I tried, several times, to read the book, and failed; Dan Brown's writing style simply overwhelmed my willingness to suffer bad prose. The Rev. Bob (greyfeld (not godnix, as I stated a few days ago) of LiveJournal) actually soldiered through the whole thing, and wrote the review I have not felt qualified to write:
And having gotten that out of the way, on to more serious matters:
I have recently encountered a document called, "Report from Iron Mountain: On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace." ( http://www.hourofthetime.com/Report%20From%20Iron%20Mountain.html ) While I find its provenance questionable at best, valid thought is still valid thought. It spells out at some length the idea that "wars and rumors of wars" serve an absolutely necessary function in human society. The document served to bring together a number of things I already knew and wrapped them in a tidy if horrific bundle. The conclusion they do NOT reach, and that I am tempted to, is that the development of nuclear weapons has broken the model, and unless a functional alternative is developed soon (highly improbable), we are doomed as a species. It occurs to me that the development of such an alternative is a particularly worthy goal, and might (even in failure) be parlayed into a Meal Ticket. Hmmm...