The Hadzas of Tanzania on Body Hack, with Todd Sampson on the National Geographic channel, were simplified for the want of a better word into idealized hunter-gatherers. The documentary concluded with Mr Sampson saying it was refreshing to live in a society without politics. But it feels implausible that the Hadzas do not have politics. As a concurrent primogenitor to our own agriculture-based societies, the Hadzas should definitely have politics of some sort, even if it is of an internecine kind between family groupings, leading to arguments and skirmishes from time to time. Continue reading Puncturing the paleo idyll
I can’t shake the awful feeling that we are cannon fodder here in the third world. Last month, in the northern Indian state of Chattisgarh under-privileged, poor village women were taken to be ‘sterilized’. Thirteen of them died after operations designed to stop them from having babies. The state government quickly executed a cover-up blaming pesticides in medications for the deaths. But independent fact-finders revealed on December 5 to television reporters that what killed these hapless women were horribly unsanitary conditions. The doctor allegedly did not even change gloves between operations.
On the news again was the story of a group of poor villagers in the state of Punjab who attended an eye-camp and went blind. This is a blip on the news, with added footage of the member of parliament for the area arriving chewing gum, in a big people-carrier carrying only him, in between mouthfuls of gum he mouthed customary utterances like `we are going to find out what happened’. That was it; scapegoats will be found and the blinded will be forgotten in the mess and chaos of this large country.