23°C (73.4°F) I’m reading Man and Nature, published in 1864 by George Perkins Marsh – an amazing book, but not easy to read, especially after years of the cotton candy of most modern prose. I especially enjoy the footnotes, like this one:
I believe the decay of commercial morality, and I fear of the sense of all higher obligations than those of a pecuniary nature… is to be ascribed… to the workings, in short, of what is called the principle of "associate action," than to any other one cause of demoralization.
In other words, collective responsibility is no responsibility at all. The rest of the book is just as prescient and insightful.
[The version I’m reading was annotated with new information and corrections in 1964, but those notes make me even more curious about more recent research. Does anyone (perhaps at Harvard University Press
) know if an update is in the works?]