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Chapter 2

Apocalypse Past


  1. In the beginning of the concept forming mind was that misery Homo sapiens sapiens misjudged delight.

  2. They spread forth and multiplied as it was their pleasure to do so, gaily dominating every niche until but one of the linage Homo remained.

  3. Great was their self-accredited success. “The People” did each tribe call themselves in what seemed the one true language—theirs, but they spoke too of other things.

  4. The complexity of their verbal behavior did evolve, concepts within concepts, until complexity came to their tools, their tribes, their thoughts, and their lives.

  5. Yet life remained mean, nasty, brutish and short with few living past 30 years of age. Then came the transition to Homo narrator, a multigenerational species.

  6. The females in their childbearing years did gather food near camp with the aid of their mothers and their children. And they gathered from afar as well, unencumbered by children, because they were pleased to feed their children and their children's grandparents who remained nearer the camp than they.

  7. The old males, the over-30-ones, too old to hunt the big game, hunted small game with their grandsons, thereby passing on their well-honed skills and indirectly their genes, even while the young virile males did hunt afar.

  8. The children of those who failed to honor their elders became ever fewer, and thus did Homo narrator evolve, teaching by example and by story.

  9. The more affluent became their lives, the more leisured became their minds. They painted their bodies and the walls of their caves; they carved images and adorned their minds with stories.

  10. Mutualism arose, dogs became their companions. Gourds were their bottles, bowls, canteens, musical instruments and in planting their seeds did they come to harvest them in abundance. The bottles and bowls held their paints, treasures, water, and food as about the fire their stories were told.

  11. In the world of the hunter-gatherers the tribal size was constrained, rarely exceeding ten score. Boundaries of language and custom maintained fluid distinctions between the separate parties.

  12. Exogamous gatherings did happen which became the fertile ground for the exchange of memes as well as genes.

  13. A chief could command only a tribe, but a powerful storyteller could command a multi-tribal empire of believing minds through the dissemination of viral beliefs.

  14. Thus the first empires came to be among the hunter-gatherers and the first monuments built when many bands of kindred believers, each lead by their tribal priest, came to one place to do as the Supreme Priest, the mutated storyteller, decreed.

  15. Thus did storytellers become confabulating priests and the first trans-tribal social hierarchies engendering complex societies appear.

  16. There came to pass the planting of seeds and the domestication of animals for more of what was valued: such memes did spread and what had once been gathered came to be cultivated then gathered.

  17. The hunter-gatherers did give way to the agriculturalists and evermore did the farming ones prosper.

  18. In the valley Raulloa the hunter-gatherers, numbering nearly a hundred, did refuse the farmer's life of toil. They “worked” but two hours a day to provision themselves, leaving leisure to make art and love, to talk the talk, and survey their domain. They did sing and dance to joyous trance.

  19. But they of the Eallie valley did farmers become, soon numbering over a thousand. Soon more land was needed and into the Raulloa valley did they go—their decedents to tell stories of the backward primitive savages who once lived in their valley. And thus, if not by choice, did farming spread.

  20. The granaries did fill, settled villages grew up around them, fields spread, and under the ever heavier demands of those who ruled, the servile population of warriors, artisans, laborers, believers, and women did provide service and build monuments to them.

  21. Tribes with chiefs became villages with chieftainships whose warriors did battle, neighbor fighting neighbor, one stronger village subsuming others, building city-states and empires within which the priestly empires of belief flourished and collaborated with the warrior chiefs to commit empire and subdue their vassal subjects.

  22. Great were the monuments built to the god-kings.

  23. All empires were conquered by more victorious empires or collapsed from within.

  24. The final empire drew upon the vast fossil energy reserves of the planet to build a global empire the likes of which had never been seen. Great was their self-accredited success and firm their faith in exponential growth without limit.

  25. Theirs was a faith so great as to be exceeded only by their ignorance of the exponential function.

  26. Their fragile grasp of reality had consequences: the first global empire, like all before it, came to pass. With no external empire to subsume it, only collapse from within could befall it, and collapse cameth.

  27. It was game over for the corporate empire but some did survive in corporeal form, yet lacked viable cultural memes to pass on. They of the Ammunition ran out and passed on.

  28. Yet viable memes there were and there were those who strove to discover them and live by them. They treasured some memes and dispensed with others, they learned from history's lessons, they worked tirelessly for a better grasp of reality, and in that grasp they survived and rebuilt.

  29. Nature had all the answers. They learned to listen.


Chapter 3: The Reconstruction Era




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Older age becomes common late in human evolution

Grandmothers and the Evolution of Human Longevity

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