David Thompson


Blog powered by Typepad

« Sorcery | Main | Someone Call Flash Gordon »

February 18, 2011


Simen Thoresen

Yay! A great morning. I see I have to go to London to complete my bollard-collection. Are there other aficionados here?

The snow-monsters are nice, and the shapes look almost aquatic. I wonder if these are general shapes if freezing/sedimenting environments with wind/liquid currents?



the machete in the photograph was likely obtained through trade with Indians who have made contact

Not really 'uncontacted' then.


“Not really ‘uncontacted’ then.”

Well, indeed. I’m assuming “uncontacted” means they haven’t yet encountered people with belts, wristwatches and professional dental work. And that James Cameron hasn’t had a chance to pretend that they’re utterly noble creatures living in an idyll untainted by sin.


My wife and I saw this 'uncontacted' pic the other day and wondered, independently, if in the words of Ripley, "IQs had suddenly dropped?"

As Ojo points out, they are holding manufactured machetes. So, not uncontacted in any way. At the bottom of the picture is an enamel bowl containing brown liquid. How are they 'uncontacted'? They trade with the outside world for God's sake! (Thereby proving Matt Ridley right – read 'The Rational Optimist' on how fundamental trade is. Socialists must be pretty pissed off to find 'Blank slate' humans and discover that they love a deal. Bummer.)

Will someone please explain how the world's media can have such a gigantic logic gap in its thinking?


As Matt Ridley has argued the key to human development is not intelligence alone but contact and trade


Therefore these tribes in remote areas should be said to had relatively less contact rather than none at all. I guess "relatively less contacted tribes" is less catchy than "uncontacted". The comments by Survival International suggests no one is trying to mislead.

For several decades they will have known about and have had access to metal goods, such as the knife and pan in the photo, acquired through inter-tribal trading networks. Everyone has neighbours, even when they’re some distance away, and they’ll know who they are. If it’s another tribe, perhaps also uncontacted, they may or may not have friendly relations with them. By uncontacted, we mean peoples who have no peaceful contact with anyone in the mainstream or dominant society.

What I found more interesting is the unexamined assumption of the noble savage myth in the comments (and the film).

* "contacting them only corrupts and destroys their villages."
* "their lucky i think, they know happiness..we dont" (sic)
* "living such simple lives, without greed and banks and corporate control of society."
* "The fact of the existence of small tribes like these with priority and value placed on the concept of family and community, a world where looking after one another and being interdependent is a way of life and survival, in contrast with many westernised societies where it's each man for himself and his own private gain."



Yes, I never quite understood the urge to romanticise rudimentary living. You have to wonder how some of those gushing commenters would feel after several weeks of “selflessness,” “community” and shitting in the woods.


Too true.

Please enjoy a vastly lower life expectancy particularly for expectant mothers and their infants. Except if you are a male, you have to join with the other members of your caring sharing community to attack or defend yourself from the other caring sharing community that has been driven over the border from Puru.

In the film they mention a second tribe that is being forced into this tribe's territory. There is some unspecified danger in this meeting but the film makers provide little help. It's almost as if they are afraid to tell us there is a risk of conflict.



Between starting to type and posting my first comment, you snuck in a Matt Ridley reference before me.



The little boy with the machete is gazing at the helicopter and thinking: awesome!


In Bb 2.0

Brilliant. Try clips 1, 7, 9, 18 and 20 together.


I wonder what the suicide rate is among Cosmopolitan staffers who have to come up with a new way to say "Sex Tips To Drive Your Man Wild!" on the cover every single God-damned month.


ThisIsNotPorn started life as something substantially different.

Any other puzzleheads out there remember the original site, before it was (apparently) overtaken by celebrity photos?


Saw this essay by Andrew Naughtie, son of Today presenter James, and thought it might appeal to David T. You need to get to the third paragraph to find out what he's actually reviewing (I won't spoil the surprise).



Thanks… I think. As with Laurie Penny and Bidisha! [jazz hands]™, assertion has replaced any attempt at argument. It seems that Mr Naughtie disapproves of “overly individualistic thinking” though he fails to tell us why, or takes care not to. It’s almost eerie how some people can affect an air of radicalism while regurgitating someone else’s boilerplate.

Col. Milquetoast

The economics of Star Wars.

I thought that was disappointing. Mainly because I was hoping for a discussion of what economics would justify sending thousands of clone soldiers to fight an interstellar war instead of just nuking the rebel alliance from orbit. My theory is that the high cost of manufacturing high tech goods (hover cars and moisture vaporators don't grow on trees, you know) and/or the high transport costs meant it was important to capture resources rather than smash them.

I think the massive droid army can be explained by 1) their overall shoddiness 2) the economies of scale and 3) a malinvestment inspired by a world domination bubble

The comments to this entry are closed.

Amazon Link