Nairn says that Kirkman's approach to ethics is "modest", and that that modesty can be sometimes frustrating:
"But the book isn't about genocide. It's about zoning. And how to get to the store. The hushed, cerebral tone is completely appropriate. To the neighbor shouting down a greedy developer or the dude waiving a shotgun at anyone who will meddle with his property, Kirkman says: relax, let's think it through."
"Yet he neither leaves us awash in moral ambiguity nor sets up any side in particular on the moral high ground, from which grenades of judgment can be lobbed on the opponents below. He simply builds a framework to help anyone sort through their own goals and compare them with the goals of others."