The Blessings of Civilization

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The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:12 pm

Here's a puzzler that I don't yet have a hard position on. You may have seen the story of the killing of an American tourist by the Andaman islanders. My first thought was that there is something arrogant about scholars or just ordinary tourists from the technologically advanced part of the world, going to study (best-case motive) or just gape at (worst-case motive) these people. Dammit, people! These are human beings, not laboratory specimens. This kind of study has gone on for a long time. In a history of mathematics written a century ago, David Eugene Smith wrote about the Andamans that they seem to count using a binary system, but only as far as ten. They count "one, two" "another one, another two", and so on, displaying fingers as they do so. When they get to ten, they bring the hands together and say, "that's all." OK, interesting, provided it's accurate. I have no way of testing it.

But how much disruption is caused by anthropologists studying these people, and how much of their reporting reflects their own PREconceptions or deliberate DEception by the people they are studying? (I'm thinking of the criticism of Margaret Meade's study of the Pacific Islanders, which she described as a sexually liberated paradise, but her critics say was a fiction created by the three girls she mostly used as authorities, who said they were embarrassed by her questions and made up the whole thing just to get rid of her.)

In any case, what SHOULD people in the developed world do: Gently introduce modern technology to these people, or just leave them alone to go their own traditional ways? What should be the Prime Directive, as old Star Trek fans knew it?

Some years ago, I read a book by the daughter of German missionaries in Indonesia, entitled "Dschunglkind" ("Jungle Child"). I believe it's been translated into English. I bought it and read it because the author was interviewed on a German TV show, and I was fascinated. There were four tribes on the island, and they were apparently in constant warfare with one another. When the missionaries arrived, they finally had a neutral arbiter and neutral ground to meet, and the wars came to an end. So, if that is all correct, some contact with outsiders can be beneficent.

But one needs to be careful. About 40 years ago, the odious Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines concocted such a tribe for his own nefarious purposes, to get foreign aid, I believe. The imposture was quickly unmasked, however.

More recently, I read a parody of the whole thing in a trilogy called "Murder at the MOMA" (Museum of Modern Art), in which an anthropologist goes to South America to study a tribe called the...(wait for it)….Yomamma. It's hilariously funny, but again makes a good point about bringing in the Blessings of Civilization Trust to study everybody's favorite pet human beings.

In any study of this subject that goes to motives, Mark Twain's "To the Person Sitting in Darkness" needs to be required reading.

I'm inclined to take the lazy way out and say, "Leave these people alone. I wouldn't want to live the way they do, but I don't have to. My lifestyle is liable to impact them very negatively (through, say, climate change). Their lifestyle will not affect me in any way whatever." So, if I want to help them, the way to do it is to take action to protect the natural environment, and perhaps use our technology to deflect wayward asteroids that will kill us all if they strike.

OK, this post is already way to long. Get out your knives!
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:06 pm

What anthropologists have studied them, how did they conduct the study(s), has there been any changes in Sentinelese culture that can be attributed to those studies?
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by OlegTheBatty » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:29 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:12 pm
I'm inclined to take the lazy way out and say, "Leave these people alone. I wouldn't want to live the way they do, but I don't have to. My lifestyle is liable to impact them very negatively (through, say, climate change). Their lifestyle will not affect me in any way whatever." So, if I want to help them, the way to do it is to take action to protect the natural environment, and perhaps use our technology to deflect wayward asteroids that will kill us all if they strike.

OK, this post is already way to long. Get out your knives!
I don't agree that leaving them alone is the lazy way out. It is the respectful way.

The Sentinelese are not uncontacted. They have been in contact for a couple of centuries, including enduring the Brits sending a Governor back around the 1880's or so. They are included in the census. etc.

They have made it clear that they are aware of what modern 'civilization' has to offer and they want no part of it. Especially not the religion that the so-called 'tourist'* came to proselytize.

It is illegal except under certain specific conditions to go there. The Sentinelese have not been exposed to many civilized diseases. An epidemic of measles, flu or a host of others could wipe them out. They were protecting temselves. From what I've read, the two who took him to the island have been arrested and charged.

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by JO 753 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:12 pm

I hav a special perspectiv on this topic.

I hav been attempting to bring lojik to a rudimentary sivilization for the last 20 yirz. It iz mostly rejected by the stubborn troglodytes, but I press on just like that foolish missionary.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:28 pm

JO 753 wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:12 pm
I hav a special perspectiv on this topic.

I hav been attempting to bring lojik to a rudimentary sivilization for the last 20 yirz. It iz mostly rejected by the stubborn troglodytes, but I press on just like that foolish missionary.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:33 pm

I agree with leaving them alone. They are apparently quite hostile to the outside world, probably as a result of bad historical experiences. I think any attempt to "civilize" them would result in all the many social problems that have occurred elsewhere. Very few indigenous groups have fared well as a result of contact with our "civilization."
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Aztexan » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:24 pm

I don't know how I feel about this. It's horrible that he lost his life.
Serious question: I've seen the argument that they were protecting themselves from outside diseases and exposure to such, but isn't that what fox news has been saying about this supposed caravan that's coming? I don't agree with killing a human because you see him as a potential threat that must be eliminated, and it can be said that's exactly what the tribe was doing, but, what's the difference?
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:29 pm

Aztexan wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:24 pm
I don't know how I feel about this. It's horrible that he lost his life.
Serious question: I've seen the argument that they were protecting themselves from outside diseases and exposure to such, but isn't that what fox news has been saying about this supposed caravan that's coming?
I see the analogy the other way around. The caravan are the visitors, deluded by faith and hope, and the Trumpites are the islanders, afraid and ready to meet them with force.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Gord » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:18 pm

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-46313965
Andaman Director of the General Police Dependra Pathak told the News Minute, an Indian news website, he was told that Chau lived in the US state of Alabama and was "some kind of paramedic".

"People thought he is a missionary because he had mentioned his position on God and that he was a believer on social media or somewhere online. But in a strict sense, he was not a missionary.

"He was an adventurer. His intention was to meet the aborigines."
From this article, he sounds dumb. Unaware of his own stupidity. A paramedic who doesn't understand that he's exposing people to foreign diseases? Nasty.

I don't trust information like this, but still -- why would anyone go to an island like this where his very presence could wipe out the people(s) living there?
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:01 pm

People do incredibly stupid things in the name of religious faith. People have gone into lion cages and have been killed.
That doesn't make it less tragic, but it's suicidal to say the least.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:14 pm

It comes down to cultural imperialism. For centuries, Christians thought it was their "duty" to bring the saving Good News to people the world over who showed no eagerness to receive it. Where they succeeded, it was usually where they could also bring pretty toys and superior technology. (Japan in the sixteenth century comes to mind. Christians introduced the musket to the Japanese, and it played an important role in Japanese warfare from that point on. There were more Christians in Japan in 1600 than there are today. Ieyasu Tokugawa, who came to power after winning the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, was, I think, the one who made the missionaries pack up and who gradually reduced the Christian population through harassment and war. But I'm sure there are people on this board who have all this history at their fingertips, so I'd better observe a respectful silence.)

When you think about it, it's hard to see how Christians could have regarded themselves as morally qualified to civilize other people. Most of the pagan tribes in Europe were Christianized by getting the local king or other strongman to order people to convert. And they had a history of internecine violence that was hardly exemplary, generally over minor points of theology. They were no worse than the Muslims, but also not noticeably better.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:19 pm

landrew wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:01 pm
People do incredibly stupid things in the name of religious faith. People have gone into lion cages and have been killed.
That doesn't make it less tragic, but it's suicidal to say the least.
And they have flown airplanes into buildings, soaked themselves with gasoline and ignited it, drunk cyanide-laced Kool-Aid, allowed their children to die of easily preventable diseases, harassed poisonous snakes,....

And some of them have actually tried to bring useful medicine along with their Gospel, not realizing that the latter makes their altruism rather suspect.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Gord » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:03 am

Apparently he left behind a diary and specified he was there for Jeebus:

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:39 pm

Gord wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:03 am
Apparently he left behind a diary and specified he was there for Jeebus:

I don't usually watch YouTube for that long, but this was fascinating! Not much left to say. This guy was a true believer, and I think his family and ORU reacted appropriately.

But the ICC is the other side of the coin. It appears to be a version of a heresy we've come to know as "Christian Dominion", the idea that the only proper government is one dominated by Christians, in which Christian rituals and beliefs are the official positions of the government. (Have they never read the words of Jesus: "My kingdom is not of this world."??) These fools want the Indian government to go onto the island and fetch the warriors who killed Chau. And how would they know who they are? And how many people would they have to kill to bring the alleged killers out? What it amounts to is an absolute belief that these people have NO RIGHT to their own island and their primitive ways. They are, by God, going to get the blessings of civilization, willy or nilly!

After all, think of the generations of people who have gone to hell, to eternal torture, just because they never heard the Gospel. (But don't put that down as a mark of unfairness on God's part. He has a perfect right to let people come into the world to live a few years in misery and pain, and then send them into eternal fire for not doing the impossible: embracing Jeebus. I once asked that question of a proselytizing Catholic in connection with the Chinese. Were they really going to hell? He said yes, absolutely. They had a chance to convert when the missionaries came there in the 16th century, and they turned it down. So, the hell with them. Literally.)

Couple of remarks: I was interested to hear some confirmation that the Andaman people still count in a binary system. So apparently David Eugene Smith knew what he was writing about a century ago. (I'm also guessing that whoever did the research was backed up by some nice western weapons.) How isolated are these people, really? They have machetes to hack up invaders. Where did they get them? And what kind of material are their loincloths made of? I always wonder about that when I see "primitive" tribes people in Africa wearing western clothing.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Tom Palven » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:47 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:39 pm

After all, think of the generations of people who have gone to hell, to eternal torture, just because they never heard the Gospel.

Yes, this is part of the Christian kinder, gentler, New Testament. In the Old Testament God merely smote you or turned you into a pillar of salt.

(Whether one is smitten or simply comatose when turned into a pillar of salt remains the scientific province of Rabbinical scholars.)
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:42 pm

Tom Palven wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:47 pm
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:39 pm

After all, think of the generations of people who have gone to hell, to eternal torture, just because they never heard the Gospel.

Yes, this is part of the Christian kinder, gentler, New Testament. In the Old Testament God merely smote you or turned you into a pillar of salt.

(Whether one is smitten or simply comatose when turned into a pillar of salt remains the scientific province of Rabbinical scholars.)
One of the definitions of purgatory I believe is reserved for those who were only partly to blame for never having heard the words of the Gospel.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:46 pm

landrew wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:42 pm
Tom Palven wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:47 pm
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:39 pm

After all, think of the generations of people who have gone to hell, to eternal torture, just because they never heard the Gospel.

Yes, this is part of the Christian kinder, gentler, New Testament. In the Old Testament God merely smote you or turned you into a pillar of salt.

(Whether one is smitten or simply comatose when turned into a pillar of salt remains the scientific province of Rabbinical scholars.)
One of the definitions of purgatory I believe is reserved for those who were only partly to blame for never having heard the words of the Gospel.
I hadn't heard that Purgatory had that function, but it seems plausible. Of course Chau, being a graduate of ORU, would have regarded Purgatory as a rank superstition. Back when I did catechism, many many decades ago, one of the questions in the book I was given to read was "what happens to the soul of a baby who dies without being baptized?" The answer, which I had to memorize, was, "As far as we know, admission to heaven requires baptism. On the other hand, the baby is without personal sin. The usual answer of theologians is that the baby goes to a place of natural happiness called Limbo."

Well, there are about 30 things wrong with that answer, starting with the fact that Limbo is no longer a Catholic doctrine, having been jettisoned a decade or so ago. That phrase "as far as we know..." could also be stated, "Catholic theologians have said that..." It sounds somehow weaker in the latter form, which is, however, empirically equivalent to the first version. And, according to one of the Leading Lights of the Church (St. Augustine), that baby is already a hotbed of sins.

Anyway, to damp down the friction with Protestants, the Church came up with the doctrine of Invincible Ignorance, which somehow allows Protestants to escape Hell. (Not sure where they go.) I always thought this doctrine contained a bit of Invincible Arrogance, but it's certainly no worse than the exclusivity of all the other religious zealots and bigots in this world.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:54 pm

I'm still bemused by Chau's belief that if he could get to these people (whose language he apparently didn't know), then somehow, he would see "them" around God's throne someday in heaven. I want to ask which of "them"? Even if eventually he converted the tribe, a lot of them will have gone to hell in the meantime, according to his theology.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:07 pm

Chau was probably also suffering from the fallacy of a category error. Thus: "Great rewards are derived from taking great risks, therefore taking great risks must deliver great rewards."
Not true at all. Sometimes taking big risks just gets you killed with no chance of reward.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by JO 753 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:20 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:39 pm
So, the hell with them.
to.

Not that it needz to by English standardz, but 'the' makes no sense. Its a dialect thing I suppoze, kuz I hav alwayz herd 'to hell with...' and 'wut the hell' so it looks like you are melding the frazez.

Also, in the audio, he sez 'step foot on'. It wuz alwayz 'set foot' until 5 or so yirz ago, now its usually 'step'.

I like 'we dont need a fountain uv youth, we need a fountain uv smart!'
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Aztexan » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:03 am

We would just drown in it.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:31 am

JO 753 wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:20 pm
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:39 pm
So, the hell with them.
to.

Not that it needz to by English standardz, but 'the' makes no sense. Its a dialect thing I suppoze, kuz I hav alwayz herd 'to hell with...' and 'wut the hell' so it looks like you are melding the frazez.

Also, in the audio, he sez 'step foot on'. It wuz alwayz 'set foot' until 5 or so yirz ago, now its usually 'step'.

I like 'we dont need a fountain uv youth, we need a fountain uv smart!'
Naw, it's idiomatic. I hear "the hell with..." all the time. Usage determines meaning, and we simply have two similar phrases that mean the same thing. See, for example, this cartoon from the 1930s.

For the last decade that I was a professor, I was in continuous battle with my students, who insisted on writing "Substituting A with B" when they meant "Substituting B for A" or, equivalently, "Replacing A with B." But I lost. We now have a new meaning for "substitute," that's all.

On the other hand, the battle for a distinction between "flaunt" and "flout" seems to have been won. I rarely hear nowadays that people are "flaunting the law."

These battles are very old. There is a useful distinction between "convince" and "persuade". One is logical, the other is active. One convinces someone that a statement is true, and persuades that person to take some action. Never mind that 300 years ago the usage was almost the exact opposite. It seems to be going full-circle at the moment. Either that, or "persuade" is simply disappearing from normal usage.

I think "step foot on" is British usage. It always sounds a bit strange to my ears. But I don't recall the first time I heard it. It may have been only five years or so ago.

What do you make of the phrase "if the worst comes to the worst"? Is it a quotation, probably from Shakespeare. (I'll Google it in a minute to see.) I've read it in several English authors. But the first time I saw it, as a kid back in the 1950s, was in a "Prince Valiant" Sunday comic strip (written by Hal Foster), and it was "if worst comes to worse." I always thought that was a more effective phrase, evoking a picture of what one thought was the worst possible situation suddenly getting much worse.

Well, one needs to stop this somewhere. I could run on about this for hours.

ETA: Thanks to Google, I now know. It's NOT a quotation from Shakespeare, and it is "worst comes to worst" (no definite article), historically. I still like Hal Foster's version of it better. As for the correspondent who inspired the link by suggesting it should be "worse comes to worst", she must have a very dull, plodding mind; no poetry there at all, no sense of the usefulness of paradox.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:46 pm

JO 753 wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:20 pm
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:39 pm
So, the hell with them.
to.

Not that it needz to by English standardz, but 'the' makes no sense. Its a dialect thing I suppoze, kuz I hav alwayz herd 'to hell with...' and 'wut the hell' so it looks like you are melding the frazez.

Also, in the audio, he sez 'step foot on'. It wuz alwayz 'set foot' until 5 or so yirz ago, now its usually 'step'.

I like 'we dont need a fountain uv youth, we need a fountain uv smart!'
"To" makes sense grammatically, but most of us go to the way we've heard it most times as "the." Phrases evolve over time and lose all meaning eventually. For example, "good bye" used to be, well, who actually knows?
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Gord » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:27 am

Wurst comes to wurst.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by JO 753 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:14 am

Maybe my relentless lecturing helped nip the misuse uv 'flaunt' in the bud.

I alwayz herd 'worse comez to worse' here in Chicagoland. Another fraze that duznt make alot uv sens from its components, but everybody knowz wut it meanz.

I see Languaj az the continuously crumbling & reforming foundation uv sivilization, so dont get too upset wen a little chunk fallz off. All I can do iz try to infuze a little order here & there.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:04 pm

:ok:
JO 753 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:14 am
Maybe my relentless lecturing helped nip the misuse uv 'flaunt' in the bud.

I alwayz herd 'worse comez to worse' here in Chicagoland. Another fraze that duznt make alot uv sens from its components, but everybody knowz wut it meanz.

I see Languaj az the continuously crumbling & reforming foundation uv sivilization, so dont get too upset wen a little chunk fallz off. All I can do iz try to infuze a little order here & there.
:ok: :ok:

Well put. As a comrade-in-arms in the struggle against meaninglessness, what do you make of the phrase "one of the only...."? Every time I hear or read it, a shudder passes through me, and I want to scream. "ONE OF THE FEW!!! ONE OF THE FEW!!"
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:27 pm

This story is a bit reminiscent of the book/movie Black Robe. Set in the mid-seventh century, the Jesuits were running out of missionaries, due to large numbers of them being killed by hostile native American tribes. It's not a story about perseverance winning out, so much as survival of the fittest. Although some tribes were eventually Christianized, the majority retained their indigenous religions. It didn't end from any lesson being learned by the Church; it took the decimation of the native North Americans for it to eventually end.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by JO 753 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:44 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:04 pm

Well put. As a comrade-in-arms in the struggle against meaninglessness, what do you make of the phrase "one of the only...."? Every time I hear or read it, a shudder passes through me, and I want to scream. "ONE OF THE FEW!!! ONE OF THE FEW!!"
That wun never got my attention. Youre rite. 'Only' only makes sens if its connected to a number wen following 'wun uv' and adding 'the' makes it unworkable.

'Wun uv only 10 remaining mermaidz in the atlantic' haz to be chanjed to 'wun uv the few remaining' if you dont hav the spesific number.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Gord » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:18 am

JO 753 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:14 am
I alwayz herd 'worse comez to worse' here in Chicagoland.
It's the evolution of language. "Worse comes to worst" is an acceptable Americanisation in some circles: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... e-worst__1
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:00 pm

landrew wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:27 pm
This story is a bit reminiscent of the book/movie Black Robe. Set in the mid-seventh century, the Jesuits were running out of missionaries, due to large numbers of them being killed by hostile native American tribes. It's not a story about perseverance winning out, so much as survival of the fittest. Although some tribes were eventually Christianized, the majority retained their indigenous religions. It didn't end from any lesson being learned by the Church; it took the decimation of the native North Americans for it to eventually end.
I remember the film very well. As for survival of the fittest, well, thank goodness the Jesuits didn't have to reproduce the ordinary human way. Otherwise, one of the characters in that movie would have found it....well, difficult...to propagate after his encounter with the aboriginal inhabitants. :mrgreen:
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:59 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:00 pm
landrew wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:27 pm
This story is a bit reminiscent of the book/movie Black Robe. Set in the mid-seventh century, the Jesuits were running out of missionaries, due to large numbers of them being killed by hostile native American tribes. It's not a story about perseverance winning out, so much as survival of the fittest. Although some tribes were eventually Christianized, the majority retained their indigenous religions. It didn't end from any lesson being learned by the Church; it took the decimation of the native North Americans for it to eventually end.
I remember the film very well. As for survival of the fittest, well, thank goodness the Jesuits didn't have to reproduce the ordinary human way. Otherwise, one of the characters in that movie would have found it....well, difficult...to propagate after his encounter with the aboriginal inhabitants. :mrgreen:
Families were large in those days, and it was common to donate one offspring to the service of the church. A never-ending supply of willing servants eager to board the ship to go forth to civilize the savage lands.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Lance Kennedy » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:41 pm

Back to the Andaman Islands. I am aware that the politically correct approach is to suggest that the natives are best left alone. But I have never been politically correct. I prefer to use my brain.

It is inevitable that eventually they will become a part of the wider world. Already anthropologists have been active. The next step is to learn their language so that people can talk to them. Trade follows, and the rest comes with time. Good or bad is not really that important. What will happen is going to happen.

Will this help or hurt them ? I do not know. I do not think that their current ways of life is likely to be so attractive. Hand to mouth strategies for food, clothing and shelter is not so pleasant. More modern crops and tools would make their lives much easier.

What about disease ? Well, I am cynical enough to believe it will happen regardless. Sooner or later, there will be contact with someone carrying a cold, or worse. Better to have medical help available. My bet is that in 100 years, the islanders will be a part of the 22nd Century world, with a population larger than it is now.

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:15 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:41 pm
Back to the Andaman Islands. I am aware that the politically correct approach is to suggest that the natives are best left alone. But I have never been politically correct. I prefer to use my brain.

It is inevitable that eventually they will become a part of the wider world. Already anthropologists have been active. The next step is to learn their language so that people can talk to them. Trade follows, and the rest comes with time. Good or bad is not really that important. What will happen is going to happen.

Will this help or hurt them ? I do not know. I do not think that their current ways of life is likely to be so attractive. Hand to mouth strategies for food, clothing and shelter is not so pleasant. More modern crops and tools would make their lives much easier.

What about disease ? Well, I am cynical enough to believe it will happen regardless. Sooner or later, there will be contact with someone carrying a cold, or worse. Better to have medical help available. My bet is that in 100 years, the islanders will be a part of the 22nd Century world, with a population larger than it is now.
Or a plexiglas dome over them and walkways all around.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by JO 753 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:15 am

Or they'll get hooked on meth and all die. Or a natural dizaster will wipe them off the map. Or the rest uv the human rase will be wiped out by a virus and the Andamanz will eventually take over.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:32 pm

JO 753 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:15 am
Or they'll get hooked on meth and all die. Or a natural dizaster will wipe them off the map. Or the rest uv the human rase will be wiped out by a virus and the Andamanz will eventually take over.
Or someone will drop them a lucrative reality show deal.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Austin Harper » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:11 pm

The recent news stories have given a total population of the tribe of around 50 people. I would guess that they'll be extinct soon, especially considering the relatively flat topography of the island that will make it pretty heavily hit by climate change.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:26 pm

Austin Harper wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:11 pm
The recent news stories have given a total population of the tribe of around 50 people. I would guess that they'll be extinct soon, especially considering the relatively flat topography of the island that will make it pretty heavily hit by climate change.
I'm sure the government of India would take some sort of action long before then. They wouldn't be too hard to round up with tranquilizer darts, nets and cages.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:30 pm

According to that map, most of the island is above 50 meters. Global warming will not raise sea levels that much. Extinction is not a certainty.

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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by Austin Harper » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:02 pm

Yes, a lot of it is above 50 m but the costal areas are pretty flat. I'm not saying the whole island is going to be under water.
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Re: The Blessings of Civilization

Post by landrew » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:04 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:30 pm
According to that map, most of the island is above 50 meters. Global warming will not raise sea levels that much. Extinction is not a certainty.
And it's unthinkable that a century from now, they'd still be running around with bows and arrows.
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