Invasion of privacy is wrong, we all know this. What if, however, invading someone’s privacy protected them from danger? This has been done by countless parents, whom have raided their troubled teen’s room and sorted through their children’s text messages. If you are a parent, you understand how keeping your child safe calls for rather drastic measures.
Let’s look at invasion of privacy on a grander scale. Scientists apparently think it is okay to monitor the lives of primitive tribes, in order to keep them safe. This will not be done by encounter, nor will it continue to be conducted by flying over the jungles of South America. This new invasion of privacy will be conducted by infrared satellite.
Let’s understand the full spectrum of this idea, shall we. The Amazon rainforest is huge, it is the largest and most diverse rainforest in the world. There are between 50 and 100 primitive tribes dwelling here, completely cut-off from disease and danger- at least until the outside world pushes their way within their borders.
We, as outsiders, have taken it upon ourselves to protect these uncontacted tribes, and the only way we can do this is by knowing the exact numbers of the population. With numbers, we can monitor deaths, when they occur and also understand when tribes have changed in size. In the past, we have been doing flight-overs to count the population, with the intention of avoiding face to face contact. If we decide to meet the natives on ground, being totally upfront with our intentions, we risk spreading disease. We also run the risk of disturbing the natural pattern of the tribe.
Either way, this has proven to be very expensive and also very stressful for the natives-invasive, to say the least. However, we do not wish to give up there, and so there seems to be a better way-moral, maybe not.
A New Idea
Robert Walker, anthropologist at the University of Missouri at Columbia, agrees that satellite imaging would be the perfect solution to monitoring the native tribes of the Amazon. In his opinion, remote imaging is a safe and very effective way to collect data that will help keep the tribes safe.
By focusing on indigenous isolated groups near the border of Brazil and Peru, scientists were able to use the satellite imaging process to understand if the tribes were moving and growing in any substantial rate. Scientists were also interested in why these tribes were isolated from the other tribes of the Amazon. After speculation, it was found that the isolated tribes had more primitive weapons and stayed in tight groups to prevent attack from outsiders. These studies included tribes that were small, with only 50 members and larger tribes of more than 300, as well.
Further studies will be conducted in the near future, which will focus on ecological aspect-where the tribes get food and how far they live from the nearest water source.
While this may indeed be an invasion of privacy, some think it is necessary. The ability to preserve a natural habitat with its peoples just may be a part of protecting who we really are. Although the outside world is teeming with technology and science, these indigenous people are thriving in nature and abiding by the basics in life. They may hate outside intrusion, but maybe our invasion of privacy can save them-preserving their culture and our own.