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Olson’s Observations

Technology. Innovation. Science. VC. Media. :: by Eric Olson

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Book Review: Creative Capital: George Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital

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Creative CapitalI received an advance reader’s edition of Creative Capital back in early March and have been dying to read it. The book, as I was told, was the story of the birth of the Venture Capital industry putting it right in my sweet spot. History and VC - what could be better? I knew I didn’t know the whole story but I figured there was going to be a lot about the early days in the Valley. Firms like Kleiner and Sequoia would be spoken about a lot and Hewlett Packard would be hailed as one of the early wins.

What I was surprised and delighted to find when I opened the cover and dove into the book was that the birth of venture capital happened right in my own backyard in Massachusetts with a firm called American Research and Development (ARD) and a Harvard Professor/Businessman/WWII General named Georges Doriot (oh, and Digital Equipment Corp founded right in Massachusetts was the first big hit for institutional VCs and for ARD).

While the book does give all of the requisite history of venture capital from Doriot’s founding of ARD after WWII, to the spinouts of ARD which included Greylock, to the rise of the valley with Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia what really kept me engaged was the biological information on Doriot and specifically his business philosophies and sayings.

Here are a handful of Doriot’s famous sayings:

A team made up of the younger generation, with courage and inventiveness, together with older men of wisdom and experience, should bring success.

One should not only be able to criticize but should always have a suggestion to make.

Don’t challenge others’ statements, have them repeat them over again.

Conditions which are best for workers will give best production!

Ask about prospects who didn’t buy product.

Always challenge the statement that nothing can be done about a certain condition.

Those are some great quotes from a very wise man and there are many more (in fact, Fred Wilson is posting one per day on his blog until he runs out).

I have to say that I subscribe to most if not all of Doriot’s philosophies and it is interesting to me that there are a lot of folks uttering the same philosophies today as if they were new even though they were developed by a man over 50 years ago (and there was someone who probably figured them out before him as well).

One particular section of the book hit me hard since it touched on the relationship between entrepreneurs and VCs (something I have thought a lot about and also have written a lot about over the years). I will quote the paragraph from the book in full here:

ARD’s biggest hurdle was usually convincing these small, yet proud companies that they needed outside help. But Doriot didn’t hold that against them. He knew that if entrepreneurs weren’t self-driven and a bit egotistical they’d be punching the clock for IBM or General Electric. [Doriot] then closed his lecture by stressing the importance of management assistance in the venture business. “There is always a critical job to be done,” said Doriot. “There is a sales door to be opened, a credit line to be established, a new employee to be found, or a business technique to be learned. The venture investor must always be on call to advise, to persuade, to dissuade, to encourage, but always help to build. Then venture capital becomes true creative capital - creating growth for the company and financial success for the investing organizations.”

That’s a mouthful and a half but what Doriot says in that small amount of words is very important. It seems as if there will always be a struggle between entrepreneurs and VCs in that entrepreneurs by nature will never think they need a VC or that VCs will add value to their company. In reality entrepreneurs need VCs and VCs need entrepreneurs in order to change the world which is what we’re all in it for in the first place. (Of course that statement doesn’t apply to all businesses as some can be bootstrapped and/or don’t take a lot of up front capital.)

I can’t do this book justice in a short blog post so I will stop here and say that I highly recommend this book to any VCs or aspiring VCs out there. Doriot’s words of wisdom can’t be beat when it comes to venture and to business. I would also recommend this book to entrepreneurs who are interested in the history of VC. History always provides context and this book certainly gives that much needed context to the entrepreneurial climate in the U.S. and abroad. Lastly, I recommend this book to any person interested in or currently practicing the art of business. This book will show you how America’s entrepreneurial scene came into being and why we still look to entrepreneurs and VCs to drive the next wave of technological innovation that will propel us even further into the future.

Written by Eric Olson

May 26th, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Books, VC

Book Review: Six Degrees

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Six DegreesReading Time: 6 minutes 30 seconds

Do you ever wonder about Milgram’s six degrees of separation experiment? Or about the spread of disease? Or about the spread of products and marketing messages? I am sure most people reading this site have thought of one or more of these things at length at one point or another. Specifically I am sure that we have all thought about how products, mainly consumer web products, spread and attract more users.

The typical themes we run into as we delve into the idea spreading space come from books like the Tipping Point or The Influentials. These books state that it is a small group of people, Gladwell’s connectors and Keller’s influentials, that cause a product to spread virally or in other words cause a cascade (since products don’t technically spread virally most of the time but that is a whole other post).

However, none of these books take a look at the science and math behind networks. In other words, they don’t really provide any hard evidence that the theory of influentials is actually how things work.

Enter Duncan Watts and his book Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. Watts, a mathematician-turned-sociologist currently on sabbatical from Columbia University and working at Yahoo! Research, was unsettled by the lack of actual testing of things like Milgram’s Six Degrees experiment and the idea of influentials and how they are the cause of viral product adoption. He was so unsettled in fact that he has spent the last decade studying the science of networks.

The last decade of his thoughts comprise the bulk of Six Degrees in which everything he has worked on is put into layman’s terms. Watts uses easy to grasp examples and personal narratives to help the reader understand the mysteries behind networks. The book is very conversational making it very approachable even for people with no science background.

That said, Watts’ findings are very interesting making this book a must read. I will speak about his findings on internet marketing here since that is what I think most of us are interested in although he does describe many more areas in which his theories apply.

What’s big revelation you ask? Well, Watts has found that influentials don’t really matter (at least in terms of starting trends - they can make trends bigger though). Yes, you read right, while more and more marketers pour dollars into targeting influentials Watts is saying that all of that may be a waste.

Unsurprisingly there are a lot of advertising industry folks who aren’t appreciative of Watts’ work but his computer models and research are pretty compelling. Even if you don’t think the models he’s built represent society in a realistic way just think about this:

All Watts is really saying is that average people are influentials at any given time in their lives. It isn’t the hyperconnected that are starting all of the trends.

Watts argues that a lot of the cases that support the influentials theory were analyzed after the fact (revisionist history). Gladwell’s Hush Puppies example is a good one. Gladwell says that Hush Puppies broke out in 1994 (5000% growth in sales) because a handful of influential Lower East Side hipsters started wearing them and spread the trend.

Watts, on the other hand, logically states that those hipsters were wearing a number of other items but the only thing that popped were the Hush Puppies. If they were influentials in the classic sense you would think more than just the Hush Puppies would have popped. So, why didn’t anything else the hipsters were wearing pop?

Watts figures that the answer to that question lies with society as a whole.

Watts says that society needs to be ready to embrace a trend and if it is anyone can tip the scales. However, if society isn’t ready no amount of influencers pushing a product can force a cascade to break.

Take a look at this excerpt from a recent article in Fast Company to get an idea of one experiment that Watts conducted. I think it will get the point across:

As Watts argues, there are a lot of ways an Influential could convert the masses. Merely talking to a friend once could infect her with an idea. Or it might take several conversations. Or maybe Influentials are so persuasive they’re like trend vampires, and each victim they bite becomes hyperpersuasive too. Depending on how you define the specific mechanics of influence, you’d get totally different types of epidemics–or maybe none at all. But gurus of the Influentials theory never directly clarify these mechanics.

“All they’ll ever say,” Watts insists, is that a) there are people who are more influential than others, and b) they are disproportionately important in getting a trend going.

That may be oversimplifying it a bit, but last year, Watts decided to put the whole idea to the test by building another Sims-like computer simulation. He programmed a group of 10,000 people, all governed by a few simple interpersonal rules. Each was able to communicate with anyone nearby. With every contact, each had a small probability of “infecting” another. And each person also paid attention to what was happening around him: If lots of other people were adopting a trend, he would be more likely to join, and vice versa. The “people” in the virtual society had varying amounts of sociability–some were more connected than others. Watts designated the top 10% most-connected as Influentials; they could affect four times as many people as the average Joe. In essence, it was a virtual society run–in a very crude fashion–according to the rules laid out by thinkers like Gladwell and Keller.

Watts set the test in motion by randomly picking one person as a trendsetter, then sat back to see if the trend would spread. He did so thousands of times in a row.

The results were deeply counterintuitive. The experiment did produce several hundred society wide infections. But in the large majority of cases, the cascade began with an average Joe (although in cases where an Influential touched off the trend, it spread much further). To stack the deck in favor of Influentials, Watts changed the simulation, making them 10 times more connected. Now they could infect 40 times more people than the average citizen (and again, when they kicked off a cascade, it was substantially larger). But the rank-and-file citizen was still far more likely to start a contagion.

Why didn’t the Influentials wield more power? With 40 times the reach of a normal person, why couldn’t they kick-start a trend every time? Watts believes this is because a trend’s success depends not on the person who starts it, but on how susceptible the society is overall to the trend–not how persuasive the early adopter is, but whether everyone else is easily persuaded. And in fact, when Watts tweaked his model to increase everyone’s odds of being infected, the number of trends skyrocketed.

Interesting isn’t it? Yet, it seems as if this is something we always knew was true but we ignored those feeling because we wanted to believe that we could simply hit a few influentials and things would pop. As we know, the world is a complex place so it stands to reason that influentials wouldn’t be the only cause for a viral outbreak (although Watts does say, and has found, that they do help make things big).

Another case for Watts’ theory that is a little closer to home is the Tech Crunch effect. Arguably the Tech Crunch crowd are the influentials in the tech space and yet, after they all try a product and add thousands of users quickly, the rush typically fades and the product fails to cross the chasm into the main stream.

Surprisingly this all leads to mass media being the best way to get a message out since, if you believe Watts, you want to touch as many people as possible and make your message easily shareable in the hopes that it will be shared and a cascade will ensue. This is, of course, counterintuitive to a lot of top marketing wisdom of the day that says you should target a small group of influentials (of course this doesn’t relate to niche products where very targeted transactional advertising makes a lot of sense - it relates more to products developed for a broad audience i.e. Nintendo Wiis, computers, consumer web apps etc.).

Well, I am afraid this book review has gone on too long. I will close by saying that anyone working in the web space, and especially those in the consumer web space, should read Six Degrees. Whether you believe Watts’ work or not the book will still help to further your thinking on the spread of ideas and products in society.

Written by Eric Olson

January 31st, 2008 at 10:22 am

Posted in Books, Web

Book Review: Simple Prosperity by David Wann

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Simple ProsperityI recently finished up a book entitled Simple Prosperity that was written by David Wann, one of the co-authors of Affluenza (in fact, it was so interesting I blew through it in two sittings). In Affluenza, David and his co-authors diagnosed the debilitating disease of over-consumption that is effecting America and other parts of the world. Simple Prosperity picks up where Affluenza left off and shows us how we can make a change for the better and increase our quality of life.

In fact, as another reviewer put it, Simple Prosperity will take you through a lot of what researchers have learned about stress, happiness, community, etc. The one thing it won’t do is show you how to make more money. It’ll show you that the money you have may already enough.

In the book Wann relates a lot of personal stories that tie into his message of consuming less and being happy with what you have. There are a lot of interesting points in the book relating to happiness which is one of the main themes. Specifically Wann tells us, and backs it up with studies and other anecdotes, that the things that make us happy are the things we always knew made us happy. Those things being friends, family, a sense of community, healthy food to eat, civic work and purpose.

One piece of information that I found interesting was a study referenced by Wann in the book that mentioned that any incremental money we earn over $50,000 per year doesn’t necessarily make us any more happy. In fact, it most likely lowers our happiness level since we need to spend more time working to make each additional dollar rather than spending that time with friends, family, doing civic work and doing the things we love, our hobbies.

Of course I am sure you need to adjust that dollar amount for certain cities (NYC is super expensive for example) but you get the idea.

Another main theme of the book was our throw away culture. Wann wonders why we spend so much time and money buying cheaply made goods that end up owning us through continued maintenance, etc. Then, at the end of a short life span we just throw them away. He suggests we would be better off to spend a bit more and purchase quality goods that last. This hearkens back to my previous post on Etsy and handmade goods. If Etsy’s success is a barometer for the rest of the nation then it would seem a lot of other people feel the same as Wann. This idea also extends to produce and other foods.

Wann argues that spending a bit more for organic produce is worth it since it tastes better, provides more nutrients and isn’t covered in poisonous pesticides. I agree with him on that one. It hurts the wallet sometimes but I always feel better after a good piece of fruit or an outstanding veggie. What always stunns me when I think about it is that 100 years ago - and further back from there - we always ate organic. It has only been in the last 100 years that things have changed so drastically.

Even though there is a lot more to this book I want finish this post up by touching on Wann’s thoughts on the internet (figured I would try to tie this into the blog’s subject matter!).

Good news, he loves the internet and sees it (rightly I would say) as an unprecedented platform for spreading ideas and connecting the world.

However, one thing I found interesting was the fact that Wann mentions multiple times in the book that he really dislikes advertising. In fact, he tends to blame advertising for a lot of the over-consumption in America (not sure I can disagree 100% with him there although I would suggest we all have free will).

Why is that interesting to me you ask? Mainly because he loves the internet - and even specifically mentions that he loves Google - but most of the internet, including Google, is paid for via advertising. It seems like there is a little misalignment there. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Update: In thinking about it more and speaking with the publisher it seems that what Wann was really getting at with advertising is that he didn’t like the execution of most ads (i.e. he’s not against advertising in general). He is upset that many ads share fear-driven, consumptive messages urging you to buy things to fill holes in your life rather than being informative and creative. I would agree with that which is why I joined BuzzFeed. We’re looking to change ads to be more about other people talking about the products they love rather than the companies touting themselves (plug!).

That said, I really enjoyed the book and Wann’s vision on what we could do for the environment and our society if we all just put in a little more thought and effort. Wann has done a lot to further the cause of sustainability over his career and his efforts should be commended.

Now is a crucial time for our society and for the planet. It’s time to start thinking about sustainability and about what makes us truly happy. We can make a change for the better. I have no doubt in that.

Side Note: This book is being released in January but you can pre-order - and even get an earlier release date of December 26th - on Amazon. Check it out and get some ideas on how you can make a difference for yourself and for the world.

Written by Eric Olson

December 16th, 2007 at 8:09 pm

Posted in Books, Environment

Amazon’s Kindle: Looking Forward or Backward?

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Amazon Kindle

Update: John makes a good point in the comments about the closed system the Kindle plays in. I should have mentioned that in the post as it is a serious drawback. My hope is that Amazon eventually realizes that and, with their considerable power in the book sales arena, pushes book publishers into freeing things up a bit more. They will also hopefully free up the device so I can read other e-books I have in PDF form or otherwise.

Original Post:

The response to Amazon’s Kindle has been overwhelming and not very surprising. As soon as I saw the device I knew the tech bloggers out there would rip it to shreds. There were a few points of contention that one could easily see would top the list.

1. Blogs come with a monthly cost on the kindle.

Clearly this is due to the fact that the kindle runs on an EVDO network and it costs money to send data through that network. However, I think the online media piece of the Kindle was something that was added on later (at least I hope it was since there were some clear mistakes in the execution of that idea) and that the device is really meant for reading books which it clearly does well. In fact, Bezos made a point of saying the Kindle was a device for reading books.

2. The form factor and UI aren’t exactly pleasing.

Just look at the device. It is clearly evident that no designer at, say, apple had their hands on this one. All in all I don’t think it is a bad first shot though. It can only get better right?

3. It’s just another device to lug around.

A lot of folks see the future of content distribution moving to devices like the Blackberry and the iPhone and I can see that as well. I mean, if I can carry one small device with everything on it I want then I will be a happy man.

However, that line of thinking doesn’t work when it comes to books. When I sit down to read a book I want to be comfortable, feel something of substance in my hand and not have to strain my eyes. I can’t even imagine reading a book on my Blackberry. I do read the news on my Curve a lot and even that strains the eyes. The Kindle, however, addresses all of those issues.

Also, I tend to carry a book (or two) with me all the time to read on the train, while I am waiting for something and to read during my constant travel. That said, carrying the lighter Kindle with multiple books loaded on it (and the ability for me to buy a new book anytime anywhere) is perfect for me. I look at it as a huge space and weight saver as opposed to another gadget to carry around.

4. The price is a little steep.

I would have to agree on that. At $399 it is pretty close to being too rich for my blood. I am thinking about waiting a little bit to see if a price drop occurs after the holidays. I don’t know though. I really want one of these suckers (yeah, I said it). Amazon - think you can spare one for this blogger? (It’s worth a shot.)

The Real Deal

Honestly, it seems as if this is just another case of the echo chamber jumping on a product that may not fit our/their thoughts for the future but that a lot of people would actually use. I still think the future that is discussed in the echo chamber will come to light but it is still a ways away.

iPhones and Blackberrys are not nearly at the point where I, or anyone else, could read a book on them and I am not sure they will ever be. Why? Well, we want those devices to be small and, when people want to read books, they want a large screen and something they can hold on to without contorting their hands as they slide into their chair for a long read. They also want something that has a screen that emulates paper/print, not a blacklight screen that causes eye fatigue.

The Kindle is a great device that still gives the user the feeling of reading a regular book without the hassle of carrying a bunch of books around and without having to wait for books to get shipped to them.

I really like this device a lot. I hope that in future evolutions the design and UI improve but the basic concepts and features seem to be spot on. My favorite things are:

  • The free EVDO based downloading of books, newspapers, etc. (The media isn’t free but you don’t have to pay for a data plan.)
  • The auto-saving of your place in each book.
  • The backup on the Amazon site of all your content.
  • The size.
  • The E-Ink screen that looks just like a printed piece of paper.
  • The super long battery life.
  • The ability to search the book or piece of content for certain phrases.
  • The ability to add notes to the books and to “dog ear” pages.

I have to hand it to Amazon on this one. This is certainly a device that will make my life easier and my reading more enjoyable while also making all of my content easily accessible anywhere. Let’s just hope they can lower the price and make the thing look a little nicer while improving the UI a bit.

I have to agree with Joseph Weisenthal when he says:

Although Amazon’s been working on this for awhile, this is very much a first-generation product. It’s not going to revolutionize the industry overnight, though it sounds like Amazon is going to take this business seriously and continue to invest in it. It seems safe to guess that in a couple years, the top-of-the-line Kindle will be a much-improved product. The concept is definitely sound [emphasis added by me]. Bezos’ speech had most of the audience pretty enthusiastic about the device—the problem is the gap between the description and the device itself. With some improvements to the display and a more intuitive navigation system, it could become an attractive product, even at the price.

Well said. Now, all I need Amazon to do is let me port my current library of books, both read and unread, into the Kindle and I would be sold on buying one of the first generation devices.

I have about 20 books in my backlog now sitting at home on a shelf that I would love to port into a Kindle. I am not sure how Amazon would determine that I bought them though. Perhaps they could look through my purchase log at Amazon.com, Half.com, etc. and let me port anything in those lists? Any thoughts Amazon? Is this possible or is it in the works? Paying for books twice would definitely be a bummer.

Written by Eric Olson

November 20th, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Book Review: Daemon

with 3 comments

DaemonWow. Rick was dead on in his review of this book (read his review as he said essentially everything I wanted to about the book) and I owe him one for making sure I got a copy of Daemon in my hands.

Rick started off his review by likening Daemon to the Matrix which is pretty high praise. As Rick says, you probably remember when you first saw that film and just knew that you witnessed movie history. It was different. It was important. It was fantastic. It was everything you could ever want in a movie.

After reading Daemon you’ll feel the same way (except replace movie with book in the above statements).

Comparing apples to apples I would have to say that Daemon was the most thrilling read I’ve had since the DaVinci Code. I really couldn’t put it down and I am dying for the sequel.

The premise of Daemon, while it may sound outlandish, is not entirely out of the realm of possibility. A genius computer programmer has developed a daemon (a computer program that sits in the background waiting for a certain trigger which will cause it to execute) which continually scans the news for his obituary. As soon as the daemon finds his obituary it starts executing commands and society as we know it starts to fall apart very quickly. In a short period of time the Daemon has corporations, packs of people and even governments under its’ control. It’s becoming a new world order.

Of course the whole story and the great storytelling could be completely ruined without top notch research and the author, Leinad Zeraus, doesn’t disappoint. In fact, Rick likens him to Michael Crichton (who also happens to be one of my favorite authors of all time) and even says that Zeraus goes a lot further than Crichton in his research. I have to say I think he’s spot on in that comparison.

So there is impeccable storytelling, fantastic research and the weaving of technological detail into the plot in a near perfect way. What else could you want? Probably nothing more but Zeraus still comes up with just the little bit extra in that he works with technology that, as individual pieces, all exist in some shape or form or could at least conceivably exist soon. The weaving of the pieces together into the perfect storm that is the Daemon may never happen but the fact that it is remotely possible is chilling and causes you to be sucked in even further to the story.

Honestly, this review could have been one line that read:

Go buy this book.

But, hey, I had to geek out a little bit right? I mean, what did you expect?

Go pick up a copy of Daemon as soon as you possibly can. I figure your best bet is amazon so click here to order if you’d like to take that path. Also, for more interesting tid bits and news stories that talk about the technology Zeraus uses in the book please visit the book’s site. Enjoy the journey. I know I did.

Written by Eric Olson

August 15th, 2007 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Books

Read Books via RSS (& e-mail) with DailyLit

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DailyLitDailyLit truly puts a new spin on reading by allowing users to subscribe to books via e-mail or RSS. Once the user/reader subscribes to a book DailyLit sends a chunk of the book to them each day until the book is finished. The feeds are even customizable which means each user can decide their own delivery frequency and even read ahead if they have some extra time on their hands.

How long does it take to get through a book this way you ask? Here is your answer straight from the DailyLit FAQs:

That depends on three factors. First, on how many installments are in the book (shown when you browse for books). Second, on how frequently you choose to receive emails. Third, on how often you read more than one installment (by using the “send me the next installment immediately” feature). So here is a typical example. I am currently reading Dracula, which has 187 installments and I am receiving installments on weekdays, i.e. 5 days/week. So at most it will take me 187/5 = 37 weeks. But when I am on the train or waiting, I often read more than one installment, so I usually wind up reading about 10 installments/week. This means I will finish Dracula in about 19 weeks or 5 months. If that seems long to you, try something shorter!

The initial thing that got me excited about DailyLit was that they delivered the book content via a feed since I realized how easy it would be to slide a small chunk of a book into my feed reading each day and, thus, read more books. The e-mail delivery is also great as it widens the possible audience to people that may not understand feeds (hard to believe I know but there are still RSS ignorant people out there…) or who may have feed readers blocked on their office computers.

It looks like DailyLit is currently providing older books presumably because they are part of the public domain so DailyLit doesn’t have to worry about copyright issues. Hopefully they will work out content deals in the future to get new(er) books as well since reading in this manner will likely help a lot of busy people be able to read even more. I know I would definitely pay for that service. How much I’m not sure but there is probably a market out there for this beyond me.

Kudos to Chris for the tip.

Written by Eric Olson

August 8th, 2007 at 9:14 pm

Posted in Books, Media, Media 2.0

Book Review: The World Without Us

with one comment

The World Without UsTypically I don’t find books I want to read by simply walking into a bookstore and browsing but that is exactly how I found Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us.” I had just finished Positively False and was heading toward my gate at SFO to catch a flight back to Chicago when I spotted it. After reading the jacket I knew it was a book I’d love.

The basic premise of the book is what the title succinctly states. The book is an exploration of what the world would become if humans ceased to exist (albeit not through a disaster - it looks at the world if we simply disappeared one day).

That concept and the archaeological side of the book are what attracted me at first. I was incredibly curious what future beings would find from our modern day civilization 500, 1,000 and 10,000 years from now. However, when I really dove into the book on the flight back to Chicago I was treated to a well researched work that really got me thinking even more about what we, as humans, have done to our planet.

The information Weisman puts forth is far more compelling than Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” in my mind because it looks at environmental issues from a completely different angle than Gore did.

Weisman looks at how long it will take everything we have done to the planet to reverse itself rather than what will happen if we continue on as we have been.

It is troubling to read page after page about how long it will take for the world to heal itself. The most interesting piece of the book in terms of how we’ve harmed the planet was the section on plastics. The plastics that we have produced over the past fifty years or so will be around for thousands of years to come even if we don’t produce any more as of right now.

We humans truly have been parasites on this planet in much the same way the aliens in the movie Independence Day were but there is a happy ending and it lies in our brains.

We humans are smart and we understand what we are doing to our planet and that it needs to stop. It remains to be seen if we have the wisdom needed to enact some things that will help nature fight back but I believe we can and will.

The other silver lining is that nature is ferociously resilient and will renew itself should we begin to lessen the strain we place on the planet.

In time I hope we learn to live in harmony with nature which we will be able to do as soon as we realize that we’re no different than any other species. We can also become extinct and maybe even take our whole planet down with us if we’re not careful.

The World Without Us is a must read for all human beings as it will get anyone who reads it to start seriously thinking about our impact on our home. Weisman should be commended for such a well written and researched book.

Written by Eric Olson

August 6th, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Posted in Books