Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:01 pm

I think everybody is underestimating the human mind's ability to compartmentalize, or to rearrange facts into it's own paradigm. If I live in a universe of birchbark canoes and skin kayaks, for example, and I see an Age of Sail barque, what do I see? A giant canoe, propelled not by oars but by sheets of the skin of the mysterious "canvas" beast. I might even already be familiar with oak and pine. The only thing that impresses me is the scale, and perhaps the use of metal fittings.

OK, let's take me as this hypothetical aboriginal and now instead of the barque I see a modern frigate. It floats; it moves over the water; it uses the same basic principles of hydrodynamics as both the barque above and as my little birchbark canoe. Surely I might be impressed by the incredible wood (steel) used in its construction, and by the circular underwater oars at the stern used to propel it - but if I can recognize the barque, then I can surely recognize the frigate.
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby SolkaTruesilver » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:34 pm

Mikey wrote:I think everybody is underestimating the human mind's ability to compartmentalize, or to rearrange facts into it's own paradigm.


And how would you know?

Do we have first-hand experience of a neolithic-level culture (of the likes of the Native Americans) being presented for the first time to modern-level technological wonders without any previous experience of anything else than their lives beforehand?

I mean, I don't dismiss your opinion out of hand, because you might be right. But the thing is, it's very possible that what you claim to be a human's capacity to rationalise and compartmentalize might only be possible in a very small minority of elites, while the other ones would cower in spiritual fear.

But then again, it's speculation. Darn, I wished we had anything like psycho-mathematics to project human behavior, but AFAIK, it's just all blabla bullshit. :cry:
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:46 pm

SolkaTruesilver wrote:And how would you know?


Honestly? OK, I would know due to a couple of years of case studies and analysis as a psychology student.

SolkaTruesilver wrote:Do we have first-hand experience of a neolithic-level culture (of the likes of the Native Americans) being presented for the first time to modern-level technological wonders without any previous experience of anything else than their lives beforehand?


Of course we do! It's called the entire history of mankind, perhaps you've heard of it. When nomadic herders first encountered Harappa; when the Hyskos introduced the Egyptians (rather quickly) to the chariot; when Europeans first explored... anywhere; when the Japanese descended on Korea; when the Mycenaeans first traded with the Minoans; when the Turks introduced their refined steel (edge first) to the Caucasus; etc., etc., ad nauseum.
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby SolkaTruesilver » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:13 pm

Mikey wrote:
SolkaTruesilver wrote:And how would you know?


Honestly? OK, I would know due to a couple of years of case studies and analysis as a psychology student.


Neat!! No sarcasm intended.

Mikey wrote:
SolkaTruesilver wrote:Do we have first-hand experience of a neolithic-level culture (of the likes of the Native Americans) being presented for the first time to modern-level technological wonders without any previous experience of anything else than their lives beforehand?


Of course we do! It's called the entire history of mankind, perhaps you've heard of it. When nomadic herders first encountered Harappa; when the Hyskos introduced the Egyptians (rather quickly) to the chariot; when Europeans first explored... anywhere; when the Japanese descended on Korea; when the Mycenaeans first traded with the Minoans; when the Turks introduced their refined steel (edge first) to the Caucasus; etc., etc., ad nauseum.


But all of these were something that could have been reproduced within the next 25 years, as it wasn't THAT big of a jump in tech complexity. I doubt natives would be able to even know where to begin while trying to understand modern-level technology. The point is, it's easier to jump from point 1 to 3 than to jump from point 1 to 300. at some level, I think you reached a point where you need some technical background to be able to comprehend what's in front of you.

So, I repeat: is there knowledge of a very primitive (tech-wise) culture being presented to MODERN (not "contemporary") but MODERN technology? I can think, maybe, of some of the pacific island inhabitants who considered the GIs who were temporarily stationned there during WW2 as gods.
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:36 pm

That's a tad tangential, as we're discussing the aboriginal reaction to different tech rather than the aboriginal ability to recreate it. Fair enough, though I daresay introducing gunpowder weapons to the New World is close enough to the example you describe.
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby SolkaTruesilver » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:21 pm

Mikey wrote:That's a tad tangential, as we're discussing the aboriginal reaction to different tech rather than the aboriginal ability to recreate it. Fair enough, though I daresay introducing gunpowder weapons to the New World is close enough to the example you describe.


But gunpowder, in itself, wasn't that much of a recent discovery. After all, the chinese invented it centuries ago, didn't they?

Western countries revolutionnise the use of gunpowder, but the technology itself wasn't much of a new thing. So I think it kinda diminish the impact.
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby Captain Seafort » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:28 pm

SolkaTruesilver wrote:But gunpowder, in itself, wasn't that much of a recent discovery. After all, the chinese invented it centuries ago, didn't they?

Western countries revolutionnise the use of gunpowder, but the technology itself wasn't much of a new thing. So I think it kinda diminish the impact.


I realise that it's difficult for you, but please try not to be a fucking idiot. The native Americans had neither firearms nor gunpowder, ergo people showing up with said technology was an OCP. How long western Europe or the Chinese had had the technology is utterly irrelevant.
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:39 pm

Indeed. Who cares how long ago the Chinese had it? That means absolutely zero to the impact it had toward the Native Americans.

If the Martians landed in Quebec tomorrow and told you that the Venusians had simple, quick interplanetary technology for centuries; would you then say, "Oh, well I'm not that impressed then."
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby USSEnterprise » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:48 pm

Humans do look rather different then the Navi though. At least the Native Americans and the Europeans were the same species. How would a species react to another sapient species that is different in so many ways?
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:54 pm

The Europeans and Native Americans were visibly different enough to denote what may have been thought to be a different race, if not species.
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby USSEnterprise » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:12 pm

Mikey wrote:The Europeans and Native Americans were visibly different enough to denote what may have been thought to be a different race, if not species.


True. Its hard to imagine the conditions from so long ago.

In the scenario would diseases be a problem between two species? I can hardly imagine things would go over well if an advanced people showed up and then the natives started dropping like flies.
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:18 pm

That's what happened in the Americas, and I daresay that it wasn't the main issue.
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Re: Primitive Societies And Advanced Technology

Postby Tyyr » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:53 pm

Cross species viruses are not that common among species originating from the same planet. Between species from different planets with totally different evolutionary paths, and probably not even compatible cellular processes, if they even cells? Buy a lottery ticket, your odds are better. If I was worried about anything it would be bacterial infections or parasites. Viral infections are in all likelihood impossible.
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