In his bestseller, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television , Jerry Mander argued that television is, by its very nature, a harmful technology. The trouble with television is not a matter of content, as the current debate suggests, it goes deeper than that. Whether one watches children's programming on public television or violent, late-night crime dramas, the effects are essentially the same, Mander said: the medium itself acts a visual intoxicant, entrancing the viewer and thereby replacing other forms of knowledge with the imagery of its programmers. Television's effects on young children are especially deleterious, Mander insisted, since it infuses them with high-tech, high-speed expectations of life and separates them from their natural environments. We cannot hope to understand television, Mander concluded, without looking at the totality of its effects.
|Published (Last):||10 July 2008|
|PDF File Size:||2.32 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||7.46 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Mander goes beyond television which he proclaimed as being dangerous to personal health and sanity in Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television to critique our technological society as a whole, challenge its utopian promises, and track its devastating impact on native cultures worldwide.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , 0 pages. Published January 1st by Peter Smith Publisher first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about In the Absence of the Sacred , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about In the Absence of the Sacred. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Oct 25, Bjorn Sorensen rated it it was amazing Shelves: national-and-international-affairs.
Might be my favorite book, one of those titles that always stay with you. It does an excellent job of articulating so many of the feelings many of us have had regarding the decimation of native peoples over what has just been a few centuries. Without guilt trips or a lot of generalizations, author Jerry Mander highlights how so many tribes were wiped out, their best features of self-government that current nation-states could consider, and how roughly a billion native peoples are thriving in the Might be my favorite book, one of those titles that always stay with you.
Without guilt trips or a lot of generalizations, author Jerry Mander highlights how so many tribes were wiped out, their best features of self-government that current nation-states could consider, and how roughly a billion native peoples are thriving in the world today without usually making the evening news. One concept from the book that I remember is that of consensus - how everyone in a tribe must agree with a new policy before it's implemented.
It takes a lot more time to get laws enacted, but then there's been a lot of discussion that has involved all, and a lot of solidarity and energy when a new idea is put in place. I'm sure I laughed even harder during a scene about consensus in an African tribe in "The Poisonwood Bible", which I had read shortly after this book.
Mander highlights that in many native tribes the leaders are those who are best at facilitating discussion vs. In one scene, some European explorers were trying to tell a tribal chief in Brazil to move his tribe to another territory. The European group wanted to take over the land that the tribe was on.
The chief replied "if I just told my tribe what to do, I wouldn't be their leader. He explains the potential dangers of a lot of our modern technology.
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.
I greatly appreciated the ride. It encourages empathy, action and open-mindedness in the face of centuries of violence and hopelessness.
View 2 comments. Apr 26, Mark rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. One of those books that pull so many things together and do it in a lucid, understandable fashion That is exactly what the problem is! One of the best sections of the book is a listing of the underlying and structural reasons that corporations are damaging to society and to the earth. Mar 13, Linda Branham Greenwell rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction.
U guess I need to add a new shelf This was written in but is still very relevant today. It is about the effects of technology on us as a people. He also discusses the plight on the Native American in our world of technology In reality living in balance with all of nature is preferable than the nightmare that we have created.
Oct 01, Lindsay rated it really liked it Recommends it for: everybody. Shelves: read-for-fun , cultural-criticism , technology , indigenous , 90s , nonfiction , postcolonial , read-postcollege. This book is divided into two parts: first, a critique of modern high-tech, global consumer culture the book was written in ; and second, an in-depth look at the conflict between that culture and various traditional, indigenous ways of life around the globe.
The first part extends Mander's essential premise from Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television that all technological innovations have social and political implications which should be evaluated along with each invention's This book is divided into two parts: first, a critique of modern high-tech, global consumer culture the book was written in ; and second, an in-depth look at the conflict between that culture and various traditional, indigenous ways of life around the globe.
The first part extends Mander's essential premise from Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television that all technological innovations have social and political implications which should be evaluated along with each invention's purely mechanical uses to other inventions the car, the telephone and the computer being some of his examples and to technology in general.
Probably the most astonishing revelation this part of the book held for me was that the ways in which a new invention will affect society are largely predictable, and that companies seeking to market a new product will often, if the product is revolutionary enough, commission reports on its likely social impacts! Mander quotes from such a report issued for the telephone, which turns out to be largely accurate. He then makes the argument that, since we already have reliable information or the capacity to gather said information on each innovation's potential impacts, what we ought to do is make such reports public and conduct public debates actual, fully-accessible public debates, not just showpieces on whether to adopt a given technology.
Rather than restructuring our society around new inventions every ten years or so, we would pick and choose the inventions that would be adopted for widespread development and use based on how well they harmonized with our social values.
View 1 comment. Nov 25, Deeann rated it it was amazing. This was just a lucky find in a used book store. The author formerly developed adverstising campaigns for national environmental organizations and works in the field of advertising. The book describes the history of technology from an objective point of view, the impact of modern technology on indigenous cultures worldwide and how technology has been used as a means to extract land and other resources from indigenous people.
Aug 03, Simone rated it really liked it. Raises concerns about the pervasiveness of technology in the lives of Americans and the rest of the world; looks at traditional Native American ways of life and the effect that technology has had on their lifestyles and cultures; dispels some comfortable myths about what encroaching Western presence has actually accomplished for native peoples already in existence.
Apr 13, Costacoralito rated it it was amazing. An excellent view of what we must do to save the Earth. How we swindled Alaska away from the Native population while telling the world we were being fair and honest with them.
Very dishonorable way to behave. May 21, Abner Rosenweig rated it it was amazing. It takes courage to read books like this, books that crash through our common assumptions about the world and allow us to see society from a critical perspective.
It takes courage because sometimes these books reveal the ugly side of the world. The side that you don't want to see and that, once seen, can't be unseen. At 25 years old, "In the Absence of the Sacred" is more relevant than ever. Mander speaks for peace, justice, nature, love, health, the long-term survival of humanity, and a critical It takes courage to read books like this, books that crash through our common assumptions about the world and allow us to see society from a critical perspective.
Mander speaks for peace, justice, nature, love, health, the long-term survival of humanity, and a critical deliberation of values, all of which have been silenced in the name of profit and technological progress.
Ultimately he realized that these two issues were connected. He saw a clash of values, where one way of life was being systematically destroyed in favor of another. And that maybe the way of life that's winning, through force, isn't the better way. I wish these two critiques were more seamlessly integrated, and that the transition between the two parts of the book was smoother and better rationalized.
But while this would have improved the reading experience, the value of the criticism is the same. Toffler recommended something similar in "Future Shock. Can it be done? Can we ever put the genie back in the bottle? Will humans ever be mature enough to have power but not use it, or to carefully control how we use it? Certainly not in a society of late-stage capitalism where regulation is out the window and profit-driven corporations run the show.
I don't think this is fair. Just because they aren't being used responsibly now, like television, doesn't mean they couldn't ever be. For example, Mander wholly rejects space as a noble destination for humanity.
I disagree. I think it would be an outstanding achievement for humanity to be born from the earth and to move into the stars and to explore the vast unknown abyss. Mander bundles space with everything that's bad in the technological narrative, and I don't think this has to be the case. I think we could live in a sustainable, just society, and explore space, too.
A heartfelt plea to rethink the industrial world's alleged headlong rush to oblivion through its mad pursuit of technology. Mander, who conducts ad campaigns for nonprofit groups, expands greatly here on ideas he discussed in Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television Through clever manipulation of product images and relentless promotion of best-case scenarios, Mander says, Americans have been sold a bill of goods by corporate, government, and academic boosters of new technologies. Evidence of this pattern surfaces in several predominant technologies—computers, TV, genetic and molecular engineering—and in each case a negative side exists to blacken industry's rosy view.
In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology & the Survival of the Indian Nations
Jerry Mander's "In the Absence of the Sacred": a critique. Jerry Mander's "In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations" represents a very important but misguided tendency in the world-wide movement for indigenous peoples' rights. Along with Kirkpatrick Sale and Vandana Shiva, Mander argues that the only way forward for land-based peoples is to live the simple life that their ancestors lived. Politics consists of turning the clock backwards. The computer is a symbol of evil in their eyes and Sale went so far as to defend the Unabomber in public. He also begins each of his highly paid lectures by smashing a personal computer.