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Aug 31st 2010 at 3:43:06 AM •••

Removed natter from the real-life example:

  • Lack of rigid status and inequality?? Not if you're female my friend!
    • Many hunter-gatherer societies especially from the most "primitive" end are relatively gender-equal, actually. The main difference is that men hunt and women gather, but socially the two can be equally appreciated. Not to say that there aren't highly misogynistic tribal societies in existence, but that's not the sole way to go.
    • Prescribed gender roles =/= gender inequality
    • Conversely: prescribed gender roles =/= gender equality, either. The original commentator probably was considering how women were treated overall, which is usually glossed over—for reasons generally traceable to some version of Did Not Do The Research, a determination to believe this trope, a combination of those two, and—very rarely—because nobody documented the 'Good Old Ways' before its practitioners decided that a dependable food supply (something no hunter-gatherer society can claim) is really, really awesome.
  • There's also the issue of the ultra-high child mortality rate.
  • Moving away from disease is not how it works: disease is not caused by miasma rising from the ground, disease is caused either by organic malfunctions (examples: cancer, diabetes), microbes (examples: colds, flues, any plague ever), and occasionally by the environment (usually via pollution). In fact, the Black Plague managed to spread like it did because of people attempting to move away from it—they instead carried the disease with them. Actually, the whole idea has issues, because hunter-gatherer cultures exist on the subsistence level: what leisure time
    • More then one might think; hunting cannot be done continuously or you run out of game.
  • The researcher was necessarily applying his own criteria to having a good society. Maybe a Noble Savage wouldn't mind being NOT being savage and having any kind of diet he wants, varied or not; opportunity to be healed of disease rather then just moving away from it. Not to mention lots and lots of materialistic goods (which he just might prefer to having "little" materialistic goods), and plenty of leisure too (except when he is acquiring more of said materialistic goods); and the ability to share these well beyond his immediate family every time he sends a check to charity (possibly for funding studies about the virtue of Noble Savages). And he might even think rigid status and hierarchy a reasonable price to pay, especially when told this that helps our warriors keep neighboring tribes from enslaving our women, and eating our men. Said Noble Savage might even think the idea of having a mysterious council of bards from all over the world communicating by magic, called "TV Tropes" might be kind of fun.
    • Not to mention, the idea of obtaining a varied diet and lots of materialistic goods without the possibility of being trampled or gored might have it's advantages.

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Apr 19th 2012 at 2:51:38 AM •••

How about the bulk of Sir Walter Scott's work? In fact, the concept of the noble savage is a large part of Romanticism. Although today savage invokes the idea of a racist term for colonized people, it also applies to vikings, Scottish highlanders and the ilk.

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