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The holarchy of rules and the problem of silos of knowledge in the quest for the survival of humanity

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Seen in retrospect, the failure of those concerned with the advancement of knowledge to respect the complexity of the world, and to move toward ways of doing science that account for its connectivity, may be one of the greatest causes of the ongoing collapse of Western Civilization[1]. As products of that civilization, we are all [...]

Clinging to the Titanic, or how to let go

Monday, February 20th, 2017

- “A world ends when its metaphor has died” – Archibald MacLeish
- “Don’t be fooled by the idiotic exertions of the Red team and the Blue team. They’re just playing a game of “Capture the Flag” on the deck of the Titanic.”- James Kunstler
Political ecologist William Ophuls has researched the unsustainability of modern industrial society [...]

Reality 101: Some Notes on Teaching Humanity’s Predicament

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Our species faces a predicament: the inevitable decline of industrial civilization as we know it, and possible extinction. Decades ago, a small but growing group became aware of the situation and began to create ways to communicate it to the general public. An ‘energy descent’ literature appeared that has described it using terms like overshoot [...]

Humans Have Energetically Overpowered the Earth

Monday, September 7th, 2015

All life depends on constant consumption of energy. Nothing happens without it. More energy, more stuff happens: goods, services, population, raw materials depletion, pollution, damage to soil, water and other ecosystem processes that are essential to all life, including humanity. Less energy, less of all of the above. For most of several billion years of [...]

High Level Rats Who Bail from the Rat Race: Disillusioned Conservative Cabinet Level and Financial Class Insiders

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

There exists a long history and literature of criticism of the modern social system based on the concentrated wealth and power of private capital. Most of the critics are writing from outside the centers of power. What is new is the radical rejection of the system now voiced by people with long careers high enough [...]

What is Fascism?

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Who cares what fascism is? We in the US should, because elements of it are creeping into our society, activated on an as-needed basis at present to keep its development somewhat below the radar of the masses. Because the term is so often misused, here I will summarize a relatively rigorous conception of fascism like [...]

The Alchemy of Language in the Pacification of the American People

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Orwell’s term “doublethink”[1], the use of language to create a false picture of reality, has spawned a large literature, but that exposure has not stopped powerful interests from inventing new ways to use the capacity of language to control thought.
Something primed me many years ago to automatically search for the camouflage, innuendo, and outright misrepresentation [...]

Locked In: The Paradox of Capitalism

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Much of this post was lifted from an article by another author, because I found the logic and the language so compelling. But I neglected to keep the reference. If I learn who the author is, I will be happy to credit him/her with  those statements that are not mine, and provide a link to [...]

Folk Tales, Foreign Policy, and the Value of Systems Thinking

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

In the tale of the boy who cried wolf, a boy who is tending sheep and serving as a lookout for wolves seeks to relieve his boredom and gain attention by crying wolf when in fact there is no wolf. This decision/policy succeeds for a while, then it no longer works. A systems thinking [...]

Why Systems Thinking?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

My explicit focus on systems thinking in writing and teaching comes from an awareness, spreading slowly through the knowledge business, that it is an essential approach to all inquiry intended for application to real world problems. For its importance to be taken seriously and applied to all important issues in everyday life, systems thinking needs [...]

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