Help me understand the anti-progress crowd.
March 23, 2006 6:34 AM Subscribe
While I'm certainly have empathy with those who are critical of uber-consumer capitalism, I cringe when I hear people glorify the past or "primitive" cultures. (more...)
posted by tom_g to human relations (72 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
These people say things like...
1. In non-industrial cultures, people had more free time to be with their family.
2. These "primitive" cultures are more "natural", and provide for a more "genuine" or human life.
3. Technology, while providing *some* good, has in general been bad for the planet and our future survival.
Whenever I hear these things, I often find myself asking (to myself at least), "where is the evidence for such claims?"
1. I remember studying a hunter/gatherer people in New Guinea while in college, and I recall the study revealing that they had *less* free time because of the hours put in just to survive. Does anyone know of any good links regarding this type of thing?
2. The whole "natural" thing kills me. How do you define "natural"? It seems that some people draw an arbitrary line, where some things are "natural" and others are not. I only mention this because it's tied into the whole outlook that I'm describing.
3. While I agree that technology has led to some bad things, I would argue that the good outweighs the bad. Really, the definition of technology is often described by drawing some arbitrary line. For example, what is technology? Is it computers, telephones, eye-glasses, medicine, respirators, books, pencils, knives, clothes??
Has anyone come across this? How do you respond? Are you one who feels this way? Why?