All posts tagged: Collapse

Ranu Raraku Murray Foote

Diamond’s Collapse: Twilight at Easter

I’ve always been drawn to islands. In his book The Islanders, author Christopher Priest wrote that islands gave “an underlying feeling of circularity, of coast, a limit to what you could achieve or where you might go” (p. 281). On a small enough island, one could grow to recognize every landmark, every beach, every peak, and become attached to the landscape in its entirety. There’s something attractive and alluring about being able to comprehend a place as a whole, in its entirety. I first learned about the history of Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui in high school. It remains a curiously strong memory: Someone had left behind a poorly photocopied and blurry article on the ground underneath a computer desk. Before that moment, I knew very little about Easter Island. I knew that it was very remote, that it was populated with large distinctive statues, and that aliens were somehow involved – all standard fare. But the article conveyed a far more interesting tale than extraterrestrial shenanigans; it spoke of an ingenious society …