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Category: The Sciences

Jason Hickel’s Less is More

Jason Hickel’s Less is More

Animism versus Dualism. Mother Earth versus Descartes. Seeing ourselves and the world around us as continuous, interconnected, and interdependent, versus Subject/object/Master/slave. Seeing the world like a shaman or a bulldozer. We can’t keep doing this anymore. We can’t keep treating the earth like a trash heap, like we own it, control it, and owe it nothing. In Less is More, Jason Hickel makes the case for a massive shift in the way we think about the planet, its limited resources,…

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Amitav Ghosh: The Great Derangement

Amitav Ghosh: The Great Derangement

The frightening thing about this important book from 2016 is that its, at times, terribly dire assessment of our environmental trajectory seems positively sunny in comparison with 2022’s outlook. As in, despite its warnings and vivid depictions of Mother Nature as of 2016 and beyond, She has gotten a good deal angrier since then. And this time-shock has been my experience reading various books on Climate Change in the last few years. As dire as they appear when they first…

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Helgoland: Quantum islands in the storm

Helgoland: Quantum islands in the storm

One could quip, “I must have missed that day,” when it comes to a subject or two during high school. Senior year, especially. I was absent physically more than was wise, and even when I did attend math and science classes, my thoughts were often somewhere else. With the sun, the waves, the girls on the beach, or some day-dream about heroic feats in sports, the arts, or racing old cars that had no business being on Thunder Road to…

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Rutger Bregman’s Humankind

Rutger Bregman’s Humankind

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that much of what we’ve been taught about “human nature” is nonsense. We’ve been told for far too long that we’re naturally selfish, greedy, and violent, and there’s just no point in trying to change the world around us. Suggest a better system, one structured to encourage cooperation, sharing, giving, and living in peace, and all too many cynics will laugh and instantly claim it can’t work — because, “human nature.” Thing is, recent…

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The Earth Also Rises

The Earth Also Rises

 Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was one of the heroes of my youth. Anyone who can run rings around authority gets my vote, especially when that authority is cruel, oppressive, backward, and consistently stands in the way of progress. If I later learned that he did not battle the Inquisition quite as I had imagined, his heroism still strikes me as real. He had no way of knowing that the Church would be far more lenient with him than it was with…

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