The modern human brain has existed in essentially it’s current form for the last 160,000 years. But something happened 40000 years ago.
What is known as the upper paleolithic transition.
1. Projectile technology
3. Psychotechnolgy in the form of shamans
This one is about projectile technology.
Humans were using sticks and stones before that, but they were heavy and unwieldy. Developing lightweight arrowheads, spearheads and javelins let modern humans stay out of range from the dangerous large mammals that they hunted. Meanwhile the Neanderthals were getting absolutely hammered by the mammoths because their tools required them to get up close and personal.
Homo sapiens, meanwhile, was throwing spears, and getting started on archery. We take for granted our ability to hit a moving target with a stone. Or throw a basket ball into the hoop, while another human is doing everything you can to foil your attempt. But, we’ve found it difficult to train that skill in a robot. It is taking tremendous computation power and resources to get a robot to do what ever 6 year old human child can do.
The need to plan two different trajectories, anticipate last minute direction changes in a prey animal running for its life or charging towards you, will require lots of really quick calculations. And not like the ones you see in memes of the fat cat jumping at the roof and missing. That would have happened too. Countless over confident, inexperienced adolescent human males would have ended up impaled on tusks, horns or fangs.
The ones that survived had pre frontal cortices that were capable of planning, impulse control, and prediction. Those were the hunters that survived. Those were the ones who were selected by the men to lead, and the women to mate with.
Thousands of generations, here we are, pulling a red bird sitting in a catapult and launching it at the green pigs.
Being human, is being able to aim. To look at a target, focus on it, plan your missile’s trajectory.
We’re hard wired to do that. Our eyes are in front, on a flat face, like a predatory animal’s. The binocular vision is there for us to focus and target.
The physical attributes that we possess to target, and hunt are also associated with mental characteristics that help you to hunt.
Our hunts these days aren’t for deer , rabbits or bison. We hunt objects metaphorical and real.
By persisting, by tracking, by focusing and by aiming. With impulse control so that we don’t release the arrow too early, or too late.
We’re happiest when we’re tracking, hunting and chasing something. What are you chasing?
Is it worthwhile? Is your chase effective? How can you make your chase more effective? Are you enjoying the chase? Will you still enjoy it, if the chase ends in failure? What constitutes failure?
What are you learning about the terrain you’re chasing in? How will you use your knowledge of the terrain in your next chase? How will you share what you captured with your tribe? Who are the ones who helped you in your chase? Who were the ones who tried to hamstring you? Who are the ones who competed with you fairly? Did you exult in the friendly but fierce competition? Who are your friends? Who are your enemies?