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aries1988 : farming   4

Laisky's Blog

非常不错的科普读物,通过对大量历史事件和研究的对比分析,介绍了纵跨整个人类文明史的农耕演进, 并且对当前的农业现状和前景发出了警示,值得一读。

苏美尔农业面临的关键问题,是河流丰水期与作物生长期不重合。在春季,来自北部山川的融雪汇入底格里斯河和幼发拉底河,使其进入丰水期;而河流流量最低的夏末初秋,却正值作物需水量最大的时候。集约农业需要通过蓄水以应对夏季飙升的气温。高温使大量灌溉入田的水还未来得及被作物吸收就已蒸发,而这又使更多的盐分在土壤中累积。
agriculture  farming  history  china  explained  nature  degredation  soil 
march 2019 by aries1988
Twitter
RT : 'Labor shortage and low productivity were threatening the future of the Kato farm, on the Japanese island of Hokkai…
ai  video  japan  farming  population  crisis  youth  workforce  research  reportage  fromage  milk  robot  children  family 
may 2018 by aries1988
The Case Against Civilization
We don’t give the technology of fire enough credit, Scott suggests, because we don’t give our ancestors much credit for their ingenuity over the long period—ninety-five per cent of human history—during which most of our species were hunter-gatherers.

To demonstrate the significance of fire, he points to what we’ve found in certain caves in southern Africa. The earliest, oldest strata of the caves contain whole skeletons of carnivores and many chewed-up bone fragments of the things they were eating, including us. Then comes the layer from when we discovered fire, and ownership of the caves switches: the human skeletons are whole, and the carnivores are bone fragments. Fire is the difference between eating lunch and being lunch.

Anatomically modern humans have been around for roughly two hundred thousand years. For most of that time, we lived as hunter-gatherers. Then, about twelve thousand years ago, came what is generally agreed to be the definitive before-and-after moment in our ascent to planetary dominance: the Neolithic Revolution. This was our adoption of, to use Scott’s word, a “package” of agricultural innovations, notably the domestication of animals such as the cow and the pig, and the transition from hunting and gathering to planting and cultivating crops.

His best-known book, “Seeing Like a State,” has become a touchstone for political scientists, and amounts to a blistering critique of central planning and “high modernism,” the idea that officials at the center of a state know better than the people they are governing. Scott argues that a state’s interests and the interests of subjects are often not just different but opposite.

The big news to emerge from recent archeological research concerns the time lag between “sedentism,” or living in settled communities, and the adoption of agriculture.

The evidence shows that this isn’t true: there’s an enormous gap—four thousand years—separating the “two key domestications,” of animals and cereals, from the first agrarian economies based on them.

It was the ability to tax and to extract a surplus from the produce of agriculture that, in Scott’s account, led to the birth of the state, and also to the creation of complex societies with hierarchies, division of labor, specialist jobs (soldier, priest, servant, administrator), and an élite presiding over them.

The web of food sources that the hunting-and-gathering Ju/’hoansi use is, exactly as Scott argues for Neolithic people, a complex one, with a wide range of animal protein, including porcupines, kudu, wildebeests, and elephants, and a hundred and twenty-five edible plant species, with different seasonal cycles, ecological niches, and responses to weather fluctuations.

The secret ingredient seems to be the positive harnessing of the general human impulse to envy.
history  culture  agriculture  debate  human  choice  farming  animal  book  opinion 
april 2018 by aries1988

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