NHK reported this week that a Kyoto prefecture public relations office that deals with complaints and citizen requests is using dummies to increase work efficiency.
The five upper-body-only mannequins sit on the staff desks facing the employees to ensure they don’t relax. Each is given a name, age, gender and occupation. Yoshiko Naniwano, for example, is a 66-year-old lady from Osaka who came to visit Kyoto for sightseeing. She has some complaints to make. Another is a 32-year-old woman raising her kids. And there’s a 24-year-old graduate student who is job hunting.
“I feel like being watched. The tense feeling in a good sense makes me work more efficiently,” says one employee. The initiative has been so successful so far the office plans to employ more dummies soon.
He’s an Indian, and Brazilian officials have concluded that he’s the last survivor of an uncontacted tribe. They first became aware of his existence nearly 15 years ago and for a decade launched numerous expeditions to track him, to ensure his safety, and to try to establish peaceful contact with him. In 2007, with ranching and logging closing in quickly on all sides, government officials declared a 31-square-mile area around him off-limits to trespassing and development.
It’s meant to be a safe zone. He’s still in there. Alone.
Certainly other last tribesmen and -women have succumbed unobserved throughout history, the world unaware of their passing. But what makes the man in Brazil unique is not merely the extent of his solitude or the fact that the government is aware of his existence. It’s the way they’ve responded to it.
Advanced societies invariably have subsumed whatever indigenous populations they’ve encountered, determining those tribes’ fates for them. But Brazil is in the middle of an experiment. If peaceful contact is established with the lone Indian, they want it to be his choice. They’ve dubbed this the “Policy of No Contact.” After years of often-tragic attempts to assimilate into modern life the people who still inhabit the few remaining wild places on the planet, the policy is a step in a totally different direction. The case of the lone Indian represents its most challenging test.
12) Everyone is proud of where they are from. When you meet someone local in another country, most people will be quick to tell you something about their city/province/country that they are proud of. Pride and patriotism seem to be universal values. I remember trying to cross the street once in Palau, one of the smallest countries in the world, and a high school kid came up to me and said, “This is how we cross the street in PALAU!” Even crossing the street became an act to tell me about his pride in his country. People involved in making foreign policy should be very aware of this.
“Being popular and well liked is not in your best interest… if you behave in a manner pleasing to most, then you are probably doing something wrong. The masses have never been arbiters of the sublime, and they often fail to recognize the truly great individual. Taking into account the public’s regrettable lack of taste, it is incumbent upon you not to fit in.”— Janeane Garofalo, Feel This Book (via nobackseats, missworld, earlyfrost, ephemere)