Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A consumer society that existed before the iPad

We seem to think all the problems with a modern consumer economy are something new...something that hasn't happened before. The traffic jams, the damage to the environment, the almost pointless moving of something somewhere just because it can...well, take heart, in 78AD Pliny didn't think things were any better.

'Nature is levelled. We carry off materials which were meant to be a barrier between nations, ships are built and thus mountain ranges are carried here and there over the waves, Nature's wildest domain. When we hear the prices fetched and the volume's transported by sea and road, let each of us reflect how many people's lives would be happier without these!'

Sounds like someone had just got stuck behind a slow wagon on a long road. For more on Roman transport you can read 'A Body of Doubt' - available from Amazon, just follow the links