Friday, April 15, 2005

Who Knows What Happens Next?

I don't have anything particular to write about tonight. I am just in the mood to write -- so I'll write about reading!

I am reading the book "The Story of B". It's sort of a sequel to "Ishmael" (which I also read recently). Both books are by Daniel Quinn.

I am gaining a new perspective of modern cultures as I read these books. Quinn gives a very interesting explanation of how we came to view the world as "ours to shape and control".

He is very good at pointing out aspects of modern culture that are surprisingly obvious to me now, and completely unnoticed by me before.

I wonder where this new perspective will lead me.


Daniel Reynolds Riveiro said...

Personally, I don't like a lot of Quinn's arguements. He's interesting, to be sure, but he always makes these sweeping generalizations that are never true. For example, he seems to think that "leavers" somehow have it figured out because they don't have the problems of the "takers" when in fact they do. Leaver societies have problems with crime, mental diseases and drug use, just not in the intensified way that takers societies do. He subscribes to the very "nobel savage" theme that he abhors. I agree with him that society is doomed to self-destruction, but not because humans put themselves above nature and animals, but because humans are animals, and expand the to edge of their resources just like any other animal. We're just self-concious enough to see that the edge is on the horizon and that scares us. Read Jared Diamond's "Gun, Germs and Steel" for a much better explication on the differences between "giver" and "taker" societies, why the developed and how few differences in "attitude" towards the world there really are between us (that, and Diamond has actually done anthropological work)

Jay Haase said...

My next read will be "Gun, Germs and Steel". Thanks for the recommendation!


Vanessa said...

Hi, I was pointed over here from LiveJournal by another peace corps hopeful. I'm nominated to go to non-Francophone Africa November 15th and I heard that you might be the same. Anyway, just sayin' hi.

Jay Haase said...

Hey Vanessa! It does sound like we could be going to the same place -- coolio.

If you email me, we can exchange some more info (