The Matrix of Our Troubles

2017-09-21T18:34:05-04:00August 16th, 2003|Energy, Environment and Energy, General Topics, Societal Growth and Crisis, System Resilience|

with Sarah Wolfe | One could draw a parallel between the sight of thousands walking north on Yonge Street and the mass exodus of people on foot from lower Manhattan two years ago. But yesterday’s electrical failure did not claim thousands of lives, nor will it trigger a cascade of events leading to war. Nevertheless, what we saw in Toronto was poignant for what it represented: a people too interlocked with their technical choices, too resolute on efficiency gains, and too dependent on progress. Last Thursday’s blackout should be a powerful catalyst for change.

We Need a Forest of Tongues

2017-09-21T18:34:13-04:00July 3rd, 2001|General Topics, Societal Growth and Crisis, System Resilience|

Recently, the writer Ken Wiwa argued in this space that we shouldn’t worry too much about the loss of the world’s linguistic diversity. A recent study by the Worldwatch Institute, he reported, reported that half the world’s languages may soon disappear; especially vulnerable are those indigenous tongues spoken by only a few thousand people. This prospect has raised widespread alarm, because it’s generally thought that language and culture are closely related. So, when we lose a language, it’s assumed, we lose the associated culture.