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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

  2. Peter Gasston Innovation Lead at rehab @stopsatgreen

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  4. @stopsatgreen Modern human behaviour

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  6. ~40,000 ~35,000 ~12,000 ~10,000 ~5,000 ~40,000+ ~4,000 Music Art

  7. ~40,000 ~35,000 ~12,000 ~10,000 ~5,000 ~40,000+ ~4,000 Lunar Astronomy

  8. ~40,000 ~35,000 ~12,000 ~10,000 ~5,000 ~40,000+ ~4,000 Monumental Architecture

  9. ~40,000 ~35,000 ~12,000 ~10,000 ~5,000 ~40,000+ ~4,000 Calendar

  10. ~40,000 ~35,000 ~12,000 ~10,000 ~5,000 ~40,000+ ~4,000 Navigation

  11. Why did things take so long? Often A isn’t useful

    without B, and B isn’t useful without A.
  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.
  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.
  21. @stopsatgreen Writing is recorded thoughts

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  25. ~40,000 ~35,000 ~12,000 ~10,000 ~5,000 ~40,000+ ~4,000 Writing

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  27. @stopsatgreen The invention of writing lets us know not only

    what people were doing, but what they were thinking.
  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.”
  31. “I visited and did not like anything except the sarcophagus.”

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  37. @stopsatgreen People don’t change

  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 Technology matches desires, not makes them.

  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 foreboding.” 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 historian.

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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
  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.”
  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 Thanks for listening