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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 #11 — Lisa Petrides

Obviously there’s human rights that have to do with water and air and safe­ty and shel­ter, but I think edu­ca­tion is right there with it because it real­ly is a pub­lic good. I have such a hard time with peo­ple who say, for exam­ple, who don’t have chil­dren and say, Well why should I pay those tax­es. I don’t have any­body in the schools. It’s not ben­e­fit­ting me.” And I think how can you pos­si­bly say that? Those are the peo­ple that are ser­vic­ing you, whether they’re ser­vic­ing your roads or your super­mar­ket or your med­ical offices.

Little Big Systems

We can’t let our young design­ers and devel­op­ers and writ­ers, who want to be crafts­men, be sep­a­rate from the stream of peo­ple who are work­ing on these real­ly com­plex, often kind of daunt­ing, intim­i­dat­ing, tricky prob­lems.

Re-calling the Modem World: The Dial-Up History Of Social Media

Where did the Internet come from? And in order to answer that ques­tion, you would have to have a pret­ty clear idea of what you mean when you say the Internet.” I sus­pect that if we were to poll every­body in the room, we would have a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent, some­times con­tra­dic­to­ry, some­times incom­pat­i­ble, some­times over­lap­ping, def­i­n­i­tions of the Internet.”

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