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There was one passage, from a historical document, that explains how an Inuit was cut to see how he bled?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.
The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.Edited by: Chris OConnor at: 6/6/05 10:02 pm
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