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EGarrett
30th May 2008, 08:41 AM
I can't help noticing, in the uncontacted tribe story, that the "Survival International" people they interview never even bother to consider for a second if it might be better to actually allow the uncontacted tribe to see technology and society and maybe decide if they want it?

You may lose some study opportunities, but by the same token it might be cruel to leave those people in a hunter-gatherer state without giving them any other option.

Safe-Keeper
30th May 2008, 08:56 AM
Makes me wonder how I would feel if extraterrestrials were watching us and could give us fantastic technology and a chance to explore the galaxy... but who don't want to because "we're doing fine as we are".

They deserve a chance. The problem, from my layman's point of view, seems to be that offering them technology also "ruins" their culture and way of life.

LostAngeles
30th May 2008, 09:17 AM
I can't help noticing, in the uncontacted tribe story, that the "Survival International" people they interview never even bother to consider for a second if it might be better to actually allow the uncontacted tribe to see technology and society and maybe decide if they want it?

You may lose some study opportunities, but by the same token it might be cruel to leave those people in a hunter-gatherer state without giving them any other option.

You're presuming that hunter-gatherer automatically equals a sucky existence. There are benefits and downsides to both complex and hunter-gatherer societies.

Safe-Keeper
30th May 2008, 09:21 AM
It's not that it's a "sucky" existence, it's that they have as much of a right to an alternative that we do. If they feel their existence is fine and would rather keep living it, fine, let them. But it should be their choice.

ImaginalDisc
30th May 2008, 09:22 AM
Yes. An unequivocable yes. I know that many tribal societies have radically changed and endured social problems by changing their "traditional" ways and adopting a more modern lifestyle. However, it's not our place to dictate to other people what technology they are and aren't allowed to witness or have access to. That's incredibly condescending.

If they choose to mantain their traditional lifestyle, more or less, that's their choice to make. It's not our place to tell other people how to live. If they want to leave their homes and go look for jobs in the city, fine. If they want to trade rare bird plumes for cell phones and cigarettes, fine.

LostAngeles
30th May 2008, 09:32 AM
It's not that it's a "sucky" existence, it's that they have as much of a right to an alternative that we do. If they feel their existence is fine and would rather keep living it, fine, let them. But it should be their choice.

My problem was really with the word, "cruel." It seemed to imply that allowing them to live a hunter-gatherer existence would be a terrible thing.

If they want to make a change, then by all means allow them, but let's not pretend that hunter-gatherer<complex. Nomadic groups have integrated a lot of technology into their lifestyle, I wouldn't be surprised if an H-G group does so too.

Skeptical Greg
30th May 2008, 09:47 AM
Ignorance is bliss ..

AWPrime
30th May 2008, 09:49 AM
I would advice against it, contact could cause severe social upheaval and in long term the side effects could damage the local ecology.

Darth Rotor
30th May 2008, 09:53 AM
Yes. An unequivocable yes. I know that many tribal societies have radically changed and endured social problems by changing their "traditional" ways and adopting a more modern lifestyle. However, it's not our place to dictate to other people what technology they are and aren't allowed to witness or have access to. That's incredibly condescending.

If they choose to mantain their traditional lifestyle, more or less, that's their choice to make. It's not our place to tell other people how to live. If they want to leave their homes and go look for jobs in the city, fine. If they want to trade rare bird plumes for cell phones and cigarettes, fine.
While I tend to agree with your points here, the risks aren't all social. From a BBC article: (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7027254.stm)
He said the government had no plans to try to find the tribe again.

The steady advance of logging has forced the isolated groups, among them the Mashco-Piro and Yora tribes, deeper into Peru's jungle frontier with Brazil and Bolivia.

Indigenous leaders say tribes have suffered many deaths from diseases contracted from outsiders. A pan-American human rights group criticised Peru's government this year for doing little to protect the groups from illegal loggers who are chopping down the mahogany-rich forests in which they live.
These folks may not have a choice to be left the hell alone.

DR

ImaginalDisc
30th May 2008, 09:53 AM
I would advice against it, contact could cause severe social upheaval and in long term the side effects could damage the local ecology.

Who gave you the right to decide what other adults should do with their lives, and what benefits of the world they shouldn't be allowed to see?

Darth Rotor
30th May 2008, 09:54 AM
I can't help noticing, in the uncontacted tribe story, that the "Survival International" people they interview never even bother to consider for a second if it might be better to actually allow the uncontacted tribe to see technology and society and maybe decide if they want it?

You may lose some study opportunities, but by the same token it might be cruel to leave those people in a hunter-gatherer state without giving them any other option.
To answer your question with a question:

Do these uncontacted tribes deserve to be left the hell alone?

ImaginalDisc
30th May 2008, 09:56 AM
While I tend to agree with your points here, the risks aren't all social. From a BBC article: (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7027254.stm)

These folks may not have a choice to be left the hell alone.

DR

My response to that is that tribal groups should be recognized to own the resources in the areas where they live, and entitled to the same legal and police protections as anyone else.

Civilization's not just made up of technologies, but also rights and responsabilities.

Darth Rotor
30th May 2008, 10:01 AM
My response to that is that tribal groups should be recognized to own the resources in the areas where they live, and entitled to the same legal and police protections as anyone else.

Civilization's not just made up of technologies, but also rights and responsabilities.
True enough, and I again generally agree. The problem is, as soon as rights and legal gets mentioned, who do you think has the lawyers on their side: the logging companies or the tribe? :(

The right to be left the hell alone in a given area, or range, cannot be preserved by the small nomadic groups via their own means. What they appear to need is a champion for their cause, given the logging/mineral interests who have plenty of rights, and lawyers to argue their rights, to hand.

DR

BPSCG
30th May 2008, 10:09 AM
Judging by the fact that in at least one photo, they're pointing their bows and arrows at the plane, I think they want to be left the hell alone.

Theodore Roosevelt ran into some uncontacted tribes on one of the Amazon's tributaries, called The River of Doubt (afterwards renamed Rio Teodoro) almost a hundred years ago. They didn't want to be bothered either. The fascinating story of the near-disastrous expedition can be read here (http://www.amazon.com/River-Doubt-Theodore-Roosevelts-Darkest/dp/0385507968).

EGarrett
30th May 2008, 10:56 AM
Judging by the fact that in at least one photo, they're pointing their bows and arrows at the plane, I think they want to be left the hell alone.But they don't know what the plane is...

EGarrett
30th May 2008, 10:59 AM
My problem was really with the word, "cruel." It seemed to imply that allowing them to live a hunter-gatherer existence would be a terrible thing.

If they want to make a change, then by all means allow them, but let's not pretend that hunter-gatherer<complex. Nomadic groups have integrated a lot of technology into their lifestyle, I wouldn't be surprised if an H-G group does so too.Hunter-Gatherer is not automatically worse than complex. But if their life-expectancy and other health issues are less than normal societies, I think we can safely assume that we could improve things for them.

BTW, I think the Survival International people are falling victim to the Is-Ought Fallacy. Thinking that just because nature is the way it is, that it ought to be left that way.

ImaginalDisc
30th May 2008, 11:12 AM
True enough, and I again generally agree. The problem is, as soon as rights and legal gets mentioned, who do you think has the lawyers on their side: the logging companies or the tribe? :(

The right to be left the hell alone in a given area, or range, cannot be preserved by the small nomadic groups via their own means. What they appear to need is a champion for their cause, given the logging/mineral interests who have plenty of rights, and lawyers to argue their rights, to hand.

DR

Yes, and no. There's a lot of NGO's expiermenting with microloans to help tribal people acquire their own logging equipment, their own satalite phones, and other material to earn money and manage their resources on their own, and thus make money to have their lawyers and etc. I'd have to check my notes from a class I had the other semester, but I recall several NGO's experimenting with it and finding out that the tribe benefits from having their own logging equipment in amny ways. A) Instead of being paid a pittance by outside loggers, they keep all the profit. B) They know the area best and know which trees are most accessable, and would cause the least destruction to take, and C) Don't log that much on their own even when they have the equipment, so the total impact is small.

But, even such self-sufficent arraingements, charity has to be involved at some level. These people will doubtless need medical assistance when, not if they contract an unfamiliar disease, and they wll need advice and guidance on issues like, "How do outsiders arbirate disputes?" And "What the hell is money?"

EGarrett
30th May 2008, 11:43 AM
Would it be possible to generate some income for the tribe by having paid observational tours...(observing from a distance), which can then go to some sort of account for them so they can start acquiring things from the outside world if/when they choose?

I know the Yanomamo use t-shirts and machine made clothes now.

Skeptical Greg
30th May 2008, 11:50 AM
Who gave you the right to decide what other adults should do with their lives, and what benefits of the world they shouldn't be allowed to see?Where does it say they are not being allowed to do anything ?

It would seem any action besides leaving them alone, would be be interfering with their decision about what to do with their lives ..

Denver
30th May 2008, 11:52 AM
I think it is unlikely that any of these uncontacted tribes are in fact uncontacted. First, how would anyone know, unless they contacted them and asked?

And besides, uncontacted by whom? There is no guarantee that these people are born, live, and die without ever wandering around the countryside, or that other tribes have not wandered in from time to time. I personally suspect that even here, the six degrees of Kevin Bacon apply.

ImaginalDisc
30th May 2008, 11:55 AM
Where does it say they are not being allowed to do anything ?

It would seem any action besides leaving them alone, would be be interfering with their decision about what to do with their lives ..

Deliberately isolating them constitutes de facto disallowal to make decisions about entering modern society. It takes away the option from the tribal people. If they encounter modern civilization and decide it's ugly and smelly, and want nothing to do with it, that's their choice.

ImaginalDisc
30th May 2008, 11:57 AM
Would it be possible to generate some income for the tribe by having paid observational tours...(observing from a distance), which can then go to some sort of account for them so they can start acquiring things from the outside world if/when they choose?

I know the Yanomamo use t-shirts and machine made clothes now.

Lots of "primative" communities do that, plus sell crafts and whatnot. I don't know is any are as centrally managed the way you suggest, but tourism's a big source of income for a lot of communities.

Safe-Keeper
30th May 2008, 12:03 PM
Deliberately isolating them constitutes de facto disallowal to make decisions about entering modern society.See my UFO analogy. If ET observes us and studies us, but deliberately hides from us, Prime Directive-style, because they want us to keep our oh so precious culture as it is... they're keeping us out of the loop and disallowing us the choice between technology and the status quo.

Skeptical Greg
30th May 2008, 12:04 PM
Deliberately isolating them constitutes de facto disallowal to make decisions about entering modern society. It takes away the option from the tribal people. If they encounter modern civilization and decide it's ugly and smelly, and want nothing to do with it, that's their choice.They are not aware they have a choice ..
By making them aware, you are interfering in their way of life..

ImaginalDisc
30th May 2008, 12:07 PM
They are not aware they have a choice ..
By making them aware, you are interfering in their way of life..

Conversely, by keeping them ignorant of the outside world you are making the choice for them.

Skeptical Greg
30th May 2008, 12:12 PM
So, why would interference by inaction be worse than interference by action ?


How can they make a choice they don't have ?

ImaginalDisc
30th May 2008, 12:14 PM
So, why would interference by inaction be worse than interference by action ?

Because in the one case you make the decision for other people. In the other case, you treat with a modicum of respect and let them choose for themselves.

Imagine if someone decided you shouldn't be told that China exists. Would you feel insulted?

ETA: Merely because they are presently ignorant of the outside world, it does not follow that they should remain ignorant, and you have as yet failed to explain why merely informing about the outside world constitutes interference.

They're people, not animals in a game preserve.

BPSCG
30th May 2008, 12:26 PM
Deliberately isolating them constitutes de facto disallowal to make decisions about entering modern society.You write as if someone is deliberately blocking their access to the rest of civilization. All that's hindering them is their isolation. Since they live on a river, they could easily build a canoe and travel downstream if they cared to investigate what's out there. The fact that they haven't done it suggests strongly that they don't care to, that they're perfectly content where they are. One mustn't assume that because they are ignorant of the outside world, that they are therefore stupid.

I believe they would prefer to be left alone. I also believe it's only a matter of time before civilization comes along and kicks the door in.

It takes away the option from the tribal people. Are you saying they used to have the option? If so, when did they have it, and how was it taken away from them?

If they encounter modern civilization and decide it's ugly and smelly, and want nothing to do with it, that's their choice.Are you proposing airlifting them en masse to Brasila or Rio to let them have a look?

Skeptical Greg
30th May 2008, 12:36 PM
Because in the one case you make the decision for other people. In the other case, you treat with a modicum of respect and let them choose for themselves.

Imagine if someone decided you shouldn't be told that China exists. Would you feel insulted?

ETA: Merely because they are presently ignorant of the outside world, it does not follow that they should remain ignorant, and you have as yet failed to explain why merely informing about the outside world constitutes interference.

They're people, not aminals in a game preserve.

You have failed to explain why merely informing them about the outside world doesn't constitute interference, or why it wouldn't be more harmful than leaving them alone...

Besides, it is clear you are not really talking about what they have to gain from being informed..

Perhaps their future generations would benefit fro the technology of modern civilization, but it is doubtful the individuals you see in those pictures will die any happier than they are today.
To the contrary; they are more likely to die more miserable because they never had a chance to really enjoy the incredible marvels they were only informed about..

dudalb
30th May 2008, 12:44 PM
I love these people who want to "protect" the tribe by making them into what amounts to an exhibit in a Museum. I think they are suffering from a strong case of the Rosseau
"Noble Savage" crap.
They are not going to be left alone. The world has never worked like that. I just hope we have learned enough to help them adapt to the modern world without screwing them over.

LostAngeles
30th May 2008, 12:50 PM
Hunter-Gatherer is not automatically worse than complex. But if their life-expectancy and other health issues are less than normal societies, I think we can safely assume that we could improve things for them.

BTW, I think the Survival International people are falling victim to the Is-Ought Fallacy. Thinking that just because nature is the way it is, that it ought to be left that way.

Oh, I completely agree and I apologize for having misinterpreted you then.

The wonderful part about the Is-Ought Fallacy is that our nature has given us the ability to change nature to ensure our survival. It's a big circular *************** and I love it.

Because h-g have changed nature, just not as drastically as agriculturalists. You think arrows make themselves? :p

WildCat
30th May 2008, 01:30 PM
I think EGarrett should contact them, so they can eat him.



*this post brought to you by the memory of Michael Rockefeller

Skeptical Greg
30th May 2008, 01:48 PM
I love these people who want to "protect" the tribe by making them into what amounts to an exhibit in a Museum. I think they are suffering from a strong case of the Rosseau
"Noble Savage" crap.
They are not going to be left alone. The world has never worked like that. I just hope we have learned enough to help them adapt to the modern world without screwing them over.

I agree they are not going to be left alone .. We wouldn't be having this discussion if they were ..
I'm just suggesting the benefits of modern civilization are subjective, and you are not necessarily going to make people happier by introducing them to the things that make you happier..

If it were up to me, I'd truck in a load of generators, fuel, widescreens and Xbox 360's , just to see what would happen .. ( ... besides GTA V - Showdown In The Amazon :D )

dudalb
30th May 2008, 01:52 PM
Lives in most Hunter Gatherer societies tend to be very Hobbesian...Nasty,Brutal,and Short...so a little better health care and longer life span are good things, IMHO.

Skeptical Greg
30th May 2008, 02:53 PM
So they live longer to fight again ? Maybe kill someone else ?

Gazpacho
30th May 2008, 03:41 PM
My response to that is that tribal groups should be recognized to own the resources in the areas where they live, and entitled to the same legal and police protections as anyone else.
High ideals, but they're somewhat difficult to pull off politically, as the history of the Americas shows. I think it's amazing that so much of Brazil remains undeveloped.

zooloo
30th May 2008, 04:02 PM
Civilisation... sounds like a cool idea, perhaps we ought to try it sometime. :)

mrbaracuda
30th May 2008, 05:35 PM
Whatever happened to the prime directive!

m_huber
30th May 2008, 06:10 PM
Whatever happened to the prime directive!

Beat me to the punch.

Honestly, look at the cultures that we have introduced civilization to. It always works better overall to leave things as they are. Ecosystems, even ones that incorporate human beings, are highly balanced. Let them be.

Wolfman
30th May 2008, 06:17 PM
Well, for me, this is far from being a theoretical question -- as most people know, I work with a minority group in China (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=72651) who are, in a very real way, very much in this situation. The Mosuo live in the Himalayas, and many Mosuo villages still have no electricity, no running water, and little or no contact with the outside world. Its not quite as extreme a situation of isolation as that of the tribe in the story that started this discussion, but its still one of the most remote and isolated areas of the world.

There are those who argue that we should do our best to bring the Mosuo into the 'modern world'; and there are those who argue that we should do our best to keep them isolated, to let them maintain their culture in its 'purest' form. My problem with both of these attitudes is that, either way, it involves someone else -- an outsider -- making a decision about what is best for them. And I believe that is wrong.

I believe that they must be given a choice...first, make contact, and see if they want to interact. If they don't, then leave them alone. If they do, then send a few people to learn about them, and to begin to introduce the outside world.

I've been criticized in my organization that we are 'destroying' a pure, ancient culture. My perspective is that change is inevitable...there is no question whatsoever that at some time, now or later, they are going to be affected by the outside world. It may be by outsiders visiting their culture; it may be by some of them leaving and visiting the outside world. But it is going to change.

There is, in my opinion, no point in arguing against change. The only real debate should be focused on how that change will come about. And in this regard, there are essentially three choices:

1) Change is forced upon them. This has been the norm throughout human history...'superior' cultures discover/conquer/assimilate smaller or less advanced cultures, and essentially force them to change based upon the priorities/values of the stronger group.

2) Change is chaotic and random. This is what happens when radical new ideas, thoughts, and beliefs are introduced to a culture in a relatively short time, with no thought as to what impact they will have, taking away their opportunity to adapt. Cultures can be quite flexible and adaptive, but they still need time to assimilate new ideas, new technologies, new beliefs, etc. If it is all introduced too fast, with no strategy or plan, it can simply overwhelm the culture.

3) Change is guided by the culture in question. This is the option I go for...introducing new ideas, technologies, and beliefs gradually. Give the local people time to understand it, and them to make a decision for themselves how they want to integrate this as a part of their culture (or to reject it from their culture).

To me, it is all about choice. In the first two scenarios, there is little or no choice, the people are essentially overwhelmed. Only in the latter scenario do they have the ability to make these choices for themselves.

Among the Mosuo, there are those who choose to reject their traditional culture entirely, and embrace the 'new world' that is suddenly available to them; there are those who reject the 'new world' entirely, and insist on maintaining their traditional culture virtually unchanged; and there are those who find a middle road, maintaining some aspects of their traditional culture, while integrating some aspects of the 'new world' at the same time. The important thing, to me, is that each of them has the ability to make that choice for themselves.

geni
30th May 2008, 06:22 PM
Contacting can go horibly wrong from time to time. The result is that goverments for whom it is an issue tend to avoid formal contacting since it is both politicaly a phyiscaly safer (even if in effect it means putting the problem to one side). Realistical by this stage most uncontacted groups are activly looking to avoid contact even if they don't know what they are trying to avoid contact with.

EGarrett
30th May 2008, 06:30 PM
Well, for me, this is far from being a theoretical question -- as most people know, I work with a minority group in China (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=72651) who are, in a very real way, very much in this situation. The Mosuo live in the Himalayas, and many Mosuo villages still have no electricity, no running water, and little or no contact with the outside world. Its not quite as extreme a situation of isolation as that of the tribe in the story that started this discussion, but its still one of the most remote and isolated areas of the world.

There are those who argue that we should do our best to bring the Mosuo into the 'modern world'; and there are those who argue that we should do our best to keep them isolated, to let them maintain their culture in its 'purest' form. My problem with both of these attitudes is that, either way, it involves someone else -- an outsider -- making a decision about what is best for them. And I believe that is wrong.

I believe that they must be given a choice...first, make contact, and see if they want to interact. If they don't, then leave them alone. If they do, then send a few people to learn about them, and to begin to introduce the outside world.

I've been criticized in my organization that we are 'destroying' a pure, ancient culture. My perspective is that change is inevitable...there is no question whatsoever that at some time, now or later, they are going to be affected by the outside world. It may be by outsiders visiting their culture; it may be by some of them leaving and visiting the outside world. But it is going to change.

There is, in my opinion, no point in arguing against change. The only real debate should be focused on how that change will come about. And in this regard, there are essentially three choices:

1) Change is forced upon them. This has been the norm throughout human history...'superior' cultures discover/conquer/assimilate smaller or less advanced cultures, and essentially force them to change based upon the priorities/values of the stronger group.

2) Change is chaotic and random. This is what happens when radical new ideas, thoughts, and beliefs are introduced to a culture in a relatively short time, with no thought as to what impact they will have, taking away their opportunity to adapt. Cultures can be quite flexible and adaptive, but they still need time to assimilate new ideas, new technologies, new beliefs, etc. If it is all introduced too fast, with no strategy or plan, it can simply overwhelm the culture.

3) Change is guided by the culture in question. This is the option I go for...introducing new ideas, technologies, and beliefs gradually. Give the local people time to understand it, and them to make a decision for themselves how they want to integrate this as a part of their culture (or to reject it from their culture).

To me, it is all about choice. In the first two scenarios, there is little or no choice, the people are essentially overwhelmed. Only in the latter scenario do they have the ability to make these choices for themselves.

Among the Mosuo, there are those who choose to reject their traditional culture entirely, and embrace the 'new world' that is suddenly available to them; there are those who reject the 'new world' entirely, and insist on maintaining their traditional culture virtually unchanged; and there are those who find a middle road, maintaining some aspects of their traditional culture, while integrating some aspects of the 'new world' at the same time. The important thing, to me, is that each of them has the ability to make that choice for themselves.I would just ask them why they think something is right just because it's old. Would probably shatter their argument pretty quickly and wouldn't need them to listen to me for any long period of time.

Wolfman
30th May 2008, 06:48 PM
I would just ask them why they think something is right just because it's old. Would probably shatter their argument pretty quickly and wouldn't need them to listen to me for any long period of time.I'm not sure if you intend this argument seriously, or not...

...but it wouldn't even make a minor dent. You are approaching this from the perspective of your logic, and your world view. So if it was you, then your argument might have some merit.

These are people for whom the supernatural is real, while science (such as the existence of bacteria, or the workings of the subatomic realm) seems something far too fantastic and unrealistic to believe. Not only that, for them, the fact that their beliefs are old proves that they are right.

Their response to you? "Our beliefs are old, tested over centuries. Our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents have all attested to their value. Now you come to us with new beliefs, that completely contradict our own, and expect us to believe them?"

In fact, the situation is much reversed in this situation -- it is the woos who tend to accept the 'new information' more readily, while it is the skeptics who tend not to. Because the skeptics demand a much higher burden of 'proof' than the woos do...and in their world, the evidence that their beliefs are true far, far exceeds any evidence that you'll be able to introduce to them in a short time.

EGarrett
30th May 2008, 07:17 PM
My mistake, I quoted your entire post before responding, and I see now that it makes it unclear who exactly I was talking about. This is the exactly line I should've quoted...

I've been criticized in my organization that we are 'destroying' a pure, ancient culture.Meaning that that is the way I would reply to the other people in your organization. Naturally, I understand and agree that the natives themselves won't respond to plain logic.

Wolfman
31st May 2008, 02:56 AM
My mistake, I quoted your entire post before responding, and I see now that it makes it unclear who exactly I was talking about. This is the exactly line I should've quoted...

Meaning that that is the way I would reply to the other people in your organization. Naturally, I understand and agree that the natives themselves won't respond to plain logic.Ah, gotcha'! Yeah, that makes a lot more sense :)

LawnOven
31st May 2008, 04:45 AM
So they have gotten their shot just as I suspected. There is no such thing as "unknown tribes". A bit of journalistic sensationalism or just journalists who are I guess, mostly stupid or gullible.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Brazil's government agreed to release stunning photos of Amazon Indians firing arrows at an airplane so that the world can better understand the threats facing one of the few tribes still living in near-total isolation from civilization, officials said Friday.Anthropologists have known about the group for some 20 years but released the images now to call attention to fast-encroaching development near the Indians' home in the dense jungles near Peru.


and...

Anthropologists say almost all of these tribes know about western civilization and have sporadic contact with prospectors, rubber tappers and loggers, but choose to turn their backs on civilization, usually because they have been attacked."It's a choice they made to remain isolated or maintain only occasional contacts, but these tribes usually obtain some modern goods through trading with other Indians," said Bernardo Beronde, an anthropologist who works in the region.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24895872/

This better reflects the reality of all modern hunter gatherer groups.

mrbaracuda
31st May 2008, 05:08 AM
Beat me to the punch.

Greetings! :)

Björn Toulouse
31st May 2008, 05:22 AM
....
I believe they would prefer to be left alone. I also believe it's only a matter of time before civilization comes along and kicks the door in....


Contact with societies other than their own, if it has not happened to them already, is inevitable. The flyover is just the beginning. I say go ahead and drop the coke bottle.

Dragoonster
31st May 2008, 06:28 AM
Lives in most Hunter Gatherer societies tend to be very Hobbesian...Nasty,Brutal,and Short...so a little better health care and longer life span are good things, IMHO.

If that's all we do, sure. But the act of such forceful contact would make it easier to also suggest we forcibly move them once deforestation reaches them. If we don't make such contact with the idea that they should be respected/preserved/whatever, then that argument could be used to stop the deforestation in a specific territory in order to continue the lack of contact.

But I don't know where you're getting the nasty and brutal parts from. These people aren't at war with anyone or being predated upon by wild animals, and with their small populations I'd imagine murder and internecine violence among H-G compared to us was pretty rare. Do you mean pain/immobility of broken legs or rotten teeth or something?

egslim
31st May 2008, 06:38 AM
But I don't know where you're getting the nasty and brutal parts from. These people aren't at war with anyone or being predated upon by wild animals, and with their small populations I'd imagine murder and internecine violence among H-G compared to us was pretty rare. Do you mean pain/immobility of broken legs or rotten teeth or something?
Try this: http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10278703

Several archaeologists and anthropologists now argue that violence was much more pervasive in hunter-gatherer society than in more recent eras. From the
!Kung in the Kalahari to the Inuit in the Arctic and the aborigines in Australia, two-thirds of modern hunter-gatherers are in a state of almost constant tribal warfare, and nearly 90% go to war at least once a year. War is a big word for dawn raids, skirmishes and lots of posturing, but death rates are high—usually around 25-30% of adult males die from homicide. The warfare death rate of 0.5% of the population per year that Lawrence Keeley of the University of Illinois calculates as typical of hunter-gatherer societies would equate to 2 billion people dying during the 20th century.

Dragoonster
31st May 2008, 07:07 AM
Try this: http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10278703

Several archaeologists and anthropologists now argue that violence was much more pervasive in hunter-gatherer society than in more recent eras. From the
!Kung in the Kalahari to the Inuit in the Arctic and the aborigines in Australia, two-thirds of modern hunter-gatherers are in a state of almost constant tribal warfare, and nearly 90% go to war at least once a year. War is a big word for dawn raids, skirmishes and lots of posturing, but death rates are high—usually around 25-30% of adult males die from homicide. The warfare death rate of 0.5% of the population per year that Lawrence Keeley of the University of Illinois calculates as typical of hunter-gatherer societies would equate to 2 billion people dying during the 20th century.

Thanks. I think I'm confusing the general with the specific, or at least was in that post. I don't recall seeing any examples of South American warfare among their H-G tribes in the shows or articles I've seen featuring some of them. The article on this mentions trading with other cultures who've interacted with modern folks, but doesn't mention any conflict between those cultures and the tribe in question (which may exist and just not be mentioned).

I think the typical human is far better off in modern culture than primitive, but describing their lives as nasty and brutal seems a pretty broad stroke.

Dancing David
31st May 2008, 07:17 AM
There is a certain arrogance in assuming that they don't have civilization and technology. They do, and it works very well to meet their needs.

So let’s see, we introduce trade goods to them, how will they afford the economics to obtain them.

Gosh bring modern technology to Africa did so much for them, didn't it. More guns, more deadly wars, more gathering of resources to buy more guns and make the powerful rich.

Yup sure did a lot for the vast majority of people in Africa and the rest of the world.

Some people confuse certain things about the 'industrial' world with 'civilization', they for get that it is the infrastructure that makes for the really cool stuff, like electricity.

They forget the extermination of the native americans, the enclosure acts, the abject pokeberry of the urban situations for 1500-present.

So we contact this tribe, which has technology to live in their environment, can they afford cell phones and antibiotics.

The OP is bogus and arrogant and very narrow minded.

Dancing David
31st May 2008, 07:21 AM
Thanks. I think I'm confusing the general with the specific, or at least was in that post. I don't recall seeing any examples of South American warfare among their H-G tribes in the shows or articles I've seen featuring some of them. The article on this mentions trading with other cultures who've interacted with modern folks, but doesn't mention any conflict between those cultures and the tribe in question (which may exist and just not be mentioned).

I think the typical human is far better off in modern culture than primitive, but describing their lives as nasty and brutal seems a pretty broad stroke.

I am not usre about that homicide rate mentioned, but H/G and horticultural societies engage in high level of territorial 'warfare' and raiding, much is non lethal, there used to be 'wars' in New Guinea where hundreds and hundreds of people danced, and postured and 'fought' but only the really wild ones got close enough to chuck a spear and only 1-3 died from a battle.

there are plenty of examples of H/G , horticultural groups fighting, but those that remain today exist in such hostile enviroments that raiding is not profitable.

Dancing David
31st May 2008, 07:23 AM
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10278703

this article is fairly bad, poorly cited and full of high level speculation, unsupported by data and evidence.

egslim
31st May 2008, 07:30 AM
I think the typical human is far better off in modern culture than primitive, but describing their lives as nasty and brutal seems a pretty broad stroke.
The quote I gave said: From the !Kung in the Kalahari to the Inuit in the Arctic and the aborigines in Australia That is a pretty broad selection of samples. I think a conclusion drawn from such a wide selection can safely be assumed to be generally valid.

Also their child mortality rate is probably dramatic, and I expect many women die during childbirth.

egslim
31st May 2008, 07:42 AM
There is a certain arrogance in assuming that they don't have civilization and technology. They do, and it works very well to meet their needs.
No, it doesn't. There's only one reason why these primitive tribes continue to exist, and that's because some people actively decide to let them. Either for scientific or sentimental reasons. That works only for as long as no economic reasons to the contrary exist, otherwise they're finished.

Depending on other's active support for your own very existence per definition means you don't meet your own needs.

Wolfman
31st May 2008, 08:05 AM
*sigh*

I spend a whole lot of time writing a post emphasizing the dangers of other people trying to decide what is best for any particular group; and yet here we go, a whole bunch of people who've never met this tribe, who don't know squat about their culture, and who will never be affected by what actually happens to them -- nevertheless engaging in wild speculation, jumping to conclusions based on massive generalizations, and pronouncing judgment on "what is best for them".

Such arrogance.

I don't care if you argue that they should be left alone, or if you argue that they should be 'brought into the modern world', or whatever other argument you want to make. If you think that you're in a position to be able to determine "what is best for them", you are an idiot, and entirely unqualified to offer any advice whatsoever.

Personally, I believe that they A) have the intelligence to be able to make decision for themselves, and B) have the right to make those decisions, regardless of whether we agree with them or not. It is their culture, their lives, their future. And they're the only ones who have the right to decide what they will do.

Like I said...send people to contact them, in as non-threatening and sensitive manner as possible. Preferably do it through intermediaries...people from other tribes that they already know. Offer them the choice of greater interaction. If they don't accept it, respect their decision, and leave them alone. If they accept it, engage in a careful, slow process of communication, with the primary focus being first to try to learn about their culture and language. Then use that as a stepping stone for introducing new ideas, technologies, etc.

If they choose to accept these new ideas, that's their right. If they choose to reject it, that's their right, too.

Here we have a group that have had almost no contact with the outside world, and about whom none of us here know squat. Yet look at how many people are ready to act as "authorities", and reach sweeping conclusions about them. Whoever it is that does initiate contact with them, I sure hope it is someone with more sense -- and less hubris -- than this.

egslim
31st May 2008, 08:41 AM
Personally, I believe that they A) have the intelligence to be able to make decision for themselves
The problem is that to make an informed decision requires one to have relevant knowledge, not merely intelligence. The only way to give them that knowledge is by introducing them to the modern world, and by doing so you make the decision for them.

Give them useful equipment like steel tools, through intermediaries, and they'll probably first appreciate them, then after a few generations become dependent. But a reliable supply of steel requires a simple economy to produce either steel or goods to trade for steel. So you're introducing them to something they don't understand the full ramifications of.

And after giving them enough useful equipment for a long time it may become impossible to return to their old ways. You're effectively hooking them on an addictive. I bet very few of us could survive as hunter-gatherers without modern equipment for a month, we're all addicted to modern technology.

cyborg
31st May 2008, 08:49 AM
The only thing I'm fairly certain of from this thread is that every answer is the wrong one.

mrbaracuda
31st May 2008, 09:10 AM
The only thing I'm fairly certain of from this thread is that every answer is the wrong one.

What about the prime directive?

cyborg
31st May 2008, 09:14 AM
What about the prime directive?

That's been broken so many times it's not even funny.

Dragoonster
31st May 2008, 10:27 AM
The quote I gave said: From the !Kung in the Kalahari to the Inuit in the Arctic and the aborigines in Australia That is a pretty broad selection of samples. I think a conclusion drawn from such a wide selection can safely be assumed to be generally valid.

That's not broad, that's three samples, none of which live in a thick rainforest which makes travel and organized warfare difficult. I read it and didn't see any others, if there were they should have listed them.

Also their child mortality rate is probably dramatic, and I expect many women die during childbirth.

Unfortunate, but brutal and nasty?

Also I imagine those that survived are better cared for than the millions of children in overpopulated regions in Africa, India, etc.

Dragoonster
31st May 2008, 10:39 AM
And after giving them enough useful equipment for a long time it may become impossible to return to their old ways. You're effectively hooking them on an addictive. I bet very few of us could survive as hunter-gatherers without modern equipment for a month, we're all addicted to modern technology.

I think the comparison is poor. We couldn't survive because we're not used to creating shelter quickly and out of natural resources, not used to hunting for game, not used to living in the wild. We're incredibly "soft" and physically weak. Even if they get steel tools (which I would have no problem with), it's not going to become something they can't live without unless they completely abandon a nomadic H-G lifestyle. It'll just mean a bit less time creating a natural alternative.

I spend a whole lot of time writing a post emphasizing the dangers of other people trying to decide what is best for any particular group; and yet here we go, a whole bunch of people who've never met this tribe, who don't know squat about their culture, and who will never be affected by what actually happens to them -- nevertheless engaging in wild speculation, jumping to conclusions based on massive generalizations, and pronouncing judgment on "what is best for them".

I think it's best that they do whatever the hell they want, as they have for thousands of years. But I don't think it's out-of-bounds to expose them to a couple very simple tools that would improve (any) society. Steel tools/cookware, fishing line, medicine would about cover it. If they don't want it that's fine. If they shoot the people trying to give it to them in the head with arrows and eat their flesh, that's also fine. Leave the reaction up to them.

Dancing David
31st May 2008, 10:40 AM
No, it doesn't. There's only one reason why these primitive tribes continue to exist, and that's because some people actively decide to let them. Either for scientific or sentimental reasons. That works only for as long as no economic reasons to the contrary exist, otherwise they're finished.

Depending on other's active support for your own very existence per definition means you don't meet your own needs.




wow, is that unrelated to what i said, they exist because we let them exist? What?

If they were sitting on top of diamonds or oil, they would be adapting to a new lifesyle, wouldn't they. If people wanted something that was there, like the land, then they will adjust to a new lifestyle.

You are thinking that they are isolated because there isn't an economic reason, that's right. And in agreement with what i said.

Anybody who is talking about opreseving them in some 'uncontaminated state' is stupid, and not something I said at all. Considering materials travelled thousand of miles in the paleolithic I would assume that materials still do.




Depending on other's active support for your own very existence per definition means you don't meet your own needs.

So care to explain yourself, as I have no wish to read into what you wrote?

Are you saying that others provide them with food and shelter?

Dancing David
31st May 2008, 10:43 AM
The quote I gave said: From the !Kung in the Kalahari to the Inuit in the Arctic and the aborigines in Australia That is a pretty broad selection of samples. I think a conclusion drawn from such a wide selection can safely be assumed to be generally valid.

Also their child mortality rate is probably dramatic, and I expect many women die during childbirth.

Who is the author, do they teach anthropology? Are they respected in the field?

Dancing David
31st May 2008, 10:48 AM
The problem is that to make an informed decision requires one to have relevant knowledge, not merely intelligence. The only way to give them that knowledge is by introducing them to the modern world, and by doing so you make the decision for them.

Give them useful equipment like steel tools, through intermediaries, and they'll probably first appreciate them, then after a few generations become dependent. But a reliable supply of steel requires a simple economy to produce either steel or goods to trade for steel. So you're introducing them to something they don't understand the full ramifications of.

And after giving them enough useful equipment for a long time it may become impossible to return to their old ways. You're effectively hooking them on an addictive. I bet very few of us could survive as hunter-gatherers without modern equipment for a month, we're all addicted to modern technology.


I am sure they trade for steel and iron knives, what equipment do you want to give them?

Are you sure you know much about trade and economics or is it all just pop anthro stuff?

Do you know how to get food in thier forest? Do you know how to use thier technology to survive. Do you really think they just sit around picking thier teeth all day.

It is stupid to talk about leaving them as some coservation effort, but what do you want to give them and how will they sustain it?

So apparently you don't even know what an economy is, any trade of goods or services? Or do they just sit around picking thier teeth all day?

Dancing David
31st May 2008, 10:52 AM
I would just ask them why they think something is right just because it's old. Would probably shatter their argument pretty quickly and wouldn't need them to listen to me for any long period of time.

Um that works great with gay marriage, cloning research and evolution in the US doesn't it.

Respect others as much as you respect yourself.

Sorry EG, I posted this before i read your later response.

Dancing David
31st May 2008, 10:58 AM
Egslim

you are defending this trash?
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10278703

I can't even find the author for this pop anthro stupidity.

please stop citing it before you start saying that humans killed all the megafauna in North America.

m_huber
31st May 2008, 12:15 PM
What about the prime directive?

As I recall, Starfleet had pretty good guidelines for bringing in new civilizations, and not too dissimilar to what Wolfman said. Of course, part of it also included a recognition that a civilization was already up to a certain level of technology, which would not be the case here..

egslim
5th June 2008, 02:49 AM
That's not broad, that's three samples, none of which live in a thick rainforest which makes travel and organized warfare difficult. I read it and didn't see any others, if there were they should have listed them.
Part of the problem is that there just are not so many primitive tribes anymore. But I remember reading in one of Jared Diamond's books about the natives in New Guinea who suffer the same endless warfare. They live in the rainforest too.

And the whole point is that the warfare we're discussing is hardly organized, it consists of simple surprise raids that steal women and other stuff, and kill some men in the proces. Rainforest makes it easy for raiders to hide themselves.

Consider it rationally, suppose you have two tribes: One peaceful and one practicing raids. If they neighbour eachother, what happens? The raiding one has a competitive advantage, so the peaceful tribe either has to raid too, or die out. That's basically what happened to the Moriori, who were massacred by the Maori.
Only with a some form of super-tribal organization, in the form of international politics subject to rules, does the peaceful tribe have an advantage.

Unfortunate, but brutal and nasty?
Definately nasty. I personally find "unfortunate" a rather big understatement for losing that many relatives.

Also I imagine those that survived are better cared for than the millions of children in overpopulated regions in Africa, India, etc.
At least those millions live. The first to die in a time of crisis in hunter-gatherer populations are the weak, I think such an application of natural selection makes a fair application for the description of "brutal".

I think the comparison is poor. We couldn't survive because we're not used to creating shelter quickly and out of natural resources, not used to hunting for game, not used to living in the wild.
We can't survive because we have grown dependent on others for specific needs. If communications with those others break down, we're in deep trouble.

We're incredibly "soft" and physically weak.
Doubtful. While many suffer from lack of exercise, we do have far superior access to reliable quantities of good quality food and medical care - especially during childhood, which makes a real difference to development. Given a few years of exercise most of us would most likely exceed primitive tribes physically. The average sporter probably does.
Except that their life expectancy is much lower than ours, and putting up a 50 year old against someone of 30 does give them an advantage.

Even if they get steel tools (which I would have no problem with), it's not going to become something they can't live without unless they completely abandon a nomadic H-G lifestyle. It'll just mean a bit less time creating a natural alternative.
The problem is that the skills necessary to create those natural alternatives would gradually be lost. And once they are, it is very hard to reaquire them.

egslim
5th June 2008, 03:17 AM
wow, is that unrelated to what i said, they exist because we let them exist? What?
Without active protection by the government they are finished. Interaction with modern society is lethal to them, because of, among others, disease, exposure to alcohol like with the Aboriginals in Australia, and because they can be killed or driven away without penalty - I doubt they have any lawyers who could complain to the government.

If they were sitting on top of diamonds or oil, they would be adapting to a new lifesyle, wouldn't they.
Yes, like the Boers in South Africa. In concentration camps. In reality the fate of people living on top of natural resources valued by others is not generally pleasant.

Do you know how to get food in thier forest? Do you know how to use thier technology to survive.
"Taking care of yourself" is not just about getting food and shelter. That's easy. It's also about being able to protect yourself against outsiders. And for that they literally depend on "the kindness of strangers". Which is a recipe for eventual disaster to them.

History is loaded with examples of tribes driven either away or into extinction by their more advanced neighbours. People living in a prosperous and peaceful country may want to shelter such primitive tribes from the rest of the world, but one major economic or political crisis and the majority will simply stop caring.

egslim
5th June 2008, 03:22 AM
Egslim

you are defending this trash?
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10278703

I can't even find the author for this pop anthro stupidity.

please stop citing it before you start saying that humans killed all the megafauna in North America.
Your attack on the source and lack of any real argument against its substance is duly noted.

Dancing David
5th June 2008, 05:28 AM
Part of the problem is that there just are not so many primitive tribes anymore. But I remember reading in one of Jared Diamond's books about the natives in New Guinea who suffer the same endless warfare. They live in the rainforest too.

And in New Guinea they also used to get together in huge 'battles that involved about 700 people. maybe you need to read some boring old anthropology, from boring sources.


And the whole point is that the warfare we're discussing is hardly organized, it consists of simple surprise raids that steal women and other stuff, and kill some men in the proces. Rainforest makes it easy for raiders to hide themselves.

See above


Consider it rationally, suppose you have two tribes: One peaceful and one practicing raids. If they neighbour eachother, what happens? The raiding one has a competitive advantage, so the peaceful tribe either has to raid too, or die out. That's basically what happened to the Moriori, who were massacred by the Maori.

gee, what cost benefit ration was there to the risk of raiding and what is the souces for your information?

Hopefully not any victorian sources.

Dancing David
5th June 2008, 05:31 AM
Your attack on the source and lack of any real argument against its substance is duly noted.


And you really want to say that a totaly unreferenced pop science article has any meaning?

I will tear it to shreds if you want.

Where are the foot notes and citations?

(Well? Where are they? What are the sources?)

Your lack of critical thought is noted.

A bunch of unsupported assertions in a pop science article without references means squat.

(More later i am going to install a vent fan.)

Dancing David
5th June 2008, 05:37 AM
Without active protection by the government they are finished. Interaction with modern society is lethal to them, because of, among others, disease, exposure to alcohol like with the Aboriginals in Australia, and because they can be killed or driven away without penalty - I doubt they have any lawyers who could complain to the government.


Yes, like the Boers in South Africa. In concentration camps. In reality the fate of people living on top of natural resources valued by others is not generally pleasant.


"Taking care of yourself" is not just about getting food and shelter. That's easy. It's also about being able to protect yourself against outsiders. And for that they literally depend on "the kindness of strangers". Which is a recipe for eventual disaster to them.

That's right. It wiped out the Sauds didn't it?

That is the most strange form of argument i have seen you are defending a negative and it is not falsifiable. The civilization and there technology is what it is. So ours is differerent.

So what?

Unless there is a reason for people to move in they will stay as they are.

Are you new to this game?


History is loaded with examples of tribes driven either away or into extinction by their more advanced neighbours. People living in a prosperous and peaceful country may want to shelter such primitive tribes from the rest of the world

I never said that and have said so three times now.

, but one major economic or political crisis and the majority will simply stop caring.


More later.

You do know that the populations in the Americas were decimated by small pox and measles don't you? And that the europeans woukld have had a much harder time if that had not been the case?

(Decimation is inaccurate, it is more like 90% death instead of 10%)

Have you read about what happened to the force Cortez left in Tenochtilan?

Did the spanish conquer the aztecs all by themselves?

Dancing David
5th June 2008, 08:09 AM
Let’s start with the second paragraph shall we Egslim:

About 12,000 years ago

Well gee some sources would push that back to 60,000 bp and some would push it back to 40,000 or 25,000, sources , are they discussing 'persia' or north Africa, which crops, when did horticulture arise and what impact did it have on agriculture?

people embarked on an experiment called agriculture and some say that they, and their planet, have never recovered.

So if a hunter gatherer sets a fire to a grass land, what does that do to the environment, what if they start a fire in a downed tree and leave it in the morning?

Does that mean the planet can't recover, considering that prior to 1945 about 50% of land in the US was not under cultivation, what does that say about recovery?

how does he know that the eco system can't recover?

Farming brought a population explosion, protein and vitamin deficiency, new diseases and deforestation.

Did farming really bring those about, which ones?
Are they from higher population densities?
Are they from trade?

Sources please?

Human height actually shrank by nearly six inches after the first adoption of crops in the Near East.

data, sources, evidence. Where does the author draw that conclusion?

So was agriculture “the worst mistake in the history of the human race”, as Jared Diamond, evolutionary biologist and professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, once called it?


Well that is good, we have one name, cited from an unreferenced source by a geographer.

So we have 3-6 unsupported assertions with out evidence, what does that say about this paper?

Beerina
5th June 2008, 08:09 AM
Makes me wonder how I would feel if extraterrestrials were watching us and could give us fantastic technology and a chance to explore the galaxy... but who don't want to because "we're doing fine as we are".

Ding! Teh winnah!



It's actually a well-described form of reverse-racism, similar to "white man's guilt".

Although your ivory tower snoot is way, way up in the air, you are basically patting some brown-skinned folks on the head and saying, "Well, aren't you guys the cutest things! Just keep living that way because we think it's so damned cute!"


Meanwhile, every time some such backward non-modern tribe is discovered, within a few years the kids have all put on Coke T-shirts and moved to the city. A few years after that, they move back, put on grass skirts made in a factory in China, and do rain dances for the tourists.


"I wave the bags. He juggles the sticks. It's all so pointless. :("

Dancing David
5th June 2008, 08:16 AM
I agree the non-intervention crap is crap, we already have intervened. Fat lot of good it does some people, we still have serfs in pakistan.

I don't get the prime directive, I think space aliens would be likely to not like our toxic planet and leave us alone. Say hi, drop off some knowledge and start trade for whatever.

GreyICE
5th June 2008, 09:15 AM
No, it doesn't. There's only one reason why these primitive tribes continue to exist, and that's because some people actively decide to let them. Either for scientific or sentimental reasons. That works only for as long as no economic reasons to the contrary exist, otherwise they're finished.

Depending on other's active support for your own very existence per definition means you don't meet your own needs.

This essentially makes no sense. Lets say a nuclear war wiped us all out tomorrow, but left them and their environment reasonably unaffected. These societies would not die out. They would barely notice.

They do not depend on our active support. Otherwise the nuclear war would result in their society collapsing. They rely on our passive support - to simply refrain from wiping them out. It's the difference between your existence depending on my active support (you are unable to feed yourself, say), and you existence depending on my passive support (I choose not to shoot you in the head).

Darth Rotor
5th June 2008, 09:34 AM
Yes, and no. There's a lot of NGO's expiermenting with microloans to help tribal people acquire their own logging equipment, their own satalite phones, and other material to earn money and manage their resources on their own, and thus make money to have their lawyers and etc. I'd have to check my notes from a class I had the other semester, but I recall several NGO's experimenting with it and finding out that the tribe benefits from having their own logging equipment in amny ways. A) Instead of being paid a pittance by outside loggers, they keep all the profit. B) They know the area best and know which trees are most accessable, and would cause the least destruction to take, and C) Don't log that much on their own even when they have the equipment, so the total impact is small.

But, even such self-sufficent arraingements, charity has to be involved at some level. These people will doubtless need medical assistance when, not if they contract an unfamiliar disease, and they wll need advice and guidance on issues like, "How do outsiders arbirate disputes?" And "What the hell is money?"
Nice post, and I fully agree the "when not if" medical risk. :)

egslim
5th June 2008, 09:34 AM
They do not depend on our active support. [...] They rely on our passive support - to simply refrain from wiping them out.
That's a matter of semantics, specifically how we define "our". Modern society consists of individuals, it is not a major collective.

I assert that there exist many individuals in modern society who would wipe them out. Either accidentally through disease, or through a vast array of more deliberate means while for example in pursuit of valuable natural resources.

My reference to "our" active support refers to governmental regulations and their enforcement, to protect these primitive tribes against the individuals mentioned above.

Polaris
5th June 2008, 09:37 AM
The Inuit certainly didn't mind being exposed to new techology. It meant their gear lasted longer and they didn't have to worry about life or death wares being eaten by sled dogs. Exposure didn't destroy their society, it just made it easier to live. It shouldn't be our choice as to whether they want a part of what we all have or not.

Dancing David
5th June 2008, 10:20 AM
That's a matter of semantics, specifically how we define "our". Modern society consists of individuals, it is not a major collective.

Duh, that is true of all societies and cultures.


I assert that there exist many individuals in modern society who would wipe them out. Either accidentally through disease, or through a vast array of more deliberate means while for example in pursuit of valuable natural resources.

My reference to "our" active support refers to governmental regulations and their enforcement, to protect these primitive tribes against the individuals mentioned above.


You assert, that is right, it is an assertion. If there were valuable resources then they would already be adapting.

back to your argument that they exist only due to our restraint:

-Did the gauls cease to exist when the Romans 'conquered' them?

-Did the indian sub continent thrive on Rome's indifference to invading them? Or China?

-Did the Brits let the Indians just suffer to exist when they 'conquered' them?

What the Fred do you think civilization is and why does this tribe lack it?

egslim
5th June 2008, 10:24 AM
And in New Guinea they also used to get together in huge 'battles that involved about 700 people.
You do realise that New Guinea is very diverse, don't you? From "Gun, germs, and steel":

New Guinea has by far the highest concentration
of languages in the world: 1,000 out of the world's 6,000 languages,
crammed into an area only slightly larger than that of Texas, and divided
into dozens of language families and isolated languages as different from
each other as English is from Chinese. Nearly half of all New Guinea
languages have fewer than 500 speakers, and even the largest language groups
(still with a mere 100,000 speakers) were politically fragmented into hundreds of villages, fighting as fiercely with each other as with speakers
of other languages.

Some groups are very small, others are bigger. Some consist of very small hunter-gatherer groups in swamps unsuited to agriculture, others have more organized farming communities.

gee, what cost benefit ration was there to the risk of raiding and what is the souces for your information?
The fact that (from the same source):
[...] combined with the state of intermittent warfare that characterized relations between New Guinea bands or villages [...]
If peace has a better cost benefit ration than warfare, then why do they wage so much war? Of course if everyone lived in peace things would be optimal, but one warring tribe would upset that balance in its own favour. Example of tragedy of the commons.

Also, if you think about it, the only way to defend against raids is to post permanent guards who are then unable to gather food. That doesn't work in a hunter-gatherer society, where almost everyone is needed to collect food.
Raiders don't have that problem, because they can raid in between foraging. So for a hunter-gatherer society the only two responses to a raid are either a counter-raid, or to simply take enemy raids for granted. The latter is obviously worst of the two.

Note that with modern technology both the cost and destruction from warfare have increased to such an extent that the cost benefit ration has changed, but that is irrrelevant to primitive tribes.

Hopefully not any victorian sources.
I'll let Jared Diamond respond:
Those few peoples who
remained hunter-gatherers into the 20th century escaped replacement by
food producers because they were confined to areas not fit for food
production, especially deserts and Arctic regions. Within the present decade,
even they will have been seduced by the attractions of civilization, settled
down under pressure from bureaucrats or missionaries, or succumbed to
germs.

Since the introduction of agriculture farming has replaced hunter-gatherers ever more. Either by the farmers driving the latter out, or the latter adopting farm technology themselves.

Almo
5th June 2008, 10:54 AM
Hunter-Gatherer is not automatically worse than complex. But if their life-expectancy and other health issues are less than normal societies, I think we can safely assume that we could improve things for them.

BTW, I think the Survival International people are falling victim to the Is-Ought Fallacy. Thinking that just because nature is the way it is, that it ought to be left that way.

My understanding is that hunter-gatherers usually suffer less disease due to having less dense populations. Read "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Succeed Or Fail" by Jared Diamond. Excellent book.

egslim
5th June 2008, 10:54 AM
You assert, that is right, it is an assertion. If there were valuable resources then they would already be adapting.
Like the aboriginals in Australia, or the Indians in North America? Not to mention a boatload of Asian tribes who were driven to the hills by more advanced Asiatic communities.

And "valuable" is relative. Fertile land or good quality lumber are valuable enough to some.

History is loaded with examples that prove my assertion that such people exist. And if you doubt that, then I will gladly offer myself as an example of someone against whom those primitive tribes would need governmental protection. (Except I live on another continent)

-Did the gauls cease to exist when the Romans 'conquered' them?

-Did the indian sub continent thrive on Rome's indifference to invading them? Or China?

-Did the Brits let the Indians just suffer to exist when they 'conquered' them?
Did it occur to you that India and China were not primitive hunter-gatherer tribes, but almost as advanced as the Europeans when the latter reached them? Similarly the difference between gauls and Romans was fairly minor, the former were already farmers with a complex political system.

What the Fred do you think civilization is and why does this tribe lack it?
Civilization is irrelevant, one way or the other. What matters is that if this tribe does not adapt to modern society it will eventually be wiped out by it. "When" will only be a matter of economic convenience.

That has been happening for literally thousands of years. I'm extremely sceptical of any claim that "now" is suddenly "different".

egslim
5th June 2008, 10:58 AM
My understanding is that hunter-gatherers usually suffer less disease due to having less dense populations. Read "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Succeed Or Fail" by Jared Diamond. Excellent book.
In addition, many diseases stem from interaction between humans and domesticated animals. Farm animals. Farmers build up partial immunity, hunter-gatherers lack that.

GreyICE
5th June 2008, 12:50 PM
That's a matter of semantics, specifically how we define "our". Modern society consists of individuals, it is not a major collective.

I assert that there exist many individuals in modern society who would wipe them out. Either accidentally through disease, or through a vast array of more deliberate means while for example in pursuit of valuable natural resources.

My reference to "our" active support refers to governmental regulations and their enforcement, to protect these primitive tribes against the individuals mentioned above.
Once again, "We in our vast benevolence have decided not to annihilate you" and "We will support you, feed you, clothe you, and make it possible for you to survive" are vastly different entities.

Legal protections to them as the natural owners of the land are no more than is due any party in a free society. Does a corporation have the right to come on to your property, kill you, and take it because there's oil there? Do they gain that right if you decide to wear loincloths and sit in a tent?

geni
5th June 2008, 01:12 PM
Once again, "We in our vast benevolence have decided not to annihilate you" and "We will support you, feed you, clothe you, and make it possible for you to survive" are vastly different entities.

Legal protections to them as the natural owners of the land are no more than is due any party in a free society. Does a corporation have the right to come on to your property, kill you, and take it because there's oil there? Do they gain that right if you decide to wear loincloths and sit in a tent?

There are various ways corporations can have you removed.

Legal protections in most free societies come with responcibilities. Payment of tax is one. Following various laws on what you can kill and how is another.

Dancing David
5th June 2008, 06:31 PM
Like the aboriginals in Australia, or the Indians in North America? Not to mention a boatload of Asian tribes who were driven to the hills by more advanced Asiatic communities.

And "valuable" is relative. Fertile land or good quality lumber are valuable enough to some.

History is loaded with examples that prove my assertion that such people exist. And if you doubt that, then I will gladly offer myself as an example of someone against whom those primitive tribes would need governmental protection. (Except I live on another continent)


Did it occur to you that India and China were not primitive hunter-gatherer tribes, but almost as advanced as the Europeans when the latter reached them? Similarly the difference between gauls and Romans was fairly minor, the former were already farmers with a complex political system.


Civilization is irrelevant, one way or the other. What matters is that if this tribe does not adapt to modern society it will eventually be wiped out by it. "When" will only be a matter of economic convenience.

That has been happening for literally thousands of years. I'm extremely sceptical of any claim that "now" is suddenly "different".

Obviously you just want to respond incoherently to my posts.

I have no idea of what you think i said or what you think you are saying.

Continue to read your pop trash and make vague speculations and assertions based upon it.

PLONK.

GreyICE
5th June 2008, 07:39 PM
There are various ways corporations can have you removed. In the United States, the only one is eminent domain. Certainly misuse of eminent domain for corporate benefit is a concern, but any other method is various degrees of illegal. Certainly murder isn't one.

Legal protections in most free societies come with responcibilities. Payment of tax is one. Following various laws on what you can kill and how is another.Most societies don't tax people who make no income.

As for the laws on who they can and cannot kill, a very strong argument can be made that because they have their own government and system, they are essentially autonomous from the country whose geographic boundaries have been arbitrarily drawn around them. Certainly laws require at least an implicit consent that one dwells within society (hence the insanity defense) and that they have made a distinct decision against that, meaning that they have been granted a large amount of autonomy.

Basically, I see no compelling argument that we are somehow offering them massive support by refraining from murdering them and failing to apply many of our laws to them. I don't think refraining from genocide is something that requires huge kudos - it's more of a prerequisite for not being treated like a monster.

Travis
5th June 2008, 11:55 PM
Well, if we're not going to contact them then we might as well study them. Tranquilize and radio tag some of the males, place some micro-video cameras on some others and capture some others and bring them into a lab or....better yet, a zoo! We could bring Human Zoo's back and make some money off these obviously too-simple-to-get-the-real-world people.

Dancing David
6th June 2008, 07:20 AM
Thank you Travis! :D

Perhaps just the hidden camera in the side of the hut and some sort of pranks to play on them:

I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ (Ignore the man behind the curtain.)

Travis
6th June 2008, 07:50 AM
This whole discussion prompted me to go re-watch the South Park episode Prehistoric Ice Man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Ice_Man_%28South_Park_episode%29)..... ..who was actually from 1996 but thought to be "unable to comprehend the world of 1999."

Beerina
6th June 2008, 07:56 AM
Personally, they should leave these tribes the hell alone.

Otherwise, in no time arrogant socialists will show up demanding they start paying Their Fair Share of Taxes.