Anyone who reads much about current affairs is likely aware of the most recent report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). I have criticized the IPCC reports in the past, mostly because they have consistently underestimated the heating of the planet and the ecological and climate consequences of man-made disruption of the climate. … More The Global Caste System and the Climate Crisis
Only the lonelyOnly the lonely Only the lonelyKnow the way I feel tonightOnly the lonelyKnow this feeling ain’t right Song by Roy Orbison, 1960 The U.S. Surgeon General just released a report on the accelerating degree of loneliness in America and the health consequences of social isolation. The implications are diverse and devastating for … More Only the Lonely: Social Isolation & Industrial Modernity
Overpopulation has been an on-and-off issue for many decades. With the publication of Paul Ehrlich’s book, The Population Bomb in 1971, the issue came to a head…for a while. Then, with the apparent hopelessness of controlling population growth through public policy, few talked much about it for several decades. The idea of population control languished, … More Is the Over-Population Crisis a Non-Starter?
Inequality is an odd word. First, it’s a negative, that is, it represents the absence of something; that something is equality. Equality is a simple term meaning that one thing is equal or the same as another. In economic affairs it is usually talked about in terms of equal opportunity, not equality of outcomes. Economists, … More Life Expectancy and the Complexity of Inequality
Many years ago, I read an article by Irwin Deutscher titled, “Words and Deeds: Social Science and Social Policy.” It was his 1965 presidential address to the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), published in 1966 in the journal, Social Problems. Deutscher was alluding to the fact that most of the data collected … More Words and Deeds: Entanglements of Hope and Doom
Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the center of current buzz among techies, business people, and economists these days. Why? Well, recently developed AI software appears to be able to generate increasingly human-like ‘intelligence,’ at least on the surface. Vastly improved voice recognition software allows human language to be processed by AI software in order … More The Buzz on ChatGPT vs the Original A.I.
The trajectory of police violence against mostly young Black and Brown men has taken many turns. It finds expression in diverse situations. However, we cannot fully understand it without looking beyond the immediate murderous actions of particular officers in the heat of the moment. The violence of authority runs much deeper than that. Predatory Authority … More Predatory Authority and the American Culture of Violence
I guess ‘atmospheric rivers’ have been a thing with climate researchers for a while now. Despite closely following the news in climate science for a couple of decades, I had not heard of them. Then, suddenly California was hit by a series of severe storms that they are calling an “atmospheric river.” The L.A. Times … More Wait, What? Atmospheric Rivers and Us.
I have thought about the implications of the wisdom of indigenous cultures for industrial-consumer culture for quite a while now. The dominant worldview of industrial civilization, despite its power to control some elements of Nature, for a while, is so clearly out of step with the fundamental principles of both science and indigenous wisdom in … More Indigenous and Dominant Worldviews: Realism vs. Illusion
In the U.S. and probably many other places, the struggle between BIG and small continues. Now it’s really a matter of global life or death. Most of us have come to accept the fact that giant transnational corporations dominate the economy and our lives. Of course, some of these entities put forth a public persona … More BIG and BIGGER: How to Undermine Climate Action and Democracy to Save Capitalism and Kill the Planet