Category Archives: Human Progress

America’s Dominance and Decline

Just one substantial item today, compared to the several posted yesterday. If America is so great by some economic and military standards, why is our quality of life, compared to so many other countries around the world, so poor? Concluding … Continue reading

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Sagan & Druyan: Propensities and Predispositions

A couple hours ago I finished that Carl Sagan/Ann Druyan book I mentioned a couple days ago, and it’s remarkable how its conclusions resemble my own recent observations about how certain forms of human morality align to conservative politics, and … Continue reading

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How American is Great, yet a Hellhole, According to Conservatives

Today’s theme, and topics: WaPo’s Paul Waldman on this contradiction; Mike Pence’s record of saying things that conservatives believe that are not true; The conspiracy theories of Moms for Liberty; And how this all makes sense given ancestral human nature’s … Continue reading

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Ideology vs. Reality, Endlessly

Is this the core issue to rule them all? Since the survival of humanity seems to be in the balance? Item’s today: How the Supreme Court’s anti-LGBTQ case should never have been brought; How the rise of the religious far … Continue reading

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Human History and World History: Two Perspectives

Carl Sagan on human history as “a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group” and how conservatives counter this; Peter Turchin about his theory of world history and how he identifies the US as a plutocracy. … Continue reading

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Moving Toward One Kind of Science-Fictional Future

Working from home vs. commuting, a slow social trend we thought might be temporary, but which may be inevitable, and for the good. I have a laptop connected to two big monitors, but otherwise this photo is apt. My cat … Continue reading

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The Latest from Steven Pinker

Today, a long interview with Steven Pinker about ‘progress’ despite human nature; about the value of rationality; about looking at data and not headlines to understand the state of the world; about cancel culture; about the perils and inevitability of … Continue reading

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Alcohol and Civilization, and other recent items

How civilization might have been driven by the desire for alcohol; about the NYT interviewing Republicans; the perspective on conspiratorial thinking from an American living in Britain; paranoia and the GOP; DeSantis’ war on “wokeness”; Paul Waldman on 6 things … Continue reading

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Progress, Its Implementation, and Trust

A long piece today, from the Jan/Feb 2023 issue of The Atlantic. The Atlantic, Derek Thompson, 12 Dec 2022: Why the Age of American Progress Ended, subtitled “Invention alone can’t change the world; what matters is what happens next.”

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Daily Details and Existential Threats

Perhaps I should start with daily details? Chilly today but sunny, in between storms. Despite yesterday’s post, I decided to walk around the house for 30 or 40 minutes last night (while the TV showed Jeopardy or whatever) in order … Continue reading

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