What's wrong with this picture?
The "friking amazing" persistence hunt video is going around and you've really got to see it. It gives us the flavor of an authentic persistence hunt and is obviously useful in giving us a sense of primal human experience. But don't get lulled into believing that this is the ultimate look at our ancestral heritage. These are true !Kung bushmen, but they are moderns and this is a re-creation of a historical event. Please note the shoes, the plastic water bottle and the metal spear. Not only that, we have to remember that this is only one hunt by one tribe in one bioregion, in one moment in time. Any conclusions that we might draw from this movie should be tentative.
Obvious flaws aside, this video gives us some good ideas for speculation. Most obviously, note the high level of environmental awareness. These hunters make every movement decision on environmental grounds. There are no highway cones, no white stripes painted on the concrete, no volunteers with stopwatches. Every single physical action is tied to terrain, plants, animals and weather. There are no arbitrary physical movements. Everything is in context. Everything is a judgment call. Walk? Run? Sit in the shade? All of these movement decisions are intimately tied to natural conditions. This is something we can take to heart. Instead of charging off down the road like a machine, we might do better to look around first.