Thomas Sewel is a columnist whose writings tend to provoke critical thinking.
A recent column contained a paragraph that stimulates this post:
Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty. It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things -- none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society.
The full article may be found at: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articl ... 28160.html
I confess to having never thought about that before. The "Garden of Eden" myth has been lurking unexamined in my mind until now, apparently.
That aside, I like the idea of explaining prosperity.
This post builds upon the title of Dr. Dartnell's chapter, by blending and overlapping the period after a collapse of civilization, with the period after birth.
It seems reasonable to suppose that the conditions that lead to poverty or prosperity of a human being take effect during childhood.
Likewise, during a period following a collapse of civilization, families and individuals will make decisions that will determine their long term future.
The dissolution of a country is a pretty good current example of a major disaster, but the loss of home and possessions due to fire or flood is different only in degree.
If anyone would care to extend this thread, what I am looking for are contributions that identify attitudes or behaviors that increase chances of prosperity, for an individual or a community.