Do you bite your thumb at (yeoman) Thu 24 Jan 02 13:58
Ooh! Ooh! I want to ask a question! In post <47>, you seem to be arguing an interesting alternative to a traditional view of history. The traditional view seems to be that 'we've been raising ourselves up from the mud, improving our lot constantly from the [totalitarian] agricultural revolution to the present day'. In your post <47>, as well as in _Story_ and _Ishmael_ you seem to be arguing an opposite kind of implacability, that since the totalitarian agricultural revolution, the growth of that 'Taker' culture has spread without cease. My question is, has the growth of Taker culture been building consistently to this day? Haven't there been a number of important pauses in that growth? For example: Nordics sack Rome, throwing the Roman Empire into a tizzy and causing a withdrawal of troops abroad, leading to eventual collapse of an empire that was spreading the Taker message far and wide. Pueblos returned to a 'Leaver' society after horses are introduced, abandoning a major city. The Reconstruction. Militant ecology movements, the Chiapas collectives. Are these major checks to the growth of the Taker civilization, or mere hiccups? If so, what would be a major check? What might the beginnings of a major alternative movement look like? If you send me an email, I'll send you a box of cookies.
Jay Kinney (jay) Thu 24 Jan 02 14:24
Hi Daniel, Pardon my absence for the last few days. I've been grappling with my own book deadline (Feb. 1st) and just about the only way I could force myself to the task at hand was to ignore the Internet as much as possible. ;-) To play the devil's advocate for a moment, I note that you say that "the task I've set myself is to show people that the chaos and catastrophe that we're experiencing (from the dissolution of the nuclear family to the phenomenon of children plotting to commit wholesale murder) is not just a bad patch we have to put up with until a good patch comes along. This is something we've been building toward for thousands of years..." I guess I wonder whether it is possible to really see where the human race is at at any given moment. Isn't it likely that the Millenial apocalypticism of the year 1000 or of the Plague Years (and I should double-check to make sure those weren't, in fact, the same time!) saw things as pretty dire. Yet life has continued and even improved in some respects. I do know that I expected revolution and collapse in the early '70s, but was rudely surprised that neither happened.
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 24 Jan 02 14:24
E-mail from St Louis Scott: HEY DAN You mentioned that when you first started with the idea's of Ishamel you wrote "The book of the nahash" and then "The book of the damned" and then "Another story to be in". You wrote a book called "Dreamer" before them and at some time a kids book. I know you can get the " The book of the damned on ishamel.com,, but what about the other ones I mentioned , are you ever going to reissue them, and in "Providence you mentioned 6 parts, I only count 3, " The book of the damned, "The book of nahash," and Another story to be in, which you state was the 6th. Can you please correct me if Im mixed up here and explain to me on the versions, and if we can exspect to see them released again. We have spoken before, I emailed you about Jeffery, Im from St Louis, where you went to college. I cant wait for "The holy" to come out. I look around at some of these questions from people about TMWGY, and they ask about the ending, you should just tell them read Ishmael and TSOB, MI, and BC and then they will understand that the ending would have been obvious. ( hee hee ). St Louis Scott
Daniel Quinn (danielquinn) Fri 25 Jan 02 07:31
Hi Benjamin-- The advance of Taker culture has of course not been without pauses and setbacks (but the sack of Rome isn't an example, since it was sacked by Takers, for whom it was an advance). Practicing agriculture (even totalitarian agriculture) doesn't make you a Taker. Most of the extant Leavers in the world today are agriculturalists (as were the Plains Indians, who resumed the hunting-gathering life when the Spanish introduced horses to the region). What characterizes Takers is not agriculture but rather a set of beliefs that have spurred them to overrun the world: the belief that there is one right way for people to live; the belief that we Takers have that one right way; and the belief that everyone in the world should be made to embrace that one right way. What would be a major check to the growth of the Taker empire? For the answer to that see Beyond Civilization.
Daniel Quinn (danielquinn) Fri 25 Jan 02 07:39
Jay, I'm looking at a trend that is thousands of years old (not 50 years old as in Susan Faludi's Stiffed or 400 years old as in the Unabomber's rant about the Industrial Revolution), and I began looking at it more than 20 years before the millennial doomsayers came along. To see the constant enlargement of our disastrous footprint on the planet, have a look at these reports: - Smithsonian Researchers Show Amazonian Deforestation Accelerating http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020115075118.htm - Extinction Rate Across The Globe Reaches Historical Proportions http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020109074801.htm - Evolutionary "Speed Limit" Governs How Quickly Life Bounces Back After Extinction; Biodiversity Recovers More Slowly Than Thought http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020107074948.htm
Daniel Quinn (danielquinn) Fri 25 Jan 02 07:54
Hi Scott-- The versions were MAN AND ALIEN, THE GENESIS TRANSCRIPT (two versions with this title), THE BOOK OF NAHASH, THE BOOK OF THE DAMNED, ANOTHER STORY TO BE IN (two versions with this title), and ISHMAEL. "The Tales of Adam," currently available only in audio, are from THE BOOK OF NAHASH but are under contract to be published someday (I've got so many books backed up in the pipeline that it's hard to say when). MAN AND ALIEN and one version of THE GENESIS TRANSCRIPT no longer exist, and the publication of ISHMAEL made ANOTHER STORY TO BE IN redundant. I don't plan to reissue DREAMER, though it's thinkable. The children's book you're thinking of is probably THE BOY WHO ATE THE BUS, and that too is under contract to be republished. If the ending of TMWGY doesn't work for someone, you can't really say, "Well, you need to read this other book." It has to stand on its own (and the ending does apparently work for most readers. But thanks for the thought!
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 25 Jan 02 10:49
I want to thank both Daniel and Jay for such a terrific interview. Folks, if you haven't seen this book, it's truly thought-provoking. We have enjoyed having you. Please feel free to stick around and continue for as long as you like.
Jay Kinney (jay) Sat 26 Jan 02 15:20
Thanks, Linda. And thank *you*, Daniel. It was fun picking your brains. ;-) Now back to my deadline... heh.
Daniel Quinn (danielquinn) Sat 26 Jan 02 16:43
Thanks, Linda & Jay-- It was fun, and I got a lot of interesting questions and comments. And good luck, Jay, in meeting your deadline. The only thing worse than having a deadline is not having one. :-
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