My Safety Valve

I think I may have posted a few of my poems on this blog before. I have been writing poetry fairly seriously for the last couple of years. Mostly sonnets, but a few old-fashioned, structured poems like villanelles, sestinas, and pantoums. Here is a villanelle I wrote around Election Day, 2018. I find writing verse is a good way to relieve the tightness that I find pervades every part of me these days. Villanelles repeat the 1st and 3rd lines of the first stanza in an ordered way through the rest of the poem. Where I stand on the political… Read More

Continue Reading

Upside-down Economics

We now have, thanks to Kate Raworth, donut economics. Herman Daly gave us steady-state economics. Regular professionals gave us micro- and macroeconomics. And so on. Today, I am announcing a completely new type of economics: upside-down economics. It is the science of too much. From Adam Smith onward, economics has been largely about how to manage scarcity. But today, while scarcity is still a real issue for much of the world’s population, here in the US and other rich countries, the issue has been turned on its head; we have too much of a lot of things. It is important… Read More

Continue Reading

A Fine Piece of Punditry and a Warning

I have tried to avoid blogging about the political morass we find ourselves in these days. I can’t avoid the mess, but do not have to add to the depth of all the stuff piling up out there. But today, I read an excellent, classy oped piece by Tom Friedman in the New York Times. The title, “Trump, Zuckerberg & Pals Are Breaking America,” is quite self-descriptive. I encourage anyone that follows my blog to read it. There is not much anyone of us can do, alone, about the breakdown of our political/governance system, except to honor your responsibilities as… Read More

Continue Reading

One More Uncanny Encounter

As I was preparing to update a syllabus for a course I was considering to give at my learning-in-retirement “school,” I rediscovered a paper I had written about 10 years ago. It had the academic title of, “Reductionism and Its Cultural Fallout.” It was a polished version of a talk I had given at a conference. Most of it was taken from my first book, Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming our Consumer Culture. It was a pretty good paper, but the point of this post is that I noticed a table comparing two sets of “ideas,” which… Read More

Continue Reading

The Peace of Wild Things

The Peace of Wild Things Wendell Berry When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I… Read More

Continue Reading

John Dewey and the Brain

I realize that the divided-brain model is unfamiliar and strange to most of my readers and followers. I included some examples of how it works in explaining a wide variety of social and individual actions in the book, but I will use this blog, from time to time, to point to additional examples. Today, I have an excerpt from John Dewey’s, Liberalism and Social Action. This work was published in 1935, relatively late in his extraordinarily long productive life. He wrote: Let me mention three changes that have taken place in one of the institutions in which immense shifts have… Read More

Continue Reading

Flourishing and The Endangered Species Act

“Men still live who, in their youth, remember pigeons; trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a few decades hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know.” (Aldo Leopold, “On a Monument to the Pigeon,” 1947) Carl Safina has been a loud voice for the natural world, which, of course, needs to be heard through human channels. Not that nature does not speak to us, literally. Even in the densest human habitations, we can hear the small voices of our pets, birds, rodents, and, in… Read More

Continue Reading

Camus’s “The Plague”–A Tale for Our Times

I have just finished reading Albert Camus’s extraordinary book, The Plague (La Peste) as part of one of the courses I am taking at my learning-in-retirement “school.” Unfortunately, I cannot read it in his language, French, but have a masterful translation by Stuart Gilbert. I discovered a copy of the first US edition (1948) in our home library, still with a rather tattered dust jacket. Although I find that the book is complete understandable outside the flow of history, it is generally accepted that it is an allegory telling the tale of occupied France during World War II. The heroes… Read More

Continue Reading

Grave New World

Every two weeks, my wife and I go to a movie club on Sunday mornings where we get to see a film that is about to be released. We have seen a number of Oscar winners over the years. Most are fiction of some sort, but we do watch documentaries on occasions. Today was one of those occasions. And the film today deserves special treatment. Entitled, “Human Nature,” it tells the story of CRISPR, the agent that is being widely used to modify genes in all sorts of organisms, including human beings. As a cinematographic work, it is extremely well… Read More

Continue Reading

My New Book Is Now Available

Finally, my new book, The Right Way to Flourish: Reconnecting with the Real World, has arrived at booksellers. The best deal, right now, is at the publisher’s (Routledge) US website. It is available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s UK sites. It can be ordered from Amazon (US) with availability coming as soon as the have a supply of the books. The Right Way to Flourish combines my previous work on sustainabilty-as-flourishing with a remarkable model of the brain to open new paths toward a future where humans and the rest of the Planet will flourish. Here’s the jacket description:… Read More

Continue Reading