On the other hand, the Culture can be seen as fundamentally hedonistic (one of the main objectives for any being, including Minds, is to have fun rather than to be 'useful'). Also, Minds are constructed, by convention, to care for and value human beings. While a General Contact Unit (GCU) does not strictly need a crew (and could construct artificial avatars when it did), a real human crew adds richness to its existence, and offers distraction during otherwise dull periods. In Consider Phlebas it is noted that Minds still find humans fascinating, especially their odd ability to sometimes achieve similarly advanced reasoning as their much more complex machine brains.
Other technological advances made during the Paleolithic era were clothing and shelter; the adoption of both technologies cannot be dated exactly, but they were a key to humanity's progress. As the Paleolithic era progressed, dwellings became more sophisticated and more elaborate; as early as 380 ka, humans were constructing temporary wood huts.   Clothing, adapted from the fur and hides of hunted animals, helped humanity expand into colder regions; humans began to migrate out of Africa by 200 ka and into other continents such as Eurasia .