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Friday, 18th February, 2005

Friday, February 18, 2005

# From the 'Future of Pitcairn' mailing list comes a pointer to details on the ' Bounty Day' celebration on Norfolk Island from 5-12 June 2005.

# An interview with Jared Diamond, author of 'Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed'. The book includes a section on Pitcairn and the previous inhabitants of the island (before the arrival of the Bounty mutineers):

One story in particular from the book, involving three tiny islands in the South Pacific where the combined populations thrived for 600 years in symbiotic harmony, seemed to work as a metaphor for this country's obdurate unilateralism. As Diamond tells it, the largest of those islands, Mangareva, had trees for canoe making and oysters for fishhooks; the next, Pitcairn, had obsidian for knives; and the least, Henderson, supported so many birds that a hundred people could each have eaten one a day forever without wiping out the colony. In canoes made of Mangareva's trees, the islanders traveled and intermarried and traded goods, until one day the canoes from Mangareva stopped coming. Pitcairn's food supplies dwindled, Henderson ran out of fishhooks, and Mangareva descended into civil war. By the time Fletcher Christian's Bounty mutineers took refuge in the early 18th century, Pitcairn, like Henderson, was deserted.
In his sometimes sanguinary imagination, Diamond spares the Pitcairn and Henderson islanders no suffering -- he envisions them dying by mass suicide, mass murder, slow starvation or, at best, an unbearable incidence of genetic disease. And he warns that a similar fate may await modern Americans.

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