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On the inevitability of i...
Forum: Philosophy
Last Post: Liminal D
7 hours ago
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let's settle this once an...
Forum: Politics
Last Post: alexander
Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:39:07 +0000, 09:39 AM
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Air pollution particles i...
Forum: Health & Psyche
Last Post: alexander
Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:29:56 +0000, 03:29 PM
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Embarrassment of bodily f...
Forum: Health & Psyche
Last Post: alexander
Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:18:29 +0000, 01:18 PM
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Defining Domestication
Forum: Anthropology & History
Last Post: Odin
Sat, 15 Sep 2018 01:56:47 +0000, 01:56 AM
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The Plausibility of Anti-...
Forum: Philosophy
Last Post: Odin
Sat, 08 Sep 2018 08:23:38 +0000, 08:23 AM
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'We were made the same as...
Forum: Anthropology & History
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Sat, 08 Sep 2018 04:09:13 +0000, 04:09 AM
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Black 47
Forum: Anthropology & History
Last Post: joe pass
Thu, 06 Sep 2018 09:13:09 +0000, 09:13 AM
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Forum: Everything else
Last Post: alexander
Sat, 01 Sep 2018 09:02:37 +0000, 09:02 AM
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Film thread
Forum: Culture & Art
Last Post: Odin
Fri, 31 Aug 2018 17:25:36 +0000, 05:25 PM
» Replies: 18
» Views: 6,010

  On the inevitability of it all
Posted by: alexander - Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:36:25 +0000, 09:36 AM - Forum: Philosophy - Replies (1)

I'm interested in your thoughts on the inevitability of our doom.

I will be posing my question as a response to the article featured in this thread: https://anti-civ.net/showthread.php?tid=428

Here is a short summary of the article (although it is worth reading in full):

A «[ n ]ew study argues that the greatest defining feature of our species
is not 'symbolism' or dramatic cognitive change but rather its unique
ecological position as a global 'general specialist'.»

These scientists suggest that «investigations into what it means to be
human should shift from attempts to uncover the earliest material traces
of 'art', 'language', or technological 'complexity' towards
understanding what makes our species ecologically unique.» Our «ability
to occupy diverse and 'extreme' settings around the world stands in
stark contrast to the ecological adaptations of other hominin taxa, and
may explain how our species became the last surviving hominin on the
planet.» Unlike the other species, «our species not only colonized a
diversity of challenging environments, including deserts, tropical
rainforests, high altitude settings, and the palaeoarctic, but also
specialized in its adaptation to some of these extremes».

This raises the question: was this all inevitable?

In philosophy we often talk about the two extremes of technological thinking: instrumentalism (we use technology to accomplish stuff), and determinism (technology is in charge, and we can't stop it). Most (all?) thinkers are somewhere in between those extremes, balancing them. I think that Ivan Illich's insight about tools for conviviality are pertinent to how we think about this. Are we expressing ourselves with our "tool for conviviality", or are we mere expressions of the machine, like with Tolkien's ring of power? The problem is further complicated by the fact that even simple tools are inherently problematic. If I have a sufficiently simple hammer (i.e. anyone can make it without division of labour), and use it to hammer in something to express myself by hammering two sticks together somehow, I can then put the hammer down, or give it away—whatever. But what if I'm better at hammering two sticks together than everyone else? Why would they make their own hammer, when they can just get me to do it? Thus deskilling. And then specialisation. It all seems fundamentally inevitable.

Put succinctly—if perhaps overly dramatically—was behavioural modernity simply a death sentence?

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  let's settle this once and for all
Posted by: Lilith - Tue, 18 Sep 2018 05:21:10 +0000, 05:21 AM - Forum: Politics - Replies (1)

I'm a Communist. As far as I can tell there will be no end exploitation save the abolition of capitalism and I don't see where civilization has anything to do with it. This is not the point however, I can argue about capitalism vs. civilization another time.

My main point of contention with anti-civ is something personal to me. I have a girlfriend who is transgender and I'm worried what would happen to her if she were to live in a technology-less post-civ world. She needs modern medicine so that she can transition and I can't ever see her departing from that. 

I know accusations of transphobia against anti-civ is common. So I'm here to settle this once and for all. in your own words, how can my trans girlfriend exist in a world that doesn't meet her needs?

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  Air pollution particles in mothers' placentas
Posted by: alexander - Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:29:56 +0000, 03:29 PM - Forum: Health & Psyche - No Replies

There's now direct evidence for toxic air travelling through the bodies of mothers, and going into the placenta. With toxic air already being strongly linked to foetuses foetuses, «researchers say it is quite possible the particles entered the foetuses too.»


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  Embarrassment of bodily function
Posted by: alexander - Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:18:29 +0000, 01:18 PM - Forum: Health & Psyche - No Replies

Amusing/ridiculous/idiotic thing from Norway: A mall has to change its floors because of flooding due to girls leaving the bathroom taps on. They open the taps before doing their business, so as to conceal their bodily functions. Apparently this is customary. And, further, it's customary to not close the taps, for some reason that remains obscure to me—a simple soul that has yet to ascend to this apogee of civilisation where it is considered uncivilised to pee and poo.

It seems that this nonsense happens regularly, and all over (at least in Norway). The newspaper interview a few teenage girls who say that it's become embarrassing for girls to go to the toilet. One of them say that they don't think this is a passing fad—girls do it automatically when going to the bathroom.

Source (in Norwegian): https://www.nrk.no/hordaland/frykter-jen...1.14207682

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  Defining Domestication
Posted by: Odin - Sat, 15 Sep 2018 01:56:47 +0000, 01:56 AM - Forum: Anthropology & History - No Replies

Defining domestication with anthropologist Tim Ingold:


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  The Plausibility of Anti-Civilization Without Anarcho-Primitivism: A Critique of Murr
Posted by: Odin - Sat, 08 Sep 2018 08:23:38 +0000, 08:23 AM - Forum: Philosophy - No Replies

Initially fooled by the title, ‘The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy’, I now step into a one-way argument with Murray on his wished-for a-hierarchal societal utopia (his word). That’s right, yet another proposed form of society, this one scientifically adept at living in sync with nature. Ah, I sense I am walking straight toward the ‘plausibility of anti-civ without anprim’ dilemma, on which I’ve never fleshed out my thinking. But soon Murray begins attacking back, launching hysterical shots at anarcho-primitivism. A two-way argument with a dead author? After grinding through his 1991 ‘Twenty Years Later, Seeking a Balanced Viewpoint’ add-on introduction, positioned just before the original introduction, I stop pulling out my hair and redirect my fingers to the keyboard.


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  'We were made the same as the sand'
Posted by: Odin - Sat, 08 Sep 2018 04:09:13 +0000, 04:09 AM - Forum: Anthropology & History - No Replies

Survival International article:

"I do not want this life,’ says a Gana Bushman. ‘First they make us destitute by taking away our way of life, then they say we are nothing because we are destitute.’


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  Black 47
Posted by: joe pass - Thu, 06 Sep 2018 09:13:09 +0000, 09:13 AM - Forum: Anthropology & History - No Replies

New movie out about the potato "famine" in Ireland (known in Ireland as an gorta mor, which translates from Gaelige as the big hunger - aka the genocide of poor Irish people by landlords, and the "progress" brought to Ireland by the Brits.

[Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6znv9iBG...ture=share]

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  Primitive Technology
Posted by: alexander - Wed, 29 Aug 2018 13:57:09 +0000, 01:57 PM - Forum: Skills & Decivilising - No Replies

Fun YouTube channel where they construct various tools for survival. I haven't dived into it yet, but most of these seem at least vaguely interesting.


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  Air pollution makes you stupid
Posted by: alexander - Tue, 28 Aug 2018 20:37:45 +0000, 08:37 PM - Forum: Environment - Replies (1)

«Air pollution causes seven million premature deaths a year but the harm to people’s mental abilities is less well known.» One thing that seems to be the case however, is that it makes you stupid.

«Air pollution causes a “huge” reduction in intelligence, according to new research, indicating that the damage to society of toxic air is far deeper than the well-known impacts on physical health.» That's problematic, considering that 95% of the world's population is breathing unsafe air. High levels of pollution leads «to significant drops in test scores in language and arithmetic, with the average impact equivalent to having lost a year of the person’s education.» It affects old people the most severely. And the longer you're exposed, the more it affects you. And it's only getting worse.


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