Against Ideology: Creativity is Best Hope in an Uncertain World

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

Who Survives and Who Does Not: Civilization Lost in a Wilderness of Mistaken Mental Models

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

Taser, Gun, and Character: What You Cannot Train

I am tired of all the convenient talk of “more training” and other improvements in the formal management of police practices, as if they were a mere problem of technical engineering. They are not. The most important quality of police officers is not the skills they take from the academy to the precinct. It is … More Taser, Gun, and Character: What You Cannot Train

Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health

Last Saturday we decided to take a hike in the beautiful Frijoles Canyon of the Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos National Laboratory “up the hill” from Santa Fe. I had not experienced the pandemic claustrophobia that has caused so much anxiety; I guess I was just too busy. Anyway, it was a lovely cool … More Mask over Civility: The Indifference of Americans to Public Health

The Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn versus the Modernist Dilemma

I don’t remember where I read the “Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn,” but it made enough of an impression that I saved it. I guess it was the contrast with our modernist illusions that got my attention. We live in a world that is culturally detached from the factual world of physical, … More The Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn versus the Modernist Dilemma

It’s Not Just About Climate: The New Great Transformation is a Total Existential Threat and Opportunity

All the policy talk around the “climate emergency” is either technical with reference to the effects of carbon pollution, emissions-reduction goals, or political with reference to cost, employment, or other policy matters. But the predicament we face in confronting the climate emergency is far greater and more complex than usually imagined. Public climate-change policy leaders … More It’s Not Just About Climate: The New Great Transformation is a Total Existential Threat and Opportunity

Our Political Predicament and the New Great Transformation

Humanity, indeed the entire Earth System, now experiences not merely an evolutionary transition, but a full-blown New Great Transformation, unlike anything before. Already traumatized by a history of change, we find no simple answer to the need for both individual healing and societal transformation. The current rise of hate groups, neo-fascists, and bizarre conspiracy theories … More Our Political Predicament and the New Great Transformation

It’s a wonderful life, but not for Ebenezer Scrooge

With all the crises and stress in our family and in the world, we decided to spend a good part of Christmas day watching old Christmas movies. First, we watched the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring James Stewart, which I had not seen in decades. Then we watched the 1984 version of “A … More It’s a wonderful life, but not for Ebenezer Scrooge

Past Perfect, Present Imperfect, and Future Extreme

Yes, we do live in interesting times, which does not mean that we understand very well our place on time’s arrow. We pine for an idyllic past, misinterpret what is going on right now, and imagine a utopian future that cannot be. If only the experts will come up with impossible new technologies and materials … More Past Perfect, Present Imperfect, and Future Extreme