We are living in a world with many dangers, threats and uncertainties. And yet, panic, fear or depression would be the wrong answer. The only thing that really helps anyone is cautious optimism. You may ask, how can you be optimistic? It is a legitimate question. On the surface, I seem to be worried about… Continue reading #202: Fear Not: Why We Need to be Optimistic About the Future
As I am sitting in my warm house, I am watching a squirrel eat some of the food I originally put out for the birds. There is not just one squirrel, there are five. Every attempt at “squirrel-proofing” the feeder has failed. They are smart animals. I had to hang up a separate feeder somewhere… Continue reading #200: The Nature Around Us
In these depressing times, we seem to always be on the brink of the end of the world, the end of democracy, the end of a livable climate, the end of free speech, sanity, respect, fairness, justice, nuance, context, humanity, whatever – you name it. There is either too much or too little of wokeness… Continue reading #197: We Have Good Reasons for Hope
I have never been a cultural pessimist, nor have I ever been a Luddite. As soon as I was able to, I learned to use a computer in the pre-internet age (I still remember 5 ¼ inch disks and even data tapes), and as soon as the internet became available for private citizens, not just… Continue reading #181: Are We too Stupid for the Internet?
The pandemic initially was seen as a chance to rethink our ways of over-consumption, just-in-time production, destruction of natural habitat, incessant and unnecessary commuting in the time of video conferencing, as well as cheap and ever-growing travel. Maybe we would be smarter in the future and realize that within all the death and suffering caused… Continue reading #174: Climate Change Can Only Be Countered With Technological Innovation
In a world dominated by climate change and a still deadly global pandemic, we sometimes seem puzzled, annoyed, frustrated, depressed, angry and utterly confused. What is happening? Why is it happening? How could this possibly be what is going on? Welcome to the world in denial. We have believed that we can create a world… Continue reading #139: Nature Demands Humility: Lessons from Jurassic Park World
As Democrats are (hopefully) reflecting on their election loss in Virginia, they should understand that it is not about Trump, it has never been about Trump – and that even Trump has not been about Trump (well, maybe a little bit). It is about the issues. First, Bill Clinton knew that it is about the… Continue reading #117: It’s Not About Trump. It’s About the Issues
I know, this is probably a very strange question, but I have been pondering on this a while. Are we anthropomorphizing human beings? Typically, those who really care about animals and claim that they are feeling, intelligent beings not so dissimilar from us, are being admonished not to anthropomorphize animals, not to treat them as… Continue reading #115: Are We Anthropomorphizing Human Beings?
How easy would it be to despair now! The world seems in shambles, whatever we have gained seems lost, and the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban appears like a symbol for our times. Covid is resurgent, the world is burning, and what future will we ever be able to enjoy? None, if we don't… Continue reading #109: We Cannot Lose Hope
There are many ways to be unhappy. For more, I recommend you read Paul Watzlawick's excellent book The Situation Is Hopeless But Not Serious (The Pursuit of Unhappiness), still relevant after all these years. For example: A man wants to hang a painting. He has the nail, but not the hammer. Therefore it occurs to… Continue reading #107: How (Not) to Be Unhappy