Much of modern technology is a two edged sword. Think nuclear power/bombs, fossil-fueled industrial-consumer abundance/waste, chemical (eg.,plastic) products/pollution. There are many more. Various modes of transportation (air, land, and sea) have allowed humans a vast capacity for mobility unavailable before the industrial era, but always at a cost ignored or denied. One of the features … More Why the Billionaire Space Race Matters, or Not
It was hot in the COSTCO parking lot. We had just finished loading the car, but I needed to go back in to use the restroom, before our hour-long drive home. So, I reached in from the driver’s side to insert the key in the ignition so my wife could roll down her window to … More An Epidemic of Nasty: On the Abandonment of Empathy and the Surge of Angry White Entitlement
I’ve never been much of a gambler. I don’t remember ever buying a lottery ticket; the odds just seemed so absurdly bad. From what I understand, it is almost impossible to win at roulette at any casino; it’s the odds again. Blackjack is another matter; with enough reserve cash, a lot of skill, and some … More The Delta Gamble: Misunderstanding Risk
Working from home is the new employment dilemma for many employees and bosses, in some industries anyway. I see a growing number of articles about whether and how many workers can, should, or want to return to the office as the pandemic gradually winds down. Yet, it is clearly not that simple. Dilemmas of Work, … More Work and Risk: What is Wrong with the Labor Market? Or, is it the Work itself?
If you take a realistic view of any number of situations in the world today, you may find yourself hard pressed to see any of them as hopeful. Of course, that would not stop an optimist from being optimistic. From an entirely different perspective, the pessimist might say, “I told you so; these situations are … More What is Hopeful Realism?
Uncertainty is everywhere and growing fast. That makes many people uncomfortable at best, violent at worst. Most seek certainty in what they perceive as a set of beliefs that they equate with reality. When conditions appear uncertain or change quickly, certain people conclude that someone is messing with their reality. They expect to live in … More Against Ideology: Creativity is Best Hope in an Uncertain World
The tension seems to grow by the day. Anyone who steps into the limelight of media exposure is subject to death threats. Anyone who happens to be in a store or workplace when an “active shooter” begins to fire his semi-automatic combat weapon may die without the slightest sense of why. A teenager at a … More The American Way of Violence: Community or Chaos in Politics and Policing
Have you ever been lost in the woods? Or just in an unfamiliar urban neighborhood? As it turns out, getting lost is not that uncommon. However, most of the time things work out because we got lost within the familiar bounds of civilization. We can rely on others to give us some directions. Today, industrial … More Who Survives and Who Does Not: Civilization Lost in a Wilderness of Mistaken Mental Models
It seems the highest point in John Kerry’s political career was his impassioned testimony before congress expressing his experience of the absurdity of the Viet Nam war. After that came serial mediocrity in search of sustaining moderate upper-class rule. Never again would he to take a principled stand as he pursued his political path, grounded … More Unrealistic Assumptions Dodge Difficult Decisions
For some time now, I have been unable to escape the conclusion that the way to find a path to stop the heating of the planet is not by developing new technologies to compensate for the ever-increasing carbon emissions produced by economic growth. All you have to do is think about how entangled everyone is … More Beyond the Yellow Brick Road*: Saving the Planet from Eco Modernism