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Post Reply Re-evaluating the Meaning of Social Advancement
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Posted 1/26/17
The Richard Borshay Lee study you're primarily referring to was heavily flawed.

He compares the time the Kung spend strictly gathering food with the ~40 hours per week that westerners spend working. He doesn't even count any of the time they have to spend maintaining/crafting the necessary tools, gathering water, preparing food for consumption, etc.

The time working in modern societies doesn't just provide you with subsistence levels of food. Even most westerners at the poverty level are able to afford some luxuries and conveniences beyond not starving to death, so it's really not an accurate comparison at all.

As for their quality of life..

Nancy Howell noted in her time with the Kung that, "While the !Kung way of life is far from one of uniform drudgery - there is a great deal of leisure in the !Kung camp, even in the worst time of the year - it is also true that the !Kung are very thin and complain often of hunger, at all times of the year. It is likely that hunger is a contributing cause to many deaths which are immediately caused by infectious and parasitic diseases, even though it is rare for anyone simply to starve to death."

The average hunter-gatherer society's mortality rate is 38% before 15 years of age.

Just some.. food for thought.
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Posted 1/26/17

iriomote wrote:

The Richard Borshay Lee study you're primarily referring to was heavily flawed.

He compares the time the Kung spend strictly gathering food with the ~40 hours per week that westerners spend working. He doesn't even count any of the time they have to spend maintaining/crafting the necessary tools, gathering water, preparing food for consumption, etc.

The time working in modern societies doesn't just provide you with subsistence levels of food. Even most westerners at the poverty level are able to afford some luxuries and conveniences beyond not starving to death, so it's really not an accurate comparison at all.

As for their quality of life..

Nancy Howell noted in her time with the Kung that, "While the !Kung way of life is far from one of uniform drudgery - there is a great deal of leisure in the !Kung camp, even in the worst time of the year - it is also true that the !Kung are very thin and complain often of hunger, at all times of the year. It is likely that hunger is a contributing cause to many deaths which are immediately caused by infectious and parasitic diseases, even though it is rare for anyone simply to starve to death."

The average hunter-gatherer society's mortality rate is 38% before 15 years of age.

Just some.. food for thought.


You cannot fool me: I know the work of the few most famous anthropologists, like Richard Lee, who study the Ju’hoansi; The time that Ju’hoansi spend maintaining/crafting the necessary tools, gathering water, preparing food for consumption, etc. were also accounted for and it also requires very little labor compared to the more advanced societies. You are showing why the major Western media never mention the every life of the foragers before the external intervention of the more advanced societies; the global economic elites can use stereotypes to mislead the citizen.

You are also confusing the descriptions of Ju’hoansi in their traditional way of living and the living that is imposed on them by the European settlers in South African. None of the well-known studies on the Ju’hoansi ever state that Ju’hoansi were on constant starvation unless you account for the intervention by the European settlers. Before the recent intervention by the Europeans, the anthropologists who study them could barely imagine that they could stave and, as noted before, physicians who examine Ju`hoansi children report them in good health by tropical standard. The Ju’hoansi did often complain about "hunger" but that is due to mis-translation: the Ju’hoansi do not have a word for "hunger" and the "hunger" here means a lack of meat.

The recent intervention by the European settlers in Africa create the very starvation that you are describing. The European descendants in Africa force the Ju’hoansi force the foragers into crowded permanent settlement where they quickly use up the local resource, suffer from constant poverty, and depend heavily on government ration which barely arrive in time. They were also banned from hunting to worsen the starvation. Despite the ban on hunting and gathering, they are not given suitable land for farming. Those European decedents in Africa even claim that the Ju’hoansi should not be rewarded for their work and innovation. This truth was hidden so some people can set up fake charity and justify foreign intervention.

As a further note, anthropologists now do not refer to Ju’hoansi as !Kung since that word have negative connotation.
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Posted 1/26/17 , edited 1/26/17

kromph wrote:

I hope this is just a troll.


No, just a regular loony holding up Mao's little red book and talking about Imperialist Dogs, like Chinese-stereotype characters used to do in old 60's comedies.
Only now we know where the gag comes from.

(Hey, you go 'round carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow, but, y'know, it's gonna be all right...)
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Posted 1/26/17

sinoakayumi wrote:

You cannot fool me: I know the work of the few most famous anthropologists, like Richard Lee, who study the Ju’hoansi; The time that Ju’hoansi spend maintaining/crafting the necessary tools, gathering water, preparing food for consumption, etc. were also accounted for and it also requires very little labor compared to the more advanced societies. You are showing why the major Western media never mention the every life of the foragers before the external intervention of the more advanced societies; the global economic elites can use stereotypes to mislead the citizen.

I don't need to "fool" you. You're demonstrably wrong. He does not account for anything except gathering food In the ~20 hour/week figure you cited. Table 4.3 on page 61 of his book, "The Dobe Ju/'Hoansi" shows that if you include both tool making and housework (i.e. butchering food, preparing shelter, gathering firewood, etc.) their work week goes up to 44.5 hours per week for men and 40.1 for women. The two-three hours per day figure is strictly time spent gathering food.

Using this figure also (erroneously) implies that the data he collected can be extrapolated as an average across all seasons. I'll give you a non-subtle hint on just why that is dishonest: he didn't collect any data during the dry season when food and water are scarce. Even Lee is forced to admit that, "It is during the three lean months of the year that the San life approaches the precarious conditions that have come to be associated with the hunting and gathering way of life."

Modern society isn't perfect, and certainly has room for improvement (in income distribution, for instance), but in my opinion it sure as hell beats being on the verge of starvation for a fourth of every year and having roughly half of your children die before adulthood.
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Posted 1/26/17

iriomote wrote:


sinoakayumi wrote:

You cannot fool me: I know the work of the few most famous anthropologists, like Richard Lee, who study the Ju’hoansi; The time that Ju’hoansi spend maintaining/crafting the necessary tools, gathering water, preparing food for consumption, etc. were also accounted for and it also requires very little labor compared to the more advanced societies. You are showing why the major Western media never mention the every life of the foragers before the external intervention of the more advanced societies; the global economic elites can use stereotypes to mislead the citizen.

I don't need to "fool" you. You're demonstrably wrong. He does not account for anything except gathering food In the ~20 hour/week figure you cited. Table 4.3 on page 61 of his book, "The Dobe Ju/'Hoansi" shows that if you include both tool making and housework (i.e. butchering food, preparing shelter, gathering firewood, etc.) their work week goes up to 44.5 hours per week for men and 40.1 for women. The two-three hours per day figure is strictly time spent gathering food.

Using this figure also (erroneously) implies that the data he collected can be extrapolated as an average across all seasons. I'll give you a non-subtle hint on just why that is dishonest: he didn't collect any data during the dry season when food and water are scarce. Even Lee is forced to admit that, "It is during the three lean months of the year that the San life approaches the precarious conditions that have come to be associated with the hunting and gathering way of life."

Modern society isn't perfect, and certainly has room for improvement (in income distribution, for instance), but in my opinion it sure as hell beats being on the verge of starvation for a fourth of every year and having roughly half of your children die before adulthood.


"The Dobe Ju/'Hoansi" discuss the current life of the Ju'hoansi; I am referring to his study of Ju'hoansi before 1986 which include data on labor other than those for foods. Anthropologists, like Richard Lee, use long-term observation to study culture so Richard Lee could easily learn many aspects of the Ju`hoansi lifestyle even when it is not part of his original study; Richard Lee do not use extrapolation for those other data because he already gather it. Also, I am referring not only to Richard Lee but also to other anthropologists, like Lorna Marshall and Marshal Sahlins, who study Ju`hoansi and they all agree that the Ju`hoansi work very little before 1986. Here is a book as proof:
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Posted 1/26/17

sinoakayumi wrote:

"The Dobe Ju/'Hoansi" discuss the current life of the Ju'hoansi; I am referring to his study of Ju'hoansi before 1986 which include data on labor other than those for foods. Anthropologists, like Richard Lee, use long-term observation to study culture so Richard Lee could easily learn many aspects of the Ju`hoansi lifestyle even when it is not part of his original study; Richard Lee do not use extrapolation for those other data because he already gather it. Also, I am referring not only to Richard Lee but also to other anthropologists, like Lorna Marshall and Marshal Sahlins, who study Ju`hoansi and they all agree that the Ju`hoansi work very little before 1986.

You're blatantly wrong again. There is a chapter (chapter twelve) in the book that discusses their lives "today". The chapter on foraging/hunting with the working-hours data is from his study of the Ju/'Hoansi in the 1960s. There's even a convenient footnote at the bottom of the page which states explicitly, "The research on which this discussion is based was carried out from 1963 to 1969."

Specifically, the records Lee took of Ju/'Hoansi work-hours appear to have been collected during a four-week period in July of 1964. The dry season is from August to October. Convenient that this "average" work-load doesn't include any dry season data, eh?

Whether you're discussing the McCarthy-McArthur study, Sahlins or Lee, they all use similar misdirection and improper methodology to advance the narrative they prefer. Of the three, Lee seems to actually be one of the least blatant about it.

Also, the Lee quote about the difficulty of life during the dry season is from his doctoral dissertation in 1965, so that could hardly be said to be about the Ju`hoansi today.

At any rate, I wash my hands of this.
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Posted 1/27/17

There's a difference between whether people in two society/ place are comparatively happier and whether a person would be happier if they were to live in the society being contrasted.
So even if an 'indigenous' person is happier according to some metric living in the 'indigenous' land, it does not follow that a 'modern' person would be as happy as the 'indigenous' person if he/she adopts the same lifestyle

I certainly would not be happier if I were to give up anime or the internet to live in some wild land.


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Posted 1/27/17
That's quite the narrow point of view you have. Try broadening your horizons a bit.

My neighbor and friend used to have a friend who was a Coushatta (did I spell that right. I believe that was the tribe he mentioned) native American and one day my neighbor was drinking (like always) and griping about how wrong it is what we did to the Indians and how we would have all been better off if we had learned to live like the Indians did and be one with the land. The Native American (who's name I can't remember, I only met him maybe 2 or 3 times) is normally a pretty quite guy. He let my friend complete his rant and then grabbed his beer and looked at it for a while and said: Screw that! I like my beer. He went on to state that he really loved his new washing machine that he'd just bought. He said he's a huge fan of electricity and heating/air conditioning and then mentioned various other things like TV, internet, phones, etc but came back to his beer and said he enjoyed being able to go to any store and buy a nice cold beer. That's progress.

Obviously I'm sure not all Native Americans feel that way. Just like everyone else their opinions and the way they feel will vary from individual to individual but honestly what we did to them is so far on the tip of wrong that it seems impossible to ever tip that scale back to right. Unfortunately we can't change that now. All we can do is learn from it and try to do better now and in the future. Just imagine what our technology could have been like if we had been peaceful towards the Native Americans. I imagine our medicine would probably be well more advanced than it is now. Progress can't be stopped but we can choose how we proceed.

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Posted 1/27/17

iriomote wrote:


sinoakayumi wrote:

"The Dobe Ju/'Hoansi" discuss the current life of the Ju'hoansi; I am referring to his study of Ju'hoansi before 1986 which include data on labor other than those for foods. Anthropologists, like Richard Lee, use long-term observation to study culture so Richard Lee could easily learn many aspects of the Ju`hoansi lifestyle even when it is not part of his original study; Richard Lee do not use extrapolation for those other data because he already gather it. Also, I am referring not only to Richard Lee but also to other anthropologists, like Lorna Marshall and Marshal Sahlins, who study Ju`hoansi and they all agree that the Ju`hoansi work very little before 1986.

You're blatantly wrong again. There is a chapter (chapter twelve) in the book that discusses their lives "today". The chapter on foraging/hunting with the working-hours data is from his study of the Ju/'Hoansi in the 1960s. There's even a convenient footnote at the bottom of the page which states explicitly, "The research on which this discussion is based was carried out from 1963 to 1969."

Specifically, the records Lee took of Ju/'Hoansi work-hours appear to have been collected during a four-week period in July of 1964. The dry season is from August to October. Convenient that this "average" work-load doesn't include any dry season data, eh?

Whether you're discussing the McCarthy-McArthur study, Sahlins or Lee, they all use similar misdirection and improper methodology to advance the narrative they prefer. Of the three, Lee seems to actually be one of the least blatant about it.

Also, the Lee quote about the difficulty of life during the dry season is from his doctoral dissertation in 1965, so that could hardly be said to be about the Ju`hoansi today.

At any rate, I wash my hands of this.


I am very suspicious of your statement since you seem to be using some political tricks with your highly ambiguous statements. By "wrong again", do you mean that something is wrong just because it contradict one of your many past assumptions? You claim that Lee collect data of Ju/'Hoansi work-hours but you never state what the data show. The chapter that you are referring to may actually come from a previous book that you did not mentioned. You may also be confusing different "working-hours data" collected from different time periods. You mention the "difficulty of life during the dry season" but you do not actually state whether it is actually difficult. The "I wash my hands of this" can easily mean "I will escape responsibility for misinformation".
Posted 1/27/17
I didn't realize "social advancement" was a term.
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Posted 2/4/17
This new perspective of social progress can seriously threaten the global Capitalist propaganda: The global Capitalists claim that the first world citizen should not progress away from the mal-adaptive Capitalist system because “the third world citizen fare even worse”. They enforce this argument by projecting their spoiled kid culture into the millennial generation of the first world citizens. The desires of spoiled kids are used to explain the opposition against Capitalism so the Capitalists can justify terrorism and violation of human right. The millennials generation are told to be content with the current injustice of global Capitalism where they need to be “like their parents” who (supposedly) need to submit to the delusion and childish desires of the rich 1%. Although the Capitalists stigmatize the supposed spoiled kid culture of the anti-Capitalist opposition, this same spoiled kid culture from the economic elites is justified for promoting economic investment.

This spoiled kid culture originate from the Global economic elites who is developing a new generation of highly ego-centric childish people. This culture can be attributed to the rise of Global Capitalism where the rich 1% can use their property ownership to live on the labors of the commoners and make the commoners bear the responsibility of the rich. The Capitalists protect this spoiled kid culture by claiming that all first world citizen depend on the rich 1%. The highly anti-social disruptive behaviors from this culture can be described as ‘freakish’, ‘weird’, or ‘abnormal’ like those psychopathic characters from those psychological thriller fiction shows. This cultural promotion of personality disorders can explain why the Capitalists blame abnormal mal-adaptive behaviors to culture.

The idea that the luxury of the 1% lead to this spoiled kid culture contradict the Capitalist logic that culture determine economic condition; by claiming that first world economic luxury create mal-adaptive culture, the citizen can be convinced into abandoning free trade with its neo-colonialism since the cultural improvement can offset the lack of economic luxury. The Capitalists would then respond by claiming that economic productivity (which is supposedly maximized by the Capitalist system) is needed for social advancement and competitive advantage over other nations. However, this further contradict their phobia of Communists and their weakening power in the first world despite their superior property ownership.
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I think dragging the opposition towards your vision of the future isn't healthy. It brews contempt and that leads to suspicion and resentment and then pure old hatred. It's toxic.

If compromises can be made that is the best thing but when it can't separation is the next best thing in my opinion.
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Posted 2/4/17
one thing i wonder is why don't you go and life with the Ju’hoansi or similar group if its so good
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Posted 2/4/17

MysticGon wrote:

I think dragging the opposition towards your vision of the future isn't healthy. It brews contempt and that leads to suspicion and resentment and then pure old hatred. It's toxic.

If compromises can be made that is the best thing but when it can't separation is the next best thing in my opinion.


What are you saying? I am not being bias; I am just being objective with reasoning. You are saying that same thing as the Capitalists with your idea of "A person should not oppose the Capitalist ego-centric politics because this freedom of speech would give them a twisted sense of pride and make them no different from their oppressors"; this is the typical projection by the Capitalists used to discourage success.


dragonlord1234 wrote:

one thing i wonder is why don't you go and life with the Ju’hoansi or similar group if its so good


Can you read or are you too focused on your "us versus them" mentality? I never actually said that people should live like the hunter-gatherers; I use the Ju'hoansi traditional lifestyle to present a new view of social progress.
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Posted 2/4/17
I'm all for criticizing peoples ideas of social "advancement" and I do that quite often cause alot of what we think of as "advanced" "superior" "better" is based on some imaginary ideal, superstition and/or just sheer ignorance and stupidity that completely contradicts reality and we really think it is, and have a very adamant stance but we don't even know we're assuming in the first place. So perhaps if hunter gatherers or societies not as modernized as say the U.S do experience better bio markers of health in comparison to more modern societies (and I think it's possible) what about their "primitive" lifestyle makes that so? Depending on what it is they do or don't do could we not incorporate that into our lifestyle to reap the same benefits? Also I think part in why some people go to more modern societies is in part the promise of a better quality life but one where that better quality life is based more in a vague slogan or motto where we can thus put whatever we wanna put onto it and have hope in some sense that they meet the standards we're expecting (though that hope is based on illusion) Also maybe we could progress (whatever the fuck that means) if we had an actual defined, realistic, and dynamic standard to go off of and quite viewing ourselves and the world like garbage cause we're born into a society that fundamentally believes that and you clearly see that in our cosmology which has different names but they're all really the same imo.
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