Friday, September 02, 2005

I have been unable to read all of Collapse:How societies choose to fail or succeed but what I have gotten through is scary. Its so possible. With the hurricane and its effects in New Orleans we see how societies can collapse so quickly. It seems that within a week of being "disconnected" a lot of individuals began to take advantage of those who were already hurting. I couldn't believe that while in a place that was supposed to give people comfort some took this as an opportunity to continue bringing heartache by raping and killing. It reminded me of The Heart of Darkness or Lord of the Flies.

Are men really destined to be evil? Is kindness achieved only through some sort of social pressure and only for our individual advantage? I mean we are still animals. Doesn't 'survival of the fitest' still apply? Maybe its not so much that we are evil, but that we see nothing further than what will benefit us. In Easter Island endemic fauna and flora were destroyed by its inhabitants without a second thought. Ultimately this led to the collapse of their civilization and total destruction of the island. The surviving population turned to cannibalism in order to survive. Jared Diamond, author of Collapse, poses the question: "What was the person who chopped down the last tree on the island thinking while cutting if down?". Nothing. He was thinking of the canoe he was going to make. Or the warmth of the fire the burning wood would provide.

Although I have tried to do my part in protecting/preserving many of the resources which are now not as abundant as they were hundreds of years ago, it seems so hard to continue this way of life. Everything is so disposable. But should we really be tied down to material things simply because they are convenient? What will happen when they are gone? Or worse, what if the usage of these material things causes other resources, which we really can not live without, to disappear.


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