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03 October 2016


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Of assumptions, sovereignty, superiority and wisdom are discrete.
Of culture, class and creed, constrains count but chart as curves.
Of race, religion and ridicule, some stilts thinking. Contiguity?

An interesting counter-view point of historical patterns of migratory settlement may be seen in the article: .

I find it also interesting to regard the secular historic perceptions of :eg; the EU.
An examination of the architectural symbology of the EU headquarters portrays an as yet unrealized ambition of a unified world depicted by reference to ancient Nimrod's Babel.
That such a grand scope be entertained by secular humanity, and even reflected in such political contrivance as "Rhode's Scholarships" with its focus on the UN as the ultimate centralized point of governance over a unified world says much of the "spiritual" side of the historic "Origins," debate - Biblical or otherwise.

I had forgotten about the available seven animals that could be domesticated so thanks Phil. The dog (modified wolf), the horse, the cow, the pig and the sheep, goat and cat.

Funny. Maybe I had a different upbringing but I never thought of myself as being better than anyone, just different. Might of had something to do with my association with the Services perhaps?

I do think all of you have made good points including Michael's point about the benefits of a refined, traditional culture. The trouble is, how many of those traditional cultures have survived when they met other, more tech savvy cultures and the desirable materialism that goes with them?

With the benefit of approaching old age, one can readily appreciate the benefits of the village seniors consultancy group that can pool available experience and give valuable advice and suggestions. Of cause that flies in the face of today's tech savvy generation that believes they can merely look up anything required on the web.

The problem is then, how do you know what is waffle and what is applicable and what is worth following?

Be sure to appreciate the key difference in materials technology versus social technology, which many indigenous cultures honed and maintained to a fair degree - and which even today remains as incomprehensible to Westerner's as the tools and machinery of the modern world must have seemed to indigenous peoples when the two groups met.

I might also add that it is only by absorbing yourself in another culture that you come to realise the inadequacies of your own and the value of different ways of thinking.

A level of experience and age also seems to help I suspect.

Thank you Phil and Paul for your comments.

Paul, I had not thought about the issue of food supply as an explanation for the developing world, loosely defined, to not emulate the developed world's overall development trajectory. It seems a plausible if perhaps not complete explanation.

The main point for me is that it clearly was not due to either less intelligence or potential on the part of the humans who lived and continue to live in the "developing world".

And, I have to admit that, like Phil, I had a sense of superiority in my role as a kiap that largely was a function of ignorance and youthful arrogance. I have long repented of such ideas, realising now that intelligence is contextual, not an absolute, and that the many shared human traits are much more important than superficial differences.

Whether the majority of humans have yet reached the same conclusions I cannot say. When I look across the world and see figures like Donald Trump or our own Pauline Hanson apparently in the ascendancy, my usual suspicion that we humans often lack much collective insight or wisdom about these things is heavily reinforced.

It is sad to think that we seem constantly required to relearn the bitter lessons of history regarding the poisonous nature of racial, religious and ideological thinking.

I don't know about anyone else Chris but I know that I had to work really hard to suppress any feeling of superiority over people when I was a kiap. It seemed like such a feeling was inbred and unavoidable. It was something akin to what the so-called upper classes must feel about the lower classes.

About the only thing you haven't mentioned is the effect of environment on human development. In Europe the domestication of the horse had a huge impact and necessitated the invention of the wheel. PNG, for instance never had horses or terrain where wheeled vehicles might operate.

It's a complex subject and you've summarised it well - can't wait for the book.

Good overview Chris. The essence of why different cultures advanced past stone age cultures has been identified by Prof. Jared Diamond who believes it was due to the available and natural occurring food sources that were able to be utilized and stored.

Combined with the influence of latitude this allowed Asian and European cultures to expand laterally (as in Eurasia) and take their crops with them whereas in the case of Africa and the Americas, the people could not trade and grow local food crops from north to south and vice versa due to changes in the climate which prevented temperate crops from growing in the tropical regions. The tropics presented millet from West Africa being grown in South Africa for example.

It therefore took the advent of long distance sea transport to make this happen.

Rice, wheat and barley are able to be stored and transported to sustain large populations whereas potatoes and squash weren't as suitable. In this aspect alone, Taro and yams prevented the colonizing of the PNG highlands until the arrival of sweet potato in relatively recent times.

We now have a global village yet we can't seem to conquer such simple problems such as universal health care, education and law enforcement.

As we as a species advanced technologically, the pressure of competition forced scientific efforts into developing greater and greater effective weaponry to defend ourselves or gain military advantage over our rivals for the available resources.

The central issue that has led to most warfare is unsustainable population growth. Here is the real problem for today's PNG. Since Independence, her population has increased from 3 million to somewhere between 7 and 8 million yet her arable land to grow food is finite. Until recently, the Chinese insisted on a one child policy yet Japan who didn't have this policy is now contemplating a population decline due to a high standard of living.

In some countries where the population growth plateaus like today's Australia and Britain (due to a relatively high standard of living), immigration helps keep the country going.

Rapid immigration on a large scale however inevitably leads to clashes due to the disparities of differing cultural perspectives. In fairness and while in control, Australia helped prevent this from happening in PNG.

The world today has never been more potentially unstable and likely to descend into another world war over resources (energy, food and water), and unsustainable population growth. Old, existing and latent empires are now jostling for power and prestige.

History hasn't been kind when it comes to the frailty of humans to be able to overcome this type of exigency in the past.

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