back to article 'Internet Age' means egalitarian 'hunter-gatherer' society

Federal brainboxes in New Mexico, analysing the many types of human society in terms of inequality between rich and poor, have suggested that the modern "internet age" of knowledge and technology-based economies may lead to substantially fairer wealth distribution - perhaps as fair as that seen in primitive hunter-gatherer …


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  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Guy Fawkes Stalks the Boards and Broadband Airwaves ..... EMPty Zones Buffeting Overflows

    .... and Server Message Blocks/Temporal Communications Protocols.

    "Though there is the customary caveat:

    But this does not mean that the new information-driven Internet Age will necessarily assure less inequality."

    What it will most definitely assure though, is that there is no more inequality. And it would be most advisable for any who would feel threatened by their unequal or any inequitable positioning in the present, old style hierarchical structure to quickly consider and readjust certain parameters if they have the necessary intelligence genes/memes/means and if not, then quickly buy them in, like yesterday, for the pace of change is expotential and sometimes instantly spontaneous in the new information-driven Internet Age.

    For there is a lot of Real Spooky and Cloudy Governance stuff going on behind the Political Scenes to prevent AIdDisasters and SCADA Systems Collapse .......

  2. Pete 2

    you can't eat social connections

    > its characteristic forms of wealth - skill and social connections

    Oh how lovely! Now that we all have access to the internet (except for non-technical types, and those without - or with only slow internet connections, or those who can't afford the cost of high-speed, or simply aren't interested) we can all be equal. So long as you measure equality in some completely abstract, and utterly unusable way.

    The thing about the hunter-gatherer societies was that it was easy for them to pass on their "wealth" as they had bugger-all of it. Wealth only comes into the equation when you have stuff that can be measured, or better yet: converted into food, shelter, sex and survivability. However, some of these early societies were more successful that others - they were the ones that didn't die out (through hunger, disease, war or accidents) and became farmers. Their "wealth" was to have better hunting grounds, easier terrain, abundant water supplies and fewer competitors. However, none of that translates into todays internet users: you can't convert your twitter followers into a free lunch (unless you manage to scam them) and getting a high score on a web-game won't put a roof over your head - not at the rate gold farmers get paid, anyhow.

    So far as equality goes, I'm sure that the likes of Larry Ellison and Sergei Brin and the other internet billionaires would have a good old laugh at the idea about the internet promoting equality.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So we won't need to eat or use stuff?

    Farms and factories will be with us for a while yet I suspect.

    Wealth derived from more "modern" activities can still be used to buy a less modern business for the idiot son.

    I don't see the appearance of a hunter gatherer style collective ownership society coming over the horizon any time soon

  4. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Daniel Bell.... laughing fit to burst.

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Hunter-gathering today...

    1) Have a few million stashed away

    2) Buy your way into parliament through "elections"

    3) Sell war and insecurity to the hoi polloi while collecting tickets from the military-security complex

    4) ???

    5) Profit!!

  6. Gaius

    Rose-tinted glasses

    But in a hunter-gatherer society, the alpha male(s) has everything - all the women, first choice of the food, the best tent, etc. He has the highest chance of reproducing and his offspring will be better fed, stronger, more likely to become successful hunters themselves. It perpetuates just as well as property, and leads to at least as much "inequality', that's where kings came from.

  7. Anonymous John


    I was shouting at the radio this morning because someone was waffling about the post-industrial society. Without explaining how it would be different or better than the pre-industrial society.

    Now we're going to be hunter gatherrs.

  8. h4rm0ny
    Paris Hilton


    What they're talking about has some merit, but it requires a post-scarcity society to really work that way and we're not there yet. A post-scarcity society is where all the needs have been met: there's enough power, food, medicine, living space et al. that the financial cost of these things becomes trivial to people. So long as these essentials are scarce enough that those without must negotiate for them from those with, you're not going to see a truly egalitarian society. And it's not necessary for the scarcity to be real, it can be artificial. Currently there is a gross disparity in ownership of Wealth worldwide. If that can't be got back from those that have it, inequality will persist.

    Paris, because you *can* make money from Internet fame... if you know what you're doing.

  9. A B 3

    @Gaius Not till farming

    Actually you are thinking of chimpanzees and gorillas. It was until land ownership that status and kingship came into the picture. If you take a look at primitive hunter-gatherer tribes that were in existence still in the last 200 years... they have marriage customs and tribal law.

    It's the modern age that is obsessed with having everything and bullying everyone weaker than you.

  10. Richard 102


    Pfft! I usually hear "fairness" from people who 1) didn't work hard to get ahead, or 2) politicians courting to those in 1) so they can maximize their power and wealth via taxes and control.

    Mine's the one with Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" in the pocket.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Science is great

    Post an article about a trivial analogy between current society and prehistoric society, ensure that you have a proper caveat inserted to ward off serious criticism, and you pass for a scientist.

  12. jake Silver badge


    Ever hear of a matriarchy? They existed in h/g groups. It isn't just males who are alpha.

    (Posted with an Alpha bitch Whippet in my lap, taking a break from her 5 week old pups, and the baddest Warmblood band mare west of the Pecos currently under my wife in the arena.)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Do we really want an egalitarian society?

    A free society will inherently become unequal because people are unequal by genetics, and historically evolution drives genetic diversification.

    To obtain an egalitarian society you must either use oppression or induce genetically diverse populations to unite.

  14. wv9e

    Nazis strike again...

    Ofcourse you are better off being a lazy ass lame unionist where the world owes you a living..

    Anyone with get up and go, for anything beyond a fast food burger that is, must be the cause of

    all the inequality in the world. Never mind that the pack leaders in "hunter/gather" communes

    have all the power and guns.

    Why is this even an issue? Because of welfare rats. Simple logic.

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