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--- Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> wrote:
> Anthropologists are biased though where humans are concerned aren't
Of course they are, but so are we all. Some of us, though, don't know
their biases. I used anthropologists as an example of specialists who
can state far more clearly then I can, what is the treasure that we are
dumping in the manure pile...
> Really though, I see your point. Like Wade's point also, I
> can see
> the value and beauty of things like aboriginal stories and so on, and
> is a loss there when such things go. So, yeah, I should qualify my
> opinion (spouted in haste).
Every little counts, IMO. :)
I beg to differ from Wade-like oppinions, simply because I think they
are way to limited. Thoreau and his contemporaries talked about beauty
of the wilderness and how it would be nice to preserve it simply
because of that - and it worked fine, to a certain extent. The value
that we can today see in the wilderness, though, is of an entirely
different order of magnitude. Living things can teach us all that we
ever wanted to know about subjects ranging from nanotech manipulation
of single atoms and molecules, up to the high level behavior in
non-linear and/or chaotic systems, with all the intermediate stages.
This is recognised in a few fields of science, but not at all in the
population at large.
I postulate that by analogy, cultures may be similar in the sense that
today we simply don't know enough to be able to appreciate their worth.
They are result of processes of adaptation, variation, selection, etc.
- and have some unique solutions to a wide range of problems.
> I don't see much loss in subsistence living, mythico-religious
> social systems, or a range of practices that some peoples follow, and
> wouldn't want to perpetuate some people having to live like that so
> others can enjoy the benefits, even if, or rather especially if, some
> those people are merely external observers (like western
> anthropologists enjoying the pacific sun).
First, just because you don't see much loss in subsistence living etc,
that does not mean at all that there actually *isn't* a loss.
Second, ask any anthropologist why do tribal people (having a
subsistence life) so rarely abandon it, even under extreme pressure
from outside? Seriosuly, ask that - it might enlighten you a bit about
our own way of life.
Third, in order to preserve those cultures, the only thing that you
have to do is to leave them alone. Don't go in there and cut their
forest down. Don't go in and force them to become farmers or something
else that is "productive". Don't make them work in Nike factores. Just
don't meddle in their affairs with your "civilized" and "enlightened"
approach at all.
There are very few men - and they are exceptions - who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment.
Carl von Clausewitz
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