The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us

by Diane Ackerman


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393240740
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/10/2014
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 433,502
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Diane Ackerman has been the finalist for the
Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in addition to many other awards and recognitions for her work, which include the best-selling The Zookeeper’s Wife and A Natural History of the Senses. She lives with her husband Paul West in Ithaca, New York.

Table of Contents

I Welcome to the Anthropocene

Apps for Apes 3

Wild Heart, Anthropocene Mind 8

Black Marble 15

Handmade Landscapes 20

A Dialect of Stone 29

Monkeying with the Weather 36

Gaia in a Temper 44

Brainstorming from Equator to Ice 50

Blue Revolution 59

II In the House of Stone and Light

Asphalt Jungles 71

A Green Man in a Green Shade 79

House Plants? How Passé 86

Opportunity Warms 95

III Is Nature "Natural" Anymore?

Is Nature "Natural" Anymore? 111

The Slow-Motion Invaders 128

"They Had No Choice" 141

Paddling in the Gene Pool 149

For Love of a Snail 156

IV Nature, Pixilated

An (Un)Natural Future of the Senses 171

Weighing in the Nanoscale 179

Nature, Pixilated 188

The Interspecies Internet 201

Your Passion Flower Is Sexting You 205

When Robots Weep, Who Will Comfort Them? 208

Robots on a Date 226

Printing a Rocking Horse on Mars 232

V Our Bodies, Our Nature

The (3D-Printed) Ear He Lends Me 243

Cyborgs and Chimeras 253

DNA'S Secret Doormen 269

Meet My Maker, the Mad Molecule 287

Conclusion: Wild Heart, Anthropocene Mind(Revisited) 305

Acknowledgments 311

Notes 313

Further Reading 319

Index 331

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The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From fertilizers changing the weather to the extinction of snails, Diane Ackerman explores the impacts human civilization has had on Earth and on life as we know it. The thing I enjoyed most about this book was how involved Ackerman was in her topics. If there was something that she wanted to write about, Ackerman would go out and search for the best information. She would talk with professionals and spend time getting involved herself. Because of this, the book itself felt like a journey with Ackerman to seek out knowledge of humanity’s impact. Ackerman didn’t just stop at what humans have done, though. She explored the things that humans are doing and will do in the future. Many of these were fascinating technologies and ideas I had never heard of before like 3D printing organs and growing all of an area’s necessary food in a single vertical garden. While it’s clear that human development has negatively impacted many other species over time, these new technologies shed some optimism on the situation, showing that technologies like vertical farming could benefit all species and not just humans. While each chapter seemed to tell a story, I only wish that Ackerman could have made better connections between some chapters. She often stopped mentioning a chapter or idea after it had been discussed, dropping it as if it stood alone. I feel that Ackerman could have made the book more interesting by exploring how these ideas might relate to one another or even work together. For example, she could have drawn more connections between the Blue Revolution (mariculture’s future in vertical farms) and the idea that human concentrations are now becoming more concentrated. After all, vertical farms could work well with urban populations since they produce a good amount of food while taking up little land. Despite this, there is a certain message in the diversity and disconnect between the book’s chapters. If anything, this shows that there is no single way that humans have impacted or will continue to impact the planet. Likewise, there is no single way that Earth will respond.