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Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization

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  • #16
    Fyrespryte, when I blogged about this a while back, a city-dweller commented that urban people form 'tribes' within the city. That's why cities seem unfriendly to strangers - people don't really acknowledge strangers much or it just gets overwhelming. You focus on the network of people that you live and work with. You can have several overlapping tribes - your workmates, your family, your old school mates, the guys at the gym. Other people only get as much interaction as required.

    I think it's one of the many reasons that army families struggle - partners are constantly being ripped out of their social networks and reforming new ones, every time we get posted. It's very difficult.

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    • #17
      Helen in Oz. I understand your comments about Army families but I see it a little differently. Having been shipped here and there I think it actually prepared my family more for the ever changing world and allowed us to build on our communication skills with new people. The good thing about the Army is theres always a common bond to break the ice. It can be harder on the kids if the parents don't properly prepare them but it can also be seen as a blessing.

      I am in sales and my pitch is no matter where you live whether its in Atlanta, NY, San Fran or Middle of nowhere Missouri, people will always make a small community where they live. I live in ATL and I go to the same barber shop, the same dry cleaners, etc. We create smaller communities to feel more included and welcome. Of course i have access to the big city yet we hardly ever go and its only 20 minutes away by car. We have the option but 90% of the time you're going to stay within a 15-25 minute window of where you live.
      Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it. If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'Failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.

      Mary Pickford

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      • #18
        Ordered soon after watching his interview on The Daily Show. It's next on my list.

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        • #19
          Thanks for sharing. Going to see if Borders has it tonight.
          View all problems as challenges. Look upon negativities that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow. Don't run from them, condemn yourself, or bury your burden in saintly silence. You have a problem? Great. More grist for the mill. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate.
          - Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

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          • #20
            I don't know how many of you will be familiar with the story, but I doubt that there could have been a "Kitty Genovese" situation in a smaller community.
            Tayatha om bekandze

            Bekandze maha bekandze

            Randza samu gate soha

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            • #21
              Originally posted by AppalachianMatt View Post
              Helen in Oz. I understand your comments about Army families but I see it a little differently......
              Interesting perspective, Matt.

              Here, it depends to some extent on your posting - in the larger cities, people are housed out in the broader community and there isn't the strong social network that the smaller, more remote army bases have. That suits some people, especially younger single folk who prefer the city social life, but it can be isolating as a married parent. I've preferred the country postings where the army community maintains closer contact.

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              • #22
                Started reading this last night... about 50 pages in. Really good... go pick it up!
                View all problems as challenges. Look upon negativities that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow. Don't run from them, condemn yourself, or bury your burden in saintly silence. You have a problem? Great. More grist for the mill. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate.
                - Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

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                • #23
                  I've almost finished, and I agree. A very good book. People tend to talk about the various broken aspects of our society in pieces, but they should be looked at holistically. You cannot change just one thing and not expect a whole series of things to change as a result. Wells raises some very interesting issues, which I think could very well all be a direct result of our agricultural heritage.
                  Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
                  Current weight: 199
                  Goal: 145

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                  • #24
                    Finished. Good book and I especially liked the last chapter. It was, however, a little like reading a first grade primer on what is wrong with our society. I think I'm ready for some Derrick Jensen....
                    Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
                    Current weight: 199
                    Goal: 145

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                    • #25
                      I just finished this last nite. Excellent book. He covers a wide array of topics that you might not always think about when discussing human impact on the earth and how we changed our way of life.
                      I recommend it. Roughly 200 pages but a quick read. He goes through topics such as gene therapy/selection, diet, theology/religion, technology, climate change, etc. All stemming back to the "cost of civilization". Very interesting.
                      semper ad meliora

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                      • #26
                        There was another review of this book in this weekend's (July 3/4 2010) edition of the Financial Times. It was very positive.

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                        • #27
                          I got through it a couple of weeks ago. I agree with Katt, it seemed a very basic level for this forum crowd. Good info for the general public though.
                          “It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creeds into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.”
                          —Robert A. Heinlein

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Asturian View Post
                            I got through it a couple of weeks ago. I agree with Katt, it seemed a very basic level for this forum crowd. Good info for the general public though.
                            Absolutely. A very good entry level introduction to the subject for the general public. Which is why I love the book. Wells makes a very good case, gives his foundational reasoning and then asks people to think about some pretty difficult questions. I think he isn't quite up to speed on the latest data regarding saturated fats, but all in all, an excellent beginning.
                            Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
                            Current weight: 199
                            Goal: 145

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                            • #29
                              Anyone interested in this book, will also love the vegetarian myth. It follows the same arguments and many more. Opens your eyes to the deep rooted problems in society.
                              www.beatingorthorexia.co.uk

                              No more diets. No more stress. Health made easy. Living made incredible.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by rockstareddy View Post
                                Anyone interested in this book, will also love the vegetarian myth. It follows the same arguments and many more. Opens your eyes to the deep rooted problems in society.
                                I'll second L. Keith's book as a must read. I'm a bit disinterested in Pandora's Seed. I've got the last two chapters to read yet but I'm in no hurry to get through it. The Vegetarian Myth I couldn't put down--even when it got preachy in places.
                                Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)

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