Thursday, May 11, 2006

Back to the Future. Now, We Just Need to Define It For Them.

Truly fascinating piece in the New York Times today about the Nukak-Mak├║, a clan in Colombia that lives "a Stone Age life." About 80 members of the clan recently showed up on the edge of modern society, with a notion to join it.

The piece says everything that follows from this much better than I could, so I strongly urge you to read it. The one thing that most struck me, though, relates to the book I've been reading (see post below this one). That book concerns itself very much with how the human brain envisions the future, and the ways in which this future does and doesn't live up to our hopes for it as it approaches and takes form. This evidently isn't an issue for the Nukak:
When asked if the Nukak were concerned about the future, Belisario, the only one in the group who had been to the outside world before and spoke Spanish, seemed perplexed, less by the word than by the concept. "The future," he said, "what's that?"


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