In the Absence of the Sacred has ratings and 42 reviews. Without guilt trips or a lot of generalizations, author Jerry Mander highlights how so many tribes. In his bestseller, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Jerry Mander argued that television is, by its very nature, a harmful technology. Editor’s note: I can’t recommend enough Jerry Mander’s book, In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of. Technology and the Survival of the Indian .

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This is probably one of my favorite books. Mander’s fierce intellect cuts through our worship of technology and belief and goes to the bone of what sustains us. He never comes back mnder the apparent contradiction. But this time I could only get 50 pages into it.

Retrieved from ” https: One of the best features of the book, other than the thorough research and being way ahead of its time, is that the author does so much traveling to visit tribes and see first-hand how they operate.

Recommended to Lindsay by: Want to Read saving…. So using that medium is what awoke me in many ways to the power of the medium and the power to use it in the reverse, against the system as well. We cannot hope to understand television, Mander concluded, without looking at the totality of its effects. I’d like to see us transcend our total vulnerability to the earth’s capriciousness.

Full text of “In the Absence of the Sacred – Jerry (PDFy mirror)”

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Mander’s fierce intellect cuts through our worship of technology and belief and ejrry to the bone of what sustains us. The chief replied “if I just told my tribe what to do, I wouldn’t be their leader.

Indians need not only computers, but faxes, cell telephones and cable TV. Some twenty years ago the legendary environmentalist David Brower urged me to read this book. Whether one watches children’s programming on public television or violent, late-night crime dramas, the effects are essentially the same, Mander said: What I took away from the book is that as rational beings with the capability of reason, we should take into account the full impact of our activities before we commit to a course of action.


While activists must defend the right of the Dene or any other peoples to live a traditional life, we have to be aware that the threat to their existence is not because of ill-will. Even pointing out that as efficient and earth friendly as thermal heat may be, in Hawaii it is an offense to the Hawaiian people as an affront to Pele, their main goddess.

But while this would have improved the reading experience, the value of the criticism is the same. In the Absence of the Sacred: Their complex self- identification shows how limited Mander’s categories are. It is at ‘csf. Provocatively claiming that society would be better off without computers of any kind, since they benefit the military and a Big Brother mentality far more than they meet individual needs, Mander argues that serious consideration of age-old native attitudes toward life and economics is the only viable cure for the cancer of megatechnology.

Mander gets the reader up to speed on the atrocities of economic globalization. Thank YOU Mander for a tome that tells it like it is. It devolves into journalistic reporting of Mander’s personal adventures with native peoples and plods on with a slow, dry historical recapitulation of how the natives lost their world. Today, they are even taking place on the reservation, where Indians struggle to retain traditional ways. He collates a long list of indigenous struggles happening at that time, and provides a directory of ways to support them.

Oil, coal and uranium corporations will not listen to somebody like Jerry Mander,even if he is the most sincere and well-meaning person on the planet. Mander bundles space with everything that’s bad in the technological narrative, and I don’t think this has to be the case.

Throughout the book Mander addresses some of the beliefs and customs of various aboriginal peoples around the world. I was a golf star throughout my youth and that was what I wanted to be, a professional golfer when I was very young. Although the Manders divorced inthey remained close friends. We know how awful it was and another long, boring account of the atrocities isn’t necessarily helpful.


Now we’re not allowed to use words like “stewardship”, “resources” and even “sustainability” according to a lot of these people. The only way that this can sqcred prevented is if Indians develop their own expertise and know for sure what they own and how much it is worth. They say, “In a poor country, using a microcomputer linked by satellite tge an information system half-way round the world Ever since the colonists came to America, Indians have adopted defense strategies that in essence contradict the sort of highly localized, traditional identity that Mander privileges.

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I’d like to see us transcend our total vulnerability to the earth’s capriciousness. It’s hard to be an Indian. I did not get the impression that Mander wanted us all to return to loin cloths and some mythological pre-industrial Eden. My father’s career had followed the path familiar to so many New York immigrants.

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

Just because they aren’t being used responsibly now, like television, doesn’t mean they couldn’t ever be. But if the majority of people in the United States, Western Europe, and the Soviet Union are comfortable regarding the earth as a huge, dead rock, this is emphatically not true of those Indians and aboriginal peoples throughout the world who continue to live as they have for thousands of years, in direct relationship to the planet.

Then I started skimming, and there is a bunch of stuff about native American history, in my mind presented in a very haphazard fashion.

Struggling out of poverty.