1. What Do We Define as Progress
a. Some say it composes of technological advancement, improvement in quality of
health and social life, and moral/ethical advancement.
i. Actual laws imposed for morality/ethics
ii. More machine labor than human labor
iii. Faster and more efficient good productions
iv. Social connections greatly expanded
v. Communications are lightning speed
vi. Puts us in a position to help others who are less fortunate
i. Very sedentary lifestyle (not as healthy). The world comes to us
ii. Domesticated bullying (privacy and security)
iii. Wide access to information means you can be entrenched in your own
iv. Tremendous inequality in social living/health
v. We become desensitized to social qualms
vi. Changed the aspect of war (distance fighting and radar detection, not
vii. Equal education but not equal health care
viii. Still high level of racism.
3. Assumptions about Todays’ Society
a. We generally assume that because of technological advancements, our lifestyle
was overall “better.”
a. Main subsistence strategies and time required for food acquisition: They are
mainly hunter gatherers who spend about 20 hours per day gathering meat and
foraging mostly for a specific nut.
b. Very nutritious diet. In general, everybody has enough food. No-one is starving
unless there is a system-wide disaster. They share foods and values.
c. Very egalitarian and humble society, and everyone values the contributions of
everyone in the society. d. Not much of a hierarchy, but more importance is placed on elders and women,
although there is no status difference. Men perceive their work as gifts to women.
e. In a society as small as theirs, they don’t want individuals to believe that they are
better than themselves in terms of the values of their “contributions.”
5. Modern U.S.
a. Very fast-paced and non-stagnant lifestyle. We are very self-interested and think
in terms of our benefit.
b. We would perceive ourselves as less healthy than other neighboring societies.
c. Low sense of community, everyone is walking around, but not talking to each
other. There are a lot of crimes, especially anonymous crimes that hurt other
people, strangers even. This is a stark contrast to societies like the Ju/Wasi.
d. Everything revolves around this piece of paper that we assume as our currency.
e. The ego is nurtured in our society, and we like to emotionally pamper ourselves.
f. Huge status differential; not seen so much in the public, but in personal
institutions. Status determined by materialistic things such as cars and clothes
6. We have an idea about humanity as having steadily improved over the centuries; that we
have gotten better, smarter-that some clever folks just realized that we could produce
food in a more efficient way. In addition, we also believe that the reason that we are so
technologically advanced as compared to other countries is because we are just
smarter. However, this “steady improvement” is not all for good.
a. For example, with industrialized food production, we may be able to produce
more food for a growing population, but it is not nearly as efficient. In addition,
the food we produce is not nearly as nutritious as natural foods that other