Tuesday, May 24, 2005
For those who aren't familiar with Daniel Quinn, I believe he's best known for his book "Ishmael". Great trilogy of books. And will someone please read his book "After Dachau"? I read that damn thing a year ago, and have yet to find someone to discuss it with. Great plot twist (there's 2-4 recommendation for ya, DT. More will follow). Anyway, the basic storyline in Ishmael is that way way back in history the human race went from being hunter/gatherer types to agriculturalists, thus beginning our downfall. That is the way oversimplified book report, but it's too involved for this post. Check it out if you are not familiar with it. It's good stuff.
Digression over. Onwards.
Quinn's ideas don't necessarily condemn agriculture, but more the baggage that comes with it: 'locking up' food sources necessitating money, bartering systems, etc instead of going out and reaping for yourself what nature provides; needing more and more land to feed 'the people'; stockpiling food and ending up in situtations where more people live on land that can not ultimately sustain them.
Say most of the populace of the world or even on the US becomes convinved that maybe the ag bit needs to step back a few paces (which would help screw over schools like my alma mater. Oops) and we need to re-evaluate, and help slow the over-population of the earth before there is no 'extra' land left to produce food to feed those in countries/places that who populations exceed the capacity of their lands. That'd be a death sentence of sorts for many people (similar to another Quinn semi-idea that we need to stop supporting those peoples whose population already far exceeds their land's production capacity; by helping them, we are enabling them to overpopulate even more, thus worsening their situation. No extra food, no population growth, eventually nature will even out), so the likelyhood of that is slim to none.
So, what do we do? I don't have faith that technology will always save our asses. Maybe it will continue to prolong the inevitable (inevitable only if changes are not made), but I do believe there will come a point when technology won't bail us out.
An incomplete thought, I know. An accomplished hermit I am not; someone to bounce my thoughts off of is helpful to me.