What emerged with that revelation was an image of Paleolithic artists transmitting their techniques from generation to generation for twenty-five millennia with almost no innovation or revolt. A profound conservatism in art, Curtis notes, is one of the hallmarks of a “classical civilization.” For the conventions of cave painting to have endured four times as long as recorded history, the culture it served, he concludes, must have been “deeply satisfying”—and stable to a degree it is hard for modern humans to imagine.
From First Impressions: What does the world’s oldest art say about us?
By Judith Thurman, June 23, 2008, New Yorker
Contrast the mind-blowing concept of 1,000 generations of cultural continuity with Sir Ken Robinson’s statement at TED in 2007,
If you think of it, children starting school this year will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a clue, despite all the expertise that’s been on parade over the last 4 days, what the world will look like in 5 years time…
Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity? [At around 2:20]