Archive

The Conversation #63 — Kim Stanley Robinson

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.

Discovering Health Innovations in Humanitarian Settings

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.

Empowerment Through Cooking

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.

Manufacturing Dreams

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.