Thursday, February 4, 2010

The End is Near

Okay, not really.
So I've been reading this book by Jared Diamond called Collapse, How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed:

I didn't know much about the author when I first picked it up at the library; you can read about him here.
I'm only about a third of the way through but it's been a good read so far.
What caught my attention at first was his theories about the disappearance of the civilizations of Easter Island and of the Maya of Central America.
I'm not going to go all ecological on you, the reader, for the theories have been around for some time and you can take from them what you will.
What is different here is that he also talks about societies that have faced similar problems yet found a way to rebound and flourish.
Of course the subjects he gets into relate to the big picture. I mean we all live on what is basically an island floating around in the middle of the universe so there are certain topics there that implicate all of us.
Us people on Earth I mean.
Since I also live on an island, it has given me much to think about.
I know most of you who reside on the bigger islands on the planet don't think about things like resources and stuff, but here, all it takes is the mention of a shipping strike and toilet paper and Spam start flying off the shelves.
Living here, and becoming accustomed to having the basic necessities of everyday life is sort of taken for granted.
I mean we go to the store to get what we need and all is fine.
What happens if that is no longer norm.
What happens if suddenly there are the have and the have nots?
What would it take for the infrastructure here to collapse?
I'm sort of looking forward to anarchy.
Sort of.
Okay, I'm not going to get into all that so let's just say that there is a fragility here that we live with but don't really think about.
So anyways, if you are interested in this kind of stuff, check this book out.
It hasn't been an eye opener, but what it has done is to bring things closer to my attention.
We'll see in the later chapters if there is any hope for us.
I'm almost done.
I'll let you know.


John Romeo Alpha said...

Look at the bright side: as the End nears and there's a shortage of everything including gas, at least you'll be biking from disaster area to disaster area, able to forage across a large area (the whole island?) easily, and could become a canned food millionaire with your disaster zone courier business.

dogimo said...

That sounds like a winner of a concept! How is it just plain book-wise? Is it a smooth, pleasurable read?

I hate when a book has the topic and the facts all lined up and then fumbles the ball on the delivery.

Hormel should just say f*** it and open up a Spam plant right there on the islands. It's not fair to keep you guys so on edge about the Spam supply! You're like, famously the only state that really seems to have any fond affection for the stuff.

limom said...

JRA- I'll be watching for signs of the apocalypse and make sure I have one of them bakfiets type thingys. That and I'll be grinding up all the hand outs I got from school and making homemade bathroom tissues.

Mr. Dogimo- Good read. Actually JRA above might like it too for it talks about the Anasazi also.
Flat Tire recommended.
If you are into that sort of thing.
Oh, and Hormel does grace us every year with a Spam festival that is held in Waikiki. Never been, but on the list.
What is up with all the different Spam flavors? Nothing like the original.

John Romeo Alpha said...

I have read it, and give it four stars out of five, only because he doesn't discuss the zombie-related scenarios. His book "Guns, Germs and Steel" is also really good.

limom said...

Why am I not surprised?
Thanks for not blurting out the ending. I am sort of dissapointed he didn't cover hippie culture.
"Guns, Germs and Steel" is probably next.