Another Wake-up Call

A friend sent me this compelling video which reinforced my sense that pictures are indeed worth 1000’s of words. Caring for the world is part of what makes each and everyone of us human. To ignore that or, worse, to kill those who would devote their lives to this end is a profoundly sad reminder of how distant our humanity has become. Our mindless, consumerist way of living brings us ever closer to those that profit by terrorizing the Earth. (A hat tip to Andy Hoffman who sent me the link to this video. Here’s the Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGeXdv-uPaw)

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The Opening of the Eyes Brain

A friend sent me a link to an interesting article about the business “mind.” (I usually put the word “mind” in scare quotes because I do not think it really exists, but it can be a helpful concept if one uses it carefully and metaphorically.) Writing in the Guardian, Syed Azmatullah thinks that business leaders need a new kind of mind if business is to become capable of solving the current complex problems we all are facing. Given the changing conditions of the world, he asks: > In a world of abundance where resources exceeded demand, the leadership mindset, combining logical analysis, optimism, competitive determination, verbal reasoning, inspiring oratory and… Read More

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Memorial Day 2012

I am finally settled in Maine for the Summer and only beginning to get the peacefulness into my body. So peaceful that I skipped a few days, failing to post blogs. Thanks to the faithful who kept coming, looking for the next one. I am writing on the Memorial Day Weekend, a time when we honor those who have sacrificed their lives in wars fought for Country. I am deeply respectful to them, but feel more inclined to honor the memory of everyone who has lost their Being, not their lives, to the inexorable and superpowerful economic order of the market and its companion, growth. This group includes just about… Read More

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Tom Friedman: Where Have You Been Hiding?

Tom Friedman the noted author and NYTimes columnist often has a byline from some exotic place. He is one of the most peripatetic journalists around, so I was quite surprised that he was surprised by the dark side of capitalism exposed in Michael Sandel’s recent book. Friedman is the guy who noticed that the “Earth is Flat, but missed what has been happening in his back yard. He starts his column with, > PORING through Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel’s new book, “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets,” I found myself over and over again turning pages and saying, “I had no idea.” > > I had no… Read More

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Tuscany Trip

I am away for about 10 days to attend a workshop in Florence. I have had to shake the cobwebs off some of my past work in industrial ecology. I was invited based on some past work in that field. Not a bad way to get the summer started.

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Shopper’s Addiction Now Almost “Official”

This intriguing news [item](http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/12/us/dsm-revisions-may-sharply-increase-addiction-diagnoses.html?_r=1) appeared today in the NYTimes. > In what could prove to be one of their most far-reaching decisions, psychiatrists and other specialists who are rewriting the manual that serves as the nation’s arbiter of mental illness have agreed to revise the definition of addiction, which could result in millions more people being diagnosed as addicts and pose huge consequences for health insurers and taxpayers. > > The revision to the manual, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or D.S.M., would expand the list of recognized symptoms for drug and alcohol addiction, while also reducing the number of symptoms required for a diagnosis,… Read More

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Want-ology�

Welcome to the surreal world of today. > IN the sprawling outskirts of San Jose, Calif., I find myself at the apartment door of Katherine Ziegler, a psychologist and wantologist. Could it be, I wonder, that there is such a thing as a wantologist, someone we can hire to figure out what we want? Have I arrived at some final telling moment in my research on outsourcing intimate parts of our lives, or at the absurdist edge of the market frontier? This opening from an [article](http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/opinion/sunday/the-outsourced-life.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all) in the NYTimes, by Arlie Hochschild of *Second Shift* fame, really shook me up. Hochschild suggests that the professional appelation was strange-sounding to her.… Read More

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Plus �a change, plus c’est la m�me chose

Some things never or rarely change. My wife recently took a course about great American migrations, which finished by reading about the Dust Bowl in the 1930‘s. What I report below comes from the book they read, *The Worst Hard Time*, by Timothy Egan. Egan writes about those who stayed behind through terribly difficult times and the events that were going on to address the human and natural disasters. The extent of the damage is hard to visualize today. Egan writes. “One hundred million acres had lost most of its topsoil and nearly half had been ‘essentially destroyed’ and could not be farmed again, Bennett said.” Bennett is Hugh Bennett,… Read More

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Let Us Praise Famous Superrich Men

The *New York Times* ran a highly provocative [story](http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/magazine/romneys-former-bain-partner-makes-a-case-for-inequality.html?pagewanted=all), reporting on a book by Edward Conard (rhymes with canard) about to hit the streets. Conard was a partner in Bain Capital before he retired. He’s right up there in the wealth stratosphere along with his old chum, Mitt Romney. The Times article identifies him as “a member of the 0.1 percent. His wealth is most likely in the hundreds of millions; he lives in an Upper East Side town house just off Fifth Avenue; and he is one of the largest donors to his old boss and friend, Mitt Romney.” Conard makes no apologies about being superrich. He argues conversely… Read More

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