william_kent

Well-known member
Ray Mears is very keen on stressing that the food you forage should provide more energy than you're expending to find it

maybe this video should go in the Australians thread, but it demonstrates the points made by @IdleRich - a bunch of people are left in the wilderness, they start dropping out of the experiment as due to their uselessness at finding food they can hardly move to find the food which would enable them to move ...

 

suspended

Well-known member
Ray Mears is very keen on stressing that the food you forage should provide more energy than you're expending to find it

maybe this video should go in the Australians thread, but it demonstrates the points made by @IdleRich - a bunch of people are left in the wilderness, they start dropping out of the experiment as due to their uselessness at finding food they can hardly move to find the food which would enable them to move ...

This was a great watch.
 

suspended

Well-known member
yeah, pretty illuminating in that i think despite our 21st C lives we all wonder what it would be like, and the brutal truth is that unless you've invested 5 minutes of your 21st C lifetstyle in watching a yt vid on snaring & skinning rabbits we're up the dunny
Nevermind that:
- They're wearing industrially manufactured clothes, rain slickers, thick sweaters that prevent them from freezing to death
- All their hunting catches use industrial tools (wire, chicken wire, an axe for the guana)
- The needed a steel axe to cut down trees
- They had a big stash of oats
 

suspended

Well-known member
In other words, it is much much harder to survive than the video shows. Like, maybe 2 orders of magnitude. 100x harder.

No, you don't have string and wire. You need to collect fibers from plants and then make a rope, good fuckin luck.

What gets us through that is cultural evolution. It's incredible. Henri Lefebvre talks about human history as the history of accumulated capital: material objects but also traditions, knowledge. Joe Henrich talks a lot about European explorers who got lost in the bush, how hard it was to survive, how many starved to death, despite so much technology and training and preparation. Meanwhile, a few miles away, an aboriginal/Inuit settlement lives happily and healthily. How? Cultural evolution. Traditions of knowledge.

It's like nixtamilization and corn. Hundreds of thousands of Europeans died when corn got introduced to Europe as a staple carb, because they didn't know how to nixtamlize it, so they become Vitamin B deficient and die. Took centuries of science to figure out why. Meanwhile, the American Indians just knew that you had to cook corn in ash and lime, or bad shit happened.

Or finally, arbor vitalis—the cedar tree, the tree of life. French explorer in the 16th C, his entire crew, dying of scurvy. Meanwhile, there was Vitamin C in abundance all around them in the cedar leaves. The Montreal Indians took one look at their yellow skin, made them a team, cured it overnight.
 

suspended

Well-known member
This is also basically the idea behind Chesterton's fence—that, if you come across a metaphorical "fence" (cultural practice) whose purpose you don't understand, you shouldn't rip it out unless you're certain you understand why it was erected.

Because there's always a reason. People don't spend weeks putting up a fence for no reason.

The complexity of the world and its problems for human life are vast

And the solutions we've designed to fix them sometimes get buried in culture

If you're constantly saying, "This seems silly, let's toss it out," you can get into trouble pretty quick

Any island/coastal people that lives partially off semi-toxic fish ends up with a taboo against eating fish when you're pregnant. Do they know that the fish are toxic to developing fetuses? No. But hundreds or thousands of years ago, someone noticed that e.g. the one woman in the tribe who didn't eat fish, her babies were way healthier/smarter/etc. Or that the one woman who gorged herself on fish ended up with a stunted baby. Or that in years everyone's diet was fish-heavy, the babies turned out bad. Whatever. So they made a taboo, incorporated it into their religion, and now the solution is embedded within their culture.
 

sufi

lala
This is also basically the idea behind Chesterton's fence—that, if you come across a metaphorical "fence" (cultural practice) whose purpose you don't understand, you shouldn't rip it out unless you're certain you understand why it was erected.

Because there's always a reason. People don't spend weeks putting up a fence for no reason.

The complexity of the world and its problems for human life are vast

And the solutions we've designed to fix them sometimes get buried in culture

If you're constantly saying, "This seems silly, let's toss it out," you can get into trouble pretty quick

Any island/coastal people that lives partially off semi-toxic fish ends up with a taboo against eating fish when you're pregnant. Do they know that the fish are toxic to developing fetuses? No. But hundreds or thousands of years ago, someone noticed that e.g. the one woman in the tribe who didn't eat fish, her babies were way healthier/smarter/etc. Or that the one woman who gorged herself on fish ended up with a stunted baby. Or that in years everyone's diet was fish-heavy, the babies turned out bad. Whatever. So they made a taboo, incorporated it into their religion, and now the solution is embedded within their culture.
well yeah, we don't have any of that good stuff left though,
all we have is discarded chicken wire and a few rusty beercans
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
This was a great watch.
I enjoyed it too. Looks very very difficult in that spot though. There seemed to be very little to forage and that means you're instantly relying on catching rabbits or fish. When they started discussing making a bow and arrow to try and shoot a wallaby though... that was ridiculous. If I had been on their team I think that would have been the point when I knew we were completely and utterly fucked.
There were bits where they kept banging on about Mike being the only one who knew what he was doing. They asked someone what they would have done if Mike died and I thought she missed a trick by not saying "Well, that would have been great we could have feasted for days on him".
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Baboon. That's when he left. Weird guy.
Baboon accused everyone of being gay? That doesn't sound like him at all... he's not a weird guy, I mean I don't know how one measures these things but I would have said he was one of the most normal of the dissensians.
 

luka

Well-known member
yeah, i think he was under a lot of stress at the time maybe. he was acting really weird.
 

luka

Well-known member
really highly strung. kept exploding at the drop of a pin. you were away at the time. it was a febrile period in dissensus history.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
That is strange, he used to play in one of my 5-a-side teams and he did fall out with one of the other players in a possibly slightly uncharacteristic manner on the last game of the season, just before he was about to move to Brum. But in his defence, it was entirely the other guy's fault so I can't really say it was evidence of high strungness. But, now I think back to it, even given - let me emphasize - that he was in the right, maybe he did get more annoyed than he might have done normally. Possibly the whole move and job thing that went with it may have been stressing him out...
Since then I have chatted to him online a little and I thought he seemed pretty happy, doing well etc I was supposed to go to his wedding but Liza's dad died and so I had to go to a funeral in Chelyabinsk instead. Real shame cos I haven't seen him since...
 
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