Cleaning Up Messes

Neologisms, like polycrises, often appear to clarify what has been confusing and intractable, but are also often unnecessary and continue to obfuscate, not clarify. Certainly the world is facing the multiple crises, but the proper response is not to convene ever more scientists to produce ever more scientific truths or ever more engineers or economists to produce ever more fixes. All these crises have profound impacts on human beings and involve solutions that inexorably have ethical consequences. A couple of planners, Rittel and Webber, in a now classic paper, called these kind of problems, wicked problems, to distinguish them from… Read More

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Getting the Job Done

The big problems the Planet is facing can be traced back to a root cause: domination. Climate change and other “environmental” concerns arise from human activities that dominate the natural world. We impose our will through actions resulting in changes that upset the natural order. Social concerns also arise from the same cause whenever humans are compelled by other humans to act in undignified ways, that is, to act according to someone else’s intentions. Domination, per se, is not necessarily a bad thing. Dominating the natural system did not create significant problems for many millennia because it was sufficiently resilient… Read More

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