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dbrak wrote: »
In a wilderness with practically infinite time to spare, a human society, I think, could take two paths: specialization and civilization or descent into anarchy.
We almost saw some Lord-of-the-Flies-type conflict over the whistle/conch/precious, and even children like having power over others. Invariably, some social hierarchy will develop (unless you accept the feasibility of a Marxist utopia). Fears of "beasties" in the "it's kind of scary" quote regarding the mountain lions in "The Most Horrible Place in the World" (http://campcomic.com/comic/27), and the kid with the shovel demonstrates some sort of mobilization of labor.
It would also be possible to return to civilization if they could create a signal fire or "HELP" signal on the ground with which to flag down the errant cargo plane. The boys in Lord of the Flies also explored their island, probably more fruitful in a place that is not an island (Brian found a water pump, but nobody sought the origins of the piping).
The other path of scientific, geographic, and civic development is already somewhat traversed. All members have at least elementary school education, and some, like Colin, have more. Even knowing that there are 356 and 1/4 days in a solar year is a great advantage in astronomy and timekeeping. The children have also built forts, a measure of engineering and an indicator of the feasibility of frontier settlement. Those familiar with geology might be able to smelt metals from minerals found in the mountains.