Out of Contact by John Terborgh | The New York Review of Books

Out of Contact by John Terborgh | The New York Review of Books.

The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes
by Scott Wallace 
Crown, 494 pp., $26.00 

“On a more philosophical level, do we want to keep people in a “cultural museum,” a time warp as it were? Putting aside the practical questions of how this would be accomplished, is it morally the right thing to do? This is a question of values and some of my anthropologist colleagues would say yes. But the morality of this question has to be considered in the light of our own cultural origins. Once upon a time, the ancestors of each and every one of us lived in a premodern culture. Those cultural origins have now been completely erased from our collective memory. Do any of us regret the loss of this memory? Would any of us prefer to return to our ancestral condition, rather than to live in the modern world? Few, if any, would say yes. To live in isolation is to live a short, hard life in the absence of modern medicine and in complete ignorance of history, geography, science, and art.”

(via Mario D’Souza)