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Notes on video lecture:
The Origins of Agriculture
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
choices, luxuries, wheat, increased, miscalculation, improve, relaxed, 2500, spiritual, single, temples, sedentary, pillars, generations, 9000, Göbekli, gruel
the agricultural revolution occurred very gradually
a collection of attempts to                life resulted in a more difficult life for most humans
why did humans make these                to make their lives more difficult
it was a                             , as in other times in history
they were unable to foresee the full consequences of their choices
every time they decided to do extra work, e.g. to carry water from the river into the wheat fields, they reasoned that doing this would bring about a better life, e.g. the harvest will be more plentiful
the basic rule: if you work harder, you will have a better life for you and your children
they did work harder but in general, life was not easier or safer for humans
the number of children                    (hunter-gatherer women tended to have a child once the previous child was able to walk, i.e. every three years)
they had more food, but they will have more people to feed
feeding children with more porridge and            instead of mother's milk would make them weaker and more sickly
increasing their dependence on a              source of food like wheat, they increase the risk when calamities strike such a droughts
stockpiling food such as wheat grain tempted enemies to invade
even in good years, they will have to build walls, guard cities, and fight wars
why did humans not abandon this plan?
because it took                        to realize this, and by then, nobody ever really remembered how they use to live as hunters and gathers, most stories passed down were of the nature, "we use to have far less food"
there were too many people to go back to a hunter-gatherer life, people would starve if they went back to hunting and gathering
in this way, humans became trapped in a worse way of life
like a college student who wants to be a musician but decided to study computers in order to make money and retire at 30, there are unforeseen factors that arise
even if it works, you then have obligations and habits which prevent you from going back to your dream
this is what happened to our peasants ancestors
history has few laws which are always true, but one of the laws which is mostly true is that                  tend to become necessities
once people get used to a certain habit or luxury, they begin to count on it and take it for granted, and eventually they reach the position where they can't live without it
today we create devices to make our lives more               , mostly we think they make our life easy
e.g. before e-mails it was difficult, expensive and slow to write to someone, now with e-mails we can do this within minutes
but do we live a more relaxed life because of the invention of e-mails? in many cases, the answer it ironically no
yes, e-mails make writing easier but the life of writing emails is not easier and more relaxed
there are some people who don't use e-mail, and if you went back 10,000 years ago, you would find that not all bands had given up their forager life, but the agricultural revolution required only one group of humans for it to eventually spread to the rest
since farming creating the conditions for growth of populations (                   mothers who could have a baby each year)
also when it came to conflict, peasants and farmers would almost always win over foragers since their sheer number
so once the move to agriculture started, the life of hunters and foragers was reduced incident by incident, year by year
the move to agriculture was a luxury trap that carried with it important lessons for humanity: that the search and constant progression towards an easier life releases forces of change that transform the world in ways that nobody could foresee and in ways that we ultimately may not find desirable.
History is full of series of decisions that fulfill short-term needs and desires but ultimately lead to large, unforeseen and undesirable results.
alternative explanation to the agricultural revolution
what brought about the agricultural revolution was not a search for a new life, but a                    aspiration
perhaps they were aware of the sacrifices of becoming peasants and farmers
archeologists have discovered an interesting site which gives credit to this theory
                         Tepe
in lowest stratum, they didn't discover houses but monumental structures with huge                decorated with engravings
stone pillars covered with animals and creatures
similar to Stone Henge
dates to about          B.C. and was built by a developed agricultural society
Göbekli Tepe, on the other hand, is dated to          B.C. and evidence suggests that those who created it were not farmers but hunter/gatherers
it suggests that the skills of hunter/gathers was more developed than suspected
why would a hunter/gathers build such structures
cultural or religious purpose
they believed in these cultural or religious system enough to dedicate hundreds of thousands of manhours to build these structures
another discovery at Göbekli Tepe
it is very likely that the cultural center at Göbekli Tepe was connected to the cultivation of           , i.e. in order to feed the large number of people who built Göbekli Tepe, it was necessary to find a food source that would feed them all, and hence the cultivation of wheat
we usually think that villages come before               , that pioneers first build a village, and when the village is properous enough they set up a temple
but archeological site of Göbekli Tepe suggests that the temple was built first and villages only later grew around it
and that the initial reason for agriculture was for a cultural or religious purpose, and not for an economic purpose
even if a strong connection between cultural/religious motives and the agricultural revolution is found, it doesn't explain the move to agriculture in other parts of the world such as North and South America
but it will prove that cultural and religion could have played a part in the agricultural revolution
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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
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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?