Updated : Oct 05, 2019 in Literature


By popular demand, we welcome Joseph Tainter, USU professor and author of The Collapse Of Complex Societies (free book download here). Author: Joseph Tainter The Collapse of Complex Societies, though written by an archaeologist, will therefore strike a chord Dr. Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than years of explanations. Collapse of Complex Societies has ratings and 91 reviews. Mark said: Ok, done!Tainter’s work is an opus. How could it be otherwise with a title lik.

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Joseph Tainter

Joseph Tainter, author of the boo. So the change becomes not really an improvement, but instead a permanent commitment to additional infrastructure, additional complexity. He evaluates, both in the abstract and by reference to one or more collapsed civilizations, and rejects, all of these theories, as either just wrong, or as insufficient and needing to be integrated into a more competent theory not yet advanced no prize for guessing whose theory that is.

Virtue cannot be quantified, and if it can be quantified it is not virtue, but that does not mean that virtue, as well as other intangible cultural characteristics, do not exist and are not critically important for the growth and decline of a civilization, or for the globe itself.

Joseph Tainter – Wikipedia

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. Here Tainter analyzes many of the ways that groups of people can completely fail to maintain the complicated but fragile webs of interaction that separate us from animals trade, governance, food production, resource extractionwith examples from the Mayans, Romans, Hittites, Babylonians, and many more.

Overall, the collpase accomplishes what it sets out to do. Sort of scary in retrospect how many complex, seemingly stable societies basically evaporated over the course of only a few generations and that civilization as we know it has a relatively short existence compared to the totality of human existence.


Tainter, who first ch.

He paints the Ik, in Uganda, as an example of extreme collapse, alleging, for example, that children are abandoned by their mothers at age three and that sharing is nonexistent in the society. Our current global situation is too interconnected for individual complex-societies to collapse in isolation.

In getting to his subject, Tainter generally avoids the term ‘civilization’. But very societjes worth it. Does the continued failure in the United States government to regulate the production of greenhouse gases, having known ckllapse the phenomenon since the s, appear rational? Feb 03, Mark rated it it was amazing. Were I not typing this review out on a tablet, I might be more eloquent, but here’s the gist of my reaction.

Interestingly competition with others may tie states to a competition that avoids collapse for the time being since collapse is dr.jossph possible if another organized state is there to take over.

All cultures as culture are imprisoned in the iron framework that Tainter builds, subject to the inevitable pressure of econometrics.

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He then presents his own explanation for collapse — the declining marginal returns of complex socities — and demonstrates its applicability to a selection of cases. However, as the Empire grew, the cost of societise communications, garrisons, civil government, etc.

Most of his focus, though, is on class conflict theories and mystical theories, both of which he attacks in scathing terms. This is very much an academic publication.

Instead, societies tend to decline over a period of a century or more. A review of this book requires a different standard than your everyday ‘fun’ book. Archeological evidence from human bones indicates that average nutrition actually improved after the collapse in many parts of the former Roman Empire.


Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: His argument boils down to a few key points: However, this incisiveness may come at the expense of nuanced, cautious, and case-specific history: At worst, it seems to suggest that complex societies that collapse must be isolated, or else that all their neighbours being less complex counts as such.

Not in a bad way either. He then develops a new and far-reaching theory that accounts for collapse among diverse kinds of societies, evaluating his model and clarifying the processes of disintegration by detailed studies of the Roman, Mayan and Chacoan dr.jseph.

Eventually the return on investment tapers to nothing, and then further effort would actually COST energy, blood coplapse treasure. Jan 27, Mohammad rated it really liked it.

Collapse of Complex Societies by Dr. Joseph Tai

Sep 12, Matthew rated it it was amazing. Like the good scholar he is, Tainter is cautious in his approach to his subject and modest in the claims he makes for his conclusions. Declining marginal benefits are still there and to sustain a complex system requ This was a quite interesting book. taitner

I was delighted to see the author picking a large spectrum of historical events Now THIS is a fantastic book! Quotes from Collapse of Compl