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Does Elderly Equal Obsolete?
How Societies Can Grow Old better by Jared Diamond
© 2013 James LaFond
NOV/27/13
This is a recent TED Talks presentation by a guy with even less personality than me. If you watch this you will understand why the man writes. Jared Diamond began studying birds and then shifted his focus to studying the primitive peoples he was stationed with. He expanded this study to encompass habitat utilization and interaction with early modern Europeans. The resulting books Guns, Germs & Steel, and Collapse, managed to piss off everybody on the right and everybody on the left, earning my undying respect.
Jared Diamond does not truck in the racist beliefs of the left [who equate primitive with innocence and goodness] and the right [whose survivors are still trying to sell racial supremacy as the narrative of European world conquest], but walks down the middle of our argument about ourselves looking for the evidence of human behavior, as well as its origins and effects. It has been a decade since I read the two books named, so can offer no review, just a recommendation.
Mister Diamond basically read a chapter out of his book, which methodically tracks the treatment, plight, and ultimately the utility of, the elderly in various types of human societies. This is not flashy, and only a little fun. It is, however, a methodically constructed argument for unifying the best aspects of primitive lifeways with the best aspects of modern ways, to improve the human condition.
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