Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

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Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby aetherson » Fri May 30, 2008 2:24 pm UTC

I know it's odd that I saw this on Yahoo... Photographs of one of the 100 or so "un-contacted" indigenous tribes of the world were recently taken (and published) with what appears to be a low flying aircraft.
Has no one watched Star Trek recently? geez people...
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Gunfingers » Fri May 30, 2008 2:30 pm UTC

Heh, apparantly so many people have gone to Survival International's site looking for these pictures that the site is down.

Also, is it really appropriate to keep calling them 'indians'? I thought we had moved beyond that terminology.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby ascendingPig » Fri May 30, 2008 3:06 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:Also, is it really appropriate to keep calling them 'indians'? I thought we had moved beyond that terminology.

That's what they call themselves. Only super-PC white folk are willing to work through a mouthful like "indigenous Americans" or whatever.
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Gunfingers » Fri May 30, 2008 3:08 pm UTC

Last i'd heard they were calling themselves "first nations", but then i don't actually know anyone from that culture.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby zenten » Fri May 30, 2008 3:38 pm UTC

ascendingPig wrote:
Gunfingers wrote:Also, is it really appropriate to keep calling them 'indians'? I thought we had moved beyond that terminology.

That's what they call themselves. Only super-PC white folk are willing to work through a mouthful like "indigenous Americans" or whatever.


Wait, how could we know what they call themselves if we've never contacted them?

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby aetherson » Fri May 30, 2008 4:03 pm UTC

zenten wrote:Wait, how could we know what they call themselves if we've never contacted them?

Bingo.

Remember, these people are in South America...not NORTH America.
The First Nations are generally up in the US and Canada...
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby CivilDefense700 » Sat May 31, 2008 3:15 am UTC

aetherson wrote:Has no one watched Star Trek recently? geez people...


I had the exact same thought when I saw this on the news (how much of a nerd am I !). We seriously need to have our own prime directive, just imagine the harm we did to their culture by having this large machine roar above them. I mean they where trying to shoot at it with their arrows! Their religion will probably change now to worshiping the sky monster.
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Hawknc » Sat May 31, 2008 3:35 am UTC

I love Warren Ellis sometimes...

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Jahoclave » Sat May 31, 2008 8:38 am UTC

Kind of like cult number 9 on this list.
http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/ ... cults.html

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby wst » Sat May 31, 2008 9:34 am UTC

CivilDefense700 wrote:
aetherson wrote:Has no one watched Star Trek recently? geez people...


I had the exact same thought when I saw this on the news (how much of a nerd am I !). We seriously need to have our own prime directive, just imagine the harm we did to their culture by having this large machine roar above them. I mean they where trying to shoot at it with their arrows! Their religion will probably change now to worshiping the sky monster.

I thought 'shit' when I saw that.
Couldn't anthropologists get a second hand U2 and just whiz that around at about 30km up? They wouldn't even need to get any cameras for it, being a spy plane...
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby ascendingPig » Sat May 31, 2008 1:54 pm UTC

CivilDefense700 wrote:
aetherson wrote:Has no one watched Star Trek recently? geez people...


I had the exact same thought when I saw this on the news (how much of a nerd am I !). We seriously need to have our own prime directive, just imagine the harm we did to their culture by having this large machine roar above them. I mean they where trying to shoot at it with their arrows! Their religion will probably change now to worshiping the sky monster.

Why would we want to "preserve their culture"? Just because we fetishize their backwardsness doesn't mean we should be depriving them of modern conveniences. How many of them must die from diseases we can vaccinate?

I'm not advocating a displacement policy or anything. I'm just saying, why are we so afraid to contact them? Do we really think they'll be happier in the long run if deprived of modern tech, life-saving medical developments, and a chance to argue their own case in front of the government on the logging issue?
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby e946 » Sat May 31, 2008 4:28 pm UTC

ascendingPig wrote:Why would we want to "preserve their culture"? Just because we fetishize their backwardsness doesn't mean we should be depriving them of modern conveniences. How many of them must die from diseases we can vaccinate?

I'm not advocating a displacement policy or anything. I'm just saying, why are we so afraid to contact them? Do we really think they'll be happier in the long run if deprived of modern tech, life-saving medical developments, and a chance to argue their own case in front of the government on the logging issue?


Those same reasons have justified taking people from Africa as slaves, invading countries like Iraq, and in general polluting any culture imaginable with ours.

I'm not saying that's what's going to happen here, but have you considered the possibility that they're better off without us? Technology doesn't directly correspond with quality of life, nor do medical advances for diseases they probably don't even have (They're still alive now, so they're obviously doing something right).

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Rysto » Sat May 31, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

e946 wrote:Technology doesn't directly correspond with quality of life

Yes it does.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby lorenith » Sat May 31, 2008 5:36 pm UTC

e946 wrote:Yes it does.


No it doesn't, one can live a perfectly happy simple life just fine.

Also there's a good chance contacting with this people will just kill them all due to exposure to diseases we are perfectuly immune to that thye may not be.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby 4=5 » Sat May 31, 2008 5:43 pm UTC

I can't allow you that generalization. rysto

there are places to live that don't need much technology
and relationships are much more important to happiness than possessions when you aren't starving. If technology directly corresponds with happiness, and we have plenty of unhappy people now, I'm amazed that the entire human history didn't disappear into suicide.
Last edited by 4=5 on Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:55 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Threechtwo » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:45 am UTC

So how high did they throw those arrows? :mrgreen:
ascendingPig wrote:Why would we want to "preserve their culture"? Just because we fetishize their backwardsness doesn't mean we should be depriving them of modern conveniences. How many of them must die from diseases we can vaccinate?

I'm not advocating a displacement policy or anything. I'm just saying, why are we so afraid to contact them? Do we really think they'll be happier in the long run if deprived of modern tech, life-saving medical developments, and a chance to argue their own case in front of the government on the logging issue?

They're uncontacted, and it'd be very hard on them to contact them. We might not have their language, and it's questionable how open they'd be to learning new things from us. They're likely to have different logical concepts and understanding of the world, too, so they're not going to have the slightest clue about arguing their own case in front of a government about anything.

It's very questionable how much they could handle. I realize you don't mean that we'd hand them OLPCs and have them hop on the internet to check their emails, but even "basic" technological advances that you and I take for granted (light coming from electricity, a mechanical watch, photographs, cars, planes, telephones) would blow their minds.

Flip the roles for a second here and think aliens of the small green variety, and we humans as the uncontacted tribe. If they were to visit us someday, would we trust them? The large majority of humans' first instinct (and with good reason) would be fear, especially if they are technologically superior to us. I leave it to you to expand on this example.


Honestly I find it mind-blowing myself that there are "more than one hundred uncontacted tribes worldwide". But I guess it's reasonable to not want to contact them and become best buddies given the position I took above.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Freakish » Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:51 am UTC

I'd love for a superior alien race to contact us, but I'd imagine the tribe wouldn't appreciate technological advances like we would. However not contacting them could have the problem of us become part of their religion/mythology. I think there's a tribe that has been modernized for x(amount of years) and they still believe in the giant metal bird, but I might be misremembering.
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby e946 » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:48 am UTC

4=5 wrote:no, e946 I can't allow you that generalization.

there are places to live that don't need much technology
and relationships are much more important to happiness than possessions when you aren't starving. If technology directly corresponds with happiness, and we have plenty of unhappy people now, I'm amazed that the entire human history didn't disappear into suicide.


Read my post again, more carefully this time.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Robin S » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:37 am UTC

Some "uncontacted" peoples are actively aggressive towards any people who try to make contact. This would make transferring knowledge of such things as vaccines somewhat difficult.
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby H.E.L.e.N. » Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:16 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Kind of like cult number 9 on this list.
http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/ ... cults.html


my unnecessary-but-topical addition: http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001100.html

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby 4=5 » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:47 pm UTC

e946 wrote:
4=5 wrote:no, e946 I can't allow you that generalization.

there are places to live that don't need much technology
and relationships are much more important to happiness than possessions when you aren't starving. If technology directly corresponds with happiness, and we have plenty of unhappy people now, I'm amazed that the entire human history didn't disappear into suicide.


Read my post again, more carefully this time.

woops wrong name
I"m sorry I meant the person who replied to you

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Rysto » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:58 pm UTC

4=5 wrote:I can't allow you that generalization. rysto

there are places to live that don't need much technology
and relationships are much more important to happiness than possessions when you aren't starving. If technology directly corresponds with happiness, and we have plenty of unhappy people now, I'm amazed that the entire human history didn't disappear into suicide.

Take any of those unhappy people, send them to live the rest of their lives with no technology at all and see how long it takes them to either die or beg to go back to the modern world.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Kizyr » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:58 pm UTC

I think folks are missing the point of why these photographs were taken.

These tribes are at risk of loggers destroying the land they survive off of (loggers that presumably they don't know exist). The entire point of the flyovers and photographs was to offer evidence that these tribes do exist. Both Brazil and Peru have plans not to contact the tribes, since (a) it seems that they'd rather be left alone, and (b) there's a huge risk of infection by diseases they may not have any immunities to.

I don't think they're so "primitive" that a flyover or two by a plane is going to destroy their culture. It's better to have a few flyovers and proof that they exist, than not to know and have nothing to bring against logging companies wanting to buy up land they assume to be uninhabited.

ascendingPig wrote:
Gunfingers wrote:Also, is it really appropriate to keep calling them 'indians'? I thought we had moved beyond that terminology.

That's what they call themselves. Only super-PC white folk are willing to work through a mouthful like "indigenous Americans" or whatever.

"Indians" or "American Indians" are fine to use. "First Nations" is something I've only heard in Canada; in the US, either "Native Americans", "(American) Indians", or "First Americans", are used.

I've heard Native Americans usually use Indian, or the name of their respective tribe(s) when talking about themselves. KF
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby e946 » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:13 pm UTC

Rysto wrote:Take any of those unhappy people, send them to live the rest of their lives with no technology at all and see how long it takes them to either die or beg to go back to the modern world.

Do you really not see a difference between taking someone who relies upon moden technology and taking it away and never having it in the first place? In each case, you develop skills that keep you alive with the technology available, so trying to live in the woods for the rest of your life isn't going to work too well.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Herman » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:35 pm UTC

I read another article about this tribe. Apparently they *knew* about Western civilization, from trading with and getting news from other tribes. So the flyover was probably not such a big deal.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Vaniver » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:45 pm UTC

CivilDefense700 wrote:We seriously need to have our own prime directive, just imagine the harm we did to their culture by having this large machine roar above them. I mean they where trying to shoot at it with their arrows! Their religion will probably change now to worshiping the sky monster.
While I like the "your development is your issue" aspect of the prime directive, it still seems strange to respect a primitive culture more than a developed culture. Progress is progress.

e946 wrote:in general polluting any culture imaginable with ours.
Polluting?
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Fahlain » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:08 pm UTC

What really amazes me is that archeologists seem so rabid about protecting past culture that removing an arrowhead from a National Park can be deemed a "major incident" (I have been in this situation first-hand), yet no one involved in this seem to notice that it bears the same potential damage-capability to roar over a tribe with an airplane? Even if the tribe is aware of other civilizations, being aware and having a low-flying louder-than-anything-else thing overhead are two different things. The total lack of common sense in some sectors-especially those in charge of important things, like big red buttons-continues to startle me.

Also, being vaguely aware that something exists and experiencing it first-hand are two different things. I'm from a rural area, and when I first went to Pittsburg, I was in more than a little awe, no matter how naive and gauche that might make me seem. Having Baltimore kids come visit us and see a horse for the first time was freaking hilarious, so that sort of shock can run both ways. This tribe's vague notion more than likely doesn't come close to reality, and experiencing that reality is something that could shatter worlds.

Argh, peoples makes me rants.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby artifex » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:44 pm UTC

On the issue of leaving tribes un-contacted:

Looking objectively at individuals in low-tech cultures, I'd say they seem entirely happy most of the time, and probably have a better sense of community then the usual of industrialized nations, but they are decidedly not happy when a third of their children die in infancy, or when conflicts with other tribes lead to killing and rape with no possibility of legal recourse, or when intellectually inclined people dream of the possibility of new things, but have no choice but to do exactly the same thing the previous generation did.

It seems to me that it's possible to respect a culture so much that you cease to respect the individuals who created the culture. If it's feasible to contact these people without physically harming them, I think it should be done. Ignorance, in my opinion, is always a bad thing, because it deprives people of the ability to choose for themselves how to live their own lives.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby cypherspace » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:55 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
CivilDefense700 wrote:We seriously need to have our own prime directive, just imagine the harm we did to their culture by having this large machine roar above them. I mean they where trying to shoot at it with their arrows! Their religion will probably change now to worshiping the sky monster.
While I like the "your development is your issue" aspect of the prime directive, it still seems strange to respect a primitive culture more than a developed culture. Progress is progress.

"Developed", "primitive" and "progress" are terms that depend entirely on your point of view. It is utterly arrogant to assume that they would be better off after contact with our "advanced" civilisations.
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby artifex » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:00 am UTC

cypherspace wrote:"Developed", "primitive" and "progress" are terms that depend entirely on your point of view. It is utterly arrogant to assume that they would be better off after contact with our "advanced" civilisations.


I'd say it's arrogant to deny them the choice in service of your own philosophy.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby BurntCornMuffin » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:22 am UTC

We seriously need to have our own prime directive, just imagine the harm we did to their culture by having this large machine roar above them. I mean they where trying to shoot at it with their arrows! Their religion will probably change now to worshiping the sky monster.


Actually, they mentioned in my local news that they did it to prove to logging/oil companies that there were tribes in there to prevent them from going through and wiping out their land. I see a low-flying metal thing flying over you as a lesser evil than having a bunch of dudes with machines come mow down your tent.
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Vaniver » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:20 am UTC

cypherspace wrote:It is utterly arrogant to assume that they would be better off after contact with our "advanced" civilisations.
You will note that "utterly arrogant" and "wrong" are rather different.

And, for the majority of metrics, it's a fact, not an assumption.
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby zealo » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:04 am UTC

eventually, they are going to come into contact with the rest of the planet. surely the sooner that happens the less of a 'shock' it will be? if they thought the spanish were gods, what are they going to think of people 300 years from now?
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby ++$_ » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:49 am UTC

zealo wrote:eventually, they are going to come into contact with the rest of the planet. surely the sooner that happens the less of a 'shock' it will be? if they thought the spanish were gods, what are they going to think of people 300 years from now?
That they're demons, probably.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby cypherspace » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:02 am UTC

artifex wrote:
cypherspace wrote:"Developed", "primitive" and "progress" are terms that depend entirely on your point of view. It is utterly arrogant to assume that they would be better off after contact with our "advanced" civilisations.


I'd say it's arrogant to deny them the choice in service of your own philosophy.

That's a fair point of view, I suppose. I'm just trying to get rid of this idea that "advancing" civilisation is always better for the peoples involved. "Oh, we simply MUST contact these poor, underprivileged savages who were perfectly content with their own life until we came along."

You will note that "utterly arrogant" and "wrong" are rather different.

And, for the majority of metrics, it's a fact, not an assumption.

Certainly they are, but that doesn't stop it being arrogant. And a real culture should not be arrogant in my opinion. I have no idea what you mean by the second statement - what is a fact?
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby artifex » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:59 pm UTC

cypherspace wrote:
artifex wrote:I'd say it's arrogant to deny them the choice in service of your own philosophy.

That's a fair point of view, I suppose. I'm just trying to get rid of this idea that "advancing" civilisation is always better for the peoples involved. "Oh, we simply MUST contact these poor, underprivileged savages who were perfectly content with their own life until we came along."
?


Well, hold on- put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Wouldn't you rather represent your own interests to the outside world, and know about any possibility of acquiring medicine or other life-saving things for your family, rather then having these things decided for you by people interested in keeping you content? If being consulted about these things meant that your preconceptions had to be challenged, and you culture shocked, would that necessarily be a bad thing? I mean, trying to assimilate these people would be very wrong, but isn't refusing to let them know about things relevant to their lives just as much an exertion of control?

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Jesse » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

Once done it can't be undone, and if memory serves me correctly (Although feel free to prove me completely wrong here) we've not had a good track record of introducing civilisation to these kinds of people.

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

Have we done it since smallpox blankets were all the rage?

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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby Belial » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:49 pm UTC

And apparently they already know about western civilization, so if they wanted in, maybe they'd come find us.
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Re: Photographs of un-contacted tribe make the news...

Postby 4=5 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:51 pm UTC

Gunfingers wrote:Have we done it since smallpox blankets were all the rage?

well Australia seems the most recent, how did that turn out?


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