Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beginnings of toolbox - or of clutter?

Just recently, the BBC and the British Museum have started a radio series called "A history of the world in 100 objects". Episode 3 was on last night, but all the ones broadcast so far are available as podcasts here.

They are each 15 minutes long, so ideal to listen to if you want a crafting break from whatever useful stuff you should be doing. The second episode talks about an "Olduvai stone chopping tool", described as the oldest human object in the British museum.

And then the presenter said:

Lots of animals use objects, particularly of course apes, but what sets us apart from them at this moment in our evolution is that, unlike them, we make tools before we need them. And once we have used them we keep them to use again. It's the beginning of the tool box.

"No" I thought, "it is the beginnings of clutter. Humans have been collecting tools since before we were humans."

And then I thought of the prehistoric person making tools in advance, like some of us wander round the various craft shows buying shiny new tools just because one day we might want to make our own bias tape, or do whatever else it is that the manufacturers of the gizmos think we might want to do. We might not live in the veldt of the African plains, but the similarities are there.

1 comment:

ChickieChirps said...

Hi Penny,

Thanks for commenting on my blog and giving me the link for the Card Trick block! It's great to have a name for it.

I totally agree re the clutter... actually I am often guilty of buying the tools because I think I might need them sometime in the future and then end up never using them and just being the perfect consumer!