Civilization / Culture / History / Philosophy / Thoughts

A Question – A Thought Experiment

File:North America from low orbiting satellite Suomi NPP.jpg

Imagine you could be reborn and live another life, “somewhen” in the past. You could choose when in the history of mankind you would be born (+ or – 10 years or so) and where (+ or – a hundred kilometers or so). You would not be able to control if you are born as male or female and what would be your social status.

Which time and place would you choose?

(The picture is from

15 thoughts on “A Question – A Thought Experiment

      • Hi there OM! Well, I chose that time and place because once I attained 18 years of age, and regardless of my gender or social status, I would be able to attend church daily – even as the atheist that, all things being equal, I would have been. The year would then be 1723, which is when J.S. Bach was appointed music director at four of the city’s churches, and also M.D. for all major civic events. He held these positions for 27 years until his death. That would mean I would have free access to witnessing the great man perform his works until I attained 45. Whatever few years remained thereafter, I could rest content in the memories of being in the living presence of the Western world’s greatest ever artist as his work was performed by himself.

    • When I read this, Bach was comming to my mind immediately. With some luck (surviving Childhood and staying in the area) you would have had a chance to hear and see him performing regularly. Listening to Bach playing the organ and directing his choir or orchestra might be as close as you can get to heaven as possible on this planet 🙂
      There is an edition of Bach’s collected works on CD and I am happy I have it.

      The “down side” of Leipzig is that you would be talking Sächsisch (saxon), a dialect of German that sounds rather funny to people from other areas. People say: one out of 6 Germans is from saxony and the other 5 are laughing about him (thats because of the language. I am able to speak this dialect a little bit since my father and grandfather came from the region, so I know what I am talking about. It is, well, special 🙂 ).

  1. My own choice: Brandberg, Namibia, 3000 years ago (or earlier), before the arrival of herders and farmers in the area, during the area when the famous rock art of the area was created (see

    The society of these Khoisan hunter gatherers seems to have been rather egalitarian. There were no systems of rule and power, no slavery or classes, and society seems to have been relatively peaceful. It looks like there were no marked differences in the status of men and women.

    Characteristic of Khoisan material culture is the use of a large number of different tools and techniques (an adaptable, quite sophisticated microlithic tool culture) and the use of a multitude of resources, so food security was high and life seems to have been interesting. The rock art speaks of a relatively sophisticated mental culture. I think quality of life must have been rather high on average.

      • Look for “The rock paintings of the Upper Brandberg” by Harald Pager. There are three volumes, I think. Pager spent years copying the paintings. Its absolutely great stuff. These books are hard to get and have become extremely expensive, but it should be possible to get them through the university library system. Its worth the effort.

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