Category Archives: Our Culture / Ourselves

How Would We Behave Without ‘Selves’?

image: from Martijn Meijerink on skitterphoto.com, cc0 A growing number of researchers and theorists studying human nature, and the nature of the universe, from a wide range of disciplines, now seem to agree that most non-human creatures do not have, and … Continue reading

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Michael Pollan Has Lost His Mind

Painting by Cristobal Ortega Maila CC0 from pxhere.com Michael Pollan, famous for his books on cooking, food and nutrition (“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”), is about (May 15th) to release his latest book How to Change Your Mind: What the … Continue reading

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The Wheel of Blame

I don’t know who invented the “wheel of blame”. I first saw it on the refrigerator of Tree’s community house kitchen. It listed the community members and pets (eg the “scapecat”) and came with a spinner that allowed blame to … Continue reading

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What Happens in Vagus…

Evolution is a precarious process. Within every species, minor variations are constantly introduced and tested for ‘fitness’: If they help the creature survive, they are passed on to the next generation, and if they hamper survival, they will not be passed … Continue reading

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How to Ask Strangers What They Care About (Without Scaring Them Off)

Why is it when we meet new people, our way of self-identifying, and our first question to them, is so often about what we do “for a living”? I suppose this is because it’s safe — most of us don’t … Continue reading

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Separation Anxiety

Scientists of all stripes are beginning to discover that the primary tool of science — analysis, the separation of things into ‘discrete’ parts and the modeling of their ‘separate’ behaviour to try to explain cause and effect (and everything else) … Continue reading

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Risky Business

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2018 1pm replacing last year’s ‘maps’ with this year’s, just released. This year’s Davos Global Risk Forum “landscape”. Last year’s for comparison purposes, with legend here.  Every year, an organization called the Global Risk Forum presents the corporate … Continue reading

Posted in How the World Really Works, Our Culture / Ourselves | 3 Comments

Senseless Behaviour

If you don’t like hopeless messages it might be best to skip this post. Cartoon by David Sipress from The New Yorker When you put too many rats together in a confined space in conditions of scarcity for a prolonged period, you get … Continue reading

Posted in Our Culture / Ourselves, Preparing for Civilization's End | 6 Comments

A Future Without “Us”

This is a modestly revamped version of a thought experiment I wrote five years ago entitled Several Short Sentences About Earth’s Distant Future. At the time it provoked a lot of interesting and mostly positive comments, so I thought I would … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Works, Our Culture / Ourselves | 4 Comments

The Paradox of Self-Management

If you are a student of complexity theory, and of philosophy, you can quickly arrive at a place of great cognitive dissonance: On the one hand, our culture is driving us, for quite compelling reasons, to take actions that make … Continue reading

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