The end of Civilization

October 31, 2008 at 4:41 pm | Posted in Economoney | Leave a comment

Jared Diamond has written several fascinating books on the evolution of culture and the impact of the environment on a communities development. Why, for example, one culture develops superior architecture and weapons while another lags. His best know work is Guns, Germs, Steel.

In 2003, he gave a talk at TED on why societies fail. TED has now posted the talk online. Notably, he observes that societies don’t fail due to economic failures as some current end times forecasters might suggest. His 5 point framework basically tells us failure is due to poor relationships with the environment and other nearby societies.

Cultural and economic factors can cause resistance to change but, he suggests, are not the key to longevity.

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