Saturday, June 18, 2011

The book that comedian Jon Stewart called "the most sweeping and detailed work about humanity yet put to paper" will be published by Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group.
What would a guide book to Earth for traveling aliens look like? Assuming that we're going to leave a destroyed and deserted planet, Stewart boils down human history and civilization into less than 300 pages... 

It’s funny. When we were alive we spent much of our time staring up at the cosmos and wondering what was out there. We were obsessed with the moon and whether we could one day visit it. The day we finally walked on it was celebrated world wide as perhaps man’s greatest achievement. But it was while we were there, gathering rocks from the moon’s desolate landscape, that we looked up and caught a glimpse of just how incredible our own planet was. Its singular astonishing beauty. We called her Mother Earth. Because she gave birth to us, and then we took her for granted and treated her like shit. So welcome to Earth… population, you.

The fear of death and the terrifying uncertainty of existence prompted early man to seek comfort, or at least assurance, in the supernatural. “Who created us?” “How does the sun travel through the sky?” “Why does it burn when I pee?” For millennia, the respective answers to those questions were “Invisible Cloud Men,” “star-boats,” and “you must have angered the Invisible Cloud Men.”

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