bob, was it not enough to organise a rock concert?

This makes me cringe:

Bob Geldof and the BBC have unveiled plans for a website and television series that aim to record every human society.

The Dictionary of Man website and an eight-part television series, The Human Planet, will be made with help from BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm. Crews will travel the world to try to film the 900 separate groups of people that anthropologists believe exist.

The makers hope the project will produce a definitive record of mankind.

First, it is clearly too much to ask that we cease using “man” and “mankind” as generic terms for all human beings. Humanity. PEOPLE.

Second, and bear in mind I am a big fan of ethnographic databases, why exactly do we need to spend this money in this way? Is it so that when languages die out, and people cannot continue their accustomed lifeways due to things like industrial logging and waterway pollution, then people in the UK can feel okay because they have a glossy set of pictures to look at?

Third: good luck with that.

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