by Brian Snyder
- “…in the wealthier parts of the world, the fixation with constant economic growth has become destabilizing, producing vast inequalities and putting the natural world out of balance.”
- “Then ‘God’ became redundant and disappeared.
There was a time when I dreamt of working at Facebook. I was less intrigued by the software development side than with studying the exchange of information and the cultural evolution occurring through online social networks. One of my research interests is how individuals learn to act cooperatively and acquire new preferences. What better place is there to do that than at the largest online social media platform?
Since joining Facebook in 2009,
In the ongoing and increasingly heated discussions about housing, urban planning, and zoning, I often return to Greta Thunberg’s seething indictment of our world’s decision-makers: “Here we are at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can do is talk about money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.”
Greta may have been directing her remarks to politicians at the highest levels of government; but, neither should we forget as former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once famously remarked,
In a 2021 landmark of ludicrousness, Jeff Bezos launched himself, cowboy hat and all, into space aboard a phallus-shaped rocket. But Bezos’ fruitless attempt to fill that gaping hole in his life was only the latest stupid reason to send something to space. Spaceship stupidity goes back to the SNAPSHOT program which, in 1965, sent a working nuclear reactor into space. Not surprisingly,
If you’ve been following the news, you’ve heard that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released the first section of its sixth report (hereafter, “the report”). The report focuses on the physical science of climate change, and projects the most likely ecological and economic impacts as well as possible mitigation pathways. If you’ve read it—and it is worth reading—you might find that the IPCC has managed once again to walk the line between terrifying and cautious.
Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth, which I gobbled up last week, was tentatively in my top five economics pastries before I bit down on Chapter 7. Now it’s “merely” in the baker’s dozen—top ten even—along with classics such as Small is Beautiful, the Diseconomics of Growth, and more than one Herman Daly title on the pantry shelf.[i] I know you’re hungry for the answer to what grated my teeth at Chapter 7,
If you’ve been on the internet recently you’ve been exposed to Tiger King, the wildly popular Netflix series that revolves around the conflict among a bizarre set of humans feuding over the proper way to hold big cats in captivity. Watching the show is a bit like watching a train derail in slow motion, but for our purposes what is important is that it illustrates the discrepancy between the way the world is and the way the world ought to be.
Adaptation will mean moving from growth to a steady-state economy, one almost certainly at a smaller scale than at present.
Herman Daly wonders how the World Bank got in the business of increasing the debt of poor countries.
James Johnston asks, “Where’s the bomb squad,” as the U.S. debt threatens to blow the lid off the economy.