I vacillate…between thinking that we’re doomed because we have given ourselves over to a stupid system that’s now backed up by guns. And then a much more utopian view that we’ve always lived in stupid systems and that we’re always making them better.
During the war in Afghanistan, the military decided to air drop food packages as part of its winning hearts and minds campaign. Unfortunately, the food packages were very similar in appearance to the cluster bombs they were dropping at the same time. If military decision-makers had spoken to communities, aid workers, military personnel on the ground, they’d have figured out there were smarter ways to deliver food and win the trust of the Afghan people.
In 2004, after working for more than ten years as a cook, I visited a favela for the first time. I saw in cooking a way to train people, and so I offered a vocational training program in a local institution.
We used to think that sleep is a passive process caused by reduced sensory stimulation so that our normal mental and physical activities can shut down. We held this belief since the time of Aristotle, and perhaps even before that. But now we know that this idea is completely wrong.