Taking notes 56: On hope and hype: reflections on a New Year’s tradition

by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi
How, I ask myself, can declaring my hopes to others make a dent in a world oblivious to our dreams? How can we expect the mere change of a date to alter the conditions under which we live? Continue reading Taking notes 56: On hope and hype: reflections on a New Year’s tradition

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Duped by the Beast of War

by Paul Levy As if living in a never-ending “war-time,” the war drums are once again fast approaching on the horizon. The country I live in, the United States of America, already involved in multiple wars – some overt, others covert – is threatening to attack another sovereign nation, this time Syria. The whole thing is totally insane; our government’s reliance on military solutions is pathological,[1] a form of mental illness.[2] It certainly seems as if our country doesn’t know how to imagine solutions outside the paradigm of war. The fact that we, as a species, are investing our creative … Continue reading Duped by the Beast of War

Capitalism and the problem of collective action

by Gavin Kitching The central argument of this article[1] is that humankind is now creating collective action[2] problems of such enormous complexity and scale that it is very difficult for individual people, on the basis of their ordinary everyday experience alone, to even grasp them as problems, let alone see how to solve them. Such problems include: chronic global economic instability, anthropogenic global warming and climate change, increasingly ineffective governments, traffic jams, and rising health care costs. All of these problems are ‘mass’ or ‘collective’ outcomes of individual actions, actions motivated by intentions quite different from those outcomes. In other … Continue reading Capitalism and the problem of collective action