The Shapes of Human Achievement on Earth


(Image: Pyracantha. Ink and watercolor with touches of acrylic on illustration board)

Via Electron Blue:

One of my most treasured books is a recent work by Brian Hayes, published 2005, called Infrastructure, just released in paperback. This wonderful book explains, chapter by chapter, with extensive photographs, the industrial features of our landscape both rural and urban. The book covers not only farms and factories and refineries, but waterworks, the electrical power grid, communications (and the towers), transportation, and waste treatment, as well as loads of other things related to keeping our civilization going. I’m using the word civilization again because these things, which I have loved since my childhood, are what make the difference between modern and pre-modern, order and disorder, even peace and war (for during war infrastructure is deliberately destroyed, or “degraded.”). To paraphrase Ayn Rand, the poet of the industrial world, these are the “shapes of human achievement on earth.”

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