Wade Davis, author of The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, criticizes the United States for viewing technological prowess as the only sign of progress. "Climate change should finally teach us that we're not the paragon of humanity's potential," he says.
What does it mean to be human and alive?
The thousands of different cultures and languages on Earth have compellingly different answers to that question. "We are a wildly imaginative and creative species," declares Wade Davis, and then proves it with his accounts and photographs of humanity plumbing the soul of culture, of psyche, and of landscape.
The threat to cultures is often ideological, Davis notes, such as when Mao whispered in the ear of the Dalai Lama that "all religion is poison," set about destroying Tibetan culture.
The genius of culture is the ability to survive in impossible conditions, Davis concludes. We cannot afford to lose any of that variety of skills, because we are not only impoverished without it, we are vulnerable without it. - The Long Now Foundation
Edmund Wade Davis (born December 14, 1953) is a noted Canadian anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer whose work has focused on worldwide indigenous cultures, especially in North and South America and particularly involving the traditional uses and beliefs associated with psychoactive plants. Davis came to prominence with his 1985 best-selling book The Serpent and the Rainbow about the zombies of Haiti.
Davis has published popular articles in Outside, National Geographic, Fortune and Conde Nast Traveler.