Hey Don, check this out... I just came across it, and am in the middle
of watching it (You Tube) and recommend you do too.
Here are some quotes I copied for you from one of the parts. It's a
pretty cool documentary so far, especially with its concepts that play
into what we are discussing (and appropriate for alt.architecture too,
what with its limestone plaster ;)...
"As villages grew bigger, there were more people to work on the land.
More people could produce more food more efficiently-- enough to
support specialists within the community. Freed from the burden of
farming, some people were able to develop new skills-- and new
technologies. Making plaster from limestone was a major technological
breakthrough. The stones had to be heated for days at a time, at a
temperature of a thousand degrees. It may seem insignificant today,
but understanding how to work with fire was the first step toward
forging steel, at technology that would transform the world... 'When I
first went to New Guinea in the 1960's, people were still using stone
tools, like this axe... So why didn't New Guinea develop metal tools
by itself? And eventually, I realized that, to have metalworking
specialists who can figure out how to smelt copper and iron, requires
that the rest of the people in the society who are farmers be able to
generate enough food surpluses to feed them. But New Guinea
agriculture was not productive enough to generate those food
surpluses. And the result was no specialists, no metal workers, no
metal tools.' "
"He [Jared Diamond] has developed a highly original theory; that what
separates the winners from the losers is the land, itself; geography.
It was the shape of the continents, their crops and animals, that
allowed some cultures to flourish, while others were left behind."
~ From the documentary film, based on the book of the same name,
'Guns, Germs and Steel'
Have you ever seen it or read the book? I've come across Diamond
before in the periphery of my research, but this stuff keys into and
supports some things I've recently been looking closer at.
It would seem that a new "glocal" (global/local) self-governing tribe,
if it wants to have a good go at wresting control out of the 'hands of
control' for freedom, would do well to know this kind of stuff inside-