Join 3,551 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Human History in 60 Seconds
December 25, 2007 10:26 PM   Subscribe

First, tribes: tough life.

Part of the 60 Second Lecture Series
posted by riley370 (11 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Is there a video for the first link that I've missed? Because 10 bullet points isn't much to phone home about.

Anyways, the other day I watched a TED talk by Steven Pinker on the history of violence. Amongst other things, he does a fairly convincing job on debunking the myth of the noble savage.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:50 PM on December 25, 2007

Check the second link and scroll through it. As for Pinker I'm unconvinced, although one has little to do with the other. Cool post.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 10:59 PM on December 25, 2007

I fail to understand why we should encourage the oversimplification of complex subjects.
posted by blacklite at 11:57 PM on December 25, 2007 [2 favorites]

No one who teaches you knows what will happen.

I also like how all of recorded history is in two bullet points with everything since Antiquity in one - really points out just how recently civilization came about. In fact, to this day there are still some isolated people in the fuck-off wilderness living pre-agriculture Stone Age lifestyles. Some groups may not even know how to make fire. Think about that when you're on the Internet.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:12 AM on December 26, 2007

In other news--
Mathematics: involves numbers.
Civilization: from a mile up, looks like bacteria colonies.
posted by mullingitover at 2:17 AM on December 26, 2007

I fail to understand why we should encourage the oversimplification of complex subjects.

I succeed to understand it.

Media compete for people's eyes and time. Ads play music and flash lights. Books are now heard, not read, or they are filmed. And people have convinced themselves that they have no spare time. They're skipping chapters in their recorded, abridged books. A full-length lecture will not be heard, not unless you sell the idea first.

Ideas need commercials. These are commercials for ideas, for full-length lectures and books.

At least, that's what I'm guessing from the transcripts. The lectures are in .rm format.
posted by pracowity at 2:54 AM on December 26, 2007

PracOwity is correct in saying that these are commercials - attention getters - for education.

BlackLite is also correct: oversimplifying the complex should not be encouraged.

Or more specifically, false advertising should be discouraged. "Human history in 60 seconds" does not deliver. That didn't even touch the tip of the iceberg. Made for an amusing poem, but not much else.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:14 AM on December 26, 2007

I think we as a civilization, having advanced beyond tribalism and slavery, should use our cooperative powers to join together to banish .rm format so that the net move forward.
posted by Faze at 6:01 AM on December 26, 2007

all of recorded history is in two bullet points

Well, to be fair that is just a summary someone typed up, better to watch the video. On the other hand, recorded human history is what, 5 thousand years, and human history is millions - the idea that (human history==written history) went out of style in the 19th century.

BlackLite is also correct: oversimplifying the complex should not be encouraged.

Making big ideas easily accessible should be encouraged.


I kinda like this, it's not a substitute for anything. It's addictive going through them, like reading through MeFi FPPs, a strange brew of big ideas in short summaries, pure intellectual entertainment.
posted by stbalbach at 6:44 AM on December 26, 2007

First, tribes: tough life.

Reminded me of this.

(Somebody needs to do this for the Sermon on the Mount.)
posted by neuron at 6:54 AM on December 26, 2007

This particular 60 second lecture annoys me greatly, as it implies that we've actually become less violent. Seems to me that we're just as good at killing people as we've always been. (Yeah, I know, interpersonal violence has been reduced in Western society, but is that due to development, or just changing cultural mores?).

Also, since when have hunter gatherers had serious slavery? That's a completely agriculture thing. Because while agriculture creates surpluses, it also requires a hell of a lot more labour. The surplus goes to those in power, while the work is done by those not in power.
posted by jb at 10:44 PM on December 28, 2007

« Older One man was killed and two others critically injur...  |  When Maurice Martenot met Lev ... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments