570: Bill Benenson, part 1: Documenting and learning from the fascinating Hadza

April 10, 2022 by Joshua
in Podcast

If you agree innovation and technology has its drawbacks, you may still worry: if we don’t press onward, aren’t we risking reverting to the stone age with thirty becoming old age and mothers and children dying in childbirth. Don’t we store fat so well because our ancestors never knew when their next meal would come?

I used to think that way. Learning about cultures that haven’t adopted our technology-based culture relieved me of my ignorance. You’ve heard episodes with authors of books on Hawaiians before Captain Cook and the San bushmen in the Kalahari Desert. These cultures didn’t barely eke out survival. They thrived. The San lived for hundreds of thousands of years. They show higher signs of resilience, health, longevity, abundance, equality, and stability than we do. Of course they do. You can’t barely eke out 250,000 years.

Bill Benenson produced a documentary (free online, click below) on the Hadza in modern Tanzania, who seem to have lived as they do now for about 50,000 years. Watch it to see how they are living just fine, or would be but for their territory being encroached on and traditional ways decimated. We could learn a lot from them. We could use some humility about our culture.

Bill shares his journey learning of them, documenting them, and learning from them, including some behind-the-scenes stories of the scenes I found most fascinating.

Sign up for my weekly newsletter