harmonising, because that's what you have to do to live without being destructive.

Like i said before, I do respect your opinion and i have enjoyed reading your posts. Maybe i am just a dreamer and you are the realist but only time will tell

I hope nothing i have said causes any offence... its just my opinion and thoughts

posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 02:21 PM
Sorry... but i got one more thought i would like to post...

The current era that we are living in is often described as the most successful age of mankind... Why is this?

Is it purely because of the head count?

It just seems crazy. Homo sapiens first started appearing 200,000 years ago. They survived Volcano's, Ice Ages and all of the other natural problems that still exist today. And they did this without destroying forests and polluting the oceans.

Unyet it is this age, where man has placed himself on the edge of self extermination, on more than one occasion, that we view as the most successful.

posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 05:14 PM

Originally posted by undercoverchef
thelibra - Thanks for your well thought out and well constructed replies

I don't agree with most of what you say but do respect your opinion and also am a realist enough to know that, should there be a Situation X, yours would be the most likely outcome.

Nooo, no not neccessarily. Actually, what I need, from people just like yourselves, to explain to me why it is wrong. That'll make more sense by the end of the post, but it is a compliment, and a thank you for yours. I thrive upon a healthy debate against someone with a differing view because sometimes I get to learn a whole new point of view on something. Sometimes it changes my mind, and sometimes it reinforces it. You raise many valid points that make me rethink my ideas about compassion, balance, and its place within civilzation.

And I believe we have much common ground on some of these ideas. I will do my best to share them, and, by all means, share any difference of opinion you have. We just might end up agreeing.

Originally posted by undercoverchef
There is no reason to believe that early man (aboriginals) behaved like savages... If we look at the hunter gatherer society's that still exist they are mainly peaceful people who enjoy a good life.

Ahhh... We are agreed on a major point already. I was thinking more of a Class 4 or 5 disaster, where for the most part, mankind still has access to technology or a close enough memory and access to enough archives to at least achieve something approaching that of the industrial age (crude machinery, steamworks, agricultural revolution, gunpowder), and you were thinking more in lines with stone to bronze age (bows, spears, etc.)

And depending upon the location of Situation X, anywhere between and beyond the two are entirely possible. If, for instance, it happened in the UK, I think there are still enough people with a broad enough skillset and access to resources, that at worst, they'd be thrown back to the Industrial Age.

However, were it to happen in a place like the Phillipines, or Haiti, or other places that are remote enough, and poor enough, yet with close enough family bonds to dissolve and become individual tribes.

I also agree, 100% that not all aboriginal peoples (or in my case, Native Americans) are not barbarians. There were certainly at least a few tribes that were total bastages to the others, and one might call them barbarians. I'm descended from the Sac & Fox, and nothing I have ever read suggested they were.

But what is a barbarian?

From a technological standpoint, the Aztecs weren't barbarians. They were actually quite advanced thanks to the adsorbtion of the Toltecs. From a moral standpoint, they were monsters who worshipped gods of pain and war, like Tezcatlipoca, sacrificed slaves in public spectacle by the hundreds, if not thousands, for any number of reasons. Their history rivals that of Nazi Germany in both their industriousness and the extent of the barbaric treatment of their fellow man.

What I meant by the alternative being barbarians, what I meant was, "truckloads of men with guns who raid the landscape, kill anyone who does not join then, and raping women, and burning anything they can't loot." And I wholeheartedly believe that, if present-day man were suddenly shaken by an Earth-Shattering cataclysm on the scale of a Class 5 situation, then, for at least a while, these barbarians would roam the landscape, killing, pillaging, raping, and looting.

The alternative to this is going to be behind the safety of a well-fortified community that can stand as one against the barbarians, produce her own food and water, so as not to be susceptable to siege, and have as many resources, so as to have something to build with.

And then... what?

I mean, the barbarians won't just go away one day. They will either continue to raze the countriside, and conquer, enslave, rape, or kill any whom couldn't protect themselves, or they will meet a force that prevents them from doing so, or they will settle down and eventually form their own nation, which will, eventually, have to learn how to deal with the growing number of other nations out there who formed to protect themselves against the barbarians in the first place.

That community might be something as simple as a stone-age tribe, or as advanced as perhaps the late 19th or early 20th century, but they will exist, and they will spread out of neccessity for space and resources.

Examine North America before the white man came and took over. OVer 500 Nations existed here. Individual tribes, some quite advanced, some quite primitive, and for the most part, they acted much the same way as Europeans did back home. They warred with each other, they conquered each other, they fought for territory, and sometimes committed terrible deeds.

Now at the same time though, they had a deep abiding respect for the land, a reverence for nature, and a connection to her that the white man had forgotten long before they arrived at our shores. Some had a deep, rich oral history, medicinal knowledge, and a sense of honor, of nobility, that could never be bought by gold or granted by sheets of paper.

I am not nearly so familiar with the Australian Aboriginal Peoples, but I suspect that the real stories behind their tribes are much the same.

Communities will still exist. People will still crave to be a part of something. A tribe wasn't just some small collection of huts that banded together for warmth, a tribe was your Nation. It was your leadership, your source of protection, food, weapons, and medicine.

What I propose is no less than that.

But like any tribe, there will eventually come a time when someone else, be they another tribe or barbarians, who will have the idea of taking us over, and I can never help but try to be as prepared for that day as I am for Situation X. And what seems to be the best preparation for that is to advance my tribe first, and those friendly to my tribe, first.

Before I get too far into the rest, I'm curious to see what your thoughts are on this.

posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 06:14 AM
Yes i agree

I was looking at more of a total wipe out, being knocked back to the stone age, with just a few scattered people wondering the earth. Not much in the way of machinery or industry left and not enough knowledge to utilise it.

I can see how, in the situation you describe, it would be necessary to band together, with a more formal social structure, to fight off the hoards.

I still have reservations about starting up the whole process that got us into this mess... but considering what you say, there may be no choice.

I look forward to hearing you other comments

posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 09:56 AM
Actually, I'm a fan of Hancock-Hatcher-Childress school of thought on the history of human civilization. We've been to higher heights and have forgotten them. I believe humanity is about to enter another Dark Age/Apocalyptic period. Will all 7-8 billion survive global warming, probably not.

We've always had conflict between human beings and probably always will. I doubt that we will ever completely outgrow our aggressive tendencies because without them we'd have been predator crap a long time ago.

I believe humanity's greatest challenge will be to find a way to channel our aggressive natures for the benefit of all living things on our home planet. I believe it's more than possible to be at one with nature and to reach for the star's at the same time. The ancients managed technical feats that we've still yet to match like the pyramids and they were far more in tune with nature than we are.

SciFi authors like Heinlein and Octavia Butler came to the same conclusion early on: that gov't won't save humanity, ordinary people forming like minded societies will. Gov'ts serve the interest of only a limited amount of people, usually those with a lot of money or influence. Witness the current marriage of the present US president's administration, the petroleum industry and the religious right. Everyone recognizes marriages of political convenience and these 3 groups are all seeking somewhat similar goals.

I believe The Libra is on the right track about forming armored enclaves of civilization. Much of what we think of as modern civilized conveniences are in fact the fragments and pieces of past civilizations. If mankind is to progress, we will have to survive the coming tribulations. Hopefully we'll keep the better things that our civilizations has achieved.

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