More on modern trade-offs

More on hunter-gatherer vs modern life.

We’ve traded death by disease for antibiotics and vaccines (though due to population densities and animal husbandry we also contract more diseases). We’ve traded violent early deaths at an average age of 40 for relatively peaceful deaths by an average age of 75. We’ve traded an extreme fear of strangers for widespread cooperation with strangers. We’ve traded cold streams for hot showers.

But we’ve also traded ad lib hunting, gathering, tool-making, and camping for a regular 40 hour work week and yardwork. We’ve traded play for treadmills and stairmasters. We’ve traded sitting around a campfire socializing for staring at separate screens all night in separate rooms of a house. We’ve traded the joy of ever-increasing skill mastery for anxiety over skill obsolescence. We’ve traded sleep for more screen time. We’ve traded lean bodies free from diabetes for junk food addictions. We’ve traded long stretches of happiness punctuated by moments of sheer terror for lives filled with low-level chronic stress. We’ve traded the ability to be the best in the known world at something for You Tube, where we can watch someone doing anything we can do better than we could ever hope to do it.

Interesting trade-offs.