In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations

By Jerry Mander

In his seriously acclaimed Four Arguments for the removal of Television, writer and social critic Jerry Mander proclaimed that tv, through its basic nature, is dangerous—to own future health and sanity, to the surroundings, and to the democratic strategy. With In the Absence of the Sacred, he is going past tv to critique our technological society as a whole.
during this provocative paintings, Mander demanding situations the utopian promise of technological society and tracks its devastating effect on local cultures around the globe. The Western world’s lack of a feeling of the sacred within the wildlife, he says, has led us towards worldwide environmental catastrophe and social disorder—and worse lies forward. but versions for restoring our dating with the Earth exist within the cultures of local peoples, whose values and talents have enabled them to outlive centuries of invasion and exploitation.
Far from growing paradise in the world, know-how has as a substitute produced an unsustainable contest for assets. Mander surveys the foremost applied sciences shaping the “new international order”—computers, telecommunications, house exploration, genetic engineering, robotics, and the company itself—and warns that they're merging right into a international mega-technology, with dire environmental and political results.

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One of the companies that NASA has successfully subsidized-specifically by way of deferring a few $75 million in shuttle-launch costs-is area companies, Inc. of Houston, which "plans to orbit a $250 to $500 million, forty-fivefoot-long house manufacturing unit powered by means of a 200-foot array of sun panels. " This corporation, operating with a consortium of Florida morticians and retired Kennedy house middle engineers, will quickly be billing buyers $3,ooo each one to rocket-launch human continues to be for an enduring, orbiting "burial" in house. (Why an individual would wish to be "buried" in house is a question that stumps me; my simply wager is that it brings the deceased closer to heaven, making it a shorter flight for the spirit. ) whatever the cause, with increasingly more our bodies flying round in house there'll be an elevated hazard of collisions with different junk that people have already positioned into orbit. this isn't a shaggy dog story. within the unmarried new release seeing that house exploration all started, a few 15,000 gadgets from Earth have accrued in planetary orbit. those contain spent payloads, rockets, clamps, human excrement, shrapnel from exploded satellites, and discarded instruments. And collisions have happened. One Soviet area probe used to be shattered after colliding with house junk, and an American commute flight was once endangered via flecks of paint hurtling via orbit. • • • actual crowding in area is one challenge, yet a extra significant issue is the crowding because of communications satellite tv for pc indications. There are 139 satellites already in orbit, a lot of them jamming each one other's signs. almost all these satellites are operated by means of firms engaged in mapping the earth's assets. utilizing photographic apparatus that's now so particular it will possibly catch, from outer area, the expression on a human face, orbiting LEAVING THE EARTH satellites are making files of each plant, animal, physique of water, and, through infrared and different spectroscopic thoughts, the subsurface minerals which are hidden from view everywhere in the planet. during this method, satellite tv for pc communications expertise significantly hurries up the ultimate levels of the global method in which company pursuits convert all of nature into commodity shape. the brilliant part, although, Gar Smith issues out that this satellite tv for pc evaluation potential may benefit enterprises that oppose army or company domination. for instance, he argues that the French SPOT satellite tv for pc "makes it attainable for usual voters and nongovernmental enterprises to observe nuclear attempt websites, naval concentrations, and troop movements," thereby lowering the chance of shock invasions. based on this common sense, traditional humans might map the earth's assets within the similar means that giant enterprises do, thereby looking forward to the place the bulldozers may well appear subsequent. i'm afraid that Smith is revealing right here a few best-case situation fantasies. actually, he might be falling into an identical best-case fable seize that has traditionally misled and muted progressive-thinking humans while attempting to criticize know-how.

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