Cargo Cults

I find Cargo Cults rather fascinating.

Briefly, once upon a time, folks living on small isolated islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean were minding their own business, tending their little gardens or hunting/gathering/fishing, when World War II invaded.

When the soldiers weren’t busy shooting each other in front of the natives’ huts, they were generally busy building airstrips so they could land their planes, building hospitals, supplying the troops, etc. Sometime the troops were re-supplied by air–and sometimes these bags of food happened to drop into the local villages, rather than the hungry troops.

Then WWII ended, and all of the newcomers left. Goodby went the planes and the hospitals and the bags of food from the sky. And the locals, confused, tried their darndest to coax the newcomers back. They built runways and wicker planes, carved radio headsets and rifles out of wood. They reenacted the steps the newcomers had taken to make the sky gods send bags of food, and prayed to their new god, “John Frum.”

It appears that no one had bothered to tell these guys what the hell was going on.

It is easy to look down one’s nose at an ignorant person. But it is hard to understand shit if no one will tell you what is going on.

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