Monthly Archives: November 2015

A modest proposal

On one occasion while Jerome and I attempted to explain the project to the community in a village in the South Fore, an elderly gentleman leaning quietly against a house interjected saying words to the effect of ‘You know, maybe kuru is not caused by sorcery after all if the white man gets it since we know they do not do sorcery’. …

In another village, a man suggested a research project to me. He proposed using actual and mock sorcery bundles to test the sorcery theory of kuru and volunteered himself to be the subject. His outline protocol was not conceptually different from a placebo controlled trial. I found his proposal to use an experimental test very impressive, but, in addition to ethical considerations, did not relish putting this before the Neurosciences Board of the MRC.

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Crime beyond the numbers

The year is 20X6. The States are under attack. Leviathan has gotten sick of humans’ shit, and has built an army of flying death robots to kill anyone who gets within fifty miles of the ocean. USG includes these deaths in its homicide statistics.

What happens to the homicide rate?

When the robots show up and start killing, the homicide rate increases. Eventually, people figure out what’s going on, and everyone who’s still alive flees the affected areas—and the homicide rate drops back down to normal.

But the coastal regions are still uninhabitable.

The flying death robots are still there—but people got used to their presence, ate the losses, and learned to work around them.