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Collapse-o-mania in NYTimes Books

There is no end to the reviewing and essaying on Jared Diamond’s new book, “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.
Today’s New York Times Book Review has a lengthy and thoughtful essay by Gregg Easterbrook. Easterbrook reviews Diamond’s career and touches on his other books including “Guns, Germs and Steel” and “Why is Sex Fun?” The first won Diamond the Pulitzer Prize and the second reflected the serious work that won him the National Medal of Science. Easterbrook is less enthusiastic than say Malcolm Gladwell or Steward Brand and in the end less thoughtful than David Brin.

I’ve written on Collapse and the mania surrounding it here and here and here.

1 Comment

  1. Myron Paine

    2/15/2005 at 7:30 pm

    The reviewers of Jared Diamond’s book, Collapse, sustain a false image (mental model), without evidence, of the Norse in Greenland during the Little Ice Age. The evidence shows that the Norse in Greenland walked across the frozen Davis Strait to become ancestors of many tribes in America. Multiple evidence to support this statement is presented in

    For example: The Old Norse and the Algonquin-speaking people, one-third of North America, had over 15,000 phrases with similar sounds and meanings.

    Historical documents on two continents record the Greenland migration story. Three Walam Olum verses describe how the Norse, using a republican government, made the decision to walk across the frozen sea.

    The Norse in Greenland had a working mental model based on first hand knowledge of the evidence. It saved their lives. Survival, even today, requires a workable mental model supported by evidence

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