Posted in aerospace, communication and networking, electronic imaging and displays, Optics

I’m back, with a complaint

Not exactly with a vengeance, more like Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes.Now this is more of a science/culture combo, but still interesting.

By now most people are probably aware of the “Lost Tribes” of South America, groups of indigenous peoples hiding out in the Amazon doing their best to NOT make contact with us weirdos. They even threw spears at a plane that buzzed overhead trying to take their pictures.

So now, instead of putting aerial photographers in vague danger, scientists have now begun to use heat-sensing/infrared technologies to follow the tribes through the jungle, calling it a less invasive technique.

If anything, I think tracking people with heat-sensors is even more invasive than with photographs. At least with aerial photography they know when we’re researching them. These groups have obviously expressed that they don’t want to be studied, let alone approached, or buzzed over by aircraft. Why do these people need to be studied and tracked in the first place? I find it very ethnocentric to think that our “need to know” outweighs their right to privacy.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.