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Saturday, May 28, 2011

TEACHER seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.

TEACHER seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.   
     The above is simply an ad the narrator of Ishmael saw in the newspaper. The narrator decides to examine this opportunity and the whole story unfolds.
     I just finished reading Ishmael a week back and I'll have to say, it's one of the most stimulating books I've read.It deals with both existentialism and ecocritcism. Quinn basically calls humanity out on their poor way of life. To give some context, Quinn believes that humans have lived by a story. This story of our creation. To any average, atheist person, this story would follow along the lines of evolution.

     Bacteria, microorganisms evolved into higher gradually spread to the land...amphibians moved inland, evolved into reptiles. The reptiles evolved into mammals... small critters in the trees came the branch of the primates left the trees and one thing led to another. Species followed species, and finally man appeared. (Quinn 51, 52)

Essentially, this is the story we all know. It is told in a fashion where humans are the pinnacle end result of evolution. This is not true though as the universe is expanding and evolution continues around us amongst other species of animals. And according to this story, Quinn says that humans have been living life as if we were created to rule and conquer Earth in order to make it a paradise, but evidently it currently is not a "paradise". So what do humans do? Continue to conquer in hopes of total control will create "shargri-la".
Quinn also explains that there are laws in life as there are in nature. These are laws are similar to the laws of gravity and aerodynamics. He says that the law in nature is "The law of limited competition". There are a few components of this law such as: 1) You may obstruct your competitor from obtaining their food source. 2) You have the right to compete for the same food source, but you may not eliminate them 
The way I see this law is simply from the perspective of a farmer. The farmer grows corn in order to eat it, but many insects also feed on the corn. So what does the farmer do? The farmer puts up barricades to limit the food source. When this fails, the farmer simply eliminates the insects. Quinn simply states that when humans think that they are not subject to this law, humanity will cease to exist....eventually.
There are many more components, but I'll leave them for you to find out. I can't say that my entire view on life has changed, but this book has had an impact on me.

Quinn, Daniel. Ishmael. Bantam Publishing, 1995
I do not own the rights to the above image(s) nor do I take credit for it.

Has anyone else read a similar book, or even this book? Or any books that you would like to share that interest you?


RageCompeX said...

im not reading books tbh, only if I need to for school

The Wired said...

They call me ishmael...oh wait..sorry wrong book! Sounds pretty interesting! And i love reading, from novels, to comics, to nonfiction..

Anonfourtwenty said...

I think that aliens had a part in the evolution of humans... that's just me.

Bob said...

Looks like a good book, will get around to it someday!

Magnum said...

Thanks for the info. Have you read Albert Camus (another existencialism author)?

CSIFOTI said...

That sounds pretty interesting. I will definitely check it out.

Erik said...

Good book. read it for a college class

A said...

Looks like a good addition to my (already lengthy) summer reading list. Any (even slightly) life-impacting book is instantly put near the top of my reading list, thanks for reviewing this.

Krishna said...

very interesting book, I have to say.It makes you think:)

1ockedand1oaded said...

I'll put it on my wish list. I've been running into money troubles lately.

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