Panicking about societal collapse? Plunder the bookshelves

| March 18, 2020 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: News / Op - Ed

Year of Publication: 2020

Author(s): Laura Spinney

Newspaper: Nature

Categories: , ,

As civilization seems to be lurching towards a cliff edge, historical case studies are giving way to big data in authors’ search for understanding.

In case you missed it, the end is nigh. Ever since Jared Diamond published his hugely popular 2005 work Collapse, books on the same theme have been arriving with the frequency of palace coups in the late Roman Empire. Clearly, their authors are responding to a universal preoccupation with climate change, as well as to growing financial and political instability and a sense that civilization is lurching towards a cliff edge. Mention is also made of how big-data tools are shedding new light on historical questions. But do these books have anything useful to share? Any actionable points besides that on my coffee mug: “Now panic and freak out”?

Read the full article here. 

The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.