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We of the industrialised countries have a tremendous amount to gain from the tribal peoples of the world, concerning problems of our era.

I spent some time visiting the Turkanas and Digos of Kenya recently -
my experiences have been primarily in Africa
I realised 2 things -

firstly, that our knowledge of ancient societies, and our level of contact with them, are extremely small -
and when they occasionally happen, it is with great cultural bias and a presumption of superiority by the visitor (NGOs, government representatives, corporate staff, churches ..)
secondly, that many of the core topics of today in the industrialised world (environment, conflict and human social connection) are
- in some cases - managed far more successfully by these
ancient societies -

but there are of course many nuances and downsides in this story -
it is not black and white

I propose that we should have friendly, equal interaction with these peoples in a careful way that does not disrupt their lives -
as a way of pursuing our own search for what is right and what we want
in the West

and we should absolutely not allow these societies to disappear
a little a time - we should rather protect them from threats to their way of life, and get to know them better

Pinkers rapid dismissal of the 'myth' of social harmony in tribal societies
is merely a symptom of the fact that 'we' barely know 'them' at all,
and have extremely little reliable information -
for myself, and for 2 of your TED speakers, it is easy to distinguish
between those who have had close contact with tribal peoples,
and those who have not, like Pinker

it is true that for any normal person, a real personal contact with them
is not easy to arrange - there is travel, there is finding a personal introduction, and survival in areas without shops or hotels

I maintain that nothing has ever been more worth the effort -
and that there is no substitute for the real thing -
films, books and talks cannot convey the experience

The nearest I can come is that it changes you permanently,
and as Pinker says "everything you thought before was wrong"

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    Jan 3 2013: Pual, I think the problem is deeper then just what we have been told, in the heart of your narrative there is a lack of humanity; in the words of mother Teresa: “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat. I Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." The human society as a whole is a single oraganism capable of florishing to the highest potential of life in every demsion. There is no WE US, versers THEY OR THEM. The otherness we created in each other has to go. WE are the ones we have been waiting for, Ob.
    In Oct 6 1963 a few years before I was born H.I.M. Haile Selassie address to the Unted Nations and this is what he said That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will; Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; Until that day, the African continent will not know peace. Alhought alot has happen yet still the same?
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      Jan 3 2013: "There is no WE US, versers THEY OR THEM. The otherness we created in each other has to go. WE are the ones we have been waiting for."

      Beautifully said.

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