Individualism, Socialism, and Sanity: Can We Choose to Live as Humans?

It is about time we reflect on the distorted industrial-consumer culture and the “…isms” that propagandists use to confuse reality. The idea of individualism is certainly an American cultural icon as much as socialism has been a cultural red flag. If you like something, tag it as an instance of good old American individualism. If … More Individualism, Socialism, and Sanity: Can We Choose to Live as Humans?

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

The Ideology of Utopian Dreams Confronts the Looming Dystopian Future

Ideologies defend the status quo; utopias propose perfect futures to replace the difficulties of life in the present. Strangely, sometimes the two get all mixed up together. That is the case today. The corporatist culture frames a utopian future as its ideology used to justify “staying the course” of the present globalized economy of endless … More The Ideology of Utopian Dreams Confronts the Looming Dystopian Future

In the Air Again: Expectations and Complications of Global Travel

I was not ready for more travel, though I had to go to L.A. for a doctor’s appointment a couple of days ago. An airline ticket was actually cheaper than a half-hour telephone consultation, which insurance does not cover. Not that I don’t like traveling; I do. But it is, after all, part of that … More In the Air Again: Expectations and Complications of Global Travel

On the Urgency of Abandoning Lifestyle

I never liked the term, “lifestyle.” It reflects an extreme version of the American obsession with personal individualistic consumerism, which ultimately is at odds with the hard facts of life on planet Earth. The unattainable “lifestyles of the rich and famous” promoted and enthusiastically accepted in the industrial era are built on illusion and propel … More On the Urgency of Abandoning Lifestyle

Dumbing Down America Degrades the Nation and More

An article in Psychology Today, posted by Ray Williams on July 7, 2014, delineated a long list of indicators of the decline and fall of culture and education in the U.S. in recent decades. Diverse measures of that decline led the author to conclude that, as I would rather put it, “American Exceptionalism” is in fact a … More Dumbing Down America Degrades the Nation and More

To build a sustainable world, academics need to tear down the Ivory Tower

Avoiding societal collapse means building bridges between science and the rest of the world. [Please note: This article is republished with permission from the site, ensia.com. It was accessed at: http://ensia.com/voices/to-build-a-sustainable-world-academics-need-to-tear-down-the-ivory-tower.] Anthony D. Barnosky @tonybarnosky Professor of integrative biology, University of California, Berkeley Elizabeth A. Hadly @LizHadly Stanford professor and global change scientist Paul R. Ehrlich President, Center for … More To build a sustainable world, academics need to tear down the Ivory Tower