Early Civilizations and Why I Despise All of Them


Civilization is one of those things that at
the time, probably seemed pretty NEAT. But actually isn’t. The reason why is this guy. Before people farmed, people hunted and gathered. And they did this for a long time, we’re
talking millions of years. Whereas farmers have been around for 10-12
thousand years. Our species has spent
over 90% of its existence just hunting and gathering. Which means that we’re much more adapted
for hunting rather than farming. The point I’m trying to make is that we’re not really adapted for this new civilization thing. We’re meant to live in the woods and poke things with sticks. The fact that we’re not doing this is what leads to a lot of our modern day issues, Like depression, isolation, insomnia, obesity,
diabetes, chronic stress, over-working, middle school. I think you get the point. But how does agriculture
lead to this? Let’s talk about Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia was one of the first agricultural
societies, and also had some of the first famines This isn’t to say that hunter/gatherers
never starved, but if they did, they could easily just pick up their stuff and get to where the getting
was good. You can’t really do this with an entire
civilization. If you have too much rain or too little, the crop dies, and everyone starves.
If you have too much sun or too little, the crop dies, and everyone starves. And then
you’ve also got pests, diseases, and natural disasters that can ruin your crop, and then
everyone starves. But if…… But if your crop survives, you can feed a
lot of people. Like, a lot of people. And this leads to its own problems. Now we have lots of food, which means we can
feed lots of people. But getting lots of food to lots of people is very difficult in an
early civilization. So, people start living in cities. But cities sucked! They suck because now lots of people have
to live on top of each other. And some of these people take care of livestock,
which means that they are now more prone to get animal borne diseases. And of course, since people are living on
top of each other, diseases now spread like wildfire. But the fun doesn’t stop there! In early
civilizations, it became obvious how much people love hating other people. To be fair, people have always sort of sucked.
In certain hunter/gatherer tribes we can find signs of early warfare, which means that even
when there weren’t that many people around, we still found ways to kill each other. Early civilizations just took all the aspects
of being human and amplified them. So instead of small tribal warfare, we are now blessed
with massive intercountry conflict. Cooler narrator: “But, if civilization amplifies
all the aspects of being human, does that mean it amplifies the good parts too?” Well maybe, we will get back to that after I’m
done complaining. Right now, I want to talk about food. The food sucked The Food Sucked I can’t do it without the stupid smirk! The first civilizations started in the fertile
crescent, which was a great place to grow wheat, barley, and lentils. What’s not so great is that wheat, barley,
and lentils are not that nutritious on their own, and these were the main food staple of
early civilizations. After the switch to agriculture, we find that
people actually got a bit shorter due to malnutrition. Luckily, since then, we’ve gotten more access
to food, our diets have become more varied, and we’re back to about the same
height if not a bit taller… So I guess it all evens out. “But not really” Civilization has given us more food than we
know what to do with. Before, when we were hunting and gathering, we didn’t know
where our next meal would come from, so were hard wired to eat the easiest, most calorie
dense food we could find. This evolutionary trait obviously backfires when you’re surrounded by highly processed, calorie dense, and easy-to-make food. A great way to make this unhealthy lifestyle even worse Gah da- A great way to make this unhealthy lifestyle
even worse is to just not exercise. And thanks to civilizations, this is now more possible
than ever. People in civilizations tend to specialize,
which means that some people are farmers, some make pottery, some make clothes, etc.
But a lot of these new jobs don’t require much physical activity and are done indoors,
which totally sucks because… …Numerous studies have found that exercising
and spending time in natural settings has great benefits to mental health, but it’s kinda hard to go for a hike when
you live in the middle of a city, there’s nothing nearby, you’re dirt poor, and you
have no free time… Which brings us to our next point next point. It’s easy to think that hunter/gatherers
probably spent most of their time starved and working, desperately trying to find food… but they
actually did pretty well for themselves. As a matter of fact, modern hunter/gatherers
only spend 12-19 hours a week getting food. And the rest is sweet, sweet free time. So, we are now lucky enough to have longer
work weeks, cities, plagues, famines, overpopulation, processed foods and lots and lots of really
ugly corn fields But if civilization has all these
awful side effects, why are we so successful? That’s because agriculture essentially mass
produces people. Sure, they might be a little malnourished and slightly miserable, but man,
can you make a lot of people But are civilizations really all bad? Very
few people get eaten alive nowadays, which is pretty neat. And living inside is really nice, when it’s the middle of winter. Plus we have all these new full time scientists who can
figure out all sorts of cool things Earlier, we mentioned that living in a civilization can
amplify everything about being human, so it should amplify the good parts too, right? Well, maybe. Living in a civilization doesn’t
necessarily mean you’ll be more charitable, but if everyone around you starts donating to
a certain charity, maybe you will too. Conversely, if you live in a culture were war is respected and everyone around you wants to go to war, maybe you will too. So in that sense civilization is what the people
make of it. It can be cruel and terrible… or productive and wholesome. It’s kind of a toss up… so instead of
getting a green for good or a red for bad, civilizations get a neutral, dissatisfying
shade of brown.




Comments
  1. What do you think? I'm interested to see what you guys have to say about this.
    There's a lot of aspects of this topic that we didn't cover, so as always, you can check the links in the description to read more.

  2. Awesome video, found you on reddit. I do think that now in the next 100 to 300 years we can spread out into smaller communities, control our population and make us more free time with automatization.

  3. I love the duration and pacing of the video. Thank you for not making this into a 2 hour video essay haha. It's pretty good, keep it up!
    edit: Also, I like that you put more content in the description

  4. Although I am an English teacher, I studied History at A Level and at Degree level and I am fascinated by it. I really like your style of video!

  5. As a fisherman I can relate to this . I have always had this alpha hunter instinct in me. But I will not pass up a berry bush or fruit tree when they happen to be in my path !

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