I'm reminded of Jared Diamond's point in his book 'Collapse' about Montana, that if it were an independent civilization with the same environmental problems, not integrated with the rest of the United State, that it might have already collapsed. Seeing this about California's drought, it's tempting to wonder the same thing about them, or the … Continue reading xkcd: California drought
Along the lines of last week's discussion of Jared Diamond's book 'Collapse': Ancient baby boom holds a lesson in over-population -- ScienceDaily. Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D. It was a time … Continue reading Ancient baby boom holds a lesson in over-population
After my post the other day on what fields I thought someone needed to be familiar with for coming up with credible theories about why civilizations collapse, a number of people recommended I read Jared Diamond's book, 'Collapse'. I finished it this week, and like the other books I've read by Diamond, I enjoyed it. … Continue reading Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed, a brief review
This video has also been around a while, but I just saw it this weekend. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLErPqqCC54 Watching this, I had three conflicting sets of emotions. The first is amazement that there are still tribes in the wild that have not yet been contacted by the outside world. I find that remarkable. The second is a feeling of … Continue reading The ethics of allowing uncontacted natives to remain uncontacted
Pascal Boyer in his book 'The Fracture of an Illusion' asserts that religion does not exist. Boyer points out that "religion" doesn't exist as a concept in most societies. When Boyer, an anthropological expert in religion, says that it doesn't exist, he's making a statement that might seem silly on its face. After all, if religion … Continue reading What is religion?
The extinction and competition hypotheses for the demise of the Neanderthals, notably suggested by interdisciplinary scientist and author Jared Diamond, hinge on the idea that humans were more advanced than Neanderthals. Commonly claimed are the following: that humans had more communicative abilities, were more efficient hunters, had superior weaponry, ate a broader diet, and had … Continue reading When It Comes to Neanderthals, Humans May Be the Borg