Will the future be primitive?

Down in Manhattan Beach on a small mission, I stopped into Brothers Burritos, recommended as a Beach Cities lunch spot by Travis of El Segundo / Hood River.  “You get two mini burritos.”  Sold.

At Brothers, the Pacific just a few streets down, they have a rack of old issues of surfing mags, including Surfer’s Journal.  This magazine has gripped me before, it’s really impressive, almost as much a journal of travel and philosophy as it is of waves.

In this issue was a piece by Jamie Brisick where he walks a stretch of Hawaii’s North Shore, “from Velzyland to Log Cabins,” a stretch he’s visited and lived in, on and off, for something like thirty-five years.  He remembers legends, has encounters, studies the changes to the beach, shares memories.

This struck me:

Blacksmiths.  Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia began as a blacksmith.  How about Primitive Technologies guy?

Primitive technology is a hobby where you make things in the wild completely from scratch using no modern tools or materials. This is the strict rule. If you want a fire- use fire sticks, an axe- pick up a stone and shape it, a hut- build one from trees, mud, rocks etc. The challenge is seeing how far you can go without modern technology. If this hobby interests you then this blog might be what you are looking for.

Also It should be noted that I don’t live in the wild but just practice this as a hobby. I live in a modern house and eat modern food. I just like to see how people in ancient times built and made things. It is a good hobby that keeps you fit and doesn’t cost anything apart from time and effort.

from his website.

Out in the Mojave there are pockets of people into permaculture, imagining perhaps that the future may be primitive.

I’m not sure how primitive the future will be.  Some skills and trades are ancient and seem to endure.  The future may not be as futuristic as we once, collectively, seemed to dream.  Maybe the primitive sense is just an adjustment of expectation.  Does technology have to move forward all the time?  The primitive future.  Could there be a world where the past seems futuristic?  The language of backwards and forwards almost suggests a direction History moves.  But History also tells of times when life became more primitive, even for centuries.  How dark were the Dark Ages is a good debate, too big for this space.  Leave that out and there are still times where civilizations dissolve or collapse or just kinda retreat or fade out.

No matter how primitive the future gets, there’s something soothing about practicing ancient arts and crafts and trades.  Simple, without being primitive — could that be a future to hope for?

Very satisfying burritos.  I’ve since been to the Brothers in Hermosa Beach, which I also liked but just not quite as much.

The Manhattan Beach Public Library has got to be, real estate wise, one of the best public libraries in the nation.  You can sit in a nice chair and stare at the ocean.

 



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