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Re: 'Collapse': How the World Ends L3

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  • Dan Minette
    ... From: Maru Dubshinki To: Killer Bs Discussion Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 10:09 PM Subject: Re:
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 1, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Maru Dubshinki" <marudubshinki@...>
      To: "Killer Bs Discussion" <brin-l@...>
      Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 10:09 PM
      Subject: Re: 'Collapse': How the World Ends L3


      > You have a point about oversimplification: In "Guns...", my primary
      > grief was a lack of attention paid to how cultural and gov.'t factors
      > contributed and developed the potential geography bestowed. (Anyone
      > who has looked into, say, Chinese history will notice that a lot of
      > the most original stuff was done not when the empire was prosperous
      > and at peace, but during the Warring States period. SImilar examples
      > could be adduced for much of Europe.)
      > But I think the article is too harsh on 'Collapse'- I'm half way
      > through it, and he seems to focus more on how the societies make their
      > choices, which is what is really relevant, and missing from "Guns..".
      > BTW: if you haven't read either book, and you have a weekend to kill,
      > I can think of no better way.

      Was it wrong about the claims that were made? If not, then Collapse does
      indeed have serious problems.For example, in the US, the percentage of
      lands that are forests is actually slightly higher than it was 75 years
      ago. Erosion is a far smaller problem than it was 75 years ago. On my
      father-in-law's farm, for example, the amount of topsoil is now
      increasing...and his farm is not atypical New technology has cut down the
      erosion while yield per acre has gone drastically up. For the most part,
      the air and water are far cleaner in the US than they were 40 years ago.

      I'll admit I have not read this particular Collapse book yet, although
      I've read plenty in the last 30+ years. But, if the review is at all
      accurate concerning the claims in the book, then it is based on a selective
      gleaming of facts.

      Dan M.


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    • Gary Denton
      On Tue, 1 Feb 2005 09:26:11 -0600, Dan Minette ... The reviewer, Easterbrook, is so incredibly wrong in what he says about _Guns, Germs and Steel that I cannot
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 1, 2005
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        On Tue, 1 Feb 2005 09:26:11 -0600, Dan Minette
        <dsummersminet@...> wrote:
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Maru Dubshinki" <marudubshinki@...>
        > To: "Killer Bs Discussion" <brin-l@...>
        > Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 10:09 PM
        > Subject: Re: 'Collapse': How the World Ends L3
        >
        > > You have a point about oversimplification: In "Guns...", my primary
        > > grief was a lack of attention paid to how cultural and gov.'t factors
        > > contributed and developed the potential geography bestowed. (Anyone
        > > who has looked into, say, Chinese history will notice that a lot of
        > > the most original stuff was done not when the empire was prosperous
        > > and at peace, but during the Warring States period. SImilar examples
        > > could be adduced for much of Europe.)
        > > But I think the article is too harsh on 'Collapse'- I'm half way
        > > through it, and he seems to focus more on how the societies make their
        > > choices, which is what is really relevant, and missing from "Guns..".
        > > BTW: if you haven't read either book, and you have a weekend to kill,
        > > I can think of no better way.
        >
        > Was it wrong about the claims that were made? If not, then Collapse does
        > indeed have serious problems.For example, in the US, the percentage of
        > lands that are forests is actually slightly higher than it was 75 years
        > ago. Erosion is a far smaller problem than it was 75 years ago. On my
        > father-in-law's farm, for example, the amount of topsoil is now
        > increasing...and his farm is not atypical New technology has cut down the
        > erosion while yield per acre has gone drastically up. For the most part,
        > the air and water are far cleaner in the US than they were 40 years ago.
        >
        > I'll admit I have not read this particular Collapse book yet, although
        > I've read plenty in the last 30+ years. But, if the review is at all
        > accurate concerning the claims in the book, then it is based on a selective
        > gleaming of facts.
        >
        > Dan M.

        The reviewer, Easterbrook, is so incredibly wrong in what he says
        about _Guns, Germs and Steel that I cannot trust anything he says
        about _Collapse. Years ago Easterbrook was a decent science columnist
        and reviewer but has done shoddy work in recent years.

        Gary Denton
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      • Martin Lewis
        On Tue, 1 Feb 2005 09:26:11 -0600, Dan Minette ... Brad DeLong on why Easterbrook s review is a piece of shit:
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 1, 2005
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          On Tue, 1 Feb 2005 09:26:11 -0600, Dan Minette
          <dsummersminet@...> wrote:

          > I'll admit I have not read this particular Collapse book yet, although
          > I've read plenty in the last 30+ years. But, if the review is at all
          > accurate concerning the claims in the book, then it is based on a selective
          > gleaming of facts.

          Brad DeLong on why Easterbrook's review is a piece of shit:

          http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2005-3_archives/000252.html

          Martin
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        • Gary Denton
          ... I should elaborate. How anyone can read _Guns, Germs and Steel and make the following claim is an idiot who can t read and doesn t even know what
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 1, 2005
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            On Tue, 1 Feb 2005 14:16:12 -0600, Gary Denton <garydenton@...> wrote:
            > The reviewer, Easterbrook, is so incredibly wrong in what he says
            > about _Guns, Germs and Steel that I cannot trust anything he says
            > about _Collapse. Years ago Easterbrook was a decent science columnist
            > and reviewer but has done shoddy work in recent years.
            >
            > Gary Denton
            >
            I should elaborate. How anyone can read _Guns, Germs and Steel and
            make the following claim is an idiot who can't read and doesn't even
            know what postmodern is.

            "''Guns'' asked why the West is atop the food chain of nations. Its
            conclusion, that Western success was a coincidence driven by good
            luck, has proven extremely influential in academia, as the view is
            quintessentially postmodern. "

            _Guns provides reasoning, mainly from geography, of why Europe was
            best suited to acquire technology and spread. You may disagree with
            the evidence and say he overstates the case but to say _Guns concludes
            that Western sucess was due to luck is not a rational review. The
            buzz phrase "quintessentially postmodern" seems to indicate
            Easterbrook opposes this book and wishes to link it to some liberal
            academia fuzzy thinking. If he wanted to state that opinion he should
            not open the what is postmodern subject matter which is a different
            issue.

            --
            Gary Denton
            Easter Lemming Liberal News Digest

            - I think Brin was on to something in 'Earth' in suggesting the right
            to vote be dependent upon subscribing to some opposing viewpoint
            media.
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          • Ronn!Blankenship
            ... I don t recall the passage you are referring to off the top of my head, but is all that is required to subscribe to such media? I subscribe to what would
            Message 5 of 9 , Feb 1, 2005
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              At 02:32 PM Tuesday 2/1/2005, Gary Denton wrote:

              >- I think Brin was on to something in 'Earth' in suggesting the right
              >to vote be dependent upon subscribing to some opposing viewpoint
              >media.


              I don't recall the passage you are referring to off the top of my head, but
              is all that is required to subscribe to such media? I subscribe to what
              would be called both "liberal" and "conservative" sources, but it doesn't
              mean that I agree with all I read on either one . . .


              --Ronn! :)


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            • Robert Seeberger
              ... From: Dan Minette To: Killer Bs Discussion Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 9:26 AM Subject: Re:
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 1, 2005
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Dan Minette" <dsummersminet@...>
                To: "Killer Bs Discussion" <brin-l@...>
                Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 9:26 AM
                Subject: Re: 'Collapse': How the World Ends L3


                >
                > I'll admit I have not read this particular Collapse book yet,
                although
                > I've read plenty in the last 30+ years. But, if the review is at
                all
                > accurate concerning the claims in the book, then it is based on a
                selective
                > gleaming of facts.
                >

                I agree that the state of things in the US is nowhere near as gloomy
                as some might lead a person to believe (At least in regards to the
                matters discussed in this thread<G>), but the worldwide picture might
                be quite different.
                Even if the tending of the eco-techture is ruinous in some parts of
                the world, there might be less of a collapse and more of a serious
                drag on world economies and infrastructures that causes a mild to
                devastating reversal of growth trends and may perhaps kill democratic
                movements in their tracks. (Even in the US).

                I doubt we will see the dreaded WCS, but even the next to WCS' might
                mean that many of our ideals could take a drubbing.

                xponent
                Worst Case Scenario Maru
                rob


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              • Gary Denton
                On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 14:45:51 -0600, Ronn!Blankenship ... My books are in storage right now but I remember being struck by the person s occupation - she video
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 1, 2005
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                  On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 14:45:51 -0600, Ronn!Blankenship
                  <ronn.blankenship@...> wrote:
                  > At 02:32 PM Tuesday 2/1/2005, Gary Denton wrote:
                  >
                  > >- I think Brin was on to something in 'Earth' in suggesting the right
                  > >to vote be dependent upon subscribing to some opposing viewpoint
                  > >media.
                  >
                  > I don't recall the passage you are referring to off the top of my head, but
                  > is all that is required to subscribe to such media? I subscribe to what
                  > would be called both "liberal" and "conservative" sources, but it doesn't
                  > mean that I agree with all I read on either one . . .
                  >
                  >
                  > --Ronn! :)

                  My books are in storage right now but I remember being struck by the
                  person's occupation - she video edited old media for modern (in 50
                  years) fast forward tastes. Somewhere in there she reviews the news
                  on the future quasi-Internet/TV and notes she has to have a small
                  amount random and some opposing viewpoints to be considered an
                  informed voter with the right to vote. Considerations of our sitcoms
                  being an artform and editing our current Star Trek episodes in half
                  are some other bits.

                  Gary 'Maybe that is what Enterprise needs' Denton
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