Hunter-gatherer Moralists with Cell Phones

More on lunatic “health” experts from James Delingpole:

There was a letter to the Daily Telegraph last weekend which depressed me more than anything I’ve read in ages. It reported the visit by a social worker to an elderly woman who made her a cup of tea. The young social worker was shocked by what she saw. Not only did this bewildered old woman insist on using leaves rather than a bag but she first poured some hot water into the pot, swirled it round, then wasted it by putting it straight down the sink. Here, clearly, was evidence that grandma was incapable of looking after herself and should be put into care immediately.

This put me in mind of another experience I had recently. I was having dinner with a group of friends in an upmarket London pub and we all wanted our burgers cooked medium rare. ‘They won’t allow it,’ said a local friend in the know. ‘We’re under Westminster Council jurisdiction, here.’ Sure enough, when the time to order came we had to beg and plead with the manager for our burgers not be overcooked, as local health laws now require.

What the old lady was doing was make tea the way it used to be made (and very often still is). You poured hot water into the teapot to warm it up, and then emptied it, put in a few teaspoons of loose tea, and poured boiling water in, and let it stand for a few minutes. These days I just drop and tea bag in a mug, and add boiling water. And this was probably how the young social worker made it too. But now, it seems, you have to make tea in the state-approved fashion if you don’t want to be taken into care. And definitely no Steak Tartare, obviously.

Elsewhere, from a talk given recently in the House of Lords:

According to evolutionary psychology, our minds were mostly formed in that very very long period when we lived as hunter-gatherers, in groups of perhaps at most 150 people, when there was no extensive commerce, little division of labour, and no voluntary employment; when working for others meant literally being a slave. And when there was no technological advance, no money, and no economic growth.

I believe that we are still haunted by the assumptions of such a world, and thus easily confuse employment with exploitation, income and wealth inequality with inequity, and the command of economic resources with dangerous political power.

These aren’t so much economic perceptions as moral ones, since morality is significantly rooted in the sharing of, and struggle for, resources; in tribal solidarity, but also in predation and the demonization of outsiders.


I believe that the insight that we are essentially hunter-gatherer moralists with cell phones makes it easier to understand persistent convictions about corporate conspiracy. It also helps explain naïve Do It Yourself Economic beliefs in grand, centrally-planned solutions to allegedly global problems.

I’m no big fan of evolutionary psychology, but I think this may explain some of the very simplistic ways some people seem to think. It’s only a few thousand years since we were living the lives of hunter-gatherers, and now everything has completely changed, and yet it may well be that the moral imperatives of that time still retain a deep hold over us, and make some of us long to go back to a simpler social organisations with top-down control by wise men (aka “experts”).

I quite often think that socialism isn’t the future, but was instead the past. Back then we all worked together to bring in the harvest, or to hunt antelope, and we all ate together around the campfire afterwards, and everybody knew their place in society, and who sat nearest to the fire, and who furthest.


About Frank Davis

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23 Responses to Hunter-gatherer Moralists with Cell Phones

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    There is to be no room for individualism or dissent in the fascist world being constructed. In Ft. Lee, New Jersey (just across the Hudson from Manhattan) smoking patios have just been banned.

    “Fort Lee bans smoking in outdoor restaurants and cafes”

    FORT LEE — Officials have passed an ordinance prohibiting smoking in outdoor restaurants and cafes, making Fort Lee the first municipality in Bergen County to do so.

    New Jersey law already prohibits outdoor secondhand smoke from wafting into indoor public places or work settings, according to one leading anti-tobacco advocate. But anti-smoking advocates and borough officials say local municipalities can adopt their own ordinances, which also make it easier to enforce the law.

    “It’s an excellent means of educating the public, as well as the merchants, as to what the current state laws are,” said Karen Blumenfeld, executive director of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, which spearheaded a campaign that has led to about half of all municipalities in the state to ban smoking in public parks.

    tephen Wielkocz, the borough’s health officer, said the state law can be ambiguous, while the local ordinance helps clarify expectations.

    “It’s a very clear law that we can enforce,” he said.
    Both Blumenfeld and Wielkocz said they are aware of only one other municipality – Passaic – that has banned smoking in outdoor dining establishments.

    Under the Fort Lee ordinance, which the council passed unanimously this month, no-smoking signs must be clearly posted at outdoor restaurants and cafes and indicate that violators are subject to a fine. Violators will have to pay at least $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.
    Borough officials banned smoking at all public parks and recreational facilities and imposed similar fines for such violations last May.

    Wielkocz believes that more municipalities may take up similar positions regarding smoking in outdoor dining areas in the future.
    “You’re eating outside because you want to get fresh air,” he said. “It’s outrageous to have someone smoking a cigar or cigarette next to you.”

    Fort Lee has about a dozen businesses with outdoor dining areas, according to multiple borough employees.
    Despite concerns that these businesses may be hurt if they can’t allow patrons to smoke outside, Councilman Joseph Cervieri said he ultimately voted for the ordinance because “a person’s right to breathe clean air trumps the right of a person to create dirty air for others to breathe.”

    Moreover, he said, no restaurant owner had approached him, nor did any speak out against the ordinance at the council meeting.
    “The nice thing about the ordinance is it can be fine-tuned if there’s some real issue,” he added.

    Several restaurant owners and managers said Friday they did not object to the ordinance.
    Sarah Lim, manager at JD’s Steak Pit on Main Street, said smokers generally don’t make an issue of not being able to light up, whereas non-smokers are more likely to complain when secondhand smoke is around, she said.

    “If there are other customers and if [some people] are smoking, it turns them off and they don’t want to sit back there,” she said.

    Other businesses said they already don’t allow patrons to smoke in their outdoor dining areas. Don Sposa, general manager and owner of G.W. Grill on Hudson Terrace, said he believes his business is already compliant by directing smokers to an area near the building’s south end – away from the dining area in the northern section.

    “I don’t take offense to [the ordinance]. We don’t let people smoke at the table or in front of a table,” he said, adding that he understands many people find secondhand smoke offensive.

    I for one find antismoking policies and ordinances offensive. I would accept separate smoking and non-smoking sections indoors and outdoors as an alternative.

    • New Jersey of all states has seen more people leave than come. Guess what else,Jersey is getting the lions share of illegals and muslims that Obama just imported.

    • Rose says:

      Fort Lee

      I think on balance that I would leave the outdoor dining to people who have less regard for their health than me.

      Feds confirm ‘major milestone’ for air quality in NJ


      “The Philadelphia and New York metropolitan areas of New Jersey had been violating the fine particle standards since they were first introduced more than a decade ago,” said Mary Mears, a federal Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman. “The fact that the areas now meet the standards shows real improvements in air quality in New Jersey, thanks in large part to the Clean Air Act.”

      “Despite the decline in soot levels, New Jersey’s air remains poor on many fronts, and fails to meet federal standards for other forms of air pollution, including ground-level ozone, or smog.”

      “But some, including Monica Mazurek, a Rutgers University expert on urban air pollution, question the validity of the New Jersey soot numbers, because the monitors are generally located away from local pollution sources. Even the Newark air monitor is on the roof of a firehouse, so it doesn’t capture the real day to day exposure to diesel emissions for people walking on the street or working near the ports and highways, Mazurek has said.”

      “Councilman Joseph Cervieri said he ultimately voted for the ordinance because “a person’s right to breathe clean air trumps the right of a person to create dirty air for others to breathe.”

      Nothing quite like instilling a false sense of security in the populace.

      • Immigrants filling the void as residents flee N.J. by the tens of thousands (Interactive Map)

        New Jersey residents are fleeing the state in droves, but the loss is primarily being offset by a continued influx of immigrants from other countries, without which the state’s population would be declining precipitously.

        Between 2013 and 2014, New Jersey lost at least 55,000 residents who left for other states, the continuation of a trend that’s been going on for decades as people flee the state to retire, to seek a lower-cost of living and jobs in places that have been quicker to recover from the recession.

        But in the same span, more than 51,000 people have moved to the Garden State from other countries, at the same time reshaping the state’s population and stabilizing its slow growth.

        It’s the same thing that has spurred the state’s massive growth in the early part of the 20th century, but today, it’s preventing an exodus.

        “This is really what we’d call a demographic long wave,” said James Hughes, dean of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. It’s been going on for a long time and it will continue to go on. The result is a sustained increase in diversity and population.”

        The result is a sustained increase in diversity and population.”

        The result is a sustained increase in Welfare and Minority poor population.”

  2. Zaphod says:

    Evolutionary psychology, I am a big fan.
    Obviously, there will be a lot of bollocks talked, and many just-so stories, but the concept makes perfect sense to me.
    Whenever I’m puzzled by human behaviour, I think about the stone-age hunter-gatherer instincts trying to cope in the modern world, with only a thin layer of learned behaviour and cultural training to blunt its edge.
    It works for me.

  3. Zaphod says:

    And when I say, “human behaviour”, I include my own.

  4. I still rinse a glass out or pot as habit just to make sure its clean before use…………

  5. Rose says:

    Scientific truth at last and from the people who should know.

    E-cigarette warning chosen by the manufacturers.

    “Nicotine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and cause dizziness, nausea and stomach pain,” says MarkTen, a leading brand in the United States. The ingredients can be “poisonous.”

    MarkTen’s parent company Altria, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, said the language seemed appropriate. There is no required health warning on electronic cigarettes in the United States, so “we had to do what we thought was right,” said a spokesman for Altria Client Services.”

    Green Tobacco Sickness in Tobacco Harvesters — Kentucky, 1992

    “Green tobacco sickness (GTS) is an illness resulting from dermal exposure to dissolved nicotine from wet tobacco leaves; it is characterized by nausea, vomiting, weakness, and dizziness and sometimes fluctuations in blood pressure or heart rate”

    Can’t argue with that.

  6. Perennial anti-smoker emotional blackmail

    Callous exploitation of the Child, the Baby, the Foetus
    and the objective Scientific method

  7. Smoking in public places – Commons Library Standard Note

    Published 27 March 2015 | Standard notes SN04414

    Authors: Cecilia Barbry, Sarah Hartwell-Naguib, Sarah Barber

    Topic: Roads, Smoking

    This note outlines the provisions of the smoking ban in England that came into effect on 1 July 2007 in a practical context. It also includes recent developments such as the introduction of new regulations in 2015 regarding smoking in private vehicles.

    New regulations brought a smoking ban into force in England at 6am on 1 July 2007. Almost all enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and workplaces are included, as are public transport and most work vehicles and company cars. Following the introduction of new regulations in 2015, it is now also against the law to smoke in a private vehicle when children are present.

    There are a few limited exemptions to the ban where smoking may take place in designated rooms providing certain requirements are met, including: overnight sleeping accommodation in hotels, hostels and private members’ clubs; prison cells; hospices; long stay care settings; specialist tobacconist shops and tobacco research facilities.

    Whilst the places where tobacco and other substances can be smoked is heavily restricted, smoking itself it not banned, and may still take place outdoors (subject to other restrictions or local by-laws) and in the home, provided the area is not used as a workplace by more than one person. All common parts of flats and communal accommodation must be smoke-free. Where smoking shelters are provided, these must comply with the requirements to be less than fifty per cent enclosed otherwise they will be deemed substantially enclosed under the regulations.

    The Regulations reflect the minimum requirements to comply with the ban. Some employers and premises owners may choose to go further and impose a smoking ban in all areas under their control, including outside grounds and car parks.

    Guidance on the Regulations can be found on the Smokefreeengland website: Everything you need to prepare for the new smokefree law on 1 July 2007.

    Download the full report

    Smoking in public places (PDF PDF, 20 pages, 272.8 KB)

    • If somebody would kindly post this on the above story thanks in advance

      Perennial anti-smoker emotional blackmail

      Callous exploitation of the Child, the Baby, the Foetus
      and the objective Scientific method

    • magnetic01 says:

      Posted these comments at “kin free”.

      The “study” in question demonstrates only how nothing is manufactured into catastrophe by antismoking zealots, i.e., agenda-driven trash.

      The entire sample size was 20 with only 4 smokers. There’s not much that can be made with these small numbers. Yet beyond the small sample size, there are serious methodological issues. For example, “The pilot study of 20 pregnant mothers, conducted at Durham and Lancaster universities in England, was designed to find out how
      fetuses react to smoking.” The researchers were convinced, a priori, that the research design measured only the effects of smoking. Firstly, for the smokers group, ultrasounds were NOT taken while the woman was smoking. Were there differences in time of day and pre-post meals that the ultrasounds were undertaken? Were some women on medication? Did some women have a history of stress? Were there fetus-gender differences? Were the ultra-sounds administered by the same/different operators? Are there ultra-sound techniques that can elicit fetal movements?

      The study doesn’t account for potential confounders. Further, there’s no particular reason why hand movements around the mouth would be considered a “distressed” activity. Fetal movements would be considered a “positive” in ultrasounds. Most importantly, “All fetuses were born with no obvious health issues.”

      Yet, this flimsy “study” has only provided opportunity for the researchers to engage in antismoking hysteria, which appears to be the [antismoking] intent from the outset. The researchers conclude, without basis, that fetal movements, especially in pregnant smokers, are “negative”, signs of distress. They conclude, without basis, that these fetal movements in pregnant smokers are solely caused by smoking. They go even further, without basis, claiming that the fetal movements were caused specifically by nicotine. These conclusions are inflammatory nonsense that go far, far beyond the scope of the study in question that further promote the antismoking agenda.

    • magnetic01 says:

      Antismokers making hysterical claims about smoking in pregnancy has a long history.

      Early in the 1900’s it was some church groups (e.g., Methodist Episcopal Church’s Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals) that considered nicotine as a “killer of babies.” The “controversy” was picked up by the New York Times in two stories. In one story it was claimed that 40 babies from a New York maternity hospital “suffered from tobacco heart caused by the cigaret smoking of their mothers.” In the other it was claimed that “sixty percent of all babies born of cigaret-smoking mothers die before they reach the age of two, due primarily to nicotine poisoning.” (quoted in Oaks, 2001, p.53; Journal of the American Medical Association, 1929, p.123) The American Tobacco Trust was viewed by the church board as “conscienceless baby-killers” that by promoting cigarettes to women were directing a “lying murderous campaign.”

      Consider the current antismoking crusade and the warning label “Smoking Harms Unborn Babies” (appears on Australian cigarette packs):

      The statistical associations between smoking women and particular problems in newborns is confined to a few percent of deliveries to smoking women. Further, the role
      of smoking in these problems is highly dubious in that it is such a poor
      predictor for these problems. The vast, vast majority of deliveries to pregnant
      smokers are comparable to pregnant nonsmokers. But you would never guess this
      from the label above which implies that smoking harms all babies.

      This inflammatory nonsense comes from the late-1970s. Look at the Godber
      Blueprint, the framework for the current crusade. Here’s an insight into how
      antismoking fanatics/zealots/extremists “reason”:
      “Donovan’s most interesting remarks related to smoking and pregnancy. He
      admitted that he couldn’t explain how or why smoking harmed the fetus but
      suggested that, instead of worrying about such fine points, women be told that
      all unborn children of smoking women will be hurt. Donovan urged every
      participant to go back to their countries and publish estimates of the
      lethality of smoking and pregnancy based on the number of pregnant smokers. He
      urged this as an effective method to get women to stop smoking.”

      This is the sort of inflammatory trash that has been fed to
      the public for the last 30 years. Facts don’t matter. All that matters to
      antismoking fanatics/zealots/extremists is what needs to be said repeatedly to
      terrorize women into antismoking conformity.

      Take a look at this utter nonsense:

    • magnetic01 says:

      There should be investigations – none to date – into whether the antismoking hysteria adopted by Public Health produces needless stress/further stress in pregnant smokers.

  8. Bandit 1 says:

    Was going to comment on Delingpole’s site but you need to register, and fuckit.

    He should change his dentist. He should explain exactly why he is taking his custom elsewhere, to her face. He should tell her she upset him so much he wrote a blog post that has been read by thousands. Hell, why not? The whole point of the private sector is that you can provide negative feedback and withdraw your custom if you’re not happy with the service.

    He’s actually annoyed me a great deal with his whining post. Rather than limply accepting that the Gramscian Revolution has, and will, ruin everything, do something about it in your own life.

    As for the opening story, I hope the “young social worker” responsible for the grave insult to the elderly lady has been named, shamed and fired.

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