Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Short History of Civilization.

The Short History of Civilization.

1. The Chair
2. The Toilet
3. The Gun

(The following is not necessarily factual, nor accurately researched. It is my opinion.)

1. The Chair - The Beginning of Civilization.

Since the dawn of man's time in primitive society he and she have strived to maintain the essentials to eat, sleep, procreate and be comfortable. Contemplating his universe seated on a rock, log or leafy bough proved to be a rough, hard existence. It was also becoming difficult to maintain order at meetings when he could not sit in a place reflecting his authority. He also needed something that was portable and individual, but was suitably elevated and adorned so as to convey his importance.

It also had to be light, elevated and structurally sound. Another necessity had been added to primitive man's needs - authority. He became the 'chairman' and in doing so he heralded in the engineering age.

When a variety of articles and objects had been duly collected and assembled they were all tested for practicality, strength and durabilty. It was eventually evident that the best structure had six components - four legs, a base and a back. Two legs only would wobble, three legs would not stand on a slope; but four legs placed under each corner of a square base was most stable for standing on an irregular surface. This basic understanding of equidistance and angle led to the discipline of trigonometry as used in building.

Now that 'chairman' man had the psychological advantage of height, safety, comfort and a manouverable structure he realised that through the principles of manipulation and multiplication he could duplicate and enlarge any thing he built.

He sat down to think.

2. The Toilet - The Middle of Civilization.

Ancient man is portrayed as a primitive species roaming the lands to eke a meagre existence as either a hunter or a gatherer. Staying alive depended on his or her ability to live off the fruits of nature through scavenging and foraging. He was essentially homeless.

It is not clear if the job deliniation between hunter and gatherer was as distintinctive as the gender difference but it probably made sense for the child bearers and food preparers to hang around the camp while the weapon wielders chased prey.

Sometime between then and now things changed. Urbanization forced the sexes to share roles and even the traditional role titles changed. Man is now the hunter/gatherer and woman is the spender/collector. (This theory can be tested at any shopping mall during the day when men are at work and women are at play, exhibiting a different type of work behaviour - homemaking.)

A long time ago, someone decided they wanted the comforts of home. It was becoming too hard lugging all this equipment, lodgings, supplies and families across the countryside. It was about time for some permanency. There simply came a time when woman said, "bugger this, you go out and fight and hunt, I'm staying home". And she did - she sat right there on the chair.

Before long, the need to urinate inspired her to consider what was to become the next stage of civilization. There was, after all, only one clear difference between the versatility of man's ability to pee, and woman's. He could stand anywhere, anytime, without discretion whilst she needed a discreet place to squat. The chair soon acquired a hole in its base and a curtain surrounded the legs. A lengthier curtain allowed a man to stand in privacy, and the enclosed area soon became a closet and then a room.

The smallest room in the house soon became the most popular and most unhygenic. The need for privacy also necessitated increased housework and awareness of disease. Hunting and gathering was now supplemented with domesticity for part of the human race.

The chairman/woman of the builders and duplicators soon realized the need for many more water closets and many more houses and set about finding ways to capitalize on the developing industry. A basic understanding of the principles of necessity, availability and desire helped with the marketing and advertising that was now necessary to sell the idea of the utopian urban metropolis.

3. The Gun - The End of civilization.

When man became accustomed to hoarding all his possessions in one place he needed to know they were safe. Accumulating all this stuff was a lot of work and that seemed to make it valuable - it needed to be protected and he needed a bigger stick to ward off the competition. Throwing rocks was no longer effective, the enemy just threw them back and standing at his door brandishing a stick was just encouraging close armed combat. A better deterent would be fire on the end of a stick - a firearm.

Once man learnt to combine the skills of rock throwing, stick waving and gunpowder, his superiority was assured. The physcological tactics of primitive combat necessary in the face of the enemy no longer applied when the weapon could kill from afar - it could mean an instant, indiscriminate, silent death.

A better understanding of explosives, ballistics and manufacturing soon led him to develop a deadly array of weapons all based on the original firestick. He no longer needed to be a hunter or a gatherer, everyone could stay with the comforts of home, and spend and collect. His primitive days were over, he had a gun, he had the authority and someone needed to be told.

He sat down to think.