Something is Wrong on the Internet!

 

Remote Amazon tribe finally connects to the internet — only to wind up hooked on porn, social media.

I find this to be both a charming, rather expectable, and yet alarming story.  Perhaps more so the latter than the former.  Still, I’m interested to know what others think of it.

Abstract: Starlink came to the Amazonian jungle and inflicted the Internet upon Brazil’s 2,000-strong Marubo tribe which, until this unfortunate eventuation, seems to have lived life on its own terms and without the benefit of external social interference.  (It’s still unclear, at least to me, how they seem suddenly to have gotten hold of the iPhones and computers to enable the contemporary crisis, but, whatever….)

“When [the Internet] arrived, everyone was happy,” Tsainama Marubo, 73, told The New York Times.

“But now, things have gotten worse. Young people have gotten lazy because of the internet, they’re learning the ways of the white people.”

Heh.

Alfredo said many young Marubo men have been sharing porn videos in group chats and he has already observed more “aggressive sexual behavior” in some of them.

Double heh. (Wait.  What?  They’ve already figured out group chats?)

On a positive note, the sudden eruption of technology may have helped with some medical emergencies, such as those caused by deadly snake bites, but the jury seems to be out on the pluses versus the minuses.

Internally, there seems to be some division about whether or not this is a good thing:

Flora Dutra, a Brazilian activist who works with indigenous tribes, was instrumental in helping connect the Marubo to the Internet.

She believes anxieties about the Internet are inflated, and asserts that most tribespeople “wanted and deserved” access to the World Wide Web.

Still, some officials in Brazil have criticized the rollout to the remote communities, saying special cultures and customs could now be lost forever.

What say you?

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  1. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Anyone remember from the early days a magazine called Mondo 2000 with an editor who used the alias R. U. Sirius? 

    It seems that one of their favourite subjects was “teledildonics”. I think I got the spelling right. They also mentioned an interesting screen saver. 

    • #1
  2. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    She:

    What say you?

    Unsurprising, hilarious, and disturbing.

    • #2
  3. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    She: Double heh. (Wait.  What?  They’ve already figured out group chats?)

    Well, they have had starlink for nine months now.

    Ace has a good take and a good quote:

    “Internet Phase One: This is going to connect the world and allow our scientists to work together to cure diseases.

    “Internet Phase Two: People stop reading books to scan headlines. People hop on the internet to check a fact and then spend the next ten hours watching an Iceberg video about the history of Bane.

    “Internet Phase Three: People stop talking to friends and family because of politics and Busty Lesbian Internet Porn.

    “Internet Phase Four: Man can no longer maintain an erection unless they a Dom Stepmom is stepping on their hands in high heels. The species ends for lack of trying.”

    “In the village, if you don’t hunt, fish and plant, you don’t eat.”

    “Some young people maintain our traditions,” TamaSay Marubo, 42, added.

    “Others just want to spend the whole afternoon on their phones.”

     

    • #3
  4. MoFarmer Coolidge
    MoFarmer
    @mofarmer

    Let’s see: It’s the NY Times. Disparage white people. The “activist” sees no harm done. I’m skeptical about the whole thing. Might be some kind of agenda being put forth here.

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    She:

    Still, some officials in Brazil have criticized the rollout to the remote communities, saying special cultures and customs could now be lost forever.

    What say you?

    It was maybe back in the late 90s or early 00s  that one of our professors came across a journal article concerning a remote tribe in the Brazilian rainforest.  The topic was whether men’s attraction to thin-waisted females was innate or culturally determined.  I forget which side of the argument this tribe was used as evidence for, but the point was that this remote tribe with no contact with outside culture preferred X.  Our professor wrote a brief letter to the editor pointing out that the article contained a photo of a man of this remote tribe with no contact with western culture that showed him wearing a Bart Simpson t-shirt. He speculated snarkily on what cultural influence a Marge Simpson t-shirt might have had on the preference for thin- or thick-waisted women. 

    Last time I mentioned this, probably here on Ricochet, the professor had a link to the article on his web site, but as with other professors I’ve looked up recently, his website no longer has that kind of information.  Back in the day he had his published letter and the photo posted on his office door, but he has been a department chair since about the time I retired and is now above such things.  (He turned out to be quite a good administrator.)

    • #5
  6. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Unsurprising, hilarious, and disturbing.

    Perfect comment: short and right on the point.

    • #6
  7. She Member
    She
    @She

    MoFarmer (View Comment):

    Let’s see: It’s the NY Times. Disparage white people. The “activist” sees no harm done. I’m skeptical about the whole thing. Might be some kind of agenda being put forth here.

    Ding, ding, ding!!  But I’m not sure the agenda is the one you mention.

    The “activist” is the one who caught my attention and sent me running off to find out more. There’s something a bit “savior complexy” about a person who says that a primitive tribe “wants and deserves access to the world wide web.”

    Isn’t it unusual to find a person who’s devoted to the rights and lives of “indigenous peoples” asserting that they both “want” and “deserve” access to modern technology?  Surely the only way a primitive (speaking literally not pejoratively) tribe in the Amazon would want and come to feel they deserve Internet access is if some little agitator has infiltrated their ideal world and made them dissatisfied with their lot in life?  I should have thought–anthropologically–if there were a “top ten” list of things such an “activist” ought never do, that would be in pole position.

    Flora Dutra is the CEO of something called NAVI Global.  From a paragraph on its website, on the page, “Why Does NAVI Global Exist”:

    The Amazonian Indigenous community seeks access to ESG programs generated on its behalf. [Sure it does.] They desire transparency, wanting governments and businesses to know who they are funding and to collaborate on projects that they can share and celebrate with the world. [Ditto. But in the plural.  The pronoun references here are a bit incoherent.] The community wants to welcome private investment into the forest and to see investors rewarded above and beyond standard market rates, provided that funders genuinely care about their community and the forest they serve. [And again. But singluar.]

    Clearly there’s money in this somewhere. Perhaps the people involved should spend some of it on grammar lessons.

    What a surprise.

    A bit more digging took me to a medium.com explanation of the project, which describes its genesis this way:

    After participating in the Intertribal Space Conference to include Indigenous Peoples in space exploration…

    Wait.  Wut?  Suddenly we’re in outer space?

    The goal of the Intertribal Space Conference was

    To bring the space industry and tribal leaders together, to form new mutually beneficial tribal-space partnerships.

    One thing that should be clear by now is that there are those on this earth who will never run out of other people to exploit.

    • #7
  8. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    She: Starlink came to the Amazonian jungle and inflicted the Internet upon Brazil’s 2,000-strong Marubo tribe which, until this unfortunate eventuation, seems to have lived life on its own terms and without benefit of external social interference.

    More potential Ricochet members!

    • #8
  9. She Member
    She
    @She

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    She: Starlink came to the Amazonian jungle and inflicted the Internet upon Brazil’s 2,000-strong Marubo tribe which, until this unfortunate eventuation, seems to have lived life on its own terms and without benefit of external social interference.

    More potential Ricochet members!

    The old-timers, anyway!

    • #9
  10. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    She:

    Still, some officials in Brazil have criticized the rollout to the remote communities, saying special cultures and customs could now be lost forever.

    What say you?

    I have a libertarian view on this.  If members of some remote tribe are happy to live a stone-age existence, I don’t think other people should try to modernize them against their wishes, unless the stone-agers are committing atrocities, such as human sacrifice.  If members of a remote tribe see value in embracing modernity, I don’t think we should wall them off and treat them like zoo animals in their natural habitat.  They are human beings.

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    She:

    Still, some officials in Brazil have criticized the rollout to the remote communities, saying special cultures and customs could now be lost forever.

    What say you?

    I have a libertarian view on this. If members of some remote tribe are happy to live a stone-age existence, I don’t think other people should try to modernize them against their wishes, unless the stone-agers are committing atrocities, such as human sacrifice. If members of a remote tribe see value in embracing modernity, I don’t think we should wall them off and treat them like zoo animals in their natural habitat. They are human beings.

    One difficulty that comes up is that their community is usually of two minds about it, and the conflict will have a corrosive effect on the community.  Not that that means we on the outside should presume to force the issue one way or the other. 

    • #11
  12. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    I think I saw a clip from Gutfield on this topic. Someone said this tribe was getting the short end of the internet – all the problems – but none of the benefits. Like e-commerce, if they were able to see their tribal arts & crafts online or something…

    If they also had the modern influx of income to gloss over the problems, maybe they wouldn’t be as glaring.

    • #12
  13. Samuel Block Staff
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    She: What say you?

    Something rarely discussed is that the invention of the printing press was followed quickly by the mass slaughtering of Christians at the hands of other Christians. The consequences of the internet aren’t the same, but it’s early days—hard to know if the effect it’ll produce will be the exact opposite. But this story suggests that might be the case.

    The reevaluation of laissez-faire progressivism (by people who aren’t commies, hippies, cynics, or gloomers) is happening for a reason. It’s messy, but probably time well spent.

    • #13
  14. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    There is nothing about primitive pagan culture that should be glorified or preserved.

    • #14
  15. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    iWe (View Comment):

    There is nothing about primitive pagan culture that should be glorified or preserved.

    But replacing fishing with porn seems like a wrong move.

    • #15
  16. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    There is nothing about primitive pagan culture that should be glorified or preserved.

    But replacing fishing with porn seems like a wrong move.

    I hear that. 

    • #16
  17. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    iWe (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    There is nothing about primitive pagan culture that should be glorified or preserved.

    But replacing fishing with porn seems like a wrong move.

    I hear that.

    It’s a radical swing from primitive paganism to decadent, sophisticated paganism.

    If only there were some other way.

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    iWe (View Comment):

    There is nothing about primitive pagan culture that should be glorified or preserved.

    Except for the things about it that are urged on us by the holy writings. 

    • #18
  19. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    There is nothing about primitive pagan culture that should be glorified or preserved.

    Except for the things about it that are urged on us by the holy writings.

    Eating fish. I’m for keeping that one. And if you’re not a Jew you can eat them scaleless catfish!

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    iWe (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    There is nothing about primitive pagan culture that should be glorified or preserved.

    But replacing fishing with porn seems like a wrong move.

    I hear that.

    We’ve got to do better than tatas and TikTok.

    • #20
  21. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Percival (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    There is nothing about primitive pagan culture that should be glorified or preserved.

    But replacing fishing with porn seems like a wrong move.

    I hear that.

    We’ve got to do better than tatas and TikTok.

    We’ll certainly do better than TikTok, but as for the rest…well, as Radio Shack used to say, let’s be realistic…

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    There is nothing about primitive pagan culture that should be glorified or preserved.

    But replacing fishing with porn seems like a wrong move.

    I hear that.

    We’ve got to do better than tatas and TikTok.

    We’ll certainly do better than TikTok, but as for the rest…well, as Radio Shack used to say, let’s be realistic…

    Fun fact, they wanted to be “Realist” at first, but found out someone already had that trademarked.

    • #22
  23. She Member
    She
    @She

    The Marubo are described as a “remote” tribe of the Amazon basin, and a little investigation indicates that they’ve had intermittent, not always friendly, contact with the outside world since the last decade of the nineteenth century.  Through the first decade of the 20th, that contact consisted of Peruvian and Brazilian traders interested in extracting sap from gum and rubber trees. That industry collapsed, and the Marubo retreated upriver for a few decades, after which they looking further afield to trade rubber and pelts for the metal to make tools.  Since then, there’s been occasional contact, not all of it pleasant.

    I don’t feel much of an urge to praise or condemn their lifestyle, or to proselytize or convert them; as far as I’m concerned, they’re just there, doing what they do, as are several other remote tribes, and what are the vanishingly few still-uncontacted groups whose members total–at most– in the very few hundreds.  Perhaps it’s best to leave them be, living in what is essentially the Iron Age, while they’re still here.  

    I do think it’s wrong to approach them from what seems to be a perspective that (misquoting the Poge Colonel from Full Metal Jacket), “Inside every remote Amazon-basin tribesman is an astronaut desperate to go into outer space [the Marubo do have a rather complex cosmogony, and perhaps, for this aspect of it, that was the hook], and an ESG-loving eco-warrior determined to propel himself into the twenty-first century global economy” (see citations in comment #7).

    Someone is looking to get rich off these folks, and I’ll be shocked–shocked–if any of the wealth that’s generated redounds to their benefit or doesn’t result in disaster for them.  

    • #23
  24. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    I see a future welfare state with Sally Struthers in the commercials:

    “For only 19 cents a day You, too, could help feed the Marubo tribe.”

    • #24
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Someone’s probably working on this already, and we just haven’t heard about it yet, but I wonder if it might be possible to learn anything useful from the types of porn they prefer.

    • #25
  26. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Someone’s probably working on this already, and we just haven’t heard about it yet, but I wonder if it might be possible to learn anything useful from the types of porn they prefer.

    I am sure the NSA has a very accurate psychological profile of everyone they surveil. Porn I am sure is very telling, but also all your amazon purchases, browsing, books…. All the google searches… They can simulate every thought or dream you’ve ever had or will have, calculate every reaction.

    I am sure they have a very long list of everyone in the country that can be juuust slightly tweaked into being the next mass shooter…

    Look at all the co-incidences that have been in the last several shootings – FBI ‘erroneously’ approves gun purchases (often several times)… Local law enforcement lose interest (somehow drop the ball), and if charges are brought the DA soft pedals it… Then ‘unexpectedly’ this person kills 20 people at a food court, supermarket…

    Just sayin …

    • #26
  27. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Someone’s probably working on this already, and we just haven’t heard about it yet, but I wonder if it might be possible to learn anything useful from the types of porn they prefer.

    I am sure the NSA has a very accurate psychological profile of everyone they surveil. Porn I am sure is very telling, but also all your amazon purchases, browsing, books…. All the google searches… They can simulate every thought or dream you’ve ever had or will have, calculate every reaction.

    I am sure they have a very long list of everyone in the country that can be juuust slightly tweaked into being the next mass shooter…

    Look at all the co-incidences that have been in the last several shootings – FBI ‘erroneously’ approves gun purchases (often several times)… Local law enforcement lose interest (somehow drop the ball), and if charges are brought the DA soft pedals it… Then ‘unexpectedly’ this person kills 20 people at a food court, supermarket…

    Just sayin …

    For most people in the world, maybe so.  But somehow I don’t think that tribe does much buying from Amazon.

    • #27
  28. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Someone’s probably working on this already, and we just haven’t heard about it yet, but I wonder if it might be possible to learn anything useful from the types of porn they prefer.

    I am sure the NSA has a very accurate psychological profile of everyone they surveil. Porn I am sure is very telling, but also all your amazon purchases, browsing, books…. All the google searches… They can simulate every thought or dream you’ve ever had or will have, calculate every reaction.

    I am sure they have a very long list of everyone in the country that can be juuust slightly tweaked into being the next mass shooter…

    Look at all the co-incidences that have been in the last several shootings – FBI ‘erroneously’ approves gun purchases (often several times)… Local law enforcement lose interest (somehow drop the ball), and if charges are brought the DA soft pedals it… Then ‘unexpectedly’ this person kills 20 people at a food court, supermarket…

    Just sayin …

    For most people in the world, maybe so. But somehow I don’t think that tribe does much buying from Amazon.

    I am sure, they’re also not (yet) under NSA surveillance. 

    • #28
  29. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Someone’s probably working on this already, and we just haven’t heard about it yet, but I wonder if it might be possible to learn anything useful from the types of porn they prefer.

    I am sure the NSA has a very accurate psychological profile of everyone they surveil. Porn I am sure is very telling, but also all your amazon purchases, browsing, books…. All the google searches… They can simulate every thought or dream you’ve ever had or will have, calculate every reaction.

    I am sure they have a very long list of everyone in the country that can be juuust slightly tweaked into being the next mass shooter…

    Look at all the co-incidences that have been in the last several shootings – FBI ‘erroneously’ approves gun purchases (often several times)… Local law enforcement lose interest (somehow drop the ball), and if charges are brought the DA soft pedals it… Then ‘unexpectedly’ this person kills 20 people at a food court, supermarket…

    Just sayin …

    For most people in the world, maybe so. But somehow I don’t think that tribe does much buying from Amazon.

    I am sure, they’re also not (yet) under NSA surveillance.

    That surveillance might come automatically if they’re using the internet at all.

    • #29
  30. She Member
    She
    @She

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Someone’s probably working on this already, and we just haven’t heard about it yet, but I wonder if it might be possible to learn anything useful from the types of porn they prefer.

    I am sure the NSA has a very accurate psychological profile of everyone they surveil. Porn I am sure is very telling, but also all your amazon purchases, browsing, books…. All the google searches… They can simulate every thought or dream you’ve ever had or will have, calculate every reaction.

    I am sure they have a very long list of everyone in the country that can be juuust slightly tweaked into being the next mass shooter…

    Look at all the co-incidences that have been in the last several shootings – FBI ‘erroneously’ approves gun purchases (often several times)… Local law enforcement lose interest (somehow drop the ball), and if charges are brought the DA soft pedals it… Then ‘unexpectedly’ this person kills 20 people at a food court, supermarket…

    Just sayin …

    For most people in the world, maybe so. But somehow I don’t think that tribe does much buying from Amazon.

    I am sure, they’re also not (yet) under NSA surveillance.

    Pretty sure that’s the case myself.  And it’s certainly not the thrust of the post.

    • #30
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