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W. Davis: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World

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katrinka Avatar
Posted: 06.30.11, 12:12 PM
To Soylent: Many of the indigenous people are not choosing at all to "get out of poverty". They are being forced out of their natural systems way of life because our spiritually impoverished Progress is wiping out their home and land. You seem to be one that must suffering inner misery, having so little ability to feel empathy and respect for others who may think and live differently than you. I hope that you're able to find peace in your heart before departing this life. Or, as Rocket Dog suggests, you may find yourself a pet of those Martian anthropologists.
navarreg Avatar
Posted: 01.20.11, 01:23 AM
It seems that whenever someone points out cultural artifacts that may be helpful to us at this point in our development, some other person feels the need to point out that many of these cultures were violent. Without a doubt, the likelihood of dying in a developed country from murder is much smaller than in an ancient society. However, ideas, like equations, should be separable from the individuals, groups, and nations who developed them. If something detrimental is implicit within the system of ideas that makes up a culture, as in most mainstream monotheistic religions today, then we should see if there are ideas we can extract, and toss what does not stand critical analysis and application to what we know today. We don't look at pacifists like Jains and say, well, India was a violent place back then, so we can forget about that. Or, those Chinese monks came from a country that was perpetually rife with dynastic violence and internecine warfare. Often is groups, or even individuals within societies who are to blame, not the ideas. It's very counterproductive, even dangerous to disregard whole bodies of ideas so uncritically. Of course, this is a great talk, and there isn't much to say besides that. I just don't like the idea of people looking at world philosophies as totally invalid because human beings then, as today, cannot help but indulge their reptilian impulses, at least not without practice and training. People in the future, if they exist, will look on today's developed world as detached consumers passively instigating barbarous acts for their benefit around the world - no better than people of the past. Regardless of whether people were violent in the past, we should look at ourselves and come up with a vision of the future, realizing that we are alone. We must assume full responsibility for our actions, and shape our societies with careful thought towards the reasonable result of such organization, through our reasoned individual sacrifice and action. Of course, to do this means to put aside the intermediary of mass media to really see and assess the facts of the what the world is like today. It takes thoughtful people who understand what they are, what they need, and what they do not need. Of course, these are all ideas which have been stated by many philosophies of the past, but now we have the weight of modern science and technology to verify and promote them, if we are so willing.
aiacopino Avatar
Posted: 04.03.10, 01:37 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by Rob Tamaki Intriguing discussion, but he gets hung up on this human-caused global warming thing, including the assertion that the Himalayan glaciers will disappear in 30 years. He is obviously not up to speed on the latest IPCC crisis, where that claim has been proven to have been false, derived from an non peer-reviewed article. The Himalayan glaciers are not going anywhere, anytime soon. However, the same can't be said for Rachendra Pachauri, the chair of the IPCC, whose days are numbered over this glacier scandal and his ties major investment groups who greatly benefit from climate alarmism. And you probably will vote for Sarah Palin... uh
Soylent Avatar
Posted: 04.02.10, 07:22 AM
Re Adma: "You seem to accept that desperate poverty as a given that can't be changed." I can't see why you'd think that. These people are busy getting the hell out of poverty, that is WHY these cultures are dying. Saving these cultures necessarily involves keeping people in unecessary misery. Without doing damage the best you could do is record what little you can before they implode. "And dismissing cultures as romantic drivel is pretty much tautological not to mention condecending." I'm dismissing the nonsense comming out of cultural-diveristy-fetishists as romantic drivel. Some cultures are preferable to others; it is not any of my business to try and rank them in any kind of order of preference but it takes concerted effort to ignore the reailty that when people get to chose their cultural identity a few cultures are left winners and the vast majority implode. "The big idea and lesson from this talk I think is not to try to stop technical, economic or scientific changes but rather transform cultures and thinking about different cultures so that respect and co-existence can flourish." I have no idea what that even means. People are abandoning their maladaptive and backwards culture in mass and no amount of tolerance, respect or peaceful coexistance will prevent these people from ditching their culture like a dirty diaper. "Maybe it's romantic but is that necessarily wrong?" Depends on what you intend to do about it.
adma Avatar
Posted: 03.15.10, 06:12 PM
To Soylent: You seem to accept that desperate poverty as a given that can't be changed. And dismissing cultures as romantic drivel is pretty much tautological not to mention condecending. The big idea and lesson from this talk I think is not to try to stop technical, economic or scientific changes but rather transform cultures and thinking about different cultures so that respect and co-existence can flourish. Maybe it's romantic but is that necessarily wrong?
Soylent Avatar
Posted: 03.13.10, 01:47 PM
Romantic drivel. The reason these languages are dying is that nobody cares to learn them; not even the people who are most affected by their cultures disappearance. The reason they don't is that they are able to choose to get out of desperate poverty, chose to make themselves understood by a wider audience, choose technology over religious mumbo jumbo, choose a better life for themselves. That's why they are ditching their culture like a dirty diaper as soon as they can. There is no gentle nudging that can stop this process. If you want to stop it, it will take nothing less than massive physical violence and threats of violence against the very people you purport to care about.
GreatBigBore Avatar
Posted: 03.12.10, 04:55 AM
@Rob Tamaki re: your post about Davis' fixation on human-caused warming: It might be that he has his facts wrong about the Himalayan glaciers, I don't know. But at 01:46 :45 he talks about his own first-hand experience watching indigenous Andean people refrain from chipping ice from the glacier because they see it receding with their own eyes. I don't think they're waiting around for a peer review.
bremont Avatar
Posted: 02.23.10, 04:38 PM
"you can call that a monotheistic world media empire" organism from another galaxy have a problem of time their own time is not the same as ours. they have the capability of existing after today and before, but not in the immediate point in time. a kind of x ray entity if you like. however they do are able to get inside you because of their own time structure, which is different than ours. on the other hand they have visit us before. when they enter a human body you can call that enlightenment from your own perspective but it is just a chemical reaction of subatomic particles that reacts between your time and their point in time. all inhabitants of the solar system are alike.
Utsav Avatar
Posted: 02.06.10, 09:50 PM
This talk was wildly fascinating and eye opening but he leaves out that these cultures were also exceedingly violent, had little concepts of human rights, and took women whenever they chose. Evidence of progress can be measured by these things right? not necessarily technology as he says. we need to weigh in on these issues he leaves out before making conclusions on who we are and where we go from here. on the other hand, what royal dutch shell does and how our "society" seeks to marginalize the marginalized, its talks like these that really show us what that we are doing is despicable
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