Here’s a thought-experiment:
- Global nuclear war occurs.
- Our current scientific/technological/(Semi)-rational civilization is severely disrupted (think: Threads or The Day After).
- The places which fair ‘better” in this scenario are comparatively isolated islands such as Vanuatu:
It just so happens that those islands have something called “Cargo Cults”.
So, here’s my question:
Fast-foward say, 500-1000 years. Do you think it would be possible to meaningfully learn anything about the history/culture/technology of our modern society, simply by attempting to ‘back-engineer” such things, from the practices of ‘cargo cults?”
Say, the activities of the “John Frum Movement” (their mock rifle drills, fake aircrafts, etc.)
I contend that the answer is “NO”.
AT MOST, you would (possibly) be able to “infer” some garble about a guy named “John Frum”, involved in an attempt to liberate “cargo” produced by the ancestors of the Vanatau islanders, from the “Yankee” military, or something along those lines.
SAME PROBLEM for pretty much anything having to do with “Atlantis” or “Lemuria” or wherever.