• The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond – review | Books | The Guardian

    Très intéressante recension (mais pas que…) du dernier livre de Jared Diamond.

    Far ahead of his time, Boas [1858-1942] believed that every distinct social community, every cluster of people distinguished by language or adaptive inclination, was a unique facet of the human legacy and its promise.


    The other peoples of the world are not failed attempts at modernity, let alone failed attempts to be us. They are unique expressions of the human imagination and heart, unique answers to a fundamental question: what does it mean to be human and alive? When asked this question, the cultures of the world respond in 7000 different voices, and these answers collectively comprise our human repertoire for dealing with all the challenges that will confront us as a species as we continue this never-ending journey.

    C’est le point de vue de l’auteur de l’article, Wade Davis, natif de Colombie Britannique http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wade_Davis qui s’oppose à la vision linéaire et évolutionniste d’une « marche vers la civilisation » dont, pour lui, J. Diamond est un représentant. Et dont il se moque assez ironiquement :

    One could be forgiven for concluding that traditional societies have little more to teach us save that we should embrace healthier diets, include grandparents in child rearing, learn a second language, seek reconciliation not retribution in divorce proceedings, and eat less salt.

    Sa conclusion :

    The voices of traditional societies ultimately matter because they can still remind us that there are indeed alternatives, other ways of orienting human beings in social, spiritual and ecological space. This is not to suggest naively that we abandon everything and attempt to mimic the ways of non-industrial societies, or that any culture be asked to forfeit its right to benefit from the genius of technology. It is rather to draw inspiration and comfort from the fact that the path we have taken is not the only one available, that our destiny therefore is not indelibly written in a set of choices that demonstrably and scientifically have proven not to be wise. By their very existence the diverse cultures of the world bear witness to the folly of those who say that we cannot change, as we all know we must, the fundamental manner in which we inhabit this planet. This is a sentiment that Jared Diamond, a deeply humane and committed conservationist, would surely endorse

    Sa critique de J. Diamond donne diablement envie de lire … les livres de W. Davis.