The Big Picture: Relics

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when i hear lost city i think of either
a) Atlantis
b) incan/mayan ruins in south america.
and even when i picture the people who lived in those places in my head they always have the skin colour i would consider dominant in that region
seems like i have been successfully unplugged from my racist cultural heritage, THANKS MUM AND DAD

Well said, Bob. Those are the kinds of things you really don't think about...

As for questions, um... all I got is "What do you think of the 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic'" craze?

Though anything involving cliche fantasy tropes and what writers can do to spice them up would be good...

EDIT: How about the new DCU? Or even your favorite South Park Episodes?

Nice video, and all very true.

An excellent example of anti-African architectural ignorance: reader, name a World famous African building that wasn't made by Egypt.

What if I told you that the chief contender for the biggest structure in the World was African? The wall of Benin is five times longer than the great wall of China, yet the odds are, you've never heard of it. The alarming thing is that few have, specifically because British Colonists knocked it down for the sole purpose of "punishing" the state.

Not only did we stereotype Africans as primitives, we forcefully manufactured that stereotype by destroying evidence to the contrary. What a legacy.

Spot1990:

grigjd3:
@Spot1990, well, there's tons of evidence of ruins throughout Europe that people lived in hovels next to. Anyhow, there is a prolonged historical argument that happened from around 1800 to 1950 about the origins of Inca and Aztec ruins that exhibits this sense of racism. You can read through letters of white historians saying there is no way these locals could have built such wonders. However, I am not so sure the transition to pop-culture icons such as turn of the century adventure writing and the Indiana Jones movies is real. If I am searching for a "Lost City", wouldn't it be more fun if I had to go somewhere exotic to find it rather than my back yard?

Yeah as I said, it's not the best reasoning in the world. But people said the same kinda stuff about Newgrange here in Ireland. They didn't think we could have built it because based on our technology and culture at the time they didn't think we knew our arses from our elbows. It wasn't simply because "Irish people are stupid" they just couldn't see any evidence that Irish people of the time could've done something like that and by that logic more ancient Irish people certainly couldn't have.

Spot, I think you asked a good question. "We know their outlook was highly racist, but can we prove this specifically is a manifestation of that racism?" I don't know the answer to that, but I do have a guess: most likely. I'm a history major, and I've perused endless primary sources from many time periods. Take it from me- people don't hold that shit back. Or if they do, it's very, very new. We really don't need to psychoanalyze any 19th century historians. If they thought black Africans lacked the capacity to construct sophisticated structures, they probably just fucking said so.

Like I said, I don't actually know the answer to your question. But experience tells me you will probably find it in very plain bold language.

Imagine how much it blew the minds of the Christian conquistadores to find fully living, breathing, functioning civilisations in South America that still worshipped a whole host of gods and who, in turn, were very much aware of the legacy left to them by still older, vanished, civilisations.

Also in terms of popular "culture" the concept of the Lost City is far older; see the already mentioned El Dorado in South America and the lost civilisation of the Christian king Prester John holding court somewhere in the wilderness of Africa/Asia that was fairly well-propagated as early as the Middle Ages.

I recognise the overall point of the video but I don't see how it follows. The Lost City, at least as I've always understood it, speaks to a hidden native nobility untouched by the excesses of the West and is not inherently "racist" so to speak, at least not how we'd understand it nowadays.

It is however, perhaps, inextricably bound up with the innately racial concept of the "other", which pre-dates the colonialist era and is probably, as Bob says, going to stick around for a hell of a long time.

OniaPL:
Don't know if this is a bit silly or anything you know about, but anyways:

Why so many fantasy works repeat the same tropes of elves, dwarves, dragons over and over again? Why is it so hard to come across a fantasy work which feels fresh and new?

This is my mailbag question please!

VZLANemesis:

Vault Citizen:
Sadly at this point in history it was an assumption held by colonialists that Africa had no history.

Here's the thing though... When you find a civilization much inferior to your own, and later you find something far more advanced right next to them, why would you assume its made by them. Confusingly worded, but here's my point:

Small villages in africa and "subdeveloped" tribes and shit, make their houses of mud and tree branches and such, if you find buildings made out of stone and with much better architecture/stability and size, why would you ever assume it was made by them. A culture deciding to go backwards in technology is not the norm and as such that thought would completely be illogical.

Anybody care to discuss this?

Well, the Europeans kind of had a precedent to understand this on, in the form of the rise and fall of the Roman empire. They only needed to look to the ancient aqueducts and the Colosseum in Italy, then look to the millennium between the years 500 - 1500 to see how far a society can fall from such a cultural stage.

Of course, since unlike the Italians the people they encountered elsewhere had no written history to speak of, and generally didn't live at the site of the ruins either, there was nothing to actually link them to these ruins. And their culture was even less advanced than the Italian one had been at any point, making the gap even wider.

Combine this with a pre-existing cultural fascination of "lost cities" dating back to the myths of Atlantis (...and arguably a pre-existing fascination with the strong Christian imagery of societies suddenly being wiped out as well, such as Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and just the whole Flood thing), and they'd be quite likely to engage in such speculation; Absent any motive of racism.

It's pretty surprising that Bob mentions Atlantis - so well ingrained in our culture that he himself unconsciously links it with "lost city" - without pausing for a second to ponder whether that myth might've been the primary motivation for these fantasies when coming upon unknown ruins from a distant past. But I guess that'd kind of undermine his whole crusade against the racism he can apparently find everywhere.

viranimus:
"move beyond it"

You mean by droning on about antiquated relics so as to draw attention to its existence?

I find this swath of social outcry about as predictable and impractical as the movie reviews.

Yeah dwelling on the past because it was part of the past because some minor degree of it still holds residual influence on the present really seems like the best way to "move beyond it" now doesnt it? Because every doctor will tell you the best way to heal a flesh wound is to periodically rip off the scab to remind you the wound is still there and see how much it has healed since the last time you checked, amirite?

This is not being socially progressive. This psuedo intellectualism actually stunts social progression because it is indirectly perpetuating ignorance to inflate ones self esteem unjustly about how socially progressive they are In focusing on an incredibly narrow view and remaining completely oblivious to the big pictures existence. In essence Faux enlightenment. Its becoming so common now that im starting to think that its generation defining.

Imperator_DK:
It's pretty surprising that Bob mentions Atlantis - so well ingrained in our culture that he himself unconsciously links it with "lost city" - without pausing for a second to ponder whether that myth might've been the primary motivation for these fantasies when coming upon unknown ruins from a distant past. But I guess that'd kind of undermine his whole crusade against the racism he can apparently find everywhere.

I think you two have missed the point of what he's trying to say. He's not condemning modern culture for continuing to make films and stories based on a trope that was originally grounded in racism. He's pointing out how the racist attitudes of the past are still ingrained so deeply into human culture in ways that we don't even notice anymore. Another example might be the Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemimah brands in American grocery stores. Are any of these things bad? No. He said so himself. His point was that culture doesn't just rewrite itself from scratch every time people realize their attitudes about some issue were wrong all this time.

What was interesting, because whe you mentioned the idea of lost cities, my mind went to the Central and Southern Americas because because they have still standing castles and monuments...

So is that a case where my not reading has made me more open minded? Because here reading was a product of and a device to spread ignorance...

Why ist the "Ancient Prophecy comes true"-theme so often used in fiction since it never happens in real life.

The first thing that came to my mind was New York,

I guess my question is why do movies like to show New York city desroyed ?

First, Bob this was an excellent video and I'm glad you put it up. I do wish though you had talked about something with more relevance to today and how racism still affects people, like how black students in almost every country still do badly on IQ tests because of a racist bias that states black people aren't smart and it's been reinforced in these kids' minds. Fortunately, these same kids will do better on IQ tests as soon as it gets pointed out to them that some of that racist thinking might still be hiding in their brains somewhere so it's a fairly easy fix.

Second, everyone who keeps bringing up the point of "well, if you had seen huts and didn't see people living in castles wouldn't you assume that these people were primitive too?" I'm sorry, but your point doesn't really stand here. Firstly, there's an assumption already here stating that things Europeans have had (castles) are better than huts and that's not always true. In fact, most huts were better to live in than some of those castles because the air flow was better and castles had to stay in one place where as with huts and similar housing you could move with greater ease and this is a huge advantage in most of Africa. I don't know if most people are aware of this, but there are a lot of crops you can't grow in certain parts of Africa that actually stick around, so it makes it dangerous to try and stay in just one place to live your whole life because you don't have a guaranteed steady food supply. The places that did crop up as castles had things growing there in the past, as well as certain animals there, that weren't necessarily doing as well as they were then and those civilizations used to have a lot of trade to rely on that they later didn't have.

Had the explorers just bothered to ask some of the natives there they would have gotten some of these stories from them, but that would also have required them to have believed them and not dismiss them automatically based on their race, which most of them did. The racism also didn't just come from people thinking that oh these huts aren't like our houses so they must be inferior (though that is unfortunately part of it because colonists from anywhere tended to assume that if a civilization was different from their own it meant it was inferior), you have to keep in mind part of the racist movement from this time period unfortunately came from people making some creepy interpretations from their bibles. People literally thought at one point that people with darker skin were descendants of Cain (the first murderer in history according to that text, just in case someone doesn't know that). This is only one small part of that though, there were people also using evolution (in the later proper time periods - the lost civilization thing kept being a thing for awhile sadly) to also say that hey people with darker skin are inferior to those with lighter skin. This primarily came up though because these people again thought the group they were already part of was the best one (so a French person would think they're better than non-French people as would and English person think that only the English were superior) and with their superiority they thought they could either help those "under" them or use those same people to make themselves better and further their own evolution.

Also, everyone who is saying that the behavior of the people living in Africa was also savage and should give reason to the explorers to believe they were inferior needs to step back and examine themselves really closely. You're firstly assuming that all groups of African people behaved the same, they didn't, and secondly you're also saying that the more acceptable behavior of people for that time was that of the explorers. The explorers regularly did horrific things to the native people there and to their own people and implying that they were somehow more well behaved than all of the diverse cultures in Africa is not that great of an idea, that can make you racist and it also ignores how differently groups of people there actually behaved. Can we just not give into that type of thinking anymore?

Baresark:
This is one of the most level headed assessments of what racism is/was that I have ever heard a voice say (besides the one's in my head). So many things are racist and based on racism that have nothing at all to do with any sort of negative connotation that it outright gives me a headache when this subject is brought up. For instance, take affirmative action. It is racist in the sense that it's a social movement that defines some people of a certain race (or gender or backround or religion) as more deserving of something based on that very thing. And how about this, if you are positively racist about a person then you are by extension negatively racist about other people who are not like them.

Pretty much. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regents_of_the_University_of_California_v._Bakke

Affirmative action is the laziest and most unfair way to try to correct social inequality. A capitalist society is a meritocracy. Academia is a meritocracy. Meritocracy is a good thing, it means that the person who is most qualified and most likely to be successful gets the job. The problem with affirmative action is that it gives the position to less qualified people, and by doing so you're taking the position away from someone who is more qualified. The funniest part about it is that it has quickly turned into a bragging rights competition over who has the most diverse staff/student body. Another major problem with affirmative action that we've seen is that sadly students from underprivileged inner-city communities are often completely unprepared for college and flunk out.

The answer isn't at the collegiate level. By then it's pretty much too late. The answer is to fix the broken primary school system so that everyone, no matter what their ethnic or socioeconomic background, has access to an education that will prepare them for college. But the American people just don't want to foot the bill.

Question for MovieBob
What's your favourite comic story arc?

Asking what your favourite comic is seems a bit bland, so your most liked story arc or character development? And can you explain it in detail?
Or if not your favourite then an interesting or unique story arc/character development?

I've never really got into comics but I'm always been interested in and entertained by the "COMICS ARE WEIRD" episodes, I'd like to see more of them. :D

A trio of questions:

1: What are your thoughts on the 3DS eShop and Club Nintendo?

2: What is your biggest concern for the WiiU?

3: Can you think of a series (any medium) where nostalgia has actually been a liability for it?

Norway's most well known cartoonist (Frode Øverli) was accused of racism because he did a comic strip about cannibals. He later went on record saying that there was no racial intention behind it and that he drew them that way because it is a well known cliché/stereotype/parody like Santa, Dracula and werewolves (meaning fictional characters).
This is the strip in question:

http://gfx.dagbladet.no/labrador/197/197571/19757111/jpg/active/x978.jpg

What do you guys think?

Steve the Pocket:
...
I think you two have missed the point of what he's trying to say. He's not condemning modern culture for continuing to make films and stories based on a trope that was originally grounded in racism.

I think you've missed my point of questioning whether even back then it was in fact (primarily) grounded in racism, or whether perhaps it could primarily have been motivated in the ancient and well established cultural tropes of Greek and Christian mythology, which were even more prevalent and well known at the time than they are today.

Awesome episode; offered a unique perspective on the issue. Nice outside thinking.
Also, I know ZP has already done a rather thorough essay on this, but would you care to talk about how fantasy cliches might be turning the genre stagnant (in any medium)? It seems that the "elves and dwarves" aesthetic has become so hopelessly engraved in the genre it often feels like writers and designers of any sort are too timid to break into a new paradigm. Similarly, how SciFi has turned into an exclusively extraterrestrial and space-themed endeavor, etc.

VZLANemesis:

Vault Citizen:
Sadly at this point in history it was an assumption held by colonialists that Africa had no history.

Here's the thing though... When you find a civilization much inferior to your own, and later you find something far more advanced right next to them, why would you assume its made by them. Confusingly worded, but here's my point:

Small villages in africa and "subdeveloped" tribes and shit, make their houses of mud and tree branches and such, if you find buildings made out of stone and with much better architecture/stability and size, why would you ever assume it was made by them. A culture deciding to go backwards in technology is not the norm and as such that thought would completely be illogical.

Anybody care to discuss this?

Someone will have probably mentioned it to you in better detail, but I would care to discuss it. First things first: most major ruins appear to "surpass" the surrounding buildings because they were grandiose construction projects, commissioned by the nation's wealthiest people, designed by the best educated engineers, built with the finest resources, and specifically constructed for the purpose of withstanding a lot of clout. That explains why the castles remain, but the settlements around them disappear without trace: they were built to entirely different standards.

Secondly: Those "mud huts" tend to be more advanced than the castles. A castle looks big and imposing and impressive, even when compared to a 20th century bungalow. When you compare this to this, it is easy to kid yourself into thinking that the bigger, stronger looking structure is technologically superior. It isn't: Terrible ventilation, drainage, foundations, insulation, difficult and slow to construct, exhaustive of materials, expensive to maintain. There are no doubt some excellent architectural features of a castle that make it stand the test of time, but it certainly isn't more advanced.

Finally, it isn't as if Europeans didn't have similar structures in similar circumstances. Europe is littered with castles and other displays of archetectural prowess, and they often seem far more imposing than the buildings that surround them. Had the Europeans thought to apply their logic to their own civilizations, they might have recognised the flaws with it.

That was an interesting take but I would like to give a different opinion on the whole "where did this come from?" angle

I understand that racism being "how it was" back then made the colonials not even consider the African's responsible for those relics. However, for me, I probably wouldnt have thought they were the source because of how technologically advanced castle and city building is compared to the technological advancments of most African tribes today.

I think its hard for the human mind to see remnants of an advanced civilization and then think that it came from a more primitive one even though its a sign of cultural entropy. Our minds are hard wired to advance and evolve our technology but to have it, for lack of a better word, devolve is an alien concept. I think its easier for us to see or imagine a civilization being wiped out then it is for us to imagine a civilization going backwards in the technological scale

hmmm... kinda makes me wonder what the spanish thought when seeing nonwhite native americans building giant cities complete with monuments to pagan gods. One wonders why they wiped them out.

question - Applied to the escapist in general, Is it better if i watch the entire video or can i check out during the credits. I think i heard once that sitting until the end of the web-video is better for it's makers, something to do with ad-revenues and traffic numbers), and since then i've diligently sat through the credits. I probably still will even if i don't need to but sometimes though finger twitch or other external forces i switch it off before the video goes all the way through, and i'd like to know if that guilt associated with that is justified or not.

machinemade:
Norway's most well known cartoonist (Frode Øverli) was accused of racism because he did a comic strip about cannibals. He later went on record saying that there was no racial intention behind it and that he drew them that way because it is a well known cliché/stereotype/parody like Santa, Dracula and werewolves (meaning fictional characters).
This is the strip in question:

http://gfx.dagbladet.no/labrador/197/197571/19757111/jpg/active/x978.jpg

What do you guys think?

The difference is that those fictional characters are obviously works of imagination at the expense of no one, whereas the "fictional image" of a cannibal is based on offensive stereotypes of real cultures (indeed, the word "Cannibal" was derived from the word "Carib" or "Caribbean").

Steve the Pocket:

viranimus:
"move beyond it"

You mean by droning on about antiquated relics so as to draw attention to its existence?

I find this swath of social outcry about as predictable and impractical as the movie reviews.

Yeah dwelling on the past because it was part of the past because some minor degree of it still holds residual influence on the present really seems like the best way to "move beyond it" now doesnt it? Because every doctor will tell you the best way to heal a flesh wound is to periodically rip off the scab to remind you the wound is still there and see how much it has healed since the last time you checked, amirite?

This is not being socially progressive. This psuedo intellectualism actually stunts social progression because it is indirectly perpetuating ignorance to inflate ones self esteem unjustly about how socially progressive they are In focusing on an incredibly narrow view and remaining completely oblivious to the big pictures existence. In essence Faux enlightenment. Its becoming so common now that im starting to think that its generation defining.

Imperator_DK:
It's pretty surprising that Bob mentions Atlantis - so well ingrained in our culture that he himself unconsciously links it with "lost city" - without pausing for a second to ponder whether that myth might've been the primary motivation for these fantasies when coming upon unknown ruins from a distant past. But I guess that'd kind of undermine his whole crusade against the racism he can apparently find everywhere.

I think you two have missed the point of what he's trying to say. He's not condemning modern culture for continuing to make films and stories based on a trope that was originally grounded in racism. He's pointing out how the racist attitudes of the past are still ingrained so deeply into human culture in ways that we don't even notice anymore. Another example might be the Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemimah brands in American grocery stores. Are any of these things bad? No. He said so himself. His point was that culture doesn't just rewrite itself from scratch every time people realize their attitudes about some issue were wrong all this time.

The problem with what Bob is saying is that it's an intellectual sleight of hand. Bob is still implicitly arguing that culture needs to rewrite itself, which bares the question: does culture really need to rewrite itself so it no longer acknowledges the existence of race? He's going back to a descriptive definition of racism and then saying it's still prevalent. So what? If racism is just distinguishing between people or things according to race, then it isn't a bad thing. Saying, "I like Japanese food" would be racist by that definition. "Hey man! That's not cool! All foods are created equal, no one food is better than another!". Then Bob goes back to a more traditional form racism that many would consider bad, and then implicitly argues that negative racism is still prevalent. It's fallacious equivocation. Sure, there's still plenty of the bad kind of racism out there, but not every instance in which we distinguish between people or things based upon race is evil.

As far as the lost city thing goes, most people think of a lost city as just an abandoned city. While the early literature that Bob was referring to was undoubtedly racist, I don't think any of the modern incarnations of the meme bare the same racial connotations. Frankly, when most modern people think of a lost city, they probably think of the Mayans or the Aztecs in South America because they are the two biggest examples that come to mind. That doesn't strike me as terribly racist. If anything, it says something negative about white people, because we played some role in the death of the Aztec civilization. (Though the Aztecs' neighbors were more than willing to help the Spanish because of the human sacrifices and all that.)

maninahat:
Nice video, and all very true.

An excellent example of anti-African architectural ignorance: reader, name a World famous African building that wasn't made by Egypt.

What if I told you that the chief contender for the biggest structure in the World was African? The wall of Benin is five times longer than the great wall of China, yet the odds are, you've never heard of it. The alarming thing is that few have, specifically because British Colonists knocked it down for the sole purpose of "punishing" the state.

Not only did we stereotype Africans as primitives, we forcefully manufactured that stereotype by destroying evidence to the contrary. What a legacy.

Interesting, although you should probably clarify that it wasn't a single continuous wall, but in fact hundreds of walls and earthworks. It also took 600 years to reach that size, so was presumably not a single project.

Good episode but I have one bone to pick

I don't there was the assumption that these lost cities were made by white people, more so that the black builders of said cities had themselves vanished. That's not to say all colonials thought like this but the more enlightened of them just wondered where had the city builders gone? why hadn't they continued and advanced like other major civilisations.

Of course there are minute things that can hold an entire civilisation back, the early Chinese empire, while having gun powder, was still less advanced than their European counterparts because the Chinese used china.

This may seem a bit of an odd point, but because glass blowing and the use of glass provided the Europeans with an advantage, that their scientific minds could work longer with better eye-sight and such devices as microscopes, telescopes and everything else used in glass work helped advance their society.

Civilisation, what a weird thing. (apparently, a good book to read on this is Guns, Germs and Steel. A book on why Eurasian society has prospered but refuting any intellectual superiority http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel )

Also, A question for Bob himself! I wonder what impression he would have on the Assassin's Creed series on it's handling of race and religion, despite the immediate disclaimer at the start of each game.

Tolkien is another good example of culturally entrenched racism, only this time in a fantasy setting. Think of it, Dwarves. Short, big noses, obsessed with gold and riches and a language based on Hebrew....yeah. Elves, fair skinned, blindingly beautiful, the pinnacle of enlightenment. The hatred between them is all a metaphor for anti-Semitism. However, this has a happy ending with Gimli and Legolas becoming friends. The point being that Jews and Gentiles have no reason to hate each other.

Don't even get me started on Lovecraft.

Shadow_Kid:
The first thing that came to my mind was New York,

I guess my question is why do movies like to show New York city desroyed ?

I'm guessing they do that because:

1. New York is world famous. It's iconic. The first time I went there it felt like I'd already been there because I knew the streets, the buildings, and part of the history. I'm guessing that's the same for a lot of people.

2. From a non-American point of view (because I'm not American) New York is often heralded as the First City of the US. Since the majority of films and tv programs are also American, the US is always portrayed as the greatest civilisation ever.

So, to sum up, it is an ideal target because at some base level, anyone who has watched television or films will almost certainly recognise, and have some sort of attachment to, New York City.

What ideas would you implicate into a 'good' transformers movie?
Do you think that Zack Snyder's 'Man of Steel' is headed in the right direction?
Why does everyone like Blade runner?

Mailbag? Oh boy!

1. You've already mentionned once that a live Super Mario brothers movie is possible. How would you see it?
2. Not to snipe at you too directly, but you once said that "the 90s sucked" because it was a bad time in your life. You still use sometimes that image of the wrestler saying the same thing. Why do you persist in doing so?
3. Do you think you'll do an episode on the canadian "film industy" at some point?

I'll edit if there's more questions that I would like to hear your answer.

A great point on how memetic evolution is as slow and cumbersome as genetic. Certainly worth remembering. Until memory is selected for vestigiality, that is.

VZLANemesis:

Vault Citizen:
Sadly at this point in history it was an assumption held by colonialists that Africa had no history.

Here's the thing though... When you find a civilization much inferior to your own, and later you find something far more advanced right next to them, why would you assume its made by them. Confusingly worded, but here's my point:

Small villages in africa and "subdeveloped" tribes and shit, make their houses of mud and tree branches and such, if you find buildings made out of stone and with much better architecture/stability and size, why would you ever assume it was made by them. A culture deciding to go backwards in technology is not the norm and as such that thought would completely be illogical.

Anybody care to discuss this?

I don't mean that they didn't think the Africans could have built those structures, they literally believed that the African continent had no history.

Did he always need to make an "announcement" for his Mailbag episodes?
Seems unnecessary. Surely he gets emails and questions anyway?

I suppose the point of the episode was pretty good overall, but the example was terrible.

You said " Lost City- what do you think of?"

You said my answer was: "Africa- Because of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, and Tarzan among others, all take place in either Africa, or places like Africa, and that's racist because way back in the day people were surprised and mystified to find ruins of cities in Africa" Paraphrased of course.

The reality is, I immediately thought of South America, Asia, and the Middle East. In fact, Africa is pretty far down on the list. The argument would then be, "Why didn't I think of Africa, isn't that racist?" And the whole damn thing just gets worse after that.

But, before jumping into that, I'd like to address a couple of things first. For the most part Indiana Jones doesn't take place in Africa, I realize that the Lost Ark was found in Egypt, but aside from that he doesn't spend much time there. Tomb Raider is the same, there is a map on wikipedia that shows places where Lara Croft has been in the games, most of them outside of Africa. You used Tarzan as an example of the Africa lost city concept, congrats that's valid. . . and very old. Counterpoint: The Jungle Book- Lost City, not in Africa, very old.

To return to the "Why not Africa?" mention. Quite frankly, outside of Egypt, Africa doesn't have any mysterious ruins. Not compared to Asia and South America anyway. Sure, as stated in the video, "ruins like these are found all over the place" and that's very true. It's also true that in terms of sociaties mastering complex buildings and math before their "time", nobody in Africa holds a candle to the Asians, South Americans, and Middle Easteners, with the exception of Egypt.

My point is, this whole episode was a strawman argument. Pity, when there are so many good examples of modern day, unrealized, and indvertant racism.

P.S. Bob, when you say "places like Africa" when refering to Asia and South America. . . that's racist. lol

Question: why do Video Game Movies always fail, and what do you think needs to be done to get them over.

stueymon:
Good episode but I have one bone to pick

I don't there was the assumption that these lost cities were made by white people, more so that the black builders of said cities had themselves vanished. That's not to say all colonials thought like this but the more enlightened of them just wondered where had the city builders gone? why hadn't they continued and advanced like other major civilisations.

Of course there are minute things that can hold an entire civilisation back, the early Chinese empire, while having gun powder, was still less advanced than their European counterparts because the Chinese used china.

This may seem a bit of an odd point, but because glass blowing and the use of glass provided the Europeans with an advantage, that their scientific minds could work longer with better eye-sight and such devices as microscopes, telescopes and everything else used in glass work helped advance their society.

Civilisation, what a weird thing. (apparently, a good book to read on this is Guns, Germs and Steel. A book on why Eurasian society has prospered but refuting any intellectual superiority http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel )

Cool. Another big advantage Eurasian cultures have is their geographic location. According to economist Charles Wheelan, equatorial nations (particularly much of Africa) had the disadvantage of a harsher climate, with scaulding dry seasons and torrential wet seasons. This meant that tropical diseases were far more common, whilst soil quality was often poor. Thus, famine and plagues would constantly hamper attempts at advancement.

This also had knock on effects: Climate often has a big influence on how Colonists (the guys with the most advanced technology) behave in any given region. The more inhospitable, the lesser chance of colonists attempting to develop proper settlements. In places like Africa (and to a lesser extent, India) colonists focussed more on stripping as much resources as possible, without bothering to attempt any long term plans for sustainability. In more hospitable climates like the Americas, Europeans found it easier to settle for the long term. The upshot of this is that the locals in harsher climates get their precious resources stolen, whilst the ones in accommodating climates get completely replaced, leaving a developed, advanced civilisation in their stead.

This still is a huge problem that continues to hold back African countries (along with the many others). A severe lack of drug research on tropical diseases means that this is unlikely to change any time soon.

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