Brazil released pictures of an “uncontacted” tribe on its border with Peru. Imagine what that means, to be “uncontacted”? Your entire world is known and is finite, albeit filled with predators and evils spirits and all. The pictures showed these poor tribesmen looking up at whatever plane or helicopter hovered above them taking pictures. Their gut response was to defend themselves apparently because they seem to have some sort of weapon pointed back at the camera. That says something to me. They really had no reason I can think of to fear helicopters, if they are indeed uncontacted. But the sight of something big and bright and new up in the sky turns on an instinctive response in human beings to fight.
I had the kind of week at work that makes me think that mankind has not moved beyondÂ that instinct: bright, shiny and new – bad. The irony is that my bright and shiny and new thing is about history and man and what has he learned anyway presented in a terribly contacted way: history alive in a virtual world. “Stepping into History: Experiencing the Past Through Virtual Worlds” may give me clues about man’s instinctive responses. I think I will sign up. Will its lessons teach me that the tribe is right: when you see someone new, run? That theory sure doesn’t work when you are the new guy.