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Notes on video lecture:
Agriculture: The Good and the Bad
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
villages, cultivating, outpaced, diet, harder, Jericho, wheat, agriculture, foraging, collective, sanitary, omnivorous, domesticated, externally, difficult, individuals, agriculture, evolution, accumulation, affluence
the life of farmers and peasants was quite                    compared to the way of life of previous Homo sapiens
as humans slowly became dependent on           , there is much that it did not offer us:
it's very clear that wheat did not offer us a better         
humans are                     , they survive by eating a very wide variety of foodstuffs
grains like wheat made up only a small fraction of the human diet before the agricultural revolution
a diet based on grains and cereals is poor in minerals and vitamins, and is hard to digest compared to other foods
did not offer humans more security
the life of a peasant is usually less secure than the life of a hunter/gatherer
you are economically and existentially at risk when your diet is based mainly on just one or two types of domesticated plants like rice or wheat or corn
e.g. flooding or parasites will cause starvation
hunters/gathers gather and eat many different foodstuffs so is not effected when one type of food is effected by e.g. disease or flooding or drought
did not offer safety from human violence
in the transition from hunting and gathering to                       , humans had less room for compromise for their conflicts
                 bands, when saw that it was losing in a conflict with an enemy, it could usually move on to a different place
peasants in towns, when threatened either internally or                     , it was much less feasible for them to move, as retreat meant to give up the fields, houses, animals, and basically all their livelihood
since if they moved they would probably die of starvation, they would usually fight to the death in their                 
violence was eventually brought under control with the advent of larger social structures but it took thousands of years, but at first, the life as a                          farmer or peasant was not more secure than living in a flexible and mobile hunter/gather clan
most people today enjoy an extremely higher degree of                    and security than what people experienced in throughout history
we tend to think that the transition from hunter/gatherer life to agriculture was an improvement in human life, but it looks this way only from the perspective of the early 21th century.
what did wheat offer humans in return for humans adopting the difficult life of agriculture which made wheat one of the most widespread and populous plants on the planet?
the answer is: wheat did not offer much for people as                       
however, wheat did give something to Homo sapiens as a                     , it enabled humans to produce more food per area of land
all this extra food enabled the number of Homo sapiens to grow exponentially, it enabled many more people to live in the same territory
one of the earliest villages began to grow about 9,000 years ago in               
individuals working the fields and living in villages were probably more hungry, less healthy and less happy than their hunter/gatherer forefathers, but there were many more of them, and unfortunately, evolution measures success not by the amount of hunger or pain or suffering, but by the numbers of copies of DNA in existence of a particular species. If there are no more copies of a species, it goes extinct and is an evolutionary dead-end. If the species has many copies of its DNA spreading around, it is considered an evolutionary success. As far as                    is concerned, 1,000 copies of a particular DNA is always better than 100 copies of a DNA no matter what the condition of that plant or animal happens to be. The effect of the agricultural revolution was to keep many more people alive under worse conditions, and this was largely brought about by wheat.
but why would any individual care about the evolutionary calculus? why would any hunter/forager willingly become a farmer and start working the fields 10-12 hours a day to produce plants which could support more people.
one answer is that there was never a conscious, one-time decision, it was an                          of many small steps with no step being the decisive transition
but it is clear that by 8,500 BC, the Middle East was already populated by communities which spent them time cultivating wheat and barley
the more they cultivated, the less time they had to hunt and forage
the more people, the less ability to hunt and gather
life in villages enabled women to have a baby every year rather than every two or three years which was the case with hunter-gatherers
women hunter-gathers would wait until their children could walk by themselves before having another baby
in villages there was always work to be done in the fields which encourage women to have as many children as possible
infectious diseases were passed from domesticated animals to people
                 conditions were worse in villages, e.g. sewage
people living close together
wheat porridge for breakfast, wheat bread for lunch, and wheat gruel for dinner led to a weakened immune system
hunter-gatherer babies subsisted on their mother's milk longer, peasant babies ate wheat gruel much earlier, therefore in village, a third of the babies died before reaching adulthood
yet birth still                  death and so humans became more numerous
                       fields of plants is less suitable for the mind and body than wondering in the forest in search of rabbits and deer and mushrooms
with passing of time, this wheat bargain became more burdensome for Homo sapiens
the average person in Jericho in 8500 BC lived a              life than the average person in Jericho in 13000 BC
each generation continued to live like their parents but with little improvements in agriculture to make the new life of                        more tolerable, and each of these improvements added together to a heavy burden, i.e. farmers have a lot of work from sun up to sun down
The Context of History and Our Extended Human Family
How Walking Upright Led to Better Social and Cooperative Skills
The Importance of Fire and Cooking
Why Did Other Human Species Become Extinct?
The Cognitive Revolution and the Beginning of Human History
The Language of Homo Sapiens
How Fictive Language Enabled Larger Social Groups
The Power of Imagined Realities
How the Ability to Tell Stories Enabled Humans to Cooperate in Massive Groups
The Cognitive Revolution and the Variety of Human Communities
Spiritual Beliefs of Early Humans
Politics and Warfare of Pre-Agricultural Societies
45,000 Years Ago: Human's Decimation of Australia's Large Mammals
14,000 BC: Human Migration to the Americas
Agriculture: The Good and the Bad
10,000 BC: Agricultural Revolution
The Origins of Agriculture
The Code of Hammurabi and Other Imagined Realities
Inter-Subjective Reality and Romantic Consumerism
The Human Brain's Outsourcing of Mathematics
Unjust and Imagined Hierarchies
Imagined Hierarchies in History
Culturally Defined Gender
Three Theories of Gender Domination
The Direction of Humankind: Global Unity
The Essence of Money
The History of Money
The Historical Definition of Empire
The Relationship between Science, European Imperialism and Capitalism
Science, Capitalism and European Imperialism
Columbus: Last Man of the Middle Ages, Vespucci: First Man of the Modern Age
European Empires, Science, and Capitalism
How Capitalism is Based on Trust in the Future
On the Interdependence of Science and Capitalism
How Capitalism Enabled Small European Countries to Explore and Conquer the World
The Relationship Between Capitalism, the Slave Trade, and Free Market Forces
Industrialization, Energy and Raw Materials
The Second Agricultural Revolution and its Effect on Animal Treatment
The Ethics of Capitalism and Consumerism
On Limitless Energy Resources and the Hegemony of Modern Time Schedules
State/Market vs. Family/Community
Humankind's Rigid and Violent Past, and Flexible and Peaceful Present
Reasons for Our Current Unprecedented Era of International Peace
Three Theories on the History of Happiness
Psychological and Biological Happiness
Measuring Human Happiness
The Future of Cyborgs and Robots
What Do We Want to Want?