Curating Content To Support Learning About Humanity's Transition

Posts tagged with:  stewart-brand

By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 10 Apr 18

photos by Anthony ThorntonMuch of Pinker’s talk was devoted to showing how most of the things than humans care about (except climate) have been getting drastically better over the last few centuries and decades. The roster includes length of life, health, food, prosperity, education, human rights, freedom from violence and accidents, leisure, and happiness — world wide.That good news is surprising to many and unwelcome to some, who fear it could foster complacent optimism. “While pessimists sound like they’re trying to help you,“ Pinker noted, “optimists sound like they’re trying to sell you something.” So Pinker explored the specific causes of progress in each …

Making the world better Read More »

photos by Anthony ThorntonMuch of Pinker’s talk was devoted to showing how most of the things than humans care about (except climate) have been getting drastically better over the last few centuries and decades. The roster includes length of life, health, food, prosperity, education, human rights, freedom from violence and accidents, leisure, and happiness — world wide.That good news is surprising to many and …

Making the world better Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 5 Nov 17

photo by Evan SpilerThanks to the growing human domination of natural systems on Earth, people say we are entering an Anthropocene Epoch, Grinspoon began, but what if the term “epoch” understates the consequence of what is going on? (The Holocene Epoch is only 11,700 years old.) Astrobiologists recently learned that planet formation is the norm in the universe, and now they’re trying to find out if life formation is also the norm. They won’t look for signs of mere geological epochs on other planets; they’re looking for eon-scale transitions like the three that Earth has gone through in its 4.8 billion …

Cognitive Planet Read More »

photo by Evan SpilerThanks to the growing human domination of natural systems on Earth, people say we are entering an Anthropocene Epoch, Grinspoon began, but what if the term “epoch” understates the consequence of what is going on? (The Holocene Epoch is only 11,700 years old.) Astrobiologists recently learned that planet formation is the norm in the universe, and now they’re …

Cognitive Planet Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 22 Aug 17

photo by Evan SpilerHE BEGAN, “Hi, I’m Nicky Case, and I explain complex systems in a visual, tangible, and playful way.” He did exactly that with 207 brilliant slides and clear terminology. What system engineers call “negative feedback,” for example, Case calls “balancing loops.” They maintain a value. Likewise “positive feedback” he calls “reinforcing loops.” They increase a value.Using examples and stories such as the viciousness of the board game Monopoly and the miracle of self-organizing starlings, Case laid out visually the basics of finessing complex systems. A reinforcing loop is like a ball on the top of a hill, ready to …

How to finesse complexity Read More »

photo by Evan SpilerHE BEGAN, “Hi, I’m Nicky Case, and I explain complex systems in a visual, tangible, and playful way.” He did exactly that with 207 brilliant slides and clear terminology. What system engineers call “negative feedback,” for example, Case calls “balancing loops.” They maintain a value. Likewise “positive feedback” he calls “reinforcing loops.” They increase a value.Using examples and stories …

How to finesse complexity Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 22 Jun 17

photo by Gary WilsonWEST FOCUSSED ON CITIES in his discussion of the newly discovered exponential scaling laws that govern everything alive. “We live,” he said, “in an exponentially expanding socio-economic universe.” Global urbanization has reached the point that there are a million new people arriving in cities every week, and that rate is expected to continue to midcentury. What is the attraction?One reason for constant urban growth is that the bigger the city, the more efficient it is, because of economies of scale. With each doubling of a city’s size, the numbers of gas stations and power lines and water lines, …

Why cities live forever Read More »

photo by Gary WilsonWEST FOCUSSED ON CITIES in his discussion of the newly discovered exponential scaling laws that govern everything alive. “We live,” he said, “in an exponentially expanding socio-economic universe.” Global urbanization has reached the point that there are a million new people arriving in cities every week, and that rate is expected to continue to midcentury. What is the …

Why cities live forever Read More »


By: The Posts Author | Posted on: 27 Mar 17

photo by Gary WilsonLOMBORG OPENED WITH A PHOTO FROM HAITI, showing a young girl dressed for school wading through the muck and garbage of a slum, with pigs in the muck right behind her. Lomborg was just back from working with the government of Haiti and the Canadian Development Agency to prioritize aid projects there. He sympathized that when people see that photo they instantly want to donate to urban sanitation in Haiti, but that is not the most effective good that can be done for the girl.There is a limited amount of aid money that can be spent in Haiti, and …

Doing Good Better Read More »

photo by Gary WilsonLOMBORG OPENED WITH A PHOTO FROM HAITI, showing a young girl dressed for school wading through the muck and garbage of a slum, with pigs in the muck right behind her. Lomborg was just back from working with the government of Haiti and the Canadian Development Agency to prioritize aid projects there. He sympathized that when people see …

Doing Good Better Read More »


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