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We start our story of information revolutions by looking at the earliest societies – the hunter/gatherers of the ice age. Unfortunately, there is little we can say about their use of information because we cannot see or question them directly.
However, since modern hunter/gatherers get their living in a similar way, by hunting and gathering, we can look at their life ways and then modify that view by what we know about the hunter/gatherers of the last ice age.
Modern immediate return hunter/gatherers:
- Get their living through what they know rather than by what they own
- Perceive the world to be plentiful rather than scarce
- Work little and live well
- Share material goods yet have no “free rider” problem
- Are non-violent for the most part
- Are gender, class, and age egalitarian
- Support individual autonomy
- Are highly mobile
- See no reason for storing or preserving food or other goods
- Know about agriculture but do not practice it unless forced by Western or Western inspired governments
If we want to project backwards we have to modify this picture. Today’s hunter/gatherers live separated from other hunter/gatherer cultures, in secluded pockets of the globe, that are generally considered useless by modern M-adapted peoples whereas ice age hunter/gatherers:
Lived in prime ecological conditions rather than in small secluded pockets
Followed the animals they hunted over long distances
Had global or continental egalitarian networked cultures coming together when the animals came together
This shows that both original or Ur hunter/gatherers and modern immediate return hunter/gatherers live in pure I-adapted cultures because they get their living based on what they know rather than on what they own. Status as well as welfare is based on sharing goods and information.
This all suggests an Eden that few would leave for the drudgery of agriculture, which makes us question why it was started in the first place.