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SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2016
Take this as no more than an idle observation: There's a misconception that the world is not united - that every nation is isolated from one another, that no one understands each other, that our planet is a lonely one. This goes both politically, and socially: We're all just disjoint humans running around our own private businesses, ignorantly unaware of others. Unaware of those in other cities, states/provinces, countries, continents, hemispheres.

The truth is though, we're all united - or at least, most of us are. We're very aware of one another - in ways we often take for granted. There is a strong world unity as we all inherently have come to recognize that we are all together on this planet, for better or for worse.

In the recent month there's been news about a lost tribe found in Brazil - a tribe which has not had any contact from the "civilized" world. Why the quotes? Well, despite this news turning out to be a myth - the tribe has had much contact with Brazilians, as well as non-Brazilians who are poaching mahagony, the "civilized" world has not been quite civil with this particular tribe. Originally it was thought these tribesmen were on ready to attack the loud metal bird in the sky - something straight out of a Disney movie, really. It was later revealed that this tribe was actually protecting itself from the dangers often brought on by we, the "civilized." Often bringing along diseases we've long been immune to, or otherwise trying to aclimate them into our society - causing them much psychological distress.


An undoctored potograph of what we thought was a lost tribe in Brazil


In Seed Magazine's October issue there is a particularly interesting article about this story. How arrogant we perhaps are in thinking that this tribe should join us - the us, being the united world. We somehow think our world is better, and their desire to be isolated is a reflection of their own ignorance, and not ours. And while I read this article, I found myself marveling at the mere idea that by virtue of the fact that there are no more tribes that have not had contact with the rest of us, this means we're all aware of each other. It was though we were all a group of friends, lost in a forest, and who - though still in the forest - know whether the others are. We know what islands are inhabited, with which group of people. We know where we've gone, where we've left, and when we went there. Someone in Africa, who has access to a computer is well aware of the Americas, as we in the Americas are aware of Europe, and so on. There is a strong bond here that we can take for granted. And so united we are, that when there is a group of us that we think are alone, we are so positive they truly want to be a part of it all, that we cause more harm than good.



How different do you consciously try to be - particularly when we just found out that we're all quite similar? I recall once getting an email that asked me to name a vegetable and first thinking 'carrot' and then 'celery' I decided to go with Asparagus - my thought being that most people would likely think of a carrot... And low and behold the email confirmed that I was a unique individual for not having picked a carrot. Being that I was a teenager at the time, it felt good to have my uniqueness validated by a chain email.



The interesting part that I wonder about is those times when we are one particular way and realizing that most are the same way, we then become adamant that we ALL are that way. So insecure we are with the idea that we are lost in the majority that we try to downplay it by asserting that it isn't just a majority - but its the only way to be. And in those cases we will argue with those of a different persuasion that they too are part of the 'majority' because everyone is in the majority and to argue it is to either deny it or to be lacking in some biological gene that would otherwise make you normal.



In other words - none wants to be normal, but when they have to be, they don't want anyone else to be different. It's an odd thought - that we're all far more similar that we think, let alone willing to admit. What's perhaps more odd is that it often leads to our own predictability - some may call it our own demise.

Which shape did you call the Tazzik?


I won't make claims as to where we should go from here, or what can be learned - as I mentioned in the beginning, this is no more than an idle observation. All that I really can conclude is plainly: we're united, far more than we think, and far more than we give ourselves credit for. Paradoxically, we don't want to feel like we're all the same, and yet we think that the best thing for a group of tribes people in a jungle in Brazil is to join us. We may not all agree with each other - but maybe, just maybe, it's because quite often because we already do agree.
Comments

PhilWalker

PhilWalker

It's a Tazzik because "tazzik" sounds so sharp and angular. It's a Moubloid, because it's so bubbly and curvatious. I think the words match the shapes because the sounds of the words are associated with the shapes we experience in nature.

For example, "moubloid" gives the feeling of a bubble in water, that sound of something bubbling up. The shape, while a little angular, has a similar (enough) shape to the bubbles I would experience in nature, so my mind correlates the two.

Tazzik has a sharp, cutting sound to it. That "zzzzz" cuts and it ends with a pointy "ik" sound...similar to what I would experience in nature, of objects like teeth, saws, and fly-zippers.

But really, all I'm saying is that a tiger is called a tiger, because it looks like a tiger...
REPLIES: alishahnovin

claudia

claudia

The beginning of your article reminded me just how things so blatantly orientalist rhetoric can still appears in western media and literature. The whole power dynamic of the conquered and the unconquered, the civilized and the uncivilized (as you mention) seems to have some pretty deep roots.
REPLIES: alishahnovin

alishahnovin

ALISHAHNOVIN

Replying to PhilWalker:
But the interesting part is that we all form that similar association. It's an association based on experience, and you're basically saying that our experiences with nature and the world are all similar - we all encounter the world in a similar manner.

What you're really saying is that a tazzik is called a tazzik, because it looks like a tazzik...

alishahnovin

ALISHAHNOVIN

Replying to claudia:
Makes me wonder what the world would be like of the conquerors didn't conquer and we were "civilized" by some other set of peoples view of "civility."

Hogan

Hogan

What an all-over-the-place article. I liked it though. I like all-over-the-placeness. Made me think of way too many things to say. Nevertheless, I'll try.

First off: Sure, we may all be one planet, one people, etc. (or to be Buddhist about it: everything is made of everything else and cannot not be interconnected to everything that's it's also not), but that hardly means we're actually united and know about (let alone care about) everybody else. A tribe in the middle of nowhere, even with some limited contact with "civilized" society, probably doesn't know shit about what it doesn't need to know. That sounded bad. What I meant, however, applies equally to, let's say, poorly educated Americans, who know almost nothing of world history or geography or whatever else civilization is supposed to value. And it's not just Americans, of course. Rick Mercer would have no trouble finding an ample amount of ignoramuses (or ignorami) no matter who he was "talking" to.

So, yes. We're all biologically the same species. All united by genetics. A famous genetic research project by Richarch Lowentin (done in 1972 I should say, and since criticized) showed that some 80% of human genetic diversity occurs within every group of human on the planet. And so within every "race" or "ethnic group" or "nationality" there's the same variance of people-types (nerdy people, athletes, storytellers, jerks, saints, the lazy, the eccentric, the smart, the stupid, you name it). In short, every type of person needed to have a healthy, diverse community is inside every racial community or ethnic group or nation, and the differences between these groups are just the superficial, physical features, which has nothing to do with, say, the intellectual superiority of any group over another.

As for all those visuals, which I'm not sure had anything to do with the article itself, but in particular the "Tiger" one, there's some awesome work by a neuroscientist named Vilayanur Ramachandran that touches directly on the visual/oral connection and its relation to metaphor in language. Really cool stuff. Here's a link to a talk he gave about metaphor and synesthesia (the metaphor part is closer to the end of the video.

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl2LwnaUA-k



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