I will be away from my computer for the next three weeks. My son, Tom, will be filling on for me occasionally during this period. My wife and I are going to Turkey with a group. We will visit the modern and ancient parts of the country. In preparation for the trip, I have been reading and listening to tape stories of the very long history of the region. Some of the longest periods of empire characterize the area–Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman–reaching from a few centuries after the start of the Common Era virtually to the time of my birth.
For each, it was wars that created and brought down the empire. Power, domination, and ideology did work for a quite a while, longer than the modern era has lasted so far. Eventually all failed to provide sustainability for their imperial cultures. None had a grasp of the global system anywhere comparable to that we possess as result of our modern forms of science and technology. Even with that much larger knowledge coupled to a myriad of tools to cope with human and natural “problems,” we are faced with the potential end to the imperium of technology and economics that now transcends national borders. I hope that exposure to the vast history of Turkey in situ will help me better understand what it takes to produce sustainability.

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