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Bread is officially anti-civ-compatible
#1
Remember on that radio show where JZ talked about how maybe we can't have bikes, but perhaps we can have beer? Well, it seems bread is safe too!

«Charred crumbs found in a pair of ancient fireplaces have been identified as the earliest examples of bread, suggesting it was being prepared long before the dawn of agriculture.» Yes, siree. «Using radiocarbon-dating of charred plant materials found within the hearths, the team found the fireplaces were used just over 14,000 years ago.»

«So bread was being made by hunter-gatherers before they started to cultivate any plants». That's interesting in and of itself, but it's also interesting how this «suggests that preparation of flatbread-like foods long predates the establishment of agriculture, and that farming in this region emerged within a pre-established culture of grinding and baking.»

You hear that, anarcho-primitivists? You got it all wrong! All these years criticising domestication and agriculture, and it turns out it was *bread* all along…


https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018...e-of-bread
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#2
Yeah, Scott in Against the Grain gives a lot of evidence that sedentary agriculture predates the rise of hierarchy/civilization/strict division of labor by a few thousands of years. Even while Mesopotamia was going on there were plenty of HG folks living out in the marshes who kept the city at arm's length while benefitting from it. IE trading with it, mostly trees, and occasionally raiding it for free stuff.

Anyone hear the caller for the last Anarchy Radio show? The one pressing him about intermediate tech that got cut off at the end? I really hope she calls back to continue that conversation with him later. He sounded frustrated but also that he couldn't brush it off cause she was kinda weaponizing the "ableist" accusation to force a response from him about life-sustaining tech for people with special needs.

I laughed out loud when he was talking about someone pedalling a bike to power an iron lung. I really hope he doesn't actually think that is a solution...
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#3
The concept of intermediate technology was developed by E.F. Schumacher and is described in his book "Small is beautiful". The goal, as he saw it, is to industrialise developing countries more efficiently. The main point is that a developing country "can't afford" establishing work places at the level of tech in already "developed" countries, and it makes sense to me. Still, intermediate tech is all about industrial development by way of division of labour, people going into the mines and so on.

I don't know how familiar the caller (not null?) is with the concept, but from what I remember she was talking about how important computers and the internet is to communicate with "her crew". I guess computers can be intermediate tech if we are talking  raspberry pi or something like that, but I doubt the internet as we know it can be sustained via intermediate tech.

But maybe intermediate tech could be "used for good", put on its head. That is, as a means to deindustrialise industrialised countries. But that would require states/corporations/capitalists, someone with power to plan and set up factories etc., to want that...
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