Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Tipping-Over Point?

Guns, Germs and Steel author Prof Jared Diamond is to speak at the Royal Society in London on Thursday. He's outlining his new book, Collapse: How societies choose to fail or survive, which tries to build more detailed pictures of how civilisations in the past have sucumed to environmental crises. For all the talk nowadays of Malthus, few people seem to have ever tried to test the historical validity of his theories in the pre-modern age. Diamond, who writes original but dull books, can be expected to open up this debate up for the reading public.