The Big Picture: Relics

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Funny this should crop up just now. It just so happened not more than a few days ago I downloaded a game on the app store called, strangely enough, The Lost City. With environments not that far removed from what Bob was describing here. Figures.

Did I see racial stereotyping of the British in your mockery of the invading colonists there, Bob?

Oh ho ho, how very droll!

Actually when I hear "lost city" I think more of "I a am legend" or Racoon City with less zombies.

I dunno why I jump to more modern day cities rather than national treasure style stuff.

Pretty sure you are finding racism in your own assumptions of what these colonial explorers were thinking.

Surely if you were walking through a vast area of land, populated by many people living mostly in tribal communities of earthen and wooden huts/houses, when you came across a massive stone ruin, you would definitely wonder where it came from.

NOT because you are racist and don't think the local population could have done such a thing.
It was through simple observation of the fact that the local population no longer built things in that way, and that the cities which were built in that way were left to ruin! People think the same thing of stone henge fo goodness sake.... ugh, such an annoying episode

My mail bag question: What movie or movie genre hasn't been portrayed well or lacks portrayal in the current entertainment industry?

It seems a lot of the same themes are played up again and again, is there anything you can think of that you feel would be a good change up or shake down?

Thanks again Bob. Really interesting episode.

I don't know how funny it'd be, But since the SPC was this week i thought a thing on abridging would be funny. Maybe just a whole episode on Team four star?

When Bob first mentioned lost cities I thought of temples in South America, rather than Africa. I guess Aztec and Incan temples filled with treasure just seemed more likely.

Anyway the assumption that the Africans didn't make these lost cities isn't a racist as Bob makes out. Firstly it should be pointed out that Europeans never claimed that South American, Middle Eastern, Indian, or Asian cities were made anyone other than the people living there. The reason for this was that the natives lived in these cities or lived in similar cities. The natives were able to demonstrate they had the technology to build these cities.

By contrast the sub-Saharan African people were tribal, lived in mud huts, and lacked basic technology. So either the Africans originally built these cities then suddenly regressed and lost all their technological knowledge, or someone else built them. The absence of any records left by the Great Zimbabwe civilisation didn't help, nor did the long history and Arab and Europeans colonising parts of Africa. Had Great Zimbabwe not been abandoned when the Europeans arrived then the European would never have doubted that it was built by the Africans.

nelsonr100:
Pretty sure you are finding racism in your own assumptions of what these colonial explorers were thinking.

Surely if you were walking through a vast area of land, populated by many people living mostly in tribal communities of earthen and wooden huts/houses, when you came across a massive stone ruin, you would definitely wonder where it came from.

That's what I was thinking, though I won't deny colonialists were racist I would think it was simply the fact they saw a ruined castle and then they saw people who weren't even using a lot of stone and thought "hmmm, well evidently this isn't the sought of thing they built.

I mean sure they were, by all accounts, pretty racist but I wonder if you've just applied that assumption of constant racism when it wasn't there.

I saw the movie title "Relics," saw it was about RACISM, heard Bob talking about how most societies simply assumed it as a matter of course...

...aaaaaaaand I didn't hear the words 'genetic' or 'biological' used once. Just a whole dissertation on how RACIST it was for the European explorers to assume that because the African tribes living in the area had no written language, no knowledge of stonework, no social organization beyond the tribe, and nothing beyond oral tradition, that someone else must have built the cities.

Pop quiz: If society collapsed today, who would be more likely to survive: the intellectual guys who had the intellectual capacity to specialize themselves into a single field like nuclear technology or masonry or systems analysis or optical fabrication or aeronautics, or the guy who had none of that, so he spent most of his time impressing chicks by mastering everyday status-games, playing football, stealing from the productive citizens on the sly, lying and taking credit for others' work to advance himself in a managerial make-work career, and being Buster Friendly to everyone but useful to none?

My guess is the second one would find others like him and kill off the productive group, and his descendants would inherit his thieving and lying characteristics, both genetic and cultural. But Bob's probably a blank-slater who thinks evolution stops above the neck. The Great White Nerd explorers of the past were a bit smarter than that.

I should have turned this off at the disclaimer. Waste of my time.

Also when I think Lost City I think South America, not Africa.
Also, regarding European impressions of Africa, um, the fact that they found ruined cities but similarily found no cities built by the africans wasn't cause for them to you know, assume it was someone else?

There's a broken castle here!
These people are all living in grass huts
Who built the castle?

It's not illogical to assume that a continent of people who don't display the means to build a castle had nothing to do with it's construction. I mean if there's some castles in say Kenya, that are occupied, and then some ruins in south Africa that are unoccupied then there's a greater case for an african civilization dying off. But when there's castle ruins in one place, and in every other place no one else lives in a castle that's a bit odd.

It's not irrational to assume that a foreign power built the castle not the ancestors of the current residents.

Very good episode as usual. Finding out that benign racism still exists to a large extent in society and pop culture was really interesting. It does make me wonder what else in popular culture is remnants of overt racism of the past.

This was actually one of your better episodes. Very fascinating, the concept of fiction genres and tropes to come out of humanity's... inferiority.

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