Posted by: mvhuff | March 4, 2017

Paleocracy

If you follow any food or healthy eating trends, you’ve probably heard of the paleo diet. It’s based on the idea that our Paleolithic ancestors lived long and healthy lives because of the food they ate – that our bodies had evolved in time with the meat we killed and the plant-based items we foraged to extract maximum nutrition and minimize any potential mis-digestion issues. Then our brains figured out ways to raise and process the food in many ways to make it easier to obtain but we outsmarted ourselves as our bodies were not able to adapt quickly enough to keep pace.

Of course, there was less starvation with this advancement, but we leapt ahead too quickly, or so the story goes. Our bodies are still designed to eat the way our ancestors did, and we would be much healthier if we ate like they did – only what you could kill or forage. I suppose we are now allowed to have someone else kill or forage for us, but the idea is the less processed and the closer to what they ate, the better.

Now I am not an expert in the Paleolithic lifestyle, but I’m open to the idea that they lived long and healthy lives as long as they weren’t cut short by predators or accidents or disease. But I now suspect that the real reason that they lived longer was not due to diet but due to the lack of another prominent feature of our modern lives.

Imagine an early hunting party gathering to go off for the hunt.

As they are milling about in preparation, Gonk the leader sharply calls out, “Thak, what is that spear you are carrying? Didn’t we tell you that we were hunting mastodons today?”

“What, this?” Thak responds. “It’s a spear – isn’t that what I need?”

No, you have spear SP-950, for BUFFALOES, you need SP-960 for Mastodons. Gonk shakes his head in disbelief.

What’s the difference? They all look the same to me.

Clearly the spear tip is on the wrong end, Thak. Even Kul here knows that.

At which point, Gonk asks Kul, “What are you doing here? Have you passed the exam and gotten your mastodon hunting license?”

“Yes, I did – I have it right here,” Kul presents the special rock authorizing him to (finally) join the hunt.

Gonk examines it and declares that it is all in order. He is about to dismiss Thak for having the wrong weapon, when Grzk speaks up – “maybe Thak can join us just in case we run across some buffalo during the hunt. That way we wouldn’t have to pass them by because no one else has an SP-950.”

“Good point, plus, if Thak leaves, we will not have minimum number required to go on a hunt, and then any kills would be invalid and we wouldn’t be able to eat them.”

“Okay, gather around everyone, I’m going to show you the authorized route.” Gonk draws out a map to the valley in the east.

“But,” Thak interrupts, “I saw mastodons across the hills in the west. I think they have left the eastern valley.”

“Do you know more than our esteemed committee? They have clearly authorized the hunt to go to the east. We cannot deviate from this plan now.”

“But Thak is right,” Kul added, “the mastodons have moved on from the east to the west. If we follow the plan we will not find them.”

“You young people think that just passing the test for the hunting license makes you know everything there is to know about hunting. That’s insufferable.”

After some grumbling and continued milling about, someone pointed out that the sun was now setting, so they couldn’t hunt today.

“This is the fifth day in a row that this has happened. We are going to have to have another committee meeting tomorrow to determine the appropriate plan of action. Everyone should be ready to hunt after the decision is reached in 2-3 weeks.”

“But we don’t have enough food.”

“That’s not the point.”

Yes, not only did they have more bioavailable nutrition, they did not have bureaucracy.

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Responses

  1. What a hoot! A great way to end a busy day. Thank you for sharing your insight into paleocracy.


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