Essay 11/13

Looking at the prehistory of humans may sometimes come as weird and confusing because if we look at the way society lives today it’s hard to think we started from hunter gathering. Especially from a technological standpoint; we have technologies today that we rely on as survival when the only type of thing they relied on was the controlling of fire. From this, we got a shift in to Farming and the use of crops are our stability. Our stability couldn’t have ever come from a life of hunter gathering because there was no physical guarantee everyone could survive. In my opinion if you look at the societal way of hunter gathering; the best hunters eat. There is no way to create a social community let alone a civilization doing that. Civilizations were started by the use of crops because it was a supply for everyone. Grains and cereal grains were a steady source of food visual to all. “Only grains are, in Scott’s words, “visible, divisible, assessable, storable, transportable, and ‘rationale.” Other crops have some of these advantages, but only cereal grains have them all, and so grain became “the main food starch, the unit of taxation in kind, and the basis for a hegemonic agrarian calendar.” The taxman can come, assess the fields, set a level of tax, then come back and make sure he’s got his share of the harvest.” This quote shows the way civilizations get started. A select few were allowed to come, get their share, tax crops for their own gain, and distribute it to the others. It allowed for things such as writing and common language and people could live peacefully in no competition. They for sure didn’t have to run around yearly chasing animals. These advancements in technology such as writing and a common language made it possible for people to start settling in states and helped grow civilizations. But these communities always seemed to be controlled by a certain few.


The shift from hunter gathering to agriculture resulted in societies being controlled by a certain few. Also, our advancements in technology in a sense trap us. If you go back and take a look at how societies came to be they had to have the following; a common language, a general need for stability: food and water supply etc., and everyone has to sacrifice something such as taxes. My first question was what defined technology. The literal definition has changed over the years. It now is “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry”. Well our ancestors had no clue of school or a subject of science. So I dwindled the definition down to anything made by man that makes life easier. A society who all understand each other makes life a large bit easier than a group of people who don’t. But these societies always have a leader. Just as our technological leaders are kind of in control today. They control what we pay as well as how the world works. We will pay for an iPhone to be able to communicate to our loved ones via facetime with that convenience. We will pay for an advanced laptop that has a fast processor just because it makes our lives easier. They offer us stability and dependence on the technology we use.

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