Saturday, September 20, 2008

Recent Reading: Something New Under the Sun

I have played many different games over the years that involve resource management. In regard to the nature these games usually treat resources one of two ways. In the Civilization games the resource productively continues from the beginning to the end of game. There might be hiccups like barbarian invasion and like. In other games resource deposits have finite limits. Quarries get played out, fish get caught and forests deforest. At end of these games you don't see all you have built as in Civilization but mainly what destruction you have wrought for the transitory pleasures of success.

In Something New Under the Sun, JR McNeil catalogs the destruction of our planet, the diminishing of mines, wells, farmlands, fishing grounds. This is a deeply depressing book in that it focuses on what we have done and what we left undone. This is an almost encyclopedic cataloging of the degradation of earth, air, water, oil, ore, and other natural rescources done even to our precious bodily fluids. I have read books about nuclear war that had slightly more upbeat. Read this book and be depressed.

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