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Re: <nettime> ICT and Aboriginal Peoples
Benjamin Geer on Mon, 26 Nov 2007 08:29:40 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> ICT and Aboriginal Peoples


> On 18/11/2007, Jesse Fiddler <jessefiddler {AT} knet.ca> wrote:
> All Indigenous communities at one time or another were
> self-sustainable.

Do you have any evidence for that?  Here's some evidence to the contrary:

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Bobbi S. Low, "Behavioral ecology of conservation in traditional societies"
Human Nature, vol. 7 no. 4, 1996, pp. 353-379

http://www.springerlink.com/content/34g2l3158181r705

Abstract: A common exhortation by conservationists suggests that
we can solve ecological problems by returning to the attitudes of
traditional societies: reverence for resources, and willingness to
assume short-term individual costs for long-term, group-beneficial
sustainable management. This paper uses the 186-society Standard
Cross-Cultural Sample to examine resource attitudes and practices.
Two main findings emerge: (1) resource practices are ecologically
driven and do not appear to correlate with attitude (including sacred
prohibition) and (2) the low ecological impact of many traditional
societies results not from conscious conservation efforts, but from
various combinations of low population density, inefficient extraction
technology, and lack of profitable markets for extracted resources.

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Shepard Krech III. The Ecological Indian. Myth and History. New York:
Norton, 1999.

>From the H-Net review: Sheppard Krech III's book The Ecological
Indian sets out to probe the basis and historical validity of the
idea that people of native descent are, and always have been, caring
towards the environment, a characteristic commonly claimed by or
attributed to them. With a series of empirical case studies he
investigates whether their ideas and actions were always those of
ecologists and conservationists. He finds that the Ecological Indian
proposition is of doubtful validity, concluding that, for example,
Indians needlessly killed many buffalo, set fires that got out of
control, and over-exploited deer and beaver for their skins.

http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.cgi?path=23850987187740

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Ben






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