The World Without Us

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The World Without Us

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mar 26, 2009, 1:53 pm

Well, I am 30 pages in and so far the book is generally entertaining. I find that the author certianly has a view point that he is writing from.

The idea that keeps popping up in my mind is the temporaryness of everything physical in our reality. His first bit on modern houses makes me want to build a castle, but even those don't last long.

apr 9, 2009, 6:17 pm

Well, I have finished The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. It was a pretty good read and little different than what I expected. I was thinking it was going to be more of a narrative and somewhat descriptive of what would happen to all these different places if we were suddenly gone. Instead it was more like scientific essays with some interviews here and there. There were also more "in the present" descriptions than I expected.

I was also happy to see that Weisman touched on a number of different topics, pulling research from geology, astrophysics, biology, nuclear physics, and history. Very engrossing.

My favorite part was probably the section on the underground cities in the deserts of Turkey and how long they have been preserved and inhabited but also lost to memory. Who knows what else lies down there. Another section that made me think was how long our art and other creative endeavors would last. Outer space is daunting but to think that we have been sending out every tv show every made in all directions, eventually permeating the universe. It's all very mind numbing.

On the skeptical side of things, I have read in other mediums that the radio waves into space aren't all that clear past our solar system and only the most sensitive and powerful reception tool would be able to pick up and descramble the mess that gets as far as alpha centari. Furthermore, I have also heard criticism of the Northern Pacific Gyre and how there is not as much plastic as is sometimes guessed.

Anyway, still a good read and fascinating. I would recommend it to folks who enjoy science writing and can handle very depressing facts. I wrote a more lengthy review that's accessible on my profile.

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