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Evgeny Morozov on the Kingdom of Geeks

There is this very bizarre alliance between world-changing geeks on the one hand and pol­i­cy­mak­ers who only care about out­comes. They no longer care about how those out­comes are arrived at. They have stripped pol­i­tics of all mean­ing. All they want is to get peo­ple to do the right thing. They don’t care why they do it.

Parag Khanna on the Ideal World

For most peo­ple on an indi­vid­u­al lev­el most the time, their future still feels very dif­fer­ent from that of oth­er peo­ple. We live in a world, for exam­ple, of enor­mous income inequal­i­ty, right. So even though there is a glob­al econ­o­my, it cer­tain­ly doesn’t feel like one’s sort of day-to-day fate or des­tiny is linked to those of peo­ple around the world, even if it is in very invis­i­ble kinds of ways.

The Conversation #36 — Ethan Zuckerman

We are in the mid­st of a shift in how we encoun­ter infor­ma­tion. And we’re wrestling with three par­a­digms at the same time. The old­est of the­se par­a­digms, for for most of us, is edit­ed media. … You have a pow­er­ful gate­keep­er, the news­pa­per edi­tor, who says, Here are things you need to pay atten­tion to today. Give this a small amount of your time, and you will be rough­ly up to date with what you need to know.” 

The Conversation #35 — Chuck Collins

Much of class and iso­la­tion and pulling away is this sort of illu­sion that some­how we can be apart from the suf­fer­ing that is in our mid­st. And that’s a myth. The social iso­la­tion that many peo­ple in the one per­cent expe­ri­ence is a wound.

The Conversation #29 — Lawrence Torcello

What’s the best way to get over xeno­pho­bia? Eradicate the xeno” por­tion of it, and then the pho­bia” part will evap­o­rate. You have to learn about the oth­er. You have to make them not the oth­er any­more. It’s edu­ca­tion. We have to be exposed to each oth­er. And not so that we could all be paper copies of one anoth­er, but so that we learn to appre­ci­ate the diver­si­ty in the world. 

The Conversation #19 — Joseph Tainter

I see a set of con­straints fac­ing us in the future, and they’re all going to be very expen­sive. First is fund­ing retire­ments for the Baby Boom gen­er­a­tion. Second is con­tin­u­ing increas­es in the costs of health­care. The third is replac­ing decay­ing infra­struc­ture. The fourth is adapt­ing to cli­mate change and repair­ing envi­ron­men­tal dam­age. The fifth is devel­op­ing new sources of ener­gy. The six­th is what I see as in all like­li­hood con­tin­u­ing high mil­i­tary costs. The sev­en­th is the costs of inno­va­tion.

The Conversation #18 — David Korten

I like to think that we are an intel­li­gent species. I mean, actu­al­ly the peo­ple that often get this most quick­ly are the peo­ple who are poorest, because they know the sys­tem doesn’t work. But so many of our sup­pos­ed­ly bright­est peo­ple pick this up and don’t ques­tion it. And then we have the all the whole field of eco­nom­ics, which is an ide­ol­o­gy built on assump­tions that if you exam­ine them are absurd. Because you know, econ­o­mists sim­ply look at the econ­o­my as a pric­ing sys­tem. They’re not sys­tem thinkers. Part of the cause our cri­sis is that we’re not edu­cat­ed to think in terms of sys­tems.

The Conversation #14 — John Zerzan

I always won­der about peo­ple that are very pro-tech on the Left, for exam­ple. Oh, we’ve got to keep all this. Of course. That’d be crazy.” You know, you want to pre­serve all of the lev­el of tech­nol­o­gy. The ques­tion that occurs to me is, oh so you want to keep how many hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple in the mines, in the smelters, in the foundries, in the assem­bly lines? I would like to see them be able to do some­thing else. But you’re going to have to keep them there one way or anoth­er if you want to have all this stuff.

The Conversation #5 — Andrew Keen

We’ve got two para­dox­i­cal trends hap­pen­ing at the same time. The first is what I call in my book the cult of the social,” the idea that on the net­work, every­thing has to be social and that the more you reveal about your­self the bet­ter off you are. So if your friends could know what your musi­cal taste is, where you live, what you’re wear­ing, what you’re think­ing, that’s a good thing, this cult of shar­ing. So that’s one thing that’s going on. And the oth­er thing is an increas­ing­ly rad­i­cal­ized indi­vid­u­al­ism of con­tem­po­rary, par­tic­u­lar­ly dig­i­tal, life. And the­se things seem to sort of coex­ist, which is para­dox­i­cal and it’s some­thing that I try to make sense of in my book.

The Conversation #0 — Aengus Anderson and Micah Saul

Historically, there have been all of the­se moments, moments of social tur­moil where peo­ple have come togeth­er and they have ques­tioned a lot of the com­mon sense of their eras and they’ve torn it to bits. And the result has been kind of…truths, like new truths that become com­mon sense lat­er.

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