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The Seneca Effect: Soon to Become a Book!

The Seneca Effect: Soon to Become a Book! thumbnail
“It would be some consolation for the feebleness of our selves and our works if all things should perish as slowly as they come into being; but as it is, increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid.” Lucius Anneaus Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, n. 91

This is very early as an announcement: don’t expect this book to appear before Spring 2017 (and, BTW, the cover above is purely a fantasy of mine). However, I thought that things are advanced enough that I can announce this work in progress. I have signed a contract with Springer for publishing this book in their “Frontiers Collection” and it should appear in Spring 2017. The German edition should appear a little later, published by Oekom Verlag.

So, I have been working at full speed on this book all this summer and I can announce to you that, today – actually half an hour ago – I finished it!!! Yes, I arrived at the end of it; 97,000 words in total. I can tell you it was some work. Quite some work! And I looked at everything that I had made, and behold, it was very good!

Well, to say that the book is finished is a bit of an exaggeration: as it is, the manuscript requires a lot more refining, retouching, and rearranging. But it has taken a shape, a logic, a form – it is something that says what I wanted to say (more or less) and excludes what I didn’t want to say (more or less). So, things are moving onward according to plan.

So, what will you be able to read in this book? It is a veritable smorgasbord of collapses: you’ll read about the mechanics of fracture, the collapse of Egyptian pyramids, about financial collapses, famines, extinctions, the demise of the dinosaurs and – of course – about the fall of the Roman Empire, a favorite subject of mine. But the book is not just a list of collapses, it deals with the theory behind them: system dynamics, network theory, thermodynamics, entropy and more abstruse things which I am not sure I understand myself. And something about Seneca and Stoic philosophy, of course!

It is also too early for thanking anyone for having helped me with a book still in the making, but I would like to mention how my wife, Grazia, has gently supported me during a summer that was very busy and difficult for me. And we celebrated our 40th marriage anniversary just yesterday! Here she is, in a photo taken for the occasion!


Cassandra’s legacy by Ugo Bardi

5 Comments on "The Seneca Effect: Soon to Become a Book!"

  1. dave thompson on Mon, 26th Sep 2016 11:33 pm 

    Great to hear Mr.Bardi. Good luck selling this book to the public at large that is to busy with the bullshit of industrial civilization to worry about reality.

  2. Davy on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 6:57 am 

    I eagerly await this book. It is difficult to find like-minded people today and especially ones who can put these difficult and deep ideas into print. Collapse is central to life just as growth is. Our world is overwhelmingly concern with growth. This is in the extreme and extremism is deadly. Little is paid to collapse. Life is a dance of both. There is little we can do to lower pain, suffering, and death unless we have a frame work to reflect upon.

  3. penury on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 3:24 pm 

    I wish him well on the book. If there is anyone left capable of reading and comprehending serious writing the sales should be good. I look forward to the book.

  4. roccman on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 1:49 pm 

    I don’t know – it’s a matter of perspective. What are the ultimate goals of those with real power. It is quite possible to have a skeletonized (read severely rationed) global population of slaves – controlled by a ruthless gulag while the “enlightened” class continues to advance quantum computers/AI and facilities like CERN. Think Oryx and Crake. Those with real power – that are incrementally syncing up the global populations into a hive mind – have not accounted for civilization collapse. They expect civilization collapse – they only need a small percentage of the population to keep power plants running for facilities like CERN. People will do anything to keep from starving – and that is precisely why the global population will be skeletonized at some point.

  5. energyskeptic on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 6:22 pm 

    I’ll be the first to buy this book.

    I just read Ugo bardi’s book “Extracted” and it’s fantastic, with great and wise insights written in a very clear, easy to understand way about all sorts of topics I knew nothing about, after all, minerals touches on just about everything, just like energy.

    I’ve never seen a better account of downcycling and the implications.

    He’s one of the few writers who mentions the obligations we have to future generations to protect them from the extreme damage that’s caused by huge amounts of mining waste:

    “Heavy metals are also often toxic, and exist in such huge quantities now that they harm entire ecosystems. Although they may be in landfills, there’s no guarantee that centuries or even sooner they won’t contaminate aquifers and cause other harm, such as the Love Canal landfill in New York which homes were built on top of leading to cancer, nervous disorders, birth defects, and other health problems.

    Heavy metals are also being dispersed world-wide as fine particulates and volatile compounds that can be inhaled or eaten, sometimes as a result of incineration, since no filter is 100% efficient. Nano-sized particles are suspected of being the most damaging kind for our health, and enter the air via smokestacks. Incineration gives us the illusion we’ve gotten rid of waste, but may in fact be transforming it into more dangers and difficult compounds that the original ones.

    Most of it is probably from industrial combustion though, especially coal burning. Coal has both heavy and radioactive metals that are emitted into the atmosphere as small particles after they’re burned. Heavy metals are also transformed into powders as a result of abrasion, corrosion, and other industrial, unavoidable processes affecting most metallic objects.

    And when metals are dispersed this way, their concentrations are so low that they can’t be recovered.”

    Especially radioactive waste:

    “Topping all other waste as a threat to humanity is radioactive waste. Plutonium is one of the most poisonous substances in existence. It takes so long to decay that even 100,000 years from now, 6% of it will still exist. From an ethical point of view, we are doing future generations a tremendous disservice. We are passing onto them heavy loads of dangerous materials, and it is not at all obvious that they’ll have the scientific and technological tools to deal with the problem, or even that they will be able to recognize that it exists.”

    And waste is just a fraction of the book, there are too many other topics (i.e. minerals and war, energy, coal, topsoil, gold & silver, etc.,) to mention.

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