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  1.  (2413.21)
    SRT - No kidding! I'm with you in the greed for contributions - interconnectivity only makes us all stronger, and I want that strength. That's why I'm baffled by people who don't want to support public schools. Those kids might be performing our heart surgeries when we're old and grey, I want them to know their shit.
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2008
    To expand on what rough night said: "freedom" or "opportunity" to modernize seems to be a misnomer. Once a premodern people come into contact with a modern society (which is much larger than theirs), that contact will change them. The opportunity to modernize was previously nonexistent in their culture. So: giving them that opportunity will change their set of options, and their society with it. (Since this is a Warren forum, I'll ask you to recall the historical communities in Transmet which functioned only because the participants relinquished their knowledge of an alternative modern society outside.) Simply put, our contact with their society changes it (and, to a lesser degree, ours). Probably the only way to "preserve" a premodern culture is to not contact it.

    Maybe this is an option, but I'd wager it isn't. There is this notion that our culture is not "natural" or somehow opposed to nature, and that premodern cultures are somehow "in tune" with the natural world: the romanticization Lingster's talking about. (First of all, there's the violence, as Lingster said, and the oft-cited human-caused deforestation and extinction of species is not exactly a new phenomenon.)

    I'd say it's "natural" for humans to contact one another, and it's natural for societies to change when such contact occurs. Leaving them alone is akin to treating these people like animals: by relinquishing the ability to communicate with them, and thus their ability to know that they are being "protected", their culture becomes a new endangered species. (Note: their culture, not the individuals.) Which is not to say that this is necessarily wrong, but it's not like we treat anyone else this way.

    Like rough night, I think that more important than the question of whether or not to contact them is the question of how they are ultimately contacted.
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2008
    Hmmm...can we all say "Cannibal Holocaust"?