Hunter/Gatherer Mentality:

  • You are not guaranteed food at end of activity. (You can see why this older working style is going out, can’t you?)
  • The people of the community do better to work together, each person playing a role – allocated according to proven results, strengths and abilities – to maximise the success of the hunt. This can include people preparing means of cooking back at base.
  • The target of the hunt will either be caught or not, so each hunter focuses on the target and does their best to make the whole team’s effort a success. (See Multi-Skilling).
  • No land ownership. Therefore wealth is not linked to how much food is acquired. Survival is though and the food will be distributed (albeit not equally) to every member of the community.
  • Social hierarchy is based on skills and success rate.
  • There is distance between humans and animals, minimising chance of humans catching untreated animal diseases.
  • Human actions effect the result of the hunt more than the weather or other outside, uncontrollable factors, reducing need for superstition or religious belief.
  • Humans need to invent methods to produce results that work for them by understanding their quarry and learning ways to catch it by trial, error and practice. Nature can’t be copied as hunted animals don’t commit suicide when being chased.
  • Now look at those two different approaches to acquiring food and see what similarities there are between the farmer and hunter gatherer and the two types of way we work today. I bet you will find yourself more like one and less like the other.

According to Thomas Hartmann’s book on the subject, farming started in the Middle East just over 10,000 years ago, and it was probably someone who stayed at home during the hunt who saw corn growing and started to watch and study it to discover its food potential.

To me, both hunting and farming approaches, processes, learning methods and working styles are important. However, today the older, hunter-gatherer style  is being branded, de-robed and eliminated by our education system. Attributes relating to the farmer rather than the hunter have become important, even essential, while the hunters’ unique attributes have become obsolete for the general population.

Why could eliminating a working style become a problem?

There is little problem solving or creative or responsive thinking in the farming method. Ticking boxes is required, rather than developing and practising your skill and increasing your success rate.

Isn’t X Factor an example of a farmers’ approach to hunting? If you don’t know what I mean by that, think a bit more. Come on, do some brain work.

Multi-Tasking for Hunter-Gatherers

A different type of multi-tasking is needed in hunting, so I will call it multi-skilling. Spellcheck doesn’t recognise the word, or the word spellcheck.

  • All different activities end at the same time when the hunt ends or the quarry is caught.
  • All activities are employed to meet the same ends as the other people in the team.
  • The activities used are instinctive with each player’s focus on the end the result and carrying out their activities to the best of their ability.
  • With focus on the end result, each team member may use any number of skills at the same time, but these will all be in the same compartment as each other, not in separate compartments as the farmers’ different activities would be.
  • The various tasks or skills will be learned by trial, error, watching others and practice and brought in instinctively in response to what is happening rather than by learning intellectually and sticking to a set method.

That’s enough for this post.


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