Thursday, November 1, 2012

Montana's Success

What are some of the things that all civilizations that crash have in common?

Overuse of natural resources is a big one, whether because of overpopulation or waste or having some grand ideas that are held to be more important than living in balance.

Overpopulation... yep, we are there...
Grand ideas, ideologies, that are more important than living in balance... yep

When I teach archaeology, people are always asking why all those other countries had these great civilizations, the Maya, the Egyptians...and so on... yet Montana did not

Success is thought of as "progress" (whatever "progress" is...if you end up destroying yourselves, is it really "progress"?)

Up until the introduction of the horse in about AD 1650-1700, Montana's Indians lived mostly the same way, hunting and gathering, through different climate changes, changing only the species they focused on hunting or gathering. Certainly there were times they starved in the late winter and early spring. Yet Montana Indians lived pretty much the same way of life for over 11,000 years.

That's a different kind of "success" I'd say.