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Monday, March 14. 2016
Leave them alone at a great distance as if they were endangered wild animals, film and study the heck out of them, or buy them a Big Mac and take them to the opera? The fate of these stone age tribes is entirely in civilization's hands. A strange situation:
I am reminded about the Star Trek directive: "No interference."
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 20:03 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
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No matter what is done it will be the wrong thing. Imagine if you were able to put up schools, teach the children English, history, the benefit of democracy and capitalism and disabused them of their superstitions and misunderstandings, vaccinate them against diseases. You could bring them into the 21st century in one generation. A chance to make it, perhaps the best chance they could ever have. If you did this there would be a million or so professors, activists, mental health professionals and politicians who would all accuse you of denying them their culture and 'forcing' them to accept another culture.
No... Better to let them remain ignorant of the modern world, be exposed to disease, taken advantage of by others, set up on "reservations" to satisfy the liberal belief that they should live like this forever and they will find a way to get access to the West's alcohol and drugs and it will destroy them.
Reminds me of the plot of Huxley's "Brave New World" with the reservation and the Savage.
Reminds me of the black footed ferret, nearly wiped out by man finding out they weren't extinct and introducing distemper "accidently".
You mean like in Detroit and Philadelphia?
I just stumbled upon the Andaman Islands the other day when I was playing with google earth (I like to find out of the way islands and places and then look them up. They almost always have interesting stories).
Anyway, North Sentinel Island in the Andamans is the one on which India has placed a three mile buffer and has forbidden visitation. The natives attack anyone who comes close and are an isolated population likely from the initial human colonization of the area 30-60k years ago. Similar, less hostile tribes, live on the larger islands.
The people are very small and appear more African than Asian, but do have one genetic marker that's considered Asian in addition to their African heritage.
Another interesting tidbit on Sentinel Island is that it heaved up at least 6' in the big earthquake and now some of the coral reefs are now above water and the beaches are much expanded.
When I think about indigenous populations like that, I think about regions which are not isolated. There are 2 ways to handle things - let them just happen (preferred), or force them to happen. The town I visited on my honeymoon, and how people here in NYC reacted to its 'backwardness' show why we should leave well enough alone.
Our honeymoon was on Ambergris Cay in Belize. Town of San Pedro. A little town with 3 streets - Front, Middle and Back. Each of them ran about 5 blocks. This was 23 years ago. Take a look at the map now - San Pedro is pretty grown up.
We walked into a bar with a second floor terrace and sat down to have a beer and look at the ocean. The owner sat with us and chatted. He was blues guitarist, and I enjoy the blues. It was fun to hear his stories, particularly because Jimmy Buffett sometimes showed up and had concerts on the beach there, and he'd play with them. My wife got up to get another beer, and he handed her his glass and said "If you don't mind, while you're pouring yours, can you pour me another?" Self-service bars...had to love it.
However, most of the people in the town lived in what are best described as ramshackle huts. Corrugated sheet metal and wood. No shoes were required anywhere, and locals would catch fish and have fish fries on the beach. Anyone was welcome to join (you had to pay a small fee, but it was amazing tasting fish, wrapped in foil with all kinds of vegetables and mayonnaise. Sounds awful but tasted incredible.)
When I got back to work, Bill Clinton was running for president and many people I worked with (this being NYC) were attending his rallies. Their Progressive mindset was kicking in as I described the rustic setting which made our honeymoon perfect. "How did it feel living so well when people were barely getting by?"
I'm not sure what they were getting at. We spent 2 nights in a grass hut until the mosquitoes forced us to book a 'real' room. By 'real' I mean something from 1920, but with the bonus of air conditioning.
I explained that the 'hotel' I stayed at was designed to be washed away in a hurricane, just like the corrugated shacks. There was a hardened shelter on the island, on the highest ground, where locals would go prior to a storm to ride it out. All my Progressive friends were appalled. "We really need to help people like that."
Do we? They had good lives, they weren't asking for help. I'm all for progress, and yesterday I even commented about the guy who felt he played a role in 'ruining' Thailand. Progress is a good thing. But it doesn't have to be forced on people.
At the time of my honeymoon, there was one new hotel being built. It was the first truly hardened hotel - it was designed to survive the worst nature could throw at it. Today there are many of these things in San Pedro.
I don't miss the small town of my honeymoon. It grew up. But it grew up on its own, and by its own choice. It didn't grow up because some Progressives showed up to show them how to live better, believing it was in the people's best interest.
You take your basic Primitive, whether he's a kollege senior, a kommunity organizer or a head hunting kannibal chief, and what possible motivation would they have for change? they're already Big Man On Campus/Forest/Hood. why trade that actual power for the opportunity to read Shakespeare? There isn't any reason for any of these people to grow up and any improvement would threaten their power base.
this isn't so with the children of these vermin. offer them a glimpse of their own possible future: iphone 20, seeing the Bills finally win a Super Bowl, daily Maggies Farm versus hunting pygmy antelope with toad-poison arrows and a life expectancy 30 of and it doesn't take a genius to to figure out the better choice.
Primitive does not equate to stupid. If we know of them, they know of us. Heisenberg's principal applies.
I think you mean the observer effect. Heisenberg uncertainty means that complementary metrics cannot be known with complete accuracy at subatomic scales.
With all the psychology and sociology departments on every campus this basic question of how to improve people's lives, lift them out of poverty and motivate self-improvement, still exists? Dang, the primitives may be better off being zoo-exhibits than condemned to the slums of Sao Paulo or Detroit or Flint.
Give them the choice.
15 years ago I was tasked with learning a new career which would force me to embrace modern technology and culture ( I was a butcher , and sometimes market manager in grocery stores) and shelving the whole thing and buying an acreage in the woods and building a cabin and saying the hel* to the whole thing.
I chose the former. Went to college and earned a degree in mechanical drafting and design.
I'm always making bad decisions like this.