Tuesday 2015-08-25

Under the Dome by Stephen King

King makes a pointed criticism: our societal decay mirrors the ecological.

Throughout the book's rise of a "tin-pot tyrant" and the death of a community, there were many points at which an intervention could have staved off both disasters. However, the crux is getting the timing and corrective dose right.

Had we Sim City stats for the community, we could have seen the Decay, and we would have been less uncertain about the cost of inaction. Unfortunately, the book's residents didn't have those stats, and so we witness a civilization's Death by a thousand small changes.

Ultimately, King's Mirrored Decay implies a different future, though. The book's offered solution to the tyrant problem is to arrest or assassinate would-be tyrants. If we grant Preventing Social Decay as ample justification for violence, should we then also consider ecological threats to be grounds for military intervention?

P.S. There's a TED-type talk in Mandarin on pollution in China that borrows the title from this book.