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University of California - San Diego
Culture, Art, & Technology
Gerald Doppelt

C. Cipolla L.White Demograhphy Gender/Social Relations Roots of Urbanism Social/Political Organization Conflict/Warfare Trade Health Environmental Degradation 1. The Two New Technologies that Totally Revolutionized Human History a. Leslie White: He tried to explain why culture exists, how culture evolves, and why it takes many different forms throughout the form. i. Believed that culture was a dynamic entity that served to fit human needs. Composed of three parts: 1. Technology 2. Sociology 3. Ideology’ ii. Change of technology will inevitably change social norms. iii. Believes that man’s ability to harness energy from his environment is a central element in social evolution, and that the increased ability correlates with a complex social structure. iv. It is easy for us to study the evolution of technology over time than it is for us to study changes in sociology and ideologies because they cannot be “preserved” in the archaeological record. v. He represents the concept of cultural materialism, and is composed of three segments of human pre-history: 1. Hunting and Gathering – the exploitation of wild animals and plants forced us to become nomadic in order to harness energy. 2. Agriculture –Asubsistence system where conscious efforts are made to change and manipulate the surrounding environment to make domesticating plants and animals favorable, instead of going where the pray goes. a. Even the simplest forms of environment manipulation is a means of genetic manipulation through ridding of unfavorable species (e.g. weeds) which is a form of unnatural selection/selective breeding. b. For example, domesticated wheat holds onto its seeds after it matures to make gathering seeds easier. This was a gene
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