Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:31 am





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Norse Greenland 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3540
Location: NJ
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Norse Greenland
Was anyone else left with a feeling of annoyance about the Norse not eating fish? They had such food production problems, yet an abundant food source was left untouched because of...taboos?

My word! Again dogma gets in the way of reality. Yes, Diamond explains the need for the Norse to cling to tradition and what not, but to me that does not do it. We see this today in many ways: blind faith, cultural tradition and plain old 'set in our ways' idiocy preventing progress or mere sustainability. Will our successors be looking back on us and wondering why we continued to use oil when we knew it was a finite resource? Were there some Norse that were shaking theirs heads at the majority and or ruling class?

Toward the end of the last Norse chapter, Diamond points out how, aside from the silliness of not adapting to the local means of survival and Inuit ways, the Norse further hurt themselves by importing trivial trappings from the mainland instead of utilizing the limited space on ships to bring resources that would aid in the survival of the population. The rich and powerful sought more in the way of luxury than of utilitarian goods.

I will not even mention my disgust at how the Inuit were treated...even though they had the last laugh. What is it about humans that let us think we can do what we want just because we can? Yes, maybe this is part of the nature of things, but since we pride ourselves on such high intelligence and ability, why can we not overcome this trait?

There was one passage, from a historical document, that explains how an Inuit was cut to see how he bled? What the heck is that? And these are Christians. I just cannot grasp the mentality. And I know that I use the clarity of hindsight, as Diamond points out often, but I remain appalled since I still see this type of mentality today.

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 6/6/05 10:02 pm



Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:13 pm
Profile


Post Re: Norse Greenland
P. writes: And these are Christians.


The Uruguayan historian Eduardo Galeano tells the story of Hatuey, the native chief who fled from Haiti to Cuba in 1511, horrified at the greed and violence of the "Christians." Picking up a bag of gold, he said, "This is the god of the Christians. For this they pursue us." Three months later he was captured and as he is tied to a stake, the priest tells him that in hell he will suffer eternal torment but that glory and eternal rest are his if he promises to be baptized. "Are there Christians in heaven?" he asks. "Yes," the priest says. Galeano writes, "Hatuey chooses hell and the firewood begins to crackle."

Edited by: Ken Hemingway at: 6/6/05 5:30 pm



Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:29 pm


Post Re: Norse Greenland
So, we have to start over from scratch? Is there any hope that our past discussions will be restored??

Quote:
a feeling of annoyance about the Norse not eating fish?


It seems odd to me that you feel annoyed at the choices the Norse made, or for that matter any of the examples of collapse.

It is much more useful to look for insights into what motivated such self defeating behavior patterns, and just skip over the moral judgment element that you seem to inject in many of your reactive comments.

I think there are several indicators that the Norse of Greenland were quite rigid, and ultra conservative, with almost no element of innovation in their society. Their failure/refusal to communicate with the Innuit, and to adapt their obviously more effective hunting technology was an even bigger contributor to their collapse than their refusal to eat fish, IMO.

Their very rigid, and unchangeable, caste system was also a big contributor.

These seem to me to be some important lessons to take away from JD's analysis of the Norse, and to watch for in our own society as we accelerate our efforts to avoid our own collapse in the not too distant future. YMMV

WW




Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:29 pm
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3540
Location: NJ
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Norse Greenland
Quote:
It seems odd to me that you feel annoyed at the choices the Norse made, or for that matter any of the examples of collapse.


That is one reason why we are different. Is not diversity great!?

Quote:
It is much more useful to look for insights into what motivated such self defeating behavior patterns, and just skip over the moral judgment element that you seem to inject in many of your reactive comments.



They were morons!

You argue and discuss your way. I seems odd to me that you would want to impose your style onto me or others. What a boring conversation that would be if we all were dimmits.

What the Norse did reminds me of people today...refusing to grow/survive due to adherence to moral, spiritual or societal strictures. It annoys me today, why not with the Norse?

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper

Edited by: misterpessimistic  at: 6/6/05 9:49 pm



Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:34 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3540
Location: NJ
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Norse Greenland
Quote:
I think there are several indicators that the Norse of Greenland were quite rigid, and ultra conservative, with almost no element of innovation in their society. Their failure/refusal to communicate with the Innuit, and to adapt their obviously more effective hunting technology was an even bigger contributor to their collapse than their refusal to eat fish, IMO.


Did I preclude this from my post? I thought I was just mentioning one thing that the chapters made me think about. That ultra-conservativism is apparent in the fish example. And it is STILL what I say is a big contributor to why they perished. All that said, eating fish would have helped them out of the difficult situation they had with food production.

Their communication with the Inuit, according to Diamond's words, were to kill 8 of 9 at the first meeting and then describe how one bled depending on the wound recvd. They did so much more than not adapt, they were arrogant and ignorant. Human.

Quote:
These seem to me to be some important lessons to take away from JD's analysis of the Norse, and to watch for in our own society as we accelerate our efforts to avoid our own collapse in the not too distant future.


See...we agree, despite our different methods of discussion.

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:42 pm
Profile


Post Re: Norse Greenland
You're right, it worked! We are managing to have some substantive discussion, and even some agreement.

Please note that I never suggested you should not react in the way you do, just wanted to let you know that it strikes me as being odd.

Moralistic righteousness nearly always strikes me that way, as I think about it.

On to other things: Are we going to just wait it out for few days and see if our previous discussion is restored, or should we start new threads on the various chapters and rebuild the complexity of that discussion??

WW




Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:16 am
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3540
Location: NJ
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 14 times in 10 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Norse Greenland
Quote:
Please note that I never suggested you should not react in the way you do, just wanted to let you know that it strikes me as being odd.


There is a method to my madness...and I strive to be odd!! I like odd people.

Quote:
On to other things: Are we going to just wait it out for few days and see if our previous discussion is restored, or should we start new threads on the various chapters and rebuild the complexity of that discussion??


Both. I just posted a few topics to get things rolling...so please feel free to add any new topics you see fit...we really do not need a Chapter by Chapter framework at this point.

I am starting to make progress through the book...I am up to Part 3 now.

Diamond should have spent a bit more on Japan, as I found that interesting.

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:02 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

Announcements 

• Promote Your Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:33 pm

• Promote Your Non-Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:18 pm



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank