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 Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)

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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:17 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Well that's no harm - think global act local and all. I liked the statistics - Montana 3rd biggest state and 6th least populated....

Went from 2nd wealthiest to 59th State when mining ended? But it was never industrialised, I suppose because it is so remote.

What was new to me was how devastating the alien species invasion was, with some grazing losing 90% of its productivity.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:22 am

On the forest management, I'm just reading this "Set against those big advantages of clear-cutting were some disadvantages: water temperatures in streams no longer shaded by trees rose above values optimal for fish spawinging and survival ...snow on unshaded bare ground melted in a quick pulse in teh spring, instead of teh shaded forest's snowpack gradually melting and releasing water for irrigating ranches throughout the summer.. "

It's all interconnected alright.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:23 am

The saline seep is another fascinating, if devastating geographic manifestation. The idea that fields being left fallow as an un-environmentally friendly decision as being intriguing.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:23 am



Have a chair, Ard Taoiseach, Audi...
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:24 am

Ooh, myself and Auditor can cuddle.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:26 am

Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:26 am



Im going to sit here
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:29 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Suspect

Humpf! Fine then! Smile

I'm looking forward to reading the next few dozen pages in bed tonight. 'm up to around page 65. Where ie everyone else?
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:32 am

Mmm, I could do with a slice of that!

With toppings!

*suddenly feels ashamed with oneself*
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:36 am

Nothing wrong with a healthy appetite, Ard-Taoiseach. Now - back to the book. I am glad that I've made myself obliged to read it. I don't think Jared Diamond has all the answers, but I like the way he looks not only at the objective factors of what is happening to the land, but also at the subjective response - how people do, or do not react in an effective way to overcome the problems of land regeneration and so on.

Was the Irish famine and its aftermath a Collapse in Diamond's terms ?
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:38 am

cactus flower wrote:
Nothing wrong with a healthy appetite, Ard-Taoiseach. Now - back to the book. I am glad that I've made myself obliged to read it. I don't think Jared Diamond has all the answers, but I like the way he looks not only at the objective factors of what is happening to the land, but also at the subjective response - how people do, or do not react in an effective way to overcome the problems of land regeneration and so on.

Was the Irish famine and its aftermath a Collapse in Diamond's terms ?

Not really, that was a disaster visited upon us as a result of our colonial subservience. If the Irish owned the land and controlled the food supply, we could have dealt with it and headed off the mass deaths, disease and emigration that ensued.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:43 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Nothing wrong with a healthy appetite, Ard-Taoiseach. Now - back to the book. I am glad that I've made myself obliged to read it. I don't think Jared Diamond has all the answers, but I like the way he looks not only at the objective factors of what is happening to the land, but also at the subjective response - how people do, or do not react in an effective way to overcome the problems of land regeneration and so on.

Was the Irish famine and its aftermath a Collapse in Diamond's terms ?

Not really, that was a disaster visited upon us as a result of our colonial subservience. If the Irish owned the land and controlled the food supply, we could have dealt with it and headed off the mass deaths, disease and emigration that ensued.

Audi questioned whether Diamond's five causes of collapse were comprehensive enough. Would colonial exploitation not be the sixth?
Or does "hostile neighbour" cover it?

There was in Ireland a situation where population increase saw people cultivating on marginal lands, and there was intensive mono-species culture that meant the blight spread easily and there was no alternative food. But I suppose it was an agrarian and peasant population that suffered, and what Diamond is talking about is wholesale collapse of entire complex societies.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:44 am

If that's what really happened with the Famine then how does it fit into Diamond's 5 criteria for analysis? I don't think he included genocide in there

edit
actually it's the "how your neighbours treat you" but Ireland was controlled by England then - it had no power over its own land - which is feckin MAD


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:48 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
If that's what really happened with the Famine then how does it fit into Diamond's 5 criteria for analysis? I don't think he included genocide in there

Again, I think that comes under hostile neighbours. He doesn't include plague either - i think that is a big mistake.
Easter Island lost nearly all its population in the 18th century from abduction of people for slavery and then smallpox.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:51 am

The Plague occurred to me too - and meteorites! Are we going to end up analyzing the analysis tonight?
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:52 am

Hostile neighbours could stretch to the hostile acts prosecuted against Ireland during the famine by the British.

cactus, couldn't the smallpox in Easter Island be included under hostile neighbours as well? They were poisoned by the hostile colonisers, weren't they?
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:54 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
If that's what really happened with the Famine then how does it fit into Diamond's 5 criteria for analysis? I don't think he included genocide in there

edit
actually it's the "how your neighbours treat you" but Ireland was controlled by England then - it had no power over its own land - which is feckin MAD

I remember reading somewhere that the Irish were the tallest people in Europe when they were on their diet of potatoes and dairy.
It wasn't so much the collapse of the food supply as the ideology that people should not be helped that caused mass starvation.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:55 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Hostile neighbours could stretch to the hostile acts prosecuted against Ireland during the famine by the British.

cactus, couldn't the smallpox in Easter Island be included under hostile neighbours as well? They were poisoned by the hostile colonisers, weren't they?

I don't think it was deliberate - it was more like the invasive species - terrible consequence of an isolated ecosystem being contacted from outside.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:57 am

cactus flower wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
If that's what really happened with the Famine then how does it fit into Diamond's 5 criteria for analysis? I don't think he included genocide in there

edit
actually it's the "how your neighbours treat you" but Ireland was controlled by England then - it had no power over its own land - which is feckin MAD

I remember reading somewhere that the Irish were the tallest people in Europe when they were on their diet of potatoes and dairy.
It wasn't so much the collapse of the food supply as the ideology that people should not be helped that caused mass starvation.

Well, extremely libertarian, laissez faire views were in the ascendant in Britain at that time, especially when you consider Malthus' contribution to the discussion on food supply and demand. It's to the classical school's eternal shame that they allowed ideology to get in the way of common sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:58 am

cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Hostile neighbours could stretch to the hostile acts prosecuted against Ireland during the famine by the British.

cactus, couldn't the smallpox in Easter Island be included under hostile neighbours as well? They were poisoned by the hostile colonisers, weren't they?

I don't think it was deliberate - it was more like the invasive species - terrible consequence of an isolated ecosystem being contacted from outside.

Perhaps it then could be filed under "Other" or "Miscellaneous" causes for collapse. Or even "Unintended".
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:00 am

Well, do you think you will carry on reading Collapse, and shall we have another go at it next week, or try something else?
Irishbeergirl has pmmd that she would like to join us.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:01 am

cactus flower wrote:
Well, do you think you will carry on reading Collapse, and shall we have another go at it next week, or try something else?
Irishbeergirl has pmmd that she would like to join us.
Move over on that couch Ard Taoiseach Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:02 am

Diamond sets out five causes of major collapses of society. He sums them up this way -
“Societal collapses involving an environmental component, and in some cases also contributions of climate change, hostile neighbours, and trade partners, plus questions of societal responses”.

Plague is a bit of an ommission, unless you count it as environmental.
I am not convinced by his five reasons: they are either not covering everything, or have to be interpreted broadly enough to squeeze all bad stuff that can happen to people in. But I think the book is really worth reading for a lot of reasons.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:06 am

Do youse think he ties all the factors together with the element of human will/action? So plagues and other acts of God would be out of it there... (unless included in what the societies reaction is to dangers... )

Do we finish soon or go on for another while? We could come back next Sunday - I'd like to finish the book.
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PostSubject: Re: Book of the Month April May 08 - 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond (Diamond Video Posted 26 April)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:07 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Well, do you think you will carry on reading Collapse, and shall we have another go at it next week, or try something else?
Irishbeergirl has pmmd that she would like to join us.
Move over on that couch Ard Taoiseach Wink

I will, gladly! tongue

I'd like to carry on reading. I feel it'll get even better as comparisons begin to flow between the different case studies being portrayed.
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