Re: The New Stone Age

Eric N Shook (
22 Apr 1995 20:39:02 GMT

Jack Davis ( wrote:
: It just struck that the mentality of, at least, a segment of the homeless
: may be somewhat similar to the Stone Age mentality. This is not a joke or
: meant to be derogatory. I happen to find some parts of the Stone Age
: quite fascinating, e.g., the sometimes simple, but wonderful monuments
: they built.

In effect you are then "fascinated by the simplicity of the homeless."
Well, I can only ask that you reflect upon this a bit longer, and I am
certain that you will come to the conclusion that anyone driven to
such an environment will seem simple in compare to the "complexity" of
our modern environment. In effect you are expressing a bias in
assuming that there is anything simple about these peoples lives. Let
alone, I don't see any of the homeless erecting "wonderful monuments."
Not to mention that you have a complete misunderstanding of primitive
cultures, and "stone age" humans, which seems to relegate them to a
position only now equaled by our homeless folks.

: At least some of the homeless have consciously rejected the
: cluttered, complicated, ultramaterialistic modern lifestyle to live hand to
: mouth (somehow doing my taxes brings this topic to mind), what outdoor
: survival expert Larry Dean Olson called the "affective" lifestyle
: (necessity the modern of invention). The prehistoric Stone Agers, of
: course, didn't have access to modern stuff. But neither do the modern Stone
: Age People once they have either rejected or been ejected from modern
: society.

I think that it has been well concluded that none of the homeless
really choose their lifestyle. In other words, they are not the far
end of the "tune in...drop out" movement. Even those that have been
known to claim that the lifdestyle is for them, have gone through a
process of hopelessness, shored up only later by a demanding ounce of
pride which seeks to mask their predicament.

: I'm not a romantic, I know it's often not a pretty picture out there on the
: street, but I think it would be fascinating to see (if possible) into the
: minds of some of these modern Stone Age people.

My friend Gravelle here in Milwaukee used to be a street person. I met
him on the internet. He is now an avid libertarian, and there is
little about his mind that is "modern stone age." He is specifically a
gifted thinker. Not to mention the mind of my roommate's mother who
lived on the street for one year. She doesn't seem to be too much a
part of the "modern stone age" mind either, especially when she's
doing her taxes, and mine, and Greg's, and Al's, and Jeff's, and
anyone of the other 30 some other's that she does as a professional
preparer each year. Isn't it ironic that this once homeless person now
does people's taxes for them? Something that such a supposedly stone
age mind could never do.

Not to mention that the stone age mind hasn't really developed
since. Meaning, that we all have "modern stone age" minds. Even you.

BTW, Gravelle can be found posting in the wi.general newsgroup if you
want to ask him about his experiences on the street and his subsequent
climb back to prosperity.

Hint: Don't call him a stone age you'll be sure to alienate