• In much of the rest of the world, rich people live in gated communities and drink bottled water. That's increasingly the case in Los Angeles where I come from. So that wealthy people in much of the world are insulated from the consequences of their actions."[Why Societies Collapse, ABC Local, July 17, 2003]

    Jared Diamond
  • [T]he values to which people cling most stubbornly under inappropriate conditions are those values that were previously the source of their greatest triumphs

    Jared Diamond
  • The metaphor is so obvious. Easter Island isolated in the Pacific Ocean — once the island got into trouble, there was no way they could get free. There was no other people from whom they could get help. In the same way that we on Planet Earth, if we ruin our own [world], we won't be able to get help

    Jared Diamond
  • Two types of choices seem to me to have been crucial in tipping the outcomes [of the various societies' histories] towards success or failure: long-term planning and willingness to reconsider core values. On reflection we can also recognize the crucial role of these same two choices for the outcomes of our individual lives

    Jared Diamond
  • History as well as life itself is complicated -- neither life nor history is an enterprise for those who seek simplicity and consistency

    Jared Diamond
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