Friday, November 23, 2018

Great Books: Ishmael

There are many lists of "Great Books" out there, but this one is mine.

The criteria for my list are simple:

These are books that have changed my thinking the most; have opened me to new ways of thinking; have framed important problems better than I've heard them framed before; or they're simply books that I want to share widely.

Many Great Book lists attempt to be comprehensive and balanced, to cover all realms of human inquiry.

Mine does not.

My book list will be slanted towards the things that I think the most about—questions of food and health and questions of human civilization, for now at least.

Also: my list is not ranked in order of importance.

Without further ado, here is my first selection:

We humans are on a trajectory towards a global economy in which the elite get richer and the masses get left behind. Some kinds of societies (technological neo-liberal capitalist ones) crowd out and subjugate others. We consume nature in ways that are mathematically unsustainable, and we have implicit faith that technology will bail us out again and again.

When and how did all of this this start? What might have come before? What do we know about human societies that have done things differently, either now or in the past?

Are there societies or periods in history in which humans considered themselves part of nature, rather than its rulers?

If you are curious about this questions, I'd encourage you to read Ishmael.

Some may find the first 50 or so pages a little slow. If you do, keep reading!

No comments: