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People Don’t Change

People Don’t Change

A brief history of modern human behaviour, a look at how the invention of writing brings us closer to our distant ancestors, how technology meets our desires, and history’s importance to futurism.

Peter Gasston

August 30, 2018

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  1. People Don’t Change
    People Don’t Change
    Front-end London, 30/08/18

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  2. Peter Gasston
    Innovation Lead at rehab

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  4. @stopsatgreen

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  6. ~40,000 ~35,000 ~12,000 ~10,000 ~5,000
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  11. Why did things take so long?
    Often A isn’t useful without B,
    and B isn’t useful without A.

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  12. Why did things take so long?
    Things got invented
    but then forgotten.

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  15. Why did things take so long?
    Things got invented
    but not communicated.

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  16. @stopsatgreen
    “The future is already here — 
    it’s just not evenly distributed.”
    William Gibson

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  20. Why did things take so long?
    Having external thinking tools
    is a big deal.

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  21. @stopsatgreen
    Writing is

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  25. ~40,000 ~35,000 ~12,000 ~10,000 ~5,000
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  27. @stopsatgreen
    The invention of
    writing lets us know
    not only what people
    were doing, but what
    they were thinking.

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  28. “What do you take me for, that you treat somebody
    like me with such contempt?
    “I have sent as messengers gentlemen like
    ourselves to collect the bag with my money
    (deposited with you) but you have treated me with
    contempt by sending them back to me
    empty-handed several times, and that through
    enemy territory.
    “Is there anyone among the merchants who trade
    with Telmun who has treated me in this way? You
    alone treat my messenger with contempt! On
    account of that one (trifling) mina of silver which I
    owe(?) you, you feel free to speak in such a way.”

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  30. “Please call some
    of us in and listen
    to what we wish to
    tell you: There are
    lots of mistakes
    here as no one in
    charge knows
    about farming.”

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  31. “I visited and did not
    like anything except
    the sarcophagus.”

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  37. @stopsatgreen

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  38. “I cannot forbear carrying my watch in my hand in
    the coach all this afternoon, and seeing what
    o’clock it is one hundred times, and am apt to
    think with myself, how could I be so long without
    one; though I remember since, I had one, and
    found it a trouble, and resolved to carry one no
    more about me while I lived.”
    Samuel Pepys, 1665

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  42. @stopsatgreen
    matches desires,
    not makes them.

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  43. “Selfie took in 1958.
    Put a house brick on
    a box camera. Lined
    it up. Tied cotton to
    the camera clicker &
    my toe.”

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  50. @stopsatgreen
    Human universals:
    playful, scientific,
    legislative, epicurean,
    clandestine, gossipy.

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  53. “This invention [writing] will produce
    forgetfulness in the minds of those who
    learn to use it, because they will not
    practice their memory.”
    Socrates, ~410BCE
    “Students today depend on paper too
    much. They don’t know how to write on
    a slate without getting chalk dust all
    over themselves.”
    Unknown principal
    “In so far as the broadcasting adds to
    the general welter, it may fill us with
    Hilda Matheson, 1933
    “Why doth solid and serious learning
    decline, and few or none follow it now?
    Because of coffee-houses, where they
    spend all their time.”
    Anthony Wood, ~1670

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  56. @stopsatgreen
    History and
    the future

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  58. @stopsatgreen
    You can't be a
    futurist without
    being an

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  62. @stopsatgreen
    “We humans tend to repeat our
    biggest social mistakes when
    they slip out of living memory,
    which means they recur on a
    time scale of seventy to a
    hundred years.”
    Charles Stross

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  65. @stopsatgreen
    “Technology reflects the values
    of the societies in which it’s
    deployed, and can’t fix problems
    that a society is unwilling to fix
    within itself.”
    Nanjala Nyabola

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  66. “Facebook has
    been a useful
    instrument for
    those seeking
    to spread hate.”
    “Facebook has
    been a useful
    instrument for
    those seeking
    to spread hate.”

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  67. @stopsatgreen
    “The four most expensive words
    in the English language are ‘this
    time it’s different’.”
    Sir John Marks Templeton

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  69. @stopsatgreen
    for listening

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