A few weeks ago, I commented that blindly adopting new technology doesn’t always work in every situation around the globe. But when new technology adoption is done thoughtfully, it can produce amazing results.
On one of my Listservs, they published a great article from Brazil about how indigenous tribes in the Amazon are using the Internet to preserve their culture and their environment. A lot of minority groups are using the Internet (and Unicode :)) as a way to document and transmit their language.
One chief in the Amazon went further though and started using Google Earth to plot deforestation within their territory, and now various indigenous groups in the region are working together on various preservation and political projects. Contact between indigenous cultures and the West has often spelled disaster, but it’s also nice to know that the modern era is bring tools that indigenous people can use to adapt and survive.