Economy And Environment Quotes

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The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse.
Herman E. Daly
The present convergence of crises––in money, energy, education, health, water, soil, climate, politics, the environment, and more––is a birth crisis, expelling us from the old world into a new.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
The re-establishment of an ecological balance depends on the ability of society to counteract the progressive materialization of values. The ecological balance cannot be re-established unless we recognize again that only persons have ends and only persons can work towards them.
Ivan Illich
Saving the world requires saving democracy. That requires well-informed citizens. Conservation, environment, poverty, community, education, family, health, economy- these combine to make one quest: liberty and justice for all. Whether one's special emphasis is global warming or child welfare, the cause is the same cause. And justice comes from the same place being human comes from: compassion.
Carl Safina (The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World)
No matter how many toys we amass we leave them behind when we die, just as we leave a broken environment, an economy that only benefits the richest, and a legacy of empowering greed over goodness. It is now time to commit to following a new path.
John Perkins
Economy and environment are the same thing. That is the rule of nature.
Mollie Beattie
If you use a philosophy education well, you can get your foot in the door of any industry you please. Industries are like the blossoms on a tree while philosophy is the trunk - it holds the tree together, but it often goes unnoticed.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Women - why aren't you running the world yet? Frankly I'm disappointed in you. Men are still far too dominant for their own good, and consequently we've made a testosterone-sodden pig's ear of just about everything: politics, the economy, religion, the environment ... you name it, it's in a gigantic man-wrought mess.
Charlie Brooker
There is great value in being able to say "yes" when people ask if there is anything they can do. By letting people pick herbs or slice bread instead of bringing a salad, you make your kitchen a universe in which you can give completely and ask for help. The more environments with that atmospheric makeup we can find or create, the better.
Tamar Adler (An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace)
Seriously, our nation is never going to be on the same page on issues like gun control, welfare, the economy, the environment, etc. I doubt we'll ever come to terms on tastes great or less filling and hybrids versus Hummers, and there will always be Yankees fans and Red Sox fans, and never the 'twain shall meet. Fortunately, all it takes for us to be of one mind is some buttercream frosting.
Jen Lancaster (Pretty in Plaid)
The angry men know that this golden age (of fossil fuels) has gone; but they cannot find the words for the constraints they hate. Clutching their copies of Atlas Shrugged, they flail around, accusing those who would impede them of communism, fascism, religiosity, misanthropy, but knowing at heart that these restrictions are driven by something far more repulsive to the unrestrained man: the decencies we owe to other human beings.
George Monbiot
If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money.
Guy McPherson
We have a finite environment—the planet. Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth in a finite environment is either a madman or an economist.
David Attenborough
If you believe that hard work pays off, then you work hard; if you think it’s hard to get ahead even when you try, then why try at all? Similarly, when people do fail, this mind-set allows them to look outward. I once ran into an old acquaintance at a Middletown bar who told me that he had recently quit his job because he was sick of waking up early. I later saw him complaining on Facebook about the “Obama economy” and how it had affected his life. I don’t doubt that the Obama economy has affected many, but this man is assuredly not among them. His status in life is directly attributable to the choices he’s made, and his life will improve only through better decisions. But for him to make better choices, he needs to live in an environment that forces him to ask tough questions about himself. There is a cultural movement in the white working class to blame problems on society or the government, and that movement gains adherents by the day.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
If you really think that the enviroment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money.
Dr. Guy McPherson
The paramount doctrine of the economic and technological euphoria of recent decades has been that everything depends on innovation. It was understood as desirable, and even necessary, that we should go on and on from one technological innovation to the next, which would cause the economy to "grow" and make everything better and better. This of course implied at every point a hatred of the past, of all things inherited and free. All things superceded in our progress of innovations, whatever their value might have been, were discounted as of no value at all.
Wendell Berry
Our entire system, in an economic sense, is based on restriction. Scarcity and inefficiency are the movers of money; the more there is of any resource the less you can charge for it. The more problems there are, the more opportunities there are to make money. This reality is a social disease, for people can actually gain off the misery of others and the destruction of the environment. Efficiency, abundance and sustainability are enemies of our economic structure, for they are inverse to the mechanics required to perpetuate consumption. This is profoundly critical to understand, for once you put this together you begin to see that the one billion people currently starving on this planet, the endless slums of the poor and all the horrors of a culture due to poverty and pravity are not natural phenomenon due to some natural human order or lack of earthly resources. They are products of the creation, perpetuation and preservation of artificial scarcity and inefficiency.
Peter Joseph
The world has a very serious problem, my friend' Shiva went on. 'Poor children still die by their millions. Westerners and the global rich -- like me -- live in post-scarcity society, while a billion people struggle to get enough to eat. And we're pushing the planet towards a tipping point, where the corals die and the forests burn and life becomes much, much harder. We have the resources to solve those problems, even now, but politics and economics and nationalism all get in the way. If we could access all those minds, though...
Ramez Naam (Crux (Nexus, #2))
To speak of ‘limits to growth’ under a capitalistic market economy is as meaningless as to speak of limits of warfare under a warrior society. The moral pieties, that are voiced today by many well-meaning environmentalists, are as naive as the moral pieties of multinationals are manipulative. Capitalism can no more be ‘persuaded’ to limit growth than a human being can be ‘persuaded’ to stop breathing. Attempts to ‘green’ capitalism, to make it ‘ecological’, are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth.
Murray Bookchin
If we keep pulling death from the ground, we will reap death from the skies.
Van Jones (The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems)
The individualism of current economic theory is manifest in the purely self-interested behavior it generally assumes. It has no real place for fairness, malevolence, and benevolence, nor for the preservation of human life or any other moral concern.
Herman E. Daly (For the Common Good: Redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future.)
If nonsatiety were the natural state of human nature then aggressive want-stimulating advertising would not be necessary, nor would the barrage of novelty aimed at promoting dissatisfaction with last year's model. The system attempts to remake people to fit its own presuppositions. If people's wants are not naturally insatiable we must make them so, in order to keep the system going.
Herman E. Daly (For the Common Good: Redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future.)
Even if we could grow our way out of the crisis and delay the inevitable and painful reconciliation of virtual and real wealth, there is the question of whether this would be a wise thing to do. Marginal costs of additional growth in rich countries, such as global warming, biodiversity loss and roadways choked with cars, now likely exceed marginal benefits of a little extra consumption. The end result is that promoting further economic growth makes us poorer, not richer.
Herman E. Daly (For the Common Good: Redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future.)
Transformations are a part of life. We are constantly being changed by things changing around us. Nobody can control that. Nobody can control the environment, the economy, luck, or the moods of others. Compositions change. Positions change. Dispositions change. Experiences change. Opportunities and attitudes change. You will change.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The schedules are crammed with shows urging us to travel further, drive faster, build bigger, buy more, yet none of them are deemed to offend the rules, which really means that they don't offend the interests of business or the pampered sensibilities of the Aga class. The media, driven by fear and advertising, are hopelessly biased towards the consumer economy and against the biosphere.
George Monbiot
The global economy is a doomsday machine that must be stopped and reprogrammed.
Kalle Lasn
With the global economy in chaos and the environment of the planet at risk, with war raging and suffering escalating, it is time for each of us in our own lives to take the leap and do whatever we can to help turn things around.
Pema Chödrön (Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears)
The economy is now consuming the planet’s available resources on a scale that rivals their supply while releasing its waste products back into the environment on a scale that greatly affects the major biogeophysical cycles of the planet.
James Gustave Speth
Many people don’t want to accept the evident fact that all difficulties in life—stagnant economy, high cost of living, adverse labor environment and so on—affect both men and women equally.
Cho Nam-Joo (Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982)
Just like how most if not all poor boys look up to and aspire to someday be rich men, most if not all underdeveloped and developing countries look up to and aspire to someday be developed countries.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Use and Misuse of Children)
All over the globe today, the environment is at odds with the economy, and the future of wildlife -- and our future, really -- is in the hands of lawmakers and world leaders. We have to choose who we're going to be, and what kind of world we want to leave behind for our children.
Katherine Roy
They were and are children of privilege... the privilege taught, learned, and imbibed, in a "liberal arts education" is the privilege to indict. These children have, in the main, never worked, learned to obey, command, construct, amend, or complete - to actually contribute to the society. They have learned to be shrill, and that their indictment, on the economy, on sex, on race, on the environment, though based on no experience other than hearsay, must trump any discourse, let alone opposition. It occurred to me that I had seen this behavior elsewhere, where it was called developmental difficulty.
David Mamet (The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture)
Providing free streets for vehicles and charging for public transit is taxing the necessities of the poor for the autogenocidal luxuries of the wealthy.
Heather Marsh (The Creation of Me, Them and Us)
With excess population you can't stabilise the economy of society, can't save the environment for society and can't subdue the evil in society.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
[...] in a predatory capitalist economy, state intervention would be an absolute necessity to preserve human existence and to prevent the destruction of the physical environment [...].
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
But if all behaviour, without exception, thus implies an energetics or an "economy", forming its affective aspect, the interaction with the environment which it instigates likewise requires a form or structure to determine the various possible circuits between subject and object.
Jean Piaget (The Psychology of Intelligence (Routledge Classics))
It seems madness to think that a society would rate marginal economic growth above a livable earth, but there you are. I had always assumed the reason to build a bigger economy was to make the world a better place. In fact, it appears, the reason to build a bigger economy is, well, to build a bigger economy.
Bill Bryson
We got rich by violating one of the central tenets of economics: thou shall not sell off your capital and call it income. And yet over the past 40 years we have clear-cut the forests, fished rivers and oceans to the brink of extinction and siphoned oil from the earth as if it possessed an infinite supply. We've sold off our planet's natural capital and called it income. And now the earth, like the economy, is stripped.
Kalle Lasn
As long as nuclear engineering can strive for new innovations and learn from its history of accidents and mistakes, the benefits that nuclear power can yield for our economy, society, and yes, environment, will come.
James Mahaffey (Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima)
There are some things in the world we can't change - gravity, entropy, the speed of light, and our biological nature that requires clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean energy and biodiversity for our health and well being. Protecting the biosphere should be our highest priority or else we sicken and die. Other things, like capitalism, free enterprise, the economy, currency, the market, are not forces of nature, we invented them. They are not immutable and we can change them. It makes no sense to elevate economics above the biosphere.
David Suzuki
The laws of thermodynamics tell us something quite different. Economic activity is merely borrowing low-entropy energy inputs from the environment and transforming them into temporary products and services of value. In the transformation process, often more energy is expended and lost to the environment than is embedded in the particular good or service being produced.
Jeremy Rifkin (The The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World)
The perfect society to which we aspire in theory may become a powerful enemy of the good society we can become in fact.
Mark Sagoff (The Economy Of The Earth: Philosophy, Law, And The Environment)
Cradle to Cradle is like good gardening; it is not about “saving” the planet but about learning to thrive on it.
Michael Braungart (Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things)
Kenneth Boulding’s bon mot, ‘To believe that the economy can grow forever in a finite world, you have to be a madman or an economist’.
Wolfgang Sachs (Planet Dialectics: Explorations in Environment and Development)
The economic consequences of these policies have been the same just about everywhere, and exactly what one would expect: a massive increase in social and economic inequality, a marked increase in severe deprivation for the poorest nations and peoples of the world, a disastrous global environment, an unstable global economy and an unprecedented bonanza for the wealthy.
Noam Chomsky (Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order)
There needs to be an intersection of the set of people who wish to go, and the set of people who can afford to go...and that intersection of sets has to be enough to establish a self-sustaining civilisation. My rough guess is that for a half-million dollars, there are enough people that could afford to go and would want to go. But it’s not going to be a vacation jaunt. It’s going to be saving up all your money and selling all your stuff, like when people moved to the early American colonies...even at a million people you’re assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.Excluding organic growth, if you could take 100 people at a time, you would need 10,000 trips to get to a million people. But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we’re talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship...If we can establish a Mars colony, we can almost certainly colonise the whole Solar System, because we’ll have created a strong economic forcing function for the improvement of space travel. We’ll go to the moons of Jupiter, at least some of the outer ones for sure, and probably Titan on Saturn, and the asteroids. Once we have that forcing function, and an Earth-to-Mars economy, we’ll cover the whole Solar System. But the key is that we have to make the Mars thing work. If we’re going to have any chance of sending stuff to other star systems, we need to be laser-focused on becoming a multi-planet civilisation. That’s the next step.
Elon Musk
You may have control of your life, but you cannot control your environment. You cannot control the economy, trends, family circumstances, accidents, unexpected expenses, and the weather of life. You cannot control other people and their moods, personal situations, or issues. You cannot control biases or changes in your industry of choice. You cannot even control jealousy and envy in others. However, you can control your own STRENGTH to get back up and START AGAIN. Destiny is manifested only through action. You cannot be the captain of your own destiny, only the sailor, because we cannot control external influences that may alter the stability or direction of our ships. Once you understand this basic principle, you won't be so hard on yourself when things don't go your way. If man could write his own fate, he would have designed his journey to be without obstacles. Yet all obstacles come with valuable lessons designed just for you and only you. Suffering is imposed on us time and again so that one day we would become brave wise masters. Faith keeps our ships moving, while empathy and the memories of our experiences lead to wisdom.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Thomas rather thought Foley might ask what purpose was served by an economy whose success and protection depended on people living in ugly, sterile, unhealthy environments-he'd met that argument before and admittedly had had some difficulty refuting it-but the ex-pilot merely shrugged and said, "There's more to trees than you think. I've run across some trees I'd sooner hug than a woman.
Tom Robbins (Villa Incognito)
Conservatism and conservation are two aspects of a single long-term policy, which is that of husbanding resources and ensuring their renewal. These resources include the social capital embodied in laws, customs and institutions; they also include the material capital contained in the environment, and the economic capital contained in a free but law-governed economy. According to this view, the purpose of politics is not to rearrange society in the interests of some over-arching vision or ideal, such as equality, liberty or fraternity. It is to maintain a vigilant resistance to the entropic forces that threaten our social and ecological equilibrium. The goal is to pass on to future generations, and meanwhile to maintain and enhance, the order of which we are the temporary trustees.
Roger Scruton (Green Philosophy: How to think seriously about the planet)
He did not foresee that in a predatory capitalist economy, state intervention would be an absolute necessity to preserve human existence and to prevent the destruction of the physical environment—I speak optimistically.
Noam Chomsky (On Anarchism)
It would be truly foolish to let the decline of communism blind us to the long-term contradictions in a free market economy unrestrained by considerations of the environment and social justice, and driven by heedless consumerism, instant gratification, and the quick fix. Our dedication to growth at all costs puts us on a collision course with the environment. Our dedication to the illusion of endless climaxes puts us on a collision course with the human psyche.
George Leonard (Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment)
If the real human environment in developed countries today is third-growth monocultured “forests,” tar-sand petroleum, cow-burnt grasslands, and smog-like clouds of microplastics floating in oceans where fish once thrived, then human cultures need to distinguish between sentimentality about loss and the imperative to survive. They need to establish a more relevant politics than the competitive politics of nation-states. And to found economies built not on profit but on conservation.
Barry Lopez (Horizon)
You may have control of your life, but you cannot control your environment. You cannot control the economy, trends, family circumstances, accidents, unexpected expenses, and the weather of life. You cannot control other people and their moods, personal situations, or issues. You cannot control biases or changes in your industry of choice. You cannot control jealousy and envy in others. Unfortunately you cannot control everything. However, you can control your own STRENGTH to get back up and START AGAIN.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
In today’s hypercompetitive environment enabled by technology, ownership of infrastructure no longer provides a defensible advantage. Instead, flexibility provides the crucial competitive edge, competition is perpetual motion, and advantage is evanescent.
Geoffrey G. Parker (Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You)
This is one of the ironies of being told that we live in a time of unprecedented connection. It is true that we can and do communicate across vast geographies with an ease and speed that were unimaginable only a generation ago. But in the midst of this global web of chatter, we somehow manage to be less connected to the people with whom we are most intimately enmeshed... Ours is an economy of ghosts, of deliberate blindness. Air is the ultimate unseen, and the greenhouse gases that warm it are our most elusive ghosts of all.
Naomi Klein (On Fire: The Case for the Green New Deal)
Scratch the surface and the “cheap food” brought to us by factory farms turns out to be a false economy. In 2003, researchers at Essex University calculated that British taxpayers spend up to £2.3 billion every year repairing the damage that industrial farming does to the environment and human health.
Carl Honoré (In Praise Of Slow)
Some of the leaders of the backlash said their name was an acronym for “Taxed Enough Already.” Maybe this was true at first. But the Tea Party was soon infused with paranoia that had nothing to do with taxes. While the ugliness caught Washington observers by surprise, anyone who had spent time in a battleground state recognized it instantly. Back in Ohio, volunteers had been told to check boxes corresponding to a voter’s most important issue: economy, environment, health care. But what box were you supposed to check when a voter’s concern was that Obama was a secret Muslim? Or a terrorist? Or a communist? Or the actual, literal Antichrist? How could you convince a voter whose pastor told them your candidate would bring about the biblical end of days? Other people were just plain racist. Outside an unemployment center in Canton, a skinny white man with stringy hair and a ratty T-shirt told me he would never, ever support my candidate. When I asked why, he took two fingers and tapped them against the veiny underside of his forearm. At first I didn’t understand. “You won’t vote for Obama because you’re a heroin addict?” It took me at least ten seconds to realize he was gesturing to the color of his skin.
David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years)
The digital age is Heraclitus on steroids: change is a daily constant. In almost every professional environment, we are expected to use and master tools that did not exist a decade ago, or even last year. For better or worse (and frankly, it is often for worse), organizations have access, essentially, to infinite amounts of data, and what might as well be an infinite variety of ways to sort through and act on that data. At the same time, ideas can be turned into reality at unprecedented speed. The thing Amazon, Facebook, and no less hot firms, including Zara, have in common is they are agile (the new-economy term for fast).
Scott Galloway (The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google)
EMBRACE YOUR TRANSFORMATIONS Transformations are a part of life. We are constantly being changed by things changing around us. Nobody can control that. Nobody can control the environment, the economy, luck, or the moods of others. Compositions change. Positions change. Dispositions change. Experiences change. Opportunities and attitudes change. YOU will change. Never say never unless you can predict the future. Do not only remember people when you are down. Be good to others and always give to others when you can. Every man will fall at some point in their life. But do remember, you are a reflection of the universe and every man experiences the seasons within. Meaning, you will fall many times, but also spring back up. You will have sunny days, but also many bad days where you feel like dying. You never know when you will need help, and help will only remember you if you were good to them when you were UP. Not a singe wave is constant. You are no different. You are like music, a moving composition of vibrations and waves. You will experience happiness, sadness, pain and loss many times. Just learn to enjoy the music and never take setbacks too seriously. They are only temporary. And whenever you do fall , just remember that spring is just around the corner.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
By putting economic growth on equal footing with the preservation of human health, by promoting a need to possess and to consume that borders on the pathological, and by permitting industries to run roughshod over landscapes in order to create financial profit, the governments of industrialized nations have supported the changes that are primarily responsible for the befouled and poisonous environment that in many places has become our heritage. What resistance humanity is able to mount to the juggernaut that many call “the economy" is essentially an objection to the indifference towards human and nonhuman life that drives the juggernaut." Horizon
Barry Lopez
As our organized system perfects itself, there is less "open" environment. It is hard for a social animal to grow when there is not an open margin to grow in: some open space, some open economy, some open mores, some activity free from regulation...A society cannot have decided all possibilities beforehand and have structured them. If society becomes too tightly integrated and pre-empts all the available space, materials and methods... when time, clothes, opinions and goals become so regulated that people feel they cannot be "themselves" or create something new, they bolt and look for fringes and margins, loop-holes, holes in the wall, or they just run.
Paul Goodman (Growing Up Absurd)
Our economic models are projections and arrows when they should be circles. To define perpetual growth on a finite planet as the sole measure of economic well-being is to engage in a form of slow collective suicide. To deny or exclude from the calculus of governance and economy the costs of violating the biological support systems of life is the logic of delusion.
Wade Davis (The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World (CBC Massey Lecture))
I consider myself a “social ecologist,” concerned with man’s man-made environment the way the natural ecologist studies the biological environment.....the discipline itself boasts an old and distinguished lineage. Its greatest document is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. But no one is as close to me in temperament, concepts, and approach as the mid-Victorian Englishman Walter Bagehot. Living (as I have) in an age of great social change, Bagehot first saw the emergence of new institutions: civil service and cabinet government, as cores of a functioning democracy, and banking as the center of a functioning economy. A hundred years after Bagehot, I was first to identify management as the new social institution of the emerging society of organizations and, a little later, to spot the emergence of knowledge as the new central resource, and knowledge workers as the new ruling class of a society that is not only “postindustrial” but postsocialist and, increasingly, post-capitalist. As it had been for Bagehot, for me too the tension between the need for continuity and the need for innovation and change was central to society and civilization.
Peter F. Drucker (The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done)
Humans began to show their pathogenic potential toward the planet during the 1950s, ravenously devouring natural resources and discarding waste into the environment with utter carelessness. From 1990 to 1997, human global consumption grew as much as it did from the beginning of civilization until 1950. In fact, the global economy grew more in 1997 alone than during the entire 17th century.
Joseph C. Jenkins (The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure)
Similarly, when people do fail, this mind-set allows them to look outward. I once ran into an old acquaintance at a Middletown bar who told me that he had recently quit his job because he was sick of waking up early. I later saw him complaining on Facebook about the “Obama economy” and how it had affected his life. I don’t doubt that the Obama economy has affected many, but this man is assuredly not among them. His status in life is directly attributable to the choices he’s made, and his life will improve only through better decisions. But for him to make better choices, he needs to live in an environment that forces him to ask tough questions about himself. There is a cultural movement in the white working class to blame problems on society or the government, and that movement gains adherents by the day. Here
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
We are fossil fuel addicts. What happens when drug addicts detox? They can be rash, cranky, even psychotic and dangerous. It would be good for the environment if the entire economy abruptly quit fossil fuels, but that's not realistic. I wouldn't want to be around if it ever happened. Perhaps it's best to think of natural gas like methadone. It's a way for an energy addicted society to get off dirtier fuels and smooth out the detox bumps.
Russell Gold (The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World)
The gross domestic product (GDP) was created in the 1930s to measure the value of the sum total of economic goods and services generated over a single year. The problem with the index is that it counts negative as well as positive economic activity. If a country invests large sums of money in armaments, builds prisons, expands police security, and has to clean up polluted environments and the like, it’s included in the GDP. Simon Kuznets, an American who invented the GDP measurement tool, pointed out early on that “[t]he welfare of a nation can . . . scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income.”28 Later in life, Kuznets became even more emphatic about the drawbacks of relying on the GDP as a gauge of economic prosperity. He warned that “[d]istinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth . . . . Goals for ‘more’ growth should specify more growth of what and for what.”29
Jeremy Rifkin (The The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World)
Fortunately, ideas already exist for how to achieve every aspect of deconsumer society that appears in this book. Lifespan labeling can encourage product durability: new tax regimes and regulations can favour repair over disposability, job-sharing programs and shorter work days or work weeks can keep people employed in a slower, smaller economy. Redistribution of wealth can reverse income inequality, or prevent it from worsening in a lower-consuming world.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
Indifference to growth is heresy among Western capitalists. Yet no-growth business makes up a large part of the economy already. No one expects their local family-run restaurant to endlessly enlarge. That same model is common among the longest-lived businesses, said Tetsuya O'Hara, a product innovation consultant who has worked with Gap Inc. and Patagonia....Japan is a hotbed for them (long lived-businesses) with nearly thirty-five thousand companies that are more than a century old, and dozens that have endured for more than five hundred years.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
People come from all over the world to see what's happening in our area, to see the speed with which our technology is changing and what that means in terms of the economy and education, and that whole entrepreneurial spirit comes over to protecting the environment and dealing with education and other issues - just solving problems. Then you come back here [Washington D.C.] and you're engaged in debates based on old, stale assumptions. It's practically irrelevant to what is going on in the state...It's a state of mind that exists in our area that has to be represented at the table.
Marc Sandalow (Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi's Life, Times, and Rise to Power)
•   The loss of a guaranteed economy and thus job prospects; •   The loss of confidence in government, since no one now knows how to cope; •   The loss of understanding between generations, exacerbated by emerging technologies; •   The loss of communication skills in a rapidly changing world; •   The loss of old moralities; •   The loss of US dominance in a world of wars we cannot win; •   The loss of our conviction about exceptionalism that was, we thought, immune to violence; •   The loss of a center that no longer holds; •   The loss of old certitudes; •   The loss of a viable “natural” environment; •   The loss of a world peopled only by “our kind.
Walter Brueggemann (The Practice of Prophetic Imagination)
In this current environment of precarity, this so-called gig economy, it is difficult not to romanticize a job that ends, just like many romanticize being a writer so as to not have a job, to have one’s hours to one’s self after a certain time, to have weekends, to not have capitalism suck up all available energy and possible time, not having to work constantly, including often for free, in this nebulous and borderless realm of publicizing one’s self and one’s work, in order to continue, not even to succeed, but just to continue. Although both possibilities are most likely fictions. Maybe the only way to truly luxuriate in thinking and time was to be independently wealthy.
Kate Zambreno (To Write as if Already Dead (Rereadings))
Just as humanity has extended this basic equal consideration to humans (including those who were once outside of our moral community), we must extend this basic equal consideration to animals if we are going to treat like cases alike. Animals are very clearly in possession of a subjective experience of their own lives. Anyone who lives with companion animals knows this is true. I live with two dogs and a cat, and I know that each of them has wants, moods, desires, and needs.10 They are not mere automatons, reacting machine-like to the stimuli around them as behaviorists would likely argue. Instead, they are beings that are aware of themselves, their environment, and those around them.
Bob Torres (Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights)
The federal government could make a Rolls Royce affordable for every American, but we would not be a richer country as a result. We would in fact be a much poorer country, because of all the vast resources transferred from other economic activities to subsidize an extravagant luxury. [...] To have politicians arbitrarily change the price tags, so that prices no longer represent the real costs, is to defeat the whole purpose [of an economy: to make trade-offs, with the prices of a market economy representing the costs of producing things]. Reality doesn't change when the government changes price tags. Talk about "bringing down health care costs" is not aimed at the costly legal environment in which medical science operates, or other sources of needless medical costs. It is aimed at price control, which hides costs rather than reducing them. [...] Whether in France during the 1790s, the Soviet Union after the Bolshevik revolution, or in newly independent African nations during the past generation, governments have imposed artificially low prices on food. In each case, this led to artificially low supplies of food and artificially high levels of hunger. People who complain about the "prohibitive" cost of housing, or of going to college, for example, fail to understand that the whole point of costs is to be prohibitive. [...] The idea [that "basic necessities" should be a "right"] certainly sounds nice. But the very fact that we can seriously entertain such a notion, as if we were God on the first day of creation, instead of mortals constrained by the universe we find in place, shows the utter unreality of failing to understand that we can only make choices among alternatives actually available. [...] Trade-offs [as opposed to solutions] remain inescapable, whether they are made through a market or through politics. The difference is that price tags present all the trade-offs simultaneously, while political 'affordability' policies arbitrarily fix on whatever is hot at the moment. That is why cities have been financing all kinds of boondoggles for years, while their bridges rusted and the roadways crumbled.
Thomas Sowell (The Thomas Sowell Reader)
Let me begin with globalization. [...] Narrowly defined, it is meant to mean instant movement of capital and the rapid distribution of data and products operating within a politically neutral environment shaped by multinational corporate demands. Its larger connotations, however, are less innocent, encompassing as they do not only the demonization of embargoed states or the trivialization cum negotiation with warlords, but also the colapse of nation-sates under the weight of transnational economies, capital, and labor; the preeminence of Western culture and economy; the Amerizanization of the developed and developing world through the penetration of US culture into others as well as the marketing of third-world cultures to the West as fashion, film setting, and cuisine.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
For most of human history, when you were born you inherited an off-the-shelf package of religious and cultural constraints. This was a kind of library of limits that was embedded in your social and physical environment. These limits performed certain self-regulatory tasks for you so you didn’t have to take them on yourself. The packages included habits, practices, rituals, social conventions, moral codes, and a myriad of other constraints that had typically evolved over many centuries, if not millennia, to reliably guide – or shall we say design – our lives in the direction of particular values, and to help us give attention to the things that matter most. In the twentieth century the rise of secularism and modernism in the West occasioned the collapse – if not the jettisoning – of many of these off-the-shelf packages of constraints in the cause of the liberation of the individual. In many cases, this rejection occurred on the basis of philosophical or cosmological disagreements with the old packages. This has, of course, had many great benefits. Yet by rejecting entire packages of constraint, we’ve also rejected those constraints that were actually useful for our purposes. “The left’s project of liberation,” writes the American philosopher Matthew Crawford, “led us to dismantle inherited cultural jigs that once imposed a certain coherence (for better and worse) on individual lives. This created a vacuum of cultural authority that has been filled, opportunistically, with attentional landscapes that get installed by whatever ‘choice architect’ brings the most energy to the task – usually because it sees the profit potential.” The German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, in his book You Must Change Your Life, has called for a reclamation of this particular aspect of religion – its habits and practices – which he calls “anthropotechnics.”6 When you dismantle existing boundaries in your environment, it frees you from their limitations, but it requires you to bring your own boundaries where you didn’t have to before. Sometimes, taking on this additional self-regulatory burden is totally worth it. Other times, though, the cost is too high. According to the so-called “ego-depletion” hypothesis, our self-control, our willpower, is a finite resource.7 So when the self-regulatory cost of bringing your own boundaries is high enough, it takes away willpower that could have been spent on something else.
James Williams (Stand out of our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy)
This isn’t some libertarian mistrust of government policy, which is healthy in any democracy. This is deep skepticism of the very institutions of our society. And it’s becoming more and more mainstream. We can’t trust the evening news. We can’t trust our politicians. Our universities, the gateway to a better life, are rigged against us. We can’t get jobs. You can’t believe these things and participate meaningfully in society. Social psychologists have shown that group belief is a powerful motivator in performance. When groups perceive that it’s in their interest to work hard and achieve things, members of that group outperform other similarly situated individuals. It’s obvious why: If you believe that hard work pays off, then you work hard; if you think it’s hard to get ahead even when you try, then why try at all? Similarly, when people do fail, this mind-set allows them to look outward. I once ran into an old acquaintance at a Middletown bar who told me that he had recently quit his job because he was sick of waking up early. I later saw him complaining on Facebook about the “Obama economy” and how it had affected his life. I don’t doubt that the Obama economy has affected many, but this man is assuredly not among them. His status in life is directly attributable to the choices he’s made, and his life will improve only through better decisions. But for him to make better choices, he needs to live in an environment that forces him to ask tough questions about himself. There is a cultural movement in the white working class to blame problems on society or the government, and that movement gains adherents by the day. Here is where the rhetoric of modern conservatives (and I say this as one of them) fails to meet the real challenges of their biggest constituents. Instead of encouraging engagement, conservatives increasingly foment the kind of detachment that has sapped the ambition of so many of my peers. I have watched some friends blossom into successful adults and others fall victim to the worst of Middletown’s temptations—premature parenthood, drugs, incarceration. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives. Yet the message of the right is increasingly: It’s not your fault that you’re a loser; it’s the government’s fault. My dad, for example, has never disparaged hard work, but he mistrusts some of the most obvious paths to upward mobility. When
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
i like to go into the roots of words, because they often show early insights, a fresh perception of meaning. the word 'economy' has a greek root, meaning 'household management'. we can say that there are so many households in the world and they all behave independently. in fact they are all interdependent. the earth is one household really, but we are not treating it that way. so the first step in economics is to say, the earth is one household, it is all one. The implicate order would help us to see that, to see that everything enfolds everything, but actually everybody is everybody in a deeper sense. we are the earth, because our substance comes from earth and goes back to it. it is a mistake to say that environmentjust surrounding us, because that would be like the brain regarding the rest of the body as part of its environment.
David Bohm
I gave a magic wand to Amanda Rinderle of Tuckerman & Co., maker of probably the world's most sustainable dress shirts. If she could use it, I asked, to change one thing in order to help create an economy of better but less, what would that one thing be?...she would make prices tell the whole truth. Right now, prices reflect demand for goods and services and the costs of producing them: materials, energy, manufacturing, shipping. Mostly excluded are the consequences of production and consumption, from pollution to soil erosion to carbon emissions to habitat loss and onward to the human health effects of all these, the incredible destruction wrought by wildfires, floods and storms in the age of climate chaos, the burden of two billion tonnes of garbage each year, and the incalculable moral injury of driving million-year-old species into extinction.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
From this failure to expunge the microeconomic foundations of neoclassical economics from post-Great Depression theory arose the "microfoundations of macroeconomics" debate, which ultimately led to a model in which the economy is viewed as a single utility-maximizing individual blessed with perfect knowledge of the future. Fortunately, behavioral economics provides the beginnings of an alternative vision of how individuals operate in a market environment, while multi-agent modelling and network theory give us foundations for understanding group dynamics in a complex society. These approaches explicitly emphasize what neoclassical economics has evaded: that aggregation of heterogeneous individuals results in emergent properties of the group, which cannot be reduced to the behavior of any "representative individual." These approaches should replace neoclassical microeconomics completely.
Steve Keen (Adbusters #84 Pop Nihilism)
A long decade ago economic growth was the reigning fashion of political economy. It was simultaneously the hottest subject of economic theory and research, a slogan eagerly claimed by politicians of all stripes, and a serious objective of the policies of governments. The climate of opinion has changed dramatically. Disillusioned critics indict both economic science and economic policy for blind obeisance to aggregate material "progress," and for neglect of its costly side effects. Growth, it is charged, distorts national priorities, worsens the distribution of income, and irreparably damages the environment. Paul Erlich speaks for a multitude when he says, "We must acquire a life style which has as its goal maximum freedom and happiness for the individual, not a maximum Gross National Product." [in Nordhaus, William D. and James Tobin., "Is growth obsolete?" Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect Vol 5: Economic Growth. Nber, 1972. 1-80]
James Tobin (Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect : Economic Growth (General Series, No 96))
Here I am, here to please, to knock on your heart, tug on your sleeve, and sir, do you have a moment to discuss your life goals? The state of the economy? The state that wants secession? The recession of hair, of tides? The ceasefire and the forest fire and the brand-new flavor of fire-roasted pretzels? The exegesis of today’s front-page headlines? The story of how the world will end, slash, how the world began, slash, what kind of world is this, anyway, slash, how ‘bout that certain team that plays that certain sport? How about the environment? The economy? The bathroom? As in, can I use yours? Do you like comedy? Would you perhaps consider a list of vintage novelties you played with as a child? A listicle of popsicles you ate as a child? The story of your inner child? The story of the baby and the bathwater? The story of the baby otter and the baby giraffe and their unlikely friendship? “Can you just skip the stories and give me the pamphlet?
Hilary Leichter (Temporary)
It was a quiet revolution. Most downshifters dressed quite a bit like everyone else and lived in ordinary neighborhoods rather than communes or cabins in the woods. Seattle emerged as the nexus of voluntary simplicity as the growing tech industry-Microsoft's headquarters were there-made the city synonymous with the overworked, conspicuously consuming yuppie, while many other residents were still mixed in a lingering recession. The result was perhaps the most deliberate experiment in stopping shopping in modern times: a whole city in which the rejection of consumerism entered the mainstream. For nearly a decade, few aspects of daily life in Seattle were left unchanged by its shadow culture....For a few rare years, the consumer lifestyle was uncooled. 'We were sure in the '90s that we were the up-and-coming lifestyle choice,' Vicki Robin, coauthor of the downshifting classic 'Your Money or Your Life' told me....Then the global economy came roaring back to life, Seattle became better known for billionaires than plain living, and downshifting faded.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
Much of the so-called environmental movement today has transmuted into an aggressively nefarious and primitive faction. In the last fifteen years, many of the tenets of utopian statism have coalesced around something called the “degrowth” movement. Originating in Europe but now taking a firm hold in the United States, the “degrowthers,” as I shall characterize them, include in their ranks none other than President Barack Obama. On January 17, 2008, Obama made clear his hostility toward, of all things, electricity generated from coal and coal-powered plants. He told the San Francisco Chronicle, “You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal . . . under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. . . .”3 Obama added, “. . . So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”4 Degrowthers define their agenda as follows: “Sustainable degrowth is a downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions and equity on the planet. It calls for a future where societies live within their ecological means, with open localized economies and resources more equally distributed through new forms of democratic institutions.”5 It “is an essential economic strategy to pursue in overdeveloped countries like the United States—for the well-being of the planet, of underdeveloped populations, and yes, even of the sick, stressed, and overweight ‘consumer’ populations of overdeveloped countries.”6 For its proponents and adherents, degrowth has quickly developed into a pseudo-religion and public-policy obsession. In fact, the degrowthers insist their ideology reaches far beyond the environment or even its odium for capitalism and is an all-encompassing lifestyle and governing philosophy. Some of its leading advocates argue that “Degrowth is not just an economic concept. We shall show that it is a frame constituted by a large array of concerns, goals, strategies and actions. As a result, degrowth has now become a confluence point where streams of critical ideas and political action converge.”7 Degrowth is “an interpretative frame for a social movement, understood as the mechanism through which actors engage in a collective action.”8 The degrowthers seek to eliminate carbon sources of energy and redistribute wealth according to terms they consider equitable. They reject the traditional economic reality that acknowledges growth as improving living conditions generally but especially for the impoverished. They embrace the notions of “less competition, large scale redistribution, sharing and reduction of excessive incomes and wealth.”9 Degrowthers want to engage in polices that will set “a maximum income, or maximum wealth, to weaken envy as a motor of consumerism, and opening borders (“no-border”) to reduce means to keep inequality between rich and poor countries.”10 And they demand reparations by supporting a “concept of ecological debt, or the demand that the Global North pays for past and present colonial exploitation in the Global South.”11
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
I want to convince you that intellectual property is important, that it is something that any informed citizen needs to know a little about, in the same way that any informed citizen needs to know at least something about the environment, or civil rights, or the way the economy works. I will try my best to be fair, to explain the issues and give both sides of the argument. Still, you should know that this is more than mere description. In the pages that follow, I try to show that current intellectual property policy is overwhelmingly and tragically bad in ways that everyone, and not just lawyers or economists, should care about. We are making bad decisions that will have a negative effect on our culture, our kids’ schools, and our communications networks; on free speech, medicine, and scientific research. We are wasting some of the promise of the Internet, running the risk of ruining an amazing system of scientific innovation, carving out an intellectual property exemption to the First Amendment. I do not write this as an enemy of intellectual property, a dot-communist ready to end all property rights; in fact, I am a fan. It is precisely because I am a fan that I am so alarmed about the direction we are taking.
[Hyun Song Shin] most accurately portrayed the state of the global economy. 'I'd like to tell you about the Millennium Bridge in London,' he began…'The bridge was opened by the queen on a sunny day in June,' Shin continued. 'The press was there in force, and many thousands of people turned up to savor the occasion. However, within moments of the bridge's opening, it began to shake violently.' The day it opened, the Millennium Bridge was closed. The engineers were initially mystified about what had gone wrong. Of course it would be a problem if a platoon of soldiers marched in lockstep across the bridge, creating sufficiently powerful vertical vibration to produce a swaying effect. The nearby Albert Bridge, built more than a century earlier, even features a sign directing marching soldiers to break step rather than stay together when crossing. But that's not what happened at the Millennium Bridge. 'What is the probability that a thousand people walking at random will end up walking exactly in step, and remain in lockstep thereafter?' Shin asked. 'It is tempting to say, 'Close to Zero' ' But that's exactly what happened. The bridge's designers had failed to account for how people react to their environment. When the bridge moved slightly under the feet of those opening-day pedestrians, each individual naturally adjusted his or her stance for balance, just a little bit—but at the same time and in the same direction as every other individual. That created enough lateral force to turn a slight movement into a significant one. 'In other words,' said Shin, 'the wobble of the bridge feeds on itself. The wobble will continue and get stronger even though the initial shock—say, a small gust of wind—had long passed…Stress testing on the computer that looks only at storms, earthquakes, and heavy loads on the bridge would regard the events on the opening day as a 'perfect storm.' But this is a perfect storm that is guaranteed to come every day.' In financial markets, as on the Millennium Bridge, each individual player—every bank and hedge fund and individual investor—reacts to what is happening around him or her in concert with other individuals. When the ground shifts under the world's investors, they all shift their stance. And when they all shift their stance in the same direction at the same time, it just reinforces the initial movement. Suddenly, the whole system is wobbling violently. Ben Bernanke, Mervyn King, Jean-Claude Trichet, and the other men and women at Jackson Hole listened politely and then went to their coffee break.
Neil Irwin (The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire)
out of informal learning communities if they fail to meet our needs; we enjoy no such mobility in our relations to formal education. Affinity spaces are also highly generative environments from which new aesthetic experiments and innovations emerge. A 2005 report on The Future of Independent Media argued that this kind of grassroots creativity was an important engine of cultural transformation: The media landscape will be reshaped by the bottom-up energy of media created by amateurs and hobbyists as a matter of course. This bottom-up energy will generate enormous creativity, but it will also tear apart some of the categories that organize the lives and work of media makers.... A new generation of media-makers and viewers are emerging which could lead to a sea change in how media is made and consumed.12 This report celebrates a world in which everyone has access to the means of creative expression and the networks supporting artistic distribution. The Pew study suggests something more: young people who create and circulate their own media are more likely to respect the intellectual property rights of others because they feel a greater stake in the cultural economy.13 Both reports suggest we are moving away from a world in which some produce and many consume media toward one in which everyone has a
Henry Jenkins (Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century)
the cotton fields and strawberry patches of a much harsher world whose tragedies and daily burdens had blunted her temperament and quelled her emotions. But its most immediate impact on this teenage girl was not the lack of a demure coquettishness that otherwise might have defined her had she grown up in better circumstances; it was the visible evidence of the hardship of her journey. This was not a pom-pom-waving homecoming queen or a varsity athlete who had toned her body in a local gym. My mother never complained, but it was her struggles that had visibly shaped her shoulders, grown her biceps, and crusted her palms—while in a less visible way narrowing her view of her own long-term horizons. Decades later, when I was in my forties, I suppressed a defensive anger as I watched my mother sit quietly in an expansive waterfront Florida living room while a well-bred woman her age described the supposedly difficult impact of the Great Depression on her family. As the woman told it, the crash on Wall Street and the failed economy had made it necessary for them to ship their car by rail from New York to Florida when they headed south for the winter. Who could predict, she reasoned, whether there would be food or gasoline if their driver had to refuel and dine in the remote and hostile environs of small-town Georgia? My mother merely smiled and nodded, as
James Webb (I Heard My Country Calling: A Memoir)
Build houses and make yourselves at home. You are not camping. This is your home; make yourself at home. This may not be your favorite place, but it is a place. Dig foundations; construct a habitation; develop the best environment for living that you can. If all you do is sit around and pine for the time you get back to Jerusalem, your present lives will be squalid and empty. Your life right now is every bit as valuable as it was when you were in Jerusalem, and every bit as valuable as it will be when you get back to Jerusalem. Babylonian exile is not your choice, but it is what you are given. Build a Babylonian house and live in it as well as you are able. Put in gardens and eat what grows in the country. Enter into the rhythm of the seasons. Become a productive part of the economy of the place. You are not parasites. Don’t expect others to do it for you. Get your hands into the Babylonian soil. Become knowledgeable about the Babylonian irrigation system. Acquire skill in cultivating fruits and vegetables in this soil and climate. Get some Babylonian recipes and cook them. Marry and have children. These people among whom you are living are not beneath you, nor are they above you; they are your equals with whom you can engage in the most intimate and responsible of relationships. You cannot be the person God wants you to be if you keep yourself aloof from others. That which you have in common is far more significant than what separates you. They are God’s persons: your task as a person of faith is to develop trust and conversation, love and understanding. Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare. Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you. Welfare: shalom. Shalom means wholeness, the dynamic, vibrating health of a society that pulses with divinely directed purpose and surges with life-transforming love. Seek the shalom and pray for it. Throw yourselves into the place in which you find yourselves, but not on its terms, on God’s terms. Pray. Search for that center in which God’s will is being worked out (which is what we do when we pray) and work from that center. Jeremiah’s letter is a rebuke and a challenge: “Quit sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves. The aim of the person of faith is not to be as comfortable as possible but to live as deeply and thoroughly as possible—to deal with the reality of life, discover truth, create beauty, act out love. You didn’t do it when you were in Jerusalem. Why don’t you try doing it here, in Babylon? Don’t listen to the lying prophets who make an irresponsible living by selling you false hopes. You are in Babylon for a long time. You better make the best of it. Don’t just get along, waiting for some miraculous intervention. Build houses, plant gardens, marry husbands, marry wives, have children, pray for the wholeness of Babylon, and do everything you can to develop that wholeness. The only place you have to be human is where you are right now. The only opportunity you will ever have to live by faith is in the circumstances you are provided this very day: this house you live in, this family you find yourself in, this job you have been given, the weather conditions that prevail at this moment.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
Mattis and Gary Cohn had several quiet conversations about The Big Problem: The president did not understand the importance of allies overseas, the value of diplomacy or the relationship between the military, the economy and intelligence partnerships with foreign governments. They met for lunch at the Pentagon to develop an action plan. One cause of the problem was the president’s fervent belief that annual trade deficits of about $500 billion harmed the American economy. He was on a crusade to impose tariffs and quotas despite Cohn’s best efforts to educate him about the benefits of free trade. How could they convince and, in their frank view, educate the president? Cohn and Mattis realized they were nowhere close to persuading him. The Groundhog Day–like meetings on trade continued and the acrimony only grew. “Let’s get him over here to the Tank,” Mattis proposed. The Tank is the Pentagon’s secure meeting room for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It might focus him. “Great idea,” Cohn said. “Let’s get him out of the White House.” No press; no TVs; no Madeleine Westerhout, Trump’s personal secretary, who worked within shouting distance of the Oval Office. There wouldn’t even be any looking out the window, because there were no windows in the Tank. Getting Trump out of his natural environment could do the trick. The idea was straight from the corporate playbook—a retreat or off-site meeting. They would get Trump to the Tank with his key national security and economic team to discuss worldwide strategic relations. Mattis and Cohn agreed. Together they would fight Trump on this. Trade wars or disruptions in the global markets could savage and undermine the precarious stability in the world. The threat could spill over to the military and intelligence community. Mattis couldn’t understand why the U.S. would want to pick a fight with allies, whether it was NATO, or friends in the Middle East, or Japan—or particularly with South Korea.
Bob Woodward (Fear: Trump in the White House)
also been a white-collar worker in my career. In my experience, there are two types of people who do this type of work: Achievers and Hiders. Achievers are the people who want to perform at a high level. They are ambitious, motivated and energetic. They are full of ideas and want to move up the corporate ladder, which are great attributes to have. But there is a downside for the Achiever. The moment a person decides to be an Achiever, they become a target. Their boss sees them as threatening to their job, so they start to hold them down or take shots at their reputation. Their peers see them as a person who will either embarrass them or keep them from getting a promotion, so they start to do what they can to undermine their accomplishments. So, to remain an Achiever and survive in this hostile environment, a person must become good at one thing that has nothing to do with their productivity—and that’s politics. They must learn how to navigate the political world by diminishing their enemies and strengthening their relationship with powerful people. In fact, some of the most successful people in the corporate world aren’t Achievers at all. They are pure politicians. So if you decide to work in the corporate environment and to be an Achiever, you must accept the fact that you must become a good politician also. Now, let’s talk about the Hiders. These are the people who HATE politics, but still need a job. They learn not to be the ambitious Achiever. They don’t stand out. They don’t speak up in meetings. They don’t bring new ideas. They HIDE. They keep their heads down and do as they’re told. They do just enough so that they aren’t talked about negatively. They survive. And this has worked for decades. But in the New Economy, it’s becoming much more difficult to hide. And people are running out of time. So, back to our Perfect Career List: Can a white-collar job deliver on the list? Again, the clear answer is no—certainly not in very many areas. Sales
Eric Worre (Go Pro - 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional)
Bored with Pisit today, I switch to our public radio channel, where the renowned and deeply reverend Phra Titapika is lecturing on Dependent Origination. Not everyone’s cup of chocolate, I agree (this is not the most popular show in Thailand), but the doctrine is at the heart of Buddhism. You see, dear reader (speaking frankly, without any intention to offend), you are a ramshackle collection of coincidences held together by a desperate and irrational clinging, there is no center at all, everything depends on everything else, your body depends on the environment, your thoughts depend on whatever junk floats in from the media, your emotions are largely from the reptilian end of your DNA, your intellect is a chemical computer that can’t add up a zillionth as fast as a pocket calculator, and even your best side is a superficial piece of social programming that will fall apart just as soon as your spouse leaves with the kids and the money in the joint account, or the economy starts to fail and you get the sack, or you get conscripted into some idiot’s war, or they give you the news about your brain tumor. To name this amorphous morass of self-pity, vanity, and despair self is not only the height of hubris, it is also proof (if any were needed) that we are above all a delusional species. (We are in a trance from birth to death.) Prick the balloon, and what do you get? Emptiness. It’s not only us-this radical doctrine applies to the whole of the sentient world. In a bumper sticker: The fear of letting go prevents you from letting go of the fear of letting go. Here’s the good Phra in fine fettle today: “Take a snail, for example. Consider what brooding overweening self-centered passion got it into that state. Can you see the rage of a snail? The frustration of a cockroach? The ego of an ant? If you can, then you are close to enlightenment.” Like I say, not everyone’s cup of miso. Come to think of it, I do believe I prefer Pisit, but the Phra does have a point: take two steps in the divine art of Buddhist meditation, and you will find yourself on a planet you no longer recognize. Those needs and fears you thought were the very bones of your being turn out to be no more than bugs in your software. (Even the certainty of death gets nuanced.) You’ll find no meaning there. So where?
John Burdett (Bangkok Tattoo (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #2))
If man had wings, he would have polluted the sky. Houston we have a problem. The era when scientific progress seemed unstoppable has stopped today, showing the weaknesses of governments and peoples to the whole world in the face of any virus. Fifty years ago the question that afflicted some "powerful" states, concerned the ability to reach the mysterious space, an undertaking that, given the age, seemed increasingly difficult. Today, however, the biggest mission the world is facing is to survive, trying to make people holed up in their homes. But where is the meaning of all this? How did we go from the time when everything was possible and the economy seemed unstoppable, to that in which there are no ways to produce simple masks in a short time? Why did we spend almost a century trying to reach the Moon, Mars and the whole Universe, rather than taking care of our fellow men and our planet that collapsed towards extinction minute by minute? It is certainly no coincidence that while the world is facing a Covid-19 pandemic, NASA is committed to managing the upcoming "Mars 2020" mission with launch scheduled for 17 July 2020. The main objective of this new mission it to look for traces of possible Martian microbes and collect soil samples. You would agree with me in affirming that the sense of the space mission, nowadays, could look more like a demonstration of man's superiority over nature and towards the unknown, than a journey to get to know and understand the infinite mysteries of space and its planets? There is something within our world that pushes us to never appreciate what we have, to want more and more, to the point where we begin to sacrifice the most important and indispensable things, in order to reach questionable new horizons. In this way, governments prefer to invest in weapons rather than in health, in multinationals, rather than supporting education, in space missions rather than taking care of our environment, making the world unprepared for an emergency like a pandemic. And here we are, while fifty years ago we were with our eyes glued to a screen and our breath suspended in order to become witnesses of the Apollo 13 mission, today we stare at our televisions while we see the hundreds of thousands in the mouth of death that our world has to spare them. And so, while we have to deal with our indifference and our mistakes, Mother Nature, who for centuries and centuries has been disfigured of all beauty, today comes back to life, showing herself more alive than ever. Nature is regaining its footing and repopulating lands and seas, cities are less polluted and finally you can breathe clean air. Once again, our planet shows us how powerful it is and how it can put man in his place in a few moments. So, for the umpteenth time we are forced to face the fate that we built with indifference and arrogance, forgetting about our eternal vulnerability. Yes Houston, we still have a problem. It's called "human ignorance" disguised as a philosophy of futility.
Corina Abdulahm-Negura
Unconditional blame is the tendency to explain all difficulties exclusively as the consequence of forces beyond your influence, to see yourself as an absolute victim of external circumstances. Every person suffers the impact of factors beyond his control, so we are all, in a sense, victims. We are not, however, absolute victims. We have the ability to respond to our circumstances and influence how they affect us. In contrast, the unconditional blamer defines his victim-identity by his helplessness, disowning any power to manage his life and assigning causality only to that which is beyond his control. Unconditional blamers believe that their problems are always someone else’s fault, and that there’s nothing they could have done to prevent them. Consequently, they believe that there’s nothing they should do to address them. Unconditional blamers feel innocent, unfairly burdened by others who do things they “shouldn’t” do because of maliciousness or stupidity. According to the unconditional blamer, these others “ought” to fix the problems they created. Blamers live in a state of self-righteous indignation, trying to control people around them with their accusations and angry demands. What the unconditional blamer does not see is that in order to claim innocence, he has to relinquish his power. If he is not part of the problem, he cannot be part of the solution. In fact, rather than being the main character of his life, the blamer is a spectator. Watching his own suffering from the sidelines, he feels “safe” because his misery is always somebody else’s fault. Blame is a tranquilizer. It soothes the blamer, sheltering him from accountability for his life. But like any drug, its soothing effect quickly turns sour, miring him in resignation and resentment. In order to avoid anxiety and guilt, the blamer must disown his freedom and power and see himself as a plaything of others. The blamer feels victimized at work. His job is fraught with letdowns, betrayals, disappointments, and resentments. He feels that he is expected to fix problems he didn’t create, yet his efforts are never recognized. So he shields himself with justifications. Breakdowns are never his fault, nor are solutions his responsibility. He is not accountable because it is always other people who failed to do what they should have done. Managers don’t give him direction as they should, employees don’t support him as they should, colleagues don’t cooperate with him as they should, customers demand much more than they should, suppliers don’t respond as they should, senior executives don’t lead the organization as they should, administration systems don’t work as they should—the whole company is a mess. In addition, the economy is weak, the job market tough, the taxes confiscatory, the regulations crippling, the interest rates exorbitant, and the competition fierce (especially because of those evil foreigners who pay unfairly low wages). And if it weren’t difficult enough to survive in this environment, everybody demands extraordinary results. The blamer never tires of reciting his tune, “Life is not fair!
Fred Kofman (Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values)
Think about it,” Obama said to us on the flight over. “The Republican Party is the only major party in the world that doesn’t even acknowledge that climate change is happening.” He was leaning over the seats where Susan and I sat. We chuckled. “Even the National Front believes in climate change,” I said, referring to the far-right party in France. “No, think about it,” he said. “That’s where it all began. Once you convince yourself that something like that isn’t true, then…” His voice trailed off, and he walked out of the room. For six years, Obama had been working to build what would become the Paris agreement, piece by piece. Because Congress wouldn’t act, he had to promote clean energy, and regulate fuel efficiency and emissions through executive action. With dozens of other nations, he made climate change an issue in our bilateral relationship, helping design their commitments. At international conferences, U.S. diplomats filled in the details of a framework. Since the breakthrough with China, and throughout 2015, things had been falling into place. When we got to Paris, the main holdout was India. We were scheduled to meet with India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi. Obama and a group of us waited outside the meeting room, when the Indian delegation showed up in advance of Modi. By all accounts, the Indian negotiators had been the most difficult. Obama asked to talk to them, and for the next twenty minutes, he stood in a hallway having an animated argument with two Indian men. I stood off to the side, glancing at my BlackBerry, while he went on about solar power. One guy from our climate team came over to me. “I can’t believe he’s doing this,” he whispered. “These guys are impossible.” “Are you kidding?” I said. “It’s an argument about science. He loves this.” Modi came around the corner with a look of concern on his face, wondering what his negotiators were arguing with Obama about. We moved into the meeting room, and a dynamic became clear. Modi’s team, which represented the institutional perspective of the Indian government, did not want to do what is necessary to reach an agreement. Modi, who had ambitions to be a transformative leader of India, and a person of global stature, was torn. This is one reason why we had done the deal with China; if India was alone, it was going to be hard for Modi to stay out. For nearly an hour, Modi kept underscoring the fact that he had three hundred million people with no electricity, and coal was the cheapest way to grow the Indian economy; he cared about the environment, but he had to worry about a lot of people mired in poverty. Obama went through arguments about a solar initiative we were building, the market shifts that would lower the price of clean energy. But he still hadn’t addressed a lingering sense of unfairness, the fact that nations like the United States had developed with coal, and were now demanding that India avoid doing the same thing. “Look,” Obama finally said, “I get that it’s unfair. I’m African American.” Modi smiled knowingly and looked down at his hands. He looked genuinely pained. “I know what it’s like to be in a system that’s unfair,” he went on. “I know what it’s like to start behind and to be asked to do more, to act like the injustice didn’t happen. But I can’t let that shape my choices, and neither should you.” I’d never heard him talk to another leader in quite that way. Modi seemed to appreciate it. He looked up and nodded.
Ben Rhodes (The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House)
The media have indeed informed the public about threats to our air, water and food. Ever since 1962, when Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, more and more information has been made available. And the public has responded. About fifteen years ago, public interest in the environment reached its height. In 1988, George Bush Senior promised that, if elected, he would be an environmental president. In the same year, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was re-elected, and to indicate his ecological concern he moved the minister of the environment into the inner Cabinet. Newly created environment departments around the world were poised to cut back on fossil-fuel use, monitor the effects of acid rain and other pollutants, clean up toxic wastes, and protect plant and animal species. Information about our troubled environment had reached a large number of people, and that information, as expected, led to civic and political action. In 1992, it all reached its apex as the largest-ever gathering of heads of state in human history met at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. “Sustainable development” was the rallying cry, and politicians and business leaders promised to take a new path. Henceforth, they said, the environment would be weighed in every political, social and economic decision. Yet only two weeks after all the fine statements of purpose and government commitments were signed in Rio, the Group of Seven industrialized nations met in Munich and not a word was mentioned about the environment. The main topic was the global economy. The environment, it was said, had fallen off the list of public concerns, and environmentalism had been relegated to the status of a transitory fad.
David Suzuki (From Naked Ape to Superspecies: Humanity and the Global Eco-Crisis)
The Fed is still on the same track.” Whatever you call it, the benign economic environment has supported a bull market since 2009, and though there were a few rocky days last week, the main market ingredients seemed to remain in place. For example, on Wednesday a government report on gross domestic product in the second quarter showed that the economy was growing smartly, even rapidly, at a 4 percent annualized rate; yet the Federal Reserve declared that inflation was low enough to allow the slowly moderating pace of its expansive monetary policy to remain on track. In a statement on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee said the central bank would continue to ratchet down its bond purchases as planned, yet it also said its policies would “maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative.” The Fed already holds more than $4 trillion in bonds, up from less than $1 billion when the financial crisis started, and it’s still buying more.
According to the Pew study, our collective list of concerns goes like this: the economy, jobs, terrorism, Social Security, education, energy, Medicare, health care, deficit reduction, health insurance, helping the poor, crime, moral decline, the military, tax cuts, environment, immigration lobbyists, trade policy, and global warming, in that order.
Heidi Cullen (The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet)
the value of the ecosystems services our environment now provides (for free) has been calculated at $36 trillion a year—a figure roughly equal to the entire annual global economy.
Peter H. Diamandis (Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think)
Pure copycats never made for great companies, and they couldn’t survive inside this coliseum. But the trial-by-fire competitive landscape created when one is surrounded by ruthless copycats had the result of forging a generation of the most tenacious entrepreneurs on earth. As we enter the age of AI implementation, this cutthroat entrepreneurial environment will be one of China’s core assets in building a machine-learning-driven economy.
Kai-Fu Lee (AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order)
Everything we make will have predictive maintenance, improved efficiency, better safety, better usability. And everything will be made to order. We won’t be cranking out millions of identical widgets and stacking them up in pallets in overseas factories in order to be shipped around the world anymore. We’ll be customizing objects much closer to home. As Olivier Scalabre points out, we’ll be replacing the classic “East to West” trade flows with regional trade flows—East for East, West for West. “When you think about it, the old model was pretty much insane,” Scalabre says. “Piling up stock. Making products travel around the world. The new model—producing right next to the consumer market—will be much better for our environment. In mature economies, productivity will be back home, creating more employment, more productivity, and more growth.
Tien Tzuo (Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company's Future - and What to Do About It)
interaction of these few civilizations with one another, as much as with their own environments, has been among the most important drivers of historical change.10 The striking thing about these interactions is that authentic civilizations seem to remain true unto themselves for very long periods, despite outside influences. As Fernand Braudel put it: ‘Civilization is in fact the longest story of all . . . A civilization . . . can persist through a series of economies or societies.
Niall Ferguson (Civilization: The West and the Rest)
Nations and their economies grow in large part because they increase their collective knowledge about nature and their environment, and because they are able to direct this knowledge toward productive ends. But such knowledge does not emerge as a matter of course. While most societies that ever existed were able to generate some technological progress, it typically consisted of one-off limited advances that had limited consequences, soon settled down, and the growth it generated fizzled out. In only one case did such an accumulation of knowledge become sustained and self-propelling to the point of becoming explosive and changing the material basis of human existence more thoroughly and more rapidly than anything before in the history of humans on this planet. That one instance occurred in Western Europe during and after the Industrial Revolution.
Joel Mokyr (A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy)
I tried to make myself feel better by asking, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” The answer always came back the same: “We’ll go bankrupt, I’ll lose everybody’s money including my mother’s, I’ll have to lay off all the people who have been working so hard in a very bad economy, all of the customers who trusted me will be screwed, and my reputation will be ruined.” Funny, asking that question never made me feel any better. Then one day I asked myself a different question: “What would I do if we went bankrupt?” The answer that I came up with surprised me: “I’d buy our software, Opsware, which runs in Loudcloud, out of bankruptcy and start a software company.” Opsware was the software that we’d written to automate all the tasks of running the cloud: provisioning servers and networking equipment, deploying applications, recovering the environment in case of disaster, and so forth. Then I asked myself another question: “Is there a way to do that without going bankrupt?
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
But we have to be honest that autocratic industrial socialism has been a disaster for the environment, as evidenced most dramatically by the fact that carbon emissions briefly plummeted when the economies of the former Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s. And Venezuela's petro-populism is a reminder that there is nothing inherently green about self-defined socialism. Let's acknowledge this fact, while also pointing out that countries with strong democratic-socialist traditions (like Denmark, Sweden, and Uruguay) have some of the most visionary environmental policies in the world. From this we can conclude that socialism isn't necessarily ecological, but that a new form of democratic eco-socialism, with the humility to learn from Indigenous teachings about the duties to future generations and the Interconnection of all life, appears to be humanity's best shot at collective survival.
Naomi Klein (On Fire: The Case for the Green New Deal)
But however desirable an evolutionary framework for a history of knowledge may be, the important questions is whether it is actually possible to recognize an evolutionary logic in the historical records - without imposing it by an exaggerated analogy with biology and without ascending to a level of abstraction where all cats become gray. I believe that the historical findings examined in the preceding chapters point in such a direction, in particular the long-term, cumulative aspects of knowledge development, its dependence on contingent societal contexts, and the profound transformations of the architecture of knowledge. Examples are the emergence of new systems of knowledge from a reorganization of preceding systems; the sedimentation and plateau-building processes of knowledge economies; the transformation of contingent circumstances and challenges into internal conditions for the further development of knowledge systems, accounting for the path dependency and layered structure of this development; and the feedback mechanisms that may arise between knowledge economies and knowledge systems, giving rise to the emergence of new epistemic communities. Just like the evolution of life, knowledge development has direction but us not globally uniform. It is neither deterministic nor teleological. Chance events may have long-term effects by becoming incorporated into the developmental process. Knowledge development is self-referential insofar as it contributes to shaping its own environment by processes of sedimentation and plateau formation corresponding to niche construction in biology. It is also a layered process, in the sense that later forms of knowledge do not necessarily replace earlier ones. External representations shape the long-term transmission of knowledge, ensuring its continuity, while their exploration under different circumstances opens up possibilities for variation and change.
Jürgen Renn (The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene)
Instead of educating college students for jobs that are about to disappear under the rising tide of technology, twenty-first-century universities should liberate them from outdated career models and give them ownership of their own futures. They should equip them with the literacies and skills they need to thrive in this new economy defined by technology, as well as continue providing them with access to the learning they need to face the challenges of life in a diverse, global environment. Higher education needs a new model and a new orientation away from its dual focus on undergraduate and graduate students. Universities must broaden their reach to become engines for lifelong learning.
Joseph E. Aoun (Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (MIT Press))
So small changes in the ambient temperature over relatively short periods of time that are not sufficiently long for adaptive processes to develop can lead to huge ecological and climatological effects. Some of these may be positive, but many will be catastrophic. Regardless, however, of the sign of the effect, significant changes are upon us, and we desperately need to understand their origins and consequences and forge strategies for adaptation and mitigation. The crucial question is not whether these effects are anthropogenic in origin because they almost certainly are, but rather to what extent they can be minimized without leading to rapid discontinuous changes in our physical and economic environment and ultimately to the potential collapse of the global socioeconomic fabric. Hence my bewilderment at those in the general public including political and corporate leaders who reject the cautionary exhortations of scientists, environmentalists, and others, and why I am continually baffled by their lack of action. Yes, we should all delight in and promote the huge successes and fruits of the free market system and of the role of human ingenuity and innovation, but we should also recognize the critical roles of energy and entropy and together act strategically to find
Geoffrey West (Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies)
Only a society that had lost its faith in both the necessity and the divine ordinance of social distinctions and in their connection with personal virtue and merit, that experiences the daily growing power of money and sees men becoming merely what external conditions make them, but which, nevertheless, affirms the dynamism of human society, since it either owes its own ascendancy to it or promises itself that it will lead to its ascendancy, only that kind of society could reduce the drama to the categories of real space and time and develop the characters out of their material environment.
Arnold Hauser (The Social History of Art: Volume 3: Rococo, Classicism and Romanticism)
The same rule of self-destructive financial calculation governs every walk of life. We destroy the beauty of the countryside because the un-appropriated splendors of nature have no economic value. We are capable of shutting off the sun and the stars because they do not pay a dividend.
John Maynard Keynes
For forty years, Republicans have been destroying the economy, ruining the environment, rigging congressional districts in their favor, giving the county away to corporations, and funneling wealth to the already wealthy.
Scott McMurrey (Asshole Nation: Trump and the Rise of Scum America)
People often point to the London Metropolitan Police, who were formed in the 1820s by Sir Robert Peel,” Vitale said when we met. “They are held up as this liberal ideal of a dispassionate, politically neutral police with the support of the citizenry. But this really misreads the history. Peel is sent to manage the British occupation of Ireland. He’s confronted with a dilemma. Historically, peasant uprisings, rural outrages were dealt with by either the local militia or the British military. In the wake of the Napoleonic Wars, in the need for soldiers in other parts of the British Empire, he is having more and more difficulty managing these disorders. In addition, when he does call out the militia, they often open fire on the crowd and kill lots of people, creating martyrs and inflaming further unrest. He said, ‘I need a force that can manage these outrages without inflaming passions further.’ He developed the Peace Preservation Force, which was the first attempt to create a hybrid military-civilian force that can try to win over the population by embedding itself in the local communities, taking on some crime control functions, but its primary purpose was always to manage the occupation. He then exports that model to London as the industrial working classes are flooding the city, dealing with poverty, cycles of boom and bust in the economy, and that becomes their primary mission. “The creation of the very first state police force in the United States was the Pennsylvania State Police in 1905,” Vitale went on. “For the same reasons. It was modeled similarly on U.S. occupation forces in the Philippines. There was a back-and-forth with personnel and ideas. What happened was local police were unable to manage the coal strikes and iron strikes. . . . They needed a force that was more adherent to the interests of capital. . . . Interestingly, for these small-town police forces in a coal mining town there was sometimes sympathy. They wouldn’t open fire on the strikers. So, the state police force was created to be the strong arm for the law. Again, the direct connection between colonialism and the domestic management of workers. . . . It’s a two-way exchange. As we’re developing ideas throughout our own colonial undertakings, bringing those ideas home, and then refining them and shipping them back to our partners around the world who are often despotic regimes with close economic relationships to the United States. There’s a very sad history here of the U.S. exporting basically models of policing that morph into death squads and horrible human rights abuses.” The almost exclusive reliance on militarized police to deal with profound inequality and social problems is turning poor neighborhoods in cities such as Chicago into failed states. The “broken windows” policy, adopted by many cities, argues that disorder produces crime. It criminalizes minor infractions, upending decades of research showing that social dislocation leads to crime. It creates an environment where the poor are constantly harassed, fined, and arrested for nonsubstantive activities.
Chris Hedges (America: The Farewell Tour)
When you talk about “saving the planet” you turn it into an ethical question, and I think you won’t solve problems if they are ethical.
Michael Braungart (Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things)
what most people see in their garbage cans is just the tip of the material iceberg; the product itself contains on average only 5% of the raw materials involved in the process of making and delivering it.
Michael Braungart (Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things)
The design intention behind the current industrial infrastructure is to make an attractive product that is affordable, meets regulations, performs well enough, and lasts long enough to meet market expectations
Michael Braungart (Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things)
as a buyer you got the item or service you wanted, plus additives that you didn’t ask for and that may be harmful to you and your loved ones.
Michael Braungart (Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things)
Once you understand the destruction taking place, unless you do something to change it, even if you never intended to cause such destruction, you become involved in a strategy of tragedy. You can continue to be engaged in that strategy of tragedy, or you can design and implement a strategy of change
Michael Braungart, Willian McDonough
Unless materials are specifically designed to ultimately become safe food for nature, composting can present problems as well.
Michael Braungart, Willian McDonough
This “solution” to pollution – dilution – is an outdated and ineffective response that does not examine the design that caused the pollution in the first place. The essential flaw remains: badly designed materials and systems that are unsuitable for indoor use.
Michael Braungart, Willian McDonough
So-called 'circular' approaches - to the city, the economy, design - extend well beyond just limiting environmental impacts. They take on a more systemic, cyclical view of how physical and biological processes, together with human interactions, give rise to sustainable living environments - forming a complete self-sustaining 'ecosystem', like a closed circle.
Michiel Schwarz (A Sustainist Lexicon)
We agree that, in the short and medium run, values are very powerful. But in the longer run, material forces shape both institutions and values. Changes in production technology, in our argument, drive the emergence and demise of patriarchy by giving and then taking away a productivity advantage to male labor. Competition over resources in societies with labor-intensive agriculture creates patriarchal family institutions.12 Social norms are principally a result rather than a cause of patriarchy: families socialize their children in ways that help them navigate the strategic environment they will face.
Torben Iversen (Women, Work, And Politics: The Political Economy Of Gender Inequality)
The reality is that the major environmental problems we face today - of which climate change is only one - cannot be solved by means of technological or market-based solutions while keeping existing social relations intact. Rather, what is needed most is a transformation in social relations: in community, culture, and economy, in how we relate to each other as human beings, and how we relate to the planet. What is needed, in other words, is an ecological revolution.
Fred Magdoff (What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism: A Citizen's Guide to Capitalism and the Environment)
The question is: How do we broaden our lens so that what's true in the security arena is true when it comes to our economy, is true when it comes to education, is true when it comes to the environment? There are things we can do better together.
David Blum (President Barack Obama: The Kindle Singles Interview (Kindle Single))
THE BEST PLACES TO WORK HAVE IT. THE HIGHEST-PERFORMING teams benefit from it. Because of it, individuals thrive professionally and personally—and teams and organizations flourish in our new economy. The “it” I’m referring to? The climate of your workplace. The feeling. The mood. “It” is the chemistry of how you, your team, and your organization work together. The way your workplace “feels” has a tremendous influence on people’s experience, morale, and performance. People thrive in a climate where they feel valued, where they know their contributions are meaningful, and where their core values are closely aligned with the values and character of their employer. Where they don’t feel valued, meaningful, and aligned . . . they just do their jobs. And today, in a world where opportunities to stand out are everywhere and the next killer idea can come from anywhere, “just doing our jobs” isn’t good enough.
Shawn Murphy (The Optimistic Workplace: Creating an Environment That Energizes Everyone)
A new green economy can easily suffer from the same predatory form of capitalism that created the global economic meltdown. As Kenny Ausubel of Bioneers notes, "The world is suffering from the perverse incentives of 'unnatural capitalism.' When people say 'free market,' I ask if free is a verb. We don't ave a free market but a highly managed and often monopolized market. We used to have somewhat effective antitrust laws in the United States. Now we have banks and companies that are 'too big to fail,' but in truth are too big not to fail. The resulting extremes of concentration of wealth and political power are very bad for business and the economy (not to mention the environment, human rights, and democracy). One result is that small companies can't advance too far against the big players with their legions of lawyers and Capitol Hill lobbyists, when in truth it's small and medium-sized companies that provide the majority of jobs as well as innovation.
Jay Harman (The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation)
At this point, I want to say point-blank what I hope is already clear: though agrarianism proposes that everybody has agrarian responsibilities, it does not propose that everybody should be a farmer or that we do not need cities. Nor does it propose that every product be a necessity. Furthermore, any thinkable human economy would have to grant to manufacturing an appropriate and honorable place. Agrarians would insist only that any manufacturing enterprise should be formed and scaled to fit the local landscape, the local ecosystem, and the local community, and that it should be locally owned and employ local people. They would insist, in other words, that the shop or factory owner should not be an outsider, but rather a sharer in the fate of the place and the community. The deciders should live with the results of their decisions.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
the encyclical also deals with poverty, the destruction of biodiversity, the pollution of fresh water and the oceans, sustainable food, extractive industries, and the waste created by the global economy.
Pope Francis (On Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si': The Encyclical of Pope Francis on the Environment (Ecology & Justice))
What enabled tribes to prosper in isolation from the global economy was a healthy and intact environment from which they derived their livelihood. In protecting the isolated tribes, as Possuelo had said, he was protecting enormous stretches of primeval forest.
Scott Wallace (The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes)
At the time of our visit, European manufacturers doubted the robustness of the Indian car market, as well as the merits of being a minority partner in a government-managed company. Their fears were not without basis. Though the Indian economy had grown 7.2 per cent in 1980-81, it was not seen as a very vibrant economy. The demand for cars had been stagnant for a decade. Cars were highly taxed and were considered a luxury item. The economy was still closed and highly controlled and the business environment for foreigners was not friendly. If the number of cars produced was small, royalties would not yield much income. The stringent localization conditions would mean that profits from the sale of imported components would be low. The world car market was going through a downswing at that time and European car makers were battling stiff competition from Japanese cars on their home turf. Getting into an unfamiliar, and what appeared to be an unattractive market, was hardly a priority.
R.C. Bhargava (The Maruti Story)
It’s worth noting, incidentally, that most private corporations are fantastically inefficient, although their inefficiency is disguised by collusion with the government: Contrary to their claims of efficiency, most large corporations…spend an inordinate portion of society’s resources on advertising, executive perks and salaries, transportation and communications to far-flung corporate empires, and lobbying expenses. Most depend for their profits and survival on a complex regime of public subsidies, exemptions, and externalized costs, including the indirect subsidies they gain when allowed to pay less than a living wage, maintain substandard working conditions, market hazardous products, dump untreated wastes into the environment, and extract natural resources from public lands at below-market prices. Ralph Estes…estimates that in 1994 corporations extracted more than $2.6 trillion a year in such subsidies in the United States alone—roughly five times their reported profits… It is one of the basic principles of efficient market function that the full costs of a product or service be borne by the seller and passed on to the buyer. Yet many corporations would be forced to close their doors or restructure if they had to bear the true full costs of their operations.123 Americans sometimes think of large size almost as an end in itself, or at least as necessary for economic efficiency. But this is not always the case. In some industries, economies of scale do exist. But large size tends to entail bureaucratic inefficiencies, environmental destruction, allocative inequalities, political corruption, in general significant negative externalities.124
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
Advertising makes it possible for a company to make it our problem that it makes a product that solves a problem we do not and will never have.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
WaterLess Urinal Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) accelerate sanitation coverage in rural and urban areas. Stakeholders and people from all sections of society have welcomed it as a major step to achieve a healthy and hygienic environment for the citizens of India. This is retrofit waterless urinal technology that gets fitted at base of urinal bowl. It consists of an inlet and outlet cartridge through which urine passes and seals the outlet once the urine is drained out. The technology converts conventional urinal into waterless urinal. No need to remove the old urinal bowl. Advantages:- Waterless urinals do not require a constant source of water Can be built and repaired with locally available materials Low capital and operating costs Waterless urinals produce fewer odours than urinals with water flush and also have no problems with urinal cakes (odour and urinal cakes occur when urine is mixed with water) Waterless urinals contribute to water saving at the greatest possible degree Waterless urinals allow the pure and undiluted collection of urine for reuse, e.g. as fertilizer in urban farming (after appropriate treatment, e.g. storage) and can contribute to closed loop economy, or for effective anaerobic treatment by e.g. an anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anamox) reactor Surface water and aquifers are protected from nutrients and pharmaceuticals if the urine is collected separately Special Feature :- One time fitment Hygienic - Dry restroom prevents bacteria cultivation No Flushing Allocation of transport resources, including the management and regulation of existing transportation activities. No Consumables Waterless and Odorless No Recurring Costs Longer Shelf Life Low & Easy Maintenance Just wipe and clean Structural Feature :- Thin-walled lighted weight Low porosity Ease of transportation Modular Design Flexible in design Minimal surface cracking
The act of making that designers find so satisfying is built into early childhood education, but as they grow, many children lose opportunities to create their own environment, bounded by a text-centric view of education and concerns for safety. Despite adults’ desire to create a safer, softer child-centric world, something got lost in translation. Jane Jacobs said, of the child in the designed-for-childhood environment: “Their homes and playgrounds, so orderly looking, so buffered from the muddled, messy intrusions of the great world, may accidentally be ideally planned for children to concentrate on television, but for too little else their hungry brains require.”9 Our built environment is making kids less healthy, less independent, and less imaginative. What those hungry brains require is freedom. Treating children as citizens, rather than as consumers, can break that pattern, creating a shared spatial economy centered on public education, recreation, and transportation safe and open for all.
Alexandra Lange (The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids)
In the solution economy, the winning approach is to capitalize on your role in a broader ecosystem. If a problem exists, the answer is to create an environment in which the solution can organically, sustainably, profitably be brought to bear—even if there is no market demand in the traditional sense. Sound impossible? Well, that’s exactly what Unilever did in India to address a critical public sanitation problem. How the company did it demonstrates the role that ecosystems play in the solution revolution.
William D. Eggers (The Solution Revolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up to Solve Society's Toughest Problems)
Encouraging consumers to think more seriously about the financial, environmental, and personal costs of their consumption would be a major step in addressing the crisis of quality and the environmental and social impacts of too much stuff. Better yet, it would spur businesses to seek economic incentives to design and market better products. Today's secondhand economy, faltering in search of quality, should have more than it can handle.
Adam Minter (Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale)
There are, without a doubt, an incredible number of new and improved technologies arriving every day. Self-driving cars, gene editing, low-cost solar panels, more efficient batteries, biofuel, quantum computers, 3-D printing of metals, artificial intelligence, and on and on and on, Any, or all, of these could generate profound changes in how we live and how we produce the goods and services that go into GDP. That said, it isn't obvious that we'll see profound effects on the growth rate of the economy. Many of those innovations make the production of goods more efficient, but that would only accelerate the shift into services. And there may be a larger question about whether we want to adopt or pursue these innovations at all. As Charles Jones suggested in a recent paper, given our current life expectancy and living standards, the risks inherent in any technology - to the environment, society, or our own health - may not be worth pursuing just to add a fraction of a percentage point to the growth rate.
Dietrich Vollrath (Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success)
It’s important for me to link my critique of the attention economy to the promise of bioregional awareness because I believe that capitalism, colonialist thinking, loneliness, and an abusive stance toward the environment all coproduce one another. It’s also important because of the parallels between what the economy does to an ecological system and what the attention economy does to our attention. In both cases, there’s a tendency toward an aggressive monoculture, where those components that are seen as “not useful” and which cannot be appropriated (by loggers or by Facebook) are the first to go. Because it proceeds from a false understanding of life as atomized and optimizable, this view of usefulness fails to recognize the ecosystem as a living whole that in fact needs all of its parts to function. Just as practices like logging and large-scale farming decimate the land, an overemphasis on performance turns what was once a dense and thriving landscape of individual and communal thought into a Monsanto farm whose “production” slowly destroys the soil until nothing more can grow.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
In that chapter I begin to identify some of my most serious grievances with the attention economy, namely its reliance on fear and anxiety, and its concomitant logic that “disruption” is more productive than the work of maintenance—of keeping ourselves and others alive and well. Written in the midst of an online environment in which I could no longer make sense of anything, the essay was a plea on behalf of the spatially and temporally embedded human animal; like the technology writer Jaron Lanier, I sought to “double down on being human.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
This got me thinking that perhaps the granularity of attention we achieve outward also extends inward, so that as the perceptual details of our environment unfold in surprising ways, so too do our own intricacies and contradictions. My dad said that leaving the confined context of a job made him understand himself not in relation to that world, but just to the world, and forever after that, things that happened at work only seemed like one small part of something much larger. It reminds me of how John Muir described himself not as a naturalist but as a “poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist etc. etc.,” or of how Pauline Oliveros described herself in 1974: Pauline Oliveros is a two legged human being, female, lesbian, musician, and composer among other things which contribute to her identity. She is herself and lives with her partner…along with assorted poultry, dogs, cats, rabbits and tropical hermit crabs.10 Of course, there’s an obvious critique of all of this, and that’s that it comes from a place of privilege. I can go to the Rose Garden, stare into trees, and sit on hills all the time because I have a teaching job that only requires me to be on campus two days a week, not to mention a whole set of other privileges.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
Consider an actual city park in contrast to a faux public space like Universal CityWalk, which one passes through upon leaving the Universal Studios theme park. Because it interfaces between the theme park and the actual city, CityWalk exists somewhere in between, almost like a movie set, where visitors can consume the supposed diversity of an urban environment while enjoying a feeling of safety that results from its actual homogeneity. In an essay about such spaces, Eric Holding and Sarah Chaplin call CityWalk “a ‘scripted space’ par excellence, that is, a space which excludes, directs, supervises, constructs, and orchestrates use.”13 Anyone who has ever tried any funny business in a faux public space knows that such spaces do not just script actions, they police them. In a public space, ideally, you are a citizen with agency; in a faux public space, you are either a consumer or a threat to the design of the place.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
Though it finds its baldest expression in things like the Fiverr ads, this phenomenon—of work metastasizing throughout the rest of life—isn’t constrained to the gig economy. I learned this during the few years that I worked in the marketing department of a large clothing brand. The office had instituted something called the Results Only Work Environment, or ROWE, which meant to abolish the eight-hour workday by letting you work whenever from wherever, as long as you got your work done. It sounded noble enough, but there was something in the name that bothered me. After all, what is the E in ROWE? If you could be getting results at the office, in your car, at the store, at home after dinner—aren’t those all then “work environments”? At that time, in 2011, I’d managed not to get a phone with email yet, and with the introduction of this new workday, I put off getting one even longer. I knew exactly what would happen the minute I did: that every minute of every day I would in fact be answerable to someone, even if my leash was a lot longer.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
If you’ll allow me to stretch this metaphor, we could say that Old Survivor was too weird or too difficult to proceed easily toward the sawmill. In that way, the tree provides me with an image of “resistance-in-place.” To resist in place is to make oneself into a shape that cannot so easily be appropriated by a capitalist value system. To do this means refusing the frame of reference: in this case, a frame of reference in which value is determined by productivity, the strength of one’s career, and individual entrepreneurship. It means embracing and trying to inhabit somewhat fuzzier or blobbier ideas: of maintenance as productivity, of the importance of nonverbal communication, and of the mere experience of life as the highest goal. It means recognizing and celebrating a form of the self that changes over time, exceeds algorithmic description, and whose identity doesn’t always stop at the boundary of the individual. In an environment completely geared toward capitalist appropriation of even our smallest thoughts, doing this isn’t any less uncomfortable than wearing the wrong outfit to a place with a dress code. As I’ll show in various examples of past refusals-in-place, to remain in this state takes commitment, discipline, and will. Doing nothing is hard.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
At some point, I began to think of this as an activist book disguised as a self-help book. I’m not sure that it’s fully either. But as much as I hope this book has something to offer you, I also hope it has something to contribute to activism, mostly by providing a rest stop for those on their way to fight the good fight. I hope that the figure of “doing nothing” in opposition to a productivity-obsessed environment can help restore individuals who can then help restore communities, human and beyond. And most of all, I hope it can help people find ways of connecting that are substantive, sustaining, and absolutely unprofitable to corporations, whose metrics and algorithms have never belonged in the conversations we have about our thoughts, our feelings, and our survival.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
But of course, this infolding of attention doesn’t need to be spatialized or visual. For an auditory example, I look to Deep Listening, the legacy of the musician and composer Pauline Oliveros. Classically trained in composition, Oliveros was teaching experimental music at UC San Diego in the 1970s. She began developing participatory group techniques—such as performances where people listened to and improvised responses to each other and the ambient sound environment—as a way of working with sound that could bring some inner peace amid the violence and unrest of the Vietnam War. Deep Listening was one of those techniques. Oliveros defines the practice as “listening in every possible way to every thing possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one’s own thoughts as well as musical sounds.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
The Global Financial Crisis shows the credit cycle at the greatest extreme since the Great Depression. Debt markets historically had been marked by general conservatism, meaning excesses on the upside were limited and most bubbles took place in the equity market. Certainly it was the site of the Great Crash of 1929. But the creation of the high yield bond market in the late 1970s kicked off a liberalization of debt investing, and the generally positive economic environment of the subsequent three decades provided those who ventured in with a favorable overall experience. This combination led to a strong trend toward acceptance of low-rated and non-traditional debt instruments. There were periods of weakness in debt in 1990–91 (related to widespread bankruptcies among the highly levered buyouts of the 1980s) and in 2002 (stemming from excessive borrowing to fund overbuilding in the telecom industry, which led to prominent downgrades that coincided with several high-profile corporate accounting scandals). But the effects of these were limited because of the isolated nature of their causes. It wasn’t until 2007–08 that the financial markets witnessed the first widespread, debt-induced panic, with ramifications for the entire economy. Thus the GFC provided the ultimate example of the credit cycle’s full effect.
Howard Marks (Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side)
As the body disappears, so does our ability to empathize. Berardi suggests a link between our senses and our ability to make sense, asking us to “hypothesize the connection between the expansion of the infosphere…and the crumbling of the sensory membrane that allows human beings to understand that which cannot be verbalized, that which cannot be reduced to codified signs.”24 In the environment of our online platforms, “that which cannot be verbalized” is figured as excess or incompatible, although every in-person encounter teaches us the importance of nonverbal expressions of the body, not to mention the very matter-of-fact presence of the body in front of me.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
The academic auspices under which we meet this afternoon, prompt me to introduce my remarks with a literary reference. I recall for you a few lines of Shakespeare, from Hamlet where Polonius bids farewell to his son Laertes: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be, For loan oft loses both itself and friend And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry." This was undoubtedly necessary advice from a father to a son about to leave for France. but it is clear that Polonius was neither a banker nor a Californian. If he had been a banker, he might have commented on the merits of good collateral as compared to the possible loss of a few friends. And if he had been a Californian, caught in the vigor of a growth economy, the idea of not being a borrower would never have occurred to him. Therefore, it should not be surprising that a California banker has come to say something on behalf of debt.
Rudolph a. Peterson (Debt in a New Environment)
Wal-Mart's business in the United States is stagnating, growing only because the company continues to relentlessly open new stores. But if Wal-Mart takes environmental responsibility seriously, if its stores become models for energy conservation and for doing minimal environmental harm (they are known for the opposite right now), that will be pioneering, and it might also be attractive to some Americans who have avoided Wal-Mart. If those stores are filled with products made by factory workers who are treated in a civilized fashion, products that do not damage the environment in the course of being made, products made in sustainable ways with minimal packaging, that will represent a pivot point, not just for Wal-Mart, or for retailing, but for capitalism. Nothing could do more to jump-start Wal-Mart's business than for Wal-Mart to find its soul. And of course, Wal-Mart's scale means that if it starts to take the design of its buildings and the impact of its products seriously, all its competitors will have no choice but to do the same. The virtuous Wal-Mart effect would ripple widely. It would ripple around the world.
Charles Fishman (The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works - and How It's Transforming the American Economy)
Why are They Converting to Islam? - Op-Eds - Arutz Sheva One of the things that worries the West is the fact that hundreds and maybe even thousands of young Europeans are converting to Islam, and some of them are joining terror groups and ISIS and returning to promote Jihad against the society in which they were born, raised and educated. The security problem posed by these young people is a serious one, because if they hide their cultural identity, it is extremely difficult for Western security forces to identify them and their evil intentions. This article will attempt to clarify the reasons that impel these young people to convert to Islam and join terrorist organizations. The sources for this article are recordings made by the converts themselves, and the words they used, written here, are for the most part unedited direct quotations. Muslim migration to Europe, America and Australia gain added significance in that young people born in these countries are exposed to Islam as an alternative to the culture in which they were raised. Many of the converts are convinced that Islam is a religion of peace, love, affection and friendship, based on the generous hospitality and warm welcome they receive from the Moslem friends in their new social milieu. In many instances, a young person born into an individualistic, cold and alienating society finds that Muslim society provides  – at college, university or  community center – a warm embrace, a good word, encouragement and help, things that are lacking in the society from which he stems. The phenomenon is most striking in the case of those who grew up in dysfunctional families or divorced homes, whose parents are alcoholics, drug addicts, violent and abusive, or parents who take advantage of their offspring and did not give their children a suitable emotional framework and model for building a normative, productive life. The convert sees his step as a mature one based on the right of an individual to determine his own religious and cultural identity, even if the family and society he is abandoning disagree. Sometimes converting to Islam is a form of parental rebellion. Often, the convert is spurned by his family and surrounding society for his decision, but the hostility felt towards Islam by his former environment actually results in his having more confidence in the need for his conversion. Anything said against conversion to Islam is interpreted as unjustified racism and baseless Islamophobia. The Islamic convert is told by Muslims that Islam respects the prophets of its mother religions, Judaism and Christianity, is in favor of faith in He Who dwells on High, believes in the Day of Judgment, in reward and punishment, good deeds and avoiding evil. He is convinced that Islam is a legitimate religion as valid as Judaism and Christianity, so if his parents are Jewish or Christian, why can't he become Muslim? He sees a good many positive and productive Muslims who benefit their society and its economy, who have integrated into the environment in which he was raised, so why not emulate them? Most Muslims are not terrorists, so neither he nor anyone should find his joining them in the least problematic. Converts to Islam report that reading the Koran and uttering the prayers add a spiritual meaning to their lives after years of intellectual stagnation, spiritual vacuum and sinking into a materialistic and hedonistic lifestyle. They describe the switch to Islam in terms of waking up from a bad dream, as if it is a rite of passage from their inane teenage years. Their feeling is that the Islamic religion has put order into their lives, granted them a measuring stick to assess themselves and their behavior, and defined which actions are allowed and which are forbidden, as opposed to their "former" society, which couldn't or wouldn't lay down rules. They are willing to accept the limitations Islamic law places on Muslims, thereby "putting order into their lives" after "a life of in
Place-based education is learning that is rooted in what is local—the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place.
Gregory A. Smith (Place- and Community-Based Education in Schools)
Communist and Green parties. I’m sure many of you are wondering why you’re here, so I will tell you. I feel that in order for both of our groups to succeed in our goals, we must join forces. If we join forces, we can take control of the message about the environment, and be in control of what people can do with their lives. For example, restrict the use of oil; tell people where they can drive, and where they can work. This way we can eliminate the need for oil, and how it destroys the environment. In order to show that oil is a bad thing, we need to have major accidents with oil, which should convince people to come to our side. Once the people are ready to listen, the government will come in, and control everything the people can do. Another example, the combined power of both groups can regulate everything to the point of ridiculousness; this will have an effect on the economy, and once we plunge the world into economic chaos, we can be in control, together.
Cliff Ball (The Usurper: A suspense political thriller)
Seychelles said at U.N. climate talks. The report was bound to sharpen disputes in Lima over who pays the bills for the impacts of global warming, whose primary cause is the burning of coal, oil and gas but which also includes deforestation. It has long been the thorniest issue at the U.N. negotiations, now in their 20th round. Rich countries have pledged to help the developing world convert to clean energy and adapt to shifts in global weather that are already adversely affecting crops, human health and economies. But poor countries say they’re not seeing enough cash. Projecting the annual costs that poor countries will face by 2050 just to adapt, the United Nations Environment Program report deemed the previous estimate of $70 billion to $100 billion “a significant underestimate.” It had been based on 2010 World Bank numbers.
In Seattle, Washington, in 1971, Howard Schultz, the owner of a local coffee roasting and distribution company, noted the increasing affluence of the American public and their desire to receive gracious treatment in their daily activities. Schultz recognized that there was a market for small businesses featuring top quality coffee and an opportunity to relax in an attractive environment. To take advantage of these emerging Minitrends, Mr. Schultz initiated the very successful Starbucks chain which offers top quality coffee drinks in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere Starbucks has a long record of appreciating Minitrends, but failed to recognize the trend that more economically-stressed customers were beginning to opt for similar, lower-cost drinks offered by fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s. While still popular, in summer 2008, the Starbucks company announced the termination of 1,000 employees, and in November 2008, the company reported a 98 percent decline in profit for the third quarter of the year. To be more economically competitive, Starbucks has recently introduced a line of instant coffee.
John H. Vanston (Minitrends: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends: Between Megatrends & Microtrends Lie MINITRENDS, Emerging Business Opportunities in the New Economy)
the assumptions that "pollution is the price of progress" or that "we must choose between jobs and the environment" have long limited our creative thinking about innovative solutions that can be good for the environment, the workers, and a healthy economy.
Annie Leonard (The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and our Health—and a Vision for Change)
Instead of arguing about making sacrifices, let’s talk about how we can make money. Instead of pitting the environment versus the economy, let’s consider market principles and economic growth. Instead of focusing on polar bears, let’s focus on asthmatic children. And instead of putting all hope in the federal government, let’s empower cities, regions, businesses, and citizens to accelerate the progress they are already making on their own.
Michael R. Bloomberg (Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet)
It’s time to recognize that a broad, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, multinational initiative, guided by a broader, more integrated and unified perspective, should be playing a central role in guiding our scientific agenda in addressing this issue and informing policy. We need a broad and more integrated scientific framework that encompasses a quantitative, predictive, mechanistic theory for understanding the relationship between human-engineered systems, both social and physical, and the “natural” environment—a framework I call a grand unified theory of sustainability. It’s time to initiate a massive international Manhattan-style project or Apollo-style program dedicated to addressing global sustainability in an integrated, systemic sense.1
Geoffrey West (Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies)
preventable illness influences and is influenced by education, employment, the environment, and the economy.
James Hamblin (If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body)
typical modern households live in urban environments where they earn incomes through some form of wage work and buy food produced by others. In the more industrialized economies, ca. 65 percent of populations lived in towns in 1980, and globally, ca. 38 percent; it is probable that even global levels of urbanization will cross the symbolic threshold of 50 percent early in the twenty-first century.
David Christian (Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library))
Money has an even darker side. For although money builds universal trust between strangers, this trust is invested not in humans, communities or sacred values, but in money itself and in the impersonal systems that back it. We do not trust the stranger, or the next-door neighbour – we trust the coin they hold. If they run out of coins, we run out of trust. As money brings down the dams of community, religion and state, the world is in danger of becoming one big and rather heartless marketplace. Hence the economic history of humankind is a delicate dance. People rely on money to facilitate cooperation with strangers, but they’re afraid it will corrupt human values and intimate relations. With one hand people willingly destroy the communal dams that held at bay the movement of money and commerce for so long. Yet with the other hand they build new dams to protect society, religion and the environment from enslavement to market forces. It is common nowadays to believe that the market always prevails, and that the dams erected by kings, priests and communities cannot long hold back the tides of money. This is naive. Brutal warriors, religious fanatics and concerned citizens have repeatedly managed to trounce calculating merchants, and even to reshape the economy. It is therefore impossible to understand the unification of humankind as a purely economic process. In order to understand how thousands of isolated cultures coalesced over time to form the global village of today, we must take into account the role of gold and silver, but we cannot disregard the equally crucial role of steel.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Mother nature has no involvement with the existence of a dystopia in our society. . A dystoopia comes into existence when human beings neglects the importance of maintaining a clean environment or cause destruction against a massive group of other people for an illogical/negative purpose.
Saaif Alam
Despite renewed questioning of our economic circumstances during the current global financial crisis, most of those in positions of influence still buy the orthodox line that there are no serious limits to our capacity to exploit the planet’s resources for our benefit; they ignore the reality that the economy is a sub-system of the environment. As
Jane Caro (Destroying The Joint)
Indeed, in many agricultural regions — including northern China, southern India (as well as the Punjab), Mexico, the western United States, parts of the Middle East, and elsewhere — water may be much more of a constraint to future food production than land, crop yield potential, or most other factors. Developing and distributing technologies and practices that improve water management is critical to sustaining the food production capability we now have, much less increasing it for the future. Water-short Israel is a front-runner in making its agricultural economy more water-efficient. Its current agricultural output could probably not have been achieved without steady advances in water management — including highly efficient drip irrigation, automated systems that apply water only when crops need it, and the setting of water allocations based on predetermined optimum water applications for each crop. The nation’s success is notable: between 1951 and 1990, Israeli farmers reduced the amount of water applied to each hectare of cropland by 36 percent. This allowed the irrigated area to more than triple with only a doubling of irrigation water use.37 Whether
Laurie Ann Mazur (Beyond the Numbers: A Reader on Population, Consumption and the Environment)
What I mean when I talk about sovereignty is that "we have a different way of being". Those of us who are organising around the idea of sovereignty are not asking for inclusion within the capitalist system. We're not asking for the so-called benefits of a capitalist system, which is always based on exclusions because it is based on privatising what was once communal and shared. We're saying no to being incorporated. We're saying yes to a completely different way of being, to a society based on commonality and plurality, not the fundamentalism of markets, religion, and the gender binary. We're not pushing to get in. Why should we want to enmesh ourselves in an economy and a political system that is driving the planet and our species toward destruction?
Sendolo Diamina
Most recently, I worked for this advertising agency that specializes in perceptual marketing. They ensure that whatever ads you see in your everyday life are geared to your specific taste, style, demographic, purchasing history, and countless other interwoven criteria. If you walk by a billboard, it shows you something you actually want or an upgrade to something you already have. They use real-time rolling data feeds, so you might see a different ad depending on your mood before versus after lunch, if you were running late or had time to linger, whether you had sex that night or argued with your spouse that morning. Following a negative experience with some company’s wares, they’d give a competitor a shot at shifting your brand loyalty. My big idea was that clients could pay a monthly fee to see no ads at all. Instead of individualized niche marketing, you could experience a world blissfully emptied of promotional clutter. It was a total failure. Because it turns out people like ads. Especially when they’re targeted to warp the visual environment around you to emphasize your needs above all others, as if you’re the indispensable center of the global economy. Nobody wanted to pay for the privilege of being irrelevant to commercial interests. Except me. I essentially got my employer to launch an expensive new product solely for my use. An industry of one.
Elan Mastai (All Our Wrong Todays)
President Vladimir Putin has evolved a “hybrid foreign policy, a strategy that mixes normal diplomacy, military force, economic corruption and a high-tech information war.” Indeed, on any given day, the United States has found itself dealing with everything from cyberattacks by Russian intelligence hackers on the computer systems of the U.S. Democratic Party, to disinformation about what Russian troops, dressed in civilian clothes, are doing in Eastern Ukraine, to Russian attempts to take down the Facebook pages of widows of its soldiers killed in Ukraine when they mourn their husbands’ deaths, to hot money flows into Western politics or media from Russian oligarchs connected to the Kremlin. In short, Russia is taking full advantage of the age of accelerating flows to confront the United States along a much wider attack surface. While it lives in the World of Order, the Russian government under Putin doesn’t mind fomenting a little disorder—indeed, when you are a petro-state, a little disorder is welcome because it keeps the world on edge and therefore oil prices high. China is a much more status quo power. It needs a healthy U.S. economy to trade with and a stable global environment to export into. That is why the Chinese are more focused on simply dominating their immediate neighborhood. But while America has to deter these two other superpowers with one hand, it also needs to enlist their support with the other hand to help contain both the spreading World of Disorder and the super-empowered breakers. This is where things start to get tricky: on any given day Russia is a direct adversary in one part of the world, a partner in another, and a mischief-maker in another.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
More importantly, in most countries there were also many policies that ended up redistributing income from the poor to the rich. There have been tax cuts for the rich – top income-tax rates were brought down. Financial deregulation has created huge opportunities for speculative gains as well as astronomical paycheques for top managers and financiers (see Things 2 and 22). Deregulation in other areas has also allowed companies to make bigger profits, not least because they were more able to exploit their monopoly powers, more freely pollute the environment and more readily sack workers. Increased trade liberalization and increased foreign investment – or at least the threat of them – have also put downward pressure on wages. As a result, income inequality has increased in most rich countries. For example, according to the ILO (International Labour Organization) report The World of Work 2008, of the twenty advanced economies for which data was available, between 1990 and 2000 income inequality rose in sixteen countries, with only Switzerland among the remaining four experiencing a significant fall.1 During this period, income inequality in the US, already by far the highest in the rich world, rose to a level comparable to that of some Latin American countries such as Uruguay and Venezuela.
Ha-Joon Chang (Twenty-Three Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism)
Peace is significant for any country that seeks prosperity, because it is easier to uplift the economy in a peaceful environment.
Gift Gugu Mona
For most of the past two decades the central goal of energy pricing has been to reduce volatility. Policymakers want to ensure that businesses face a predictable environment, with relatively stable prices for electricity and fuels; in a more predictable environment, businesses are more likely to make large-scale capital investments. The government’s main tools in achieving this stability are state-run firms that convert raw fuel into usable energy: power-generating firms and oil refiners. When fuel prices are high, these companies suffer depressed profits or even losses, because they cannot pass on the full cost increase to their customers. But when prices are low, their profits soar, because they are not required to pass on their full cost savings either. These industries can be thought of as “shock absorbers” that enable the economic car to drive relatively smoothly even when the road is full of potholes.
Arthur R. Kroeber (China's Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know)
Most companies have built China’s “Wild West” IPR environment into their business plans, and figured out how to prosper.
Arthur R. Kroeber (China's Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know)
Or stay in Chechnya and wait to be attacked? What should we do? I have said what we must do. We must go through the mountain caves and scatter and destroy all those who are armed. Perhaps after the presidential elections, we should introduce direct presidential rule there for a couple of years. We must rebuild the economy and the social services, show the people that normal life is possible. We must pull the young generation out of the environment of violence in which it is living. We must put a program of education in place . . . We must work. We must not abandon Chechnya as we did before. In fact, we did a criminal thing back then, when we abandoned the Chechen people and undermined Russia. Now we must work hard, and then transfer to full fledged political procedures, allowing them and us to decide how we can coexist. It is unavoidable fact: We must live together. We have no plans to deport Chechens, as Stalin once solved the problem. And Russia has no other choice. Nobody can impose a solution on us by force but we are prepared to take maximum consideration of Chechen
Vladimir Putin (First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President Vladimir Putin)
This concept is the equivalent, for a platform business, of a long-established computer networking idea known as the end-to-end principle. Originally formulated in 1981 by J. H. Saltzer, D. P. Reed, and D. D. Clark, the end-to-end principle states that, in a general-purpose network, application-specific functions ought to reside in the end hosts of a network rather than in intermediary nodes.6 In other words, activities that are not central to the workings of the network but valuable only to particular users should be located at the edges of the network rather than at its heart. In this way, secondary functions don’t interfere with or draw resources away from the core activities of the network, nor do they complicate the task of maintaining or updating the network as a whole. Over time, the end-to-end principle has been expanded from network design to the design of many other complex computing environments.
Geoffrey G. Parker (Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You)
use. The dilemma suggests that politicians are paralyzed by a fundamental conflict between the environment and the economy that arises from the deeply held but mistaken belief that freedom and regulation are incompatible.
Shawn Lawrence Otto (The War on Science: Who's Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It)
Times have changed, and international laws and norms surrounding belligerency are far less permissive than they were in the early twentieth century. While this means that weak states have greater protection available to them from predatory neighbours, it also enables the survival of states and institutions that are not necessarily well adapted to their environment. The sovereignty – and sometimes territorial and fiscal integrity – of weak states is guaranteed to a significant degree by external sources, which can undermine the need for robust internal sources, such as popular legitimacy, or a productive economy.
Sarah Phillips (Yemen and the Politics of Permanent Crisis (Adelphi))
the basic problem with the average man and woman was precisely that they were so average and that there were so many of them, taking far more than they gave to the world, quite incapable of managing their own lives intelligently let alone society, government, the economy, and the environment
Dean Koontz (Mr. Murder)
In February 2017, the Institute of International Finance reported that capital flows to emerging markets remained flat, at around US$680 billion, with high downside risks for FDI. Financial market expectations for interest rate hikes in the United States are a contributing factor to weakness in capital flows destined for the emerging markets, as investors look to gain from higher-interest-rate environments. However, the anemic economic growth conditions across the developing world also lower the opportunity for returns and hurt capital inflows. The softness in capital flows to emerging economies could prove more damaging in the long term as the prospects for economic growth continue to wane. Already the world’s largest and most strategically vital emerging nations—such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey—are only growing at 3 percent or less a year. Ever more damning is the implication of the IMF’s October 2014 “World Economic Outlook” that the world will never again see the rates of growth witnessed prior to 2007.12 This weak economic backdrop comports with a weak capital inflow story. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the movement of money through the financial system has been stagnant over the past decade. In dollar terms, cross-border capital inflows among the G20 economies have fallen nearly 70 percent since mid-2007.13 Ultimately, slow economic growth leads to decreased investment, which in turns leads to even slower growth.
Dambisa Moyo (Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth—and How to Fix It)
Exploitation: early entrants make use of the wealth of opportunity in their environment to multiply. Most fail, not least because they are poorly-connected individuals facing a dangerous world on their own, but some may eventually build a system with potential and connectedness. This is known as the r phase: r has for many years been used as a label for the rate of growth of the population of an ecology (example of phase: young trees).2 2. Conservation: the system persists in its mature form, with the benefit of a complex structure of connections, strong enough now to resist challenges for a long time, but with the weakness that the connections themselves introduce an element of rigidity, slowing down its reactions and reducing its inventiveness. This is the K phase, where the ecology reaches its carrying capacity (example: mature trees).3 In due course, however, the tight connections themselves become a decisive problem, which can only be resolved by . . . The back loop (moving from bottom-right to top-left in the diagram): 3. . . . release: at this point, the cost and complication of maintaining the large scale—providing the resources the system needs, and disposing of its waste—becomes too great. The space and flexibility for local responsiveness had become scarce, the system itself so tightly connected that it locked: a target for predators without and within, against which it found it harder and harder to defend itself. But now the stresses join up, and the system collapses (example: dying trees). This is the omega (Ω) phase, as suggested by Holling and Gunderson, and it is placed by them in its ecological context: The tightly bound accumulation of biomass and nutrients becomes increasingly fragile (overconnected, in systems terms) until it is suddenly released by agents such as forest fires, droughts, insect pests, or intense pulses of grazing.4 4. Reorganisation: the remains of a system after collapse are unpromising material on which to start afresh, and yet they are an opportunity for a different kind of system to enjoy a brief flowering—decomposing the wood of a former forest, recycling the carbon after a fire, restoring the land with forgiving grass, clearing away the assumptions and grandeur of the previous regime. Reorganisation becomes a busy system in its own right (example: rotting trees). This is the alpha (α) phase.5 In this phase, there is a persistent process of disconnecting, with the former subsidiary parts of the system being broken up. But our diagram is drawn on a graph of potential (increasing from bottom to top) and connectedness (increasing from left to right), which allows us to note a curious aspect of this back loop: the defining relationship of the fore loop—where more potential is correlated with more connectedness—is reversed. In the back loop (even) less connectedness goes with more potential. How can this be?
David Fleming (Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy)
Our deeply troubled world can be reinvented through biomimicry. Nature's trillions of solutions throw open the door to far-reaching opportunities for building a better world; rescuing our ailing environment and atmosphere; and giving rise to a powerful, new, sustainable economy. To quote rock musician Tom Petty, "The future ain't what it used to be." No matter who you are, you can be a pioneer and leader in creating a new golden age on earth. A sweet twenty-first century and a third millennium are possible. Imagine. It's your life, your world, your opportunity, and your responsibility. The possibilities are endless.
Jay Harman (The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation)
In the past year, a new divestment campaign has caught on, faster than any other such campaign in history, according to a recent Oxford university study. Investors representing more than $2.5tn in assets under management, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Norway’s giant oil fund and the Church of England (whose archbishop is a former oil executive) have all joined the chorus saying sayonara to their dirtiest fossil fuel investments. They reason this is not about biting the hand that fed them; rather, it is about morality and economics. It is about the morality of not standing on the sidelines of climate change, “the most pressing moral issue in our world” in the words of the lead bishop on the environment for the Church of England. It is also about the economics of not getting stuck holding a bag of stranded fossil fuel assets that cannot be burnt if the world is to adhere to a given carbon budget, a topic on which Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has expressed concerns. And it is about not missing out on the transition from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy. The president of Harvard University, whose endowment is estimated to have a carbon footprint as big as that of Jamaica, is not convinced. As Drew Faust argues, constraining investment options risks significantly constraining investment returns, while divestment is unlikely to have a financial impact on the affected companies. It also raises the troubling problem of boycotting a whole class of companies whose products and services we rely on.
Many people in the United States believe that urban poverty is a result of lack of motivation, welfare dependency, and a poor work ethic (see “The ‘Culture of Poverty’: Poverty as Pathology,” p. 422); but Newman challenges this vision as a gap in our understanding of urban environments and inner-city economies. In these milieus she has found a broad array of hard-working citizens for whom hard work does not pay off, who struggle to provide for their families, who are one paycheck away from financial disaster.
Kenneth J. Guest (Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age)
Though Cannon's study serves to sanction on biological grounds the principle of automation, it also exposes the limitation of an economy that seeks to translate man's higher functions into an automatic system that will finally be capable of making decisions and plans of action without calling upon anticipatory mental processes or memories except those that can be programmed on a computer. The path of human advance is not toward such collective automation but toward the increase of personal and communal autonomy; and any system that reverses this direction not merely turns man's most highly developed organ, his brain, into a virtual non-entity, but cuts itself off from the most precious products of the human mind: that vast storehouse and powerhouse of images, forms, ideas, institutions, and structures, through which man rises above the conditions of his immediate environment. To reduce or destroy this heritage is to inflict brain damage on the human race.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
Back in the days of the industrial economy, building a successful workplace meant finding efficiencies through eliminating errors, standardizing performance, and squeezing more out of workers. How employees felt while doing their job was of secondary interest, because it had limited impact on their performance. The main thing was that the work got done. Today things are different. Our work is infinitely more complex. We rarely need employees to simply do routine, repetitive tasks—we also need them to collaborate, plan, and innovate. Building a thriving organization in the current economy demands a great deal more than efficiency. It requires an environment that harnesses intelligence, creativity, and interpersonal skill.
Ron Friedman (The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace)
Essayist and critic Wendell Berry, in his book Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community (New York: Pantheon, 1994), takes aim at a premise beneath much of today’s hostility to the Christian ethic—namely, the assumption that sex is private, and what I do in the privacy of my bedroom with another consenting adult is strictly my own business. Thinkers like Berry retort that this claim appears on the surface to be broad minded but is actually very dogmatic. That is, it is based on a set of philosophical assumptions that are not neutral at all but semi-religious and have major political implications. In particular, it is based on a highly individualistic understanding of human nature. Berry writes, “Sex is not, nor can it be any individual’s ‘own business,’ nor is it merely the private concern of any couple. Sex, like any other necessary, precious, and volatile power that is commonly held, is everybody’s business . . .” (p. 119). Communities occur only when individuals voluntarily out of love bind themselves to each other, curtailing their own freedom. In the past, sexual intimacy between a man and a woman was understood as a powerful way for two people to bind themselves to stay together and build a family. Sex, Berry insists, is the ultimate “nurturing discipline.” It is a “relational glue” that creates the deep oneness and therefore stability in the relationship that not only is necessary for children to flourish but is crucial for local communities to thrive. The most obvious social cost to sex outside marriage is the enormous spread of disease and the burden of children without sufficient parental support. The less obvious but much greater cost is the exploding number of developmental and psychological problems among children who do not live in stable family environments for most of their lives. Most subtle of all is the sociological fact that what you do in private shapes your character, and that affects how you relate to others in society. When people use sex for individual recreation and fulfillment, it weakens the entire body politic’s ability to live for others. You learn to commodify people and think of them as a means to satisfy your own passing pleasure. It turns out that sex is not just your business; it’s everybody’s business.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
The residents of the world, let’s face it, have good reason to want to hear what “the great voice” has to say on any given day. What the leaders of America decide, and what America does, will generally have wide and far-ranging impact on the lives of the people of the world. This single nation directly affects the personal economies of the people of the world, as the global downturn that followed the U.S. credit crunch that started in September, 2008, dramatically confirmed. America can change the geopolitical environment in any given area of the world by launching, or defending against, a military attack.
John Price (The End of America: The Role of Islam in the End Times and Biblical Warnings to Flee America)
Living systems can only count on a limited economy of resources in an environment that carries multiple demands for survival.
Gil Rendle (Holy Conversations: Strategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice for Congregations)
the qualities ascribed to the cowboy are identical to those of the English knight.18
Denis Hayes (Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment)
The "environmental crisis," in fact, can be solved only if people, individually and in their communities, recover responsibility for their thoughtlessly given proxies. If people begin the effort to take back into their own power a significant portion of their economic responsibility, then their inevitable first discovery is that the "environmental crisis" is no such thing; it is not a crisis of our environs or surroundings; it is a crisis of our lives as individuals, as family members, as community members, and as citizens. We have an "environmental crisis" because we have consented to an economy in which by eating, drinking, working, resting, traveling, and enjoying ourselves we are destroying the natural, the god-given world.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
Work is the main event. It is central to our economy and our society, and it makes family life possible. It underpins our finances and our sense of purpose in life. Given work’s overriding importance, it is imperative to recognize the profound, far-reaching transformation that shadow work is having, and the way it is redefining our very notion of work. We will track down shadow work in its natural habitats, which are the familiar environments of daily life: the home and family, the office, shopping, restaurants, travel, and the digital world of computers and the Internet.
Craig Lambert (Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day)
capitalism itself is a system and that as the environment that hosts capitalism changes—in particular, as the better part of global economic growth begins to occur outside the mature economies of the West—the capitalist system will evolve.
Christopher Meyer (Standing on the Sun: How the Explosion of Capitalism Abroad Will Change Business Everywhere)
We talk about what happens in Srilanka and in Delhi, but we do not talk and take action on what happens in the nearby community or street. Beyond this, how many of us think that we need to keep the environment clean outside our house, how many of us dare to question a person who is polluting the society/economy/politics/health/environment, etc... Rare...But we all are duty conscious... We run for our bus, we run for our work, we run for our sleep and we run for everything...but only for us and  only for what we need !!!
Vishnuvarthanan Moorthy (Bhagavad Gita for Dummies)
I have often said that value does not lie in material goods themselves, but when people create the conditions that make them seem necessary, their value increases. The capitalist system is based on the notion of ever-increasing production and consumption of material goods, and therefore, in the modern economy, people's value or worth comes to be determined by their possessions. But if people create conditions and environments that do not make those things necessary, the things, no matter what they are, become valueless. Cars, for example, are not considered to be of value by people who are not in a hurry.
Masanobu Fukuoka (Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security)
The industrial world of pipelines relies heavily on push. Consumers are accessed through specific marketing and communication channels that the business owns or pays for. In a world of scarcity, options were limited, and getting heard often sufficed to get marketers and their messages in front of consumers. In this environment, the traditional advertising and public relations industries focused almost solely on awareness creation—the classic technique for “pushing” a product or service into the consciousness of a potential customer. This model of marketing breaks down in the networked world, where access to marketing and communication channels is democratized—as illustrated, for example, by the viral global popularity of YouTube videos such as PSY’s “Gangnam Style” and Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” In this world of abundance—where both products and the messages about them are virtually unlimited—people are more distracted, as an endless array of competing options is only a click or a swipe away. Thus, creating awareness alone doesn’t drive adoption and usage, and pushing goods and services toward customers is no longer the key to success. Instead, those goods and services must be designed to be so attractive that they naturally pull customers into their orbit. Furthermore, for a platform business, user commitment and active usage, not sign-ups or acquisitions, are the true indicators of customer adoption. That’s why platforms must attract users by structuring incentives for participation—preferably incentives that are organically connected to the interactions made possible by the platform. Traditionally, the marketing function was divorced from the product. In network businesses, marketing needs to be baked into the platform.
Geoffrey G. Parker (Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You)
Public policies are not ‘interventions’ in the economy, as if markets existed independently of the public institutions and social and environmental conditions in which they are embedded. The role of policy is not one simply of ‘correcting’ the failures of otherwise free markets. It is rather to help create and shape markets to achieve the co-production, and the fair distribution, of economic value. Economic performance cannot be measured simply by the short-term growth of GDP, but requires better indicators of long-term value creation, social well-being, inequality and environment sustainability.
Michael Jacobs (Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth (Political Quarterly Monograph Series))
Add up all the Three Es and you see we have: economy that must expand, connected to energy system that cannot expand, all wrapped up in environment that is both being depleted of resources and saturated with pollutants. The inescapable conclusion to all this? Things are going to change. Big time.
Chris Martenson (Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting)
this new informational paradigm required a new business model, which many entrepreneurs and investors didn’t understand at the time. The business environment after the arrival of the Internet was fundamentally different from anything that came before. Yet many of these new businesses simply used traditional business models and set up a website as the distribution mechanism, with the expectation that the Internet would make business models work at scale because of “network effects”—even though it wasn’t clear what those network effects were or how they would help improve the business’s cost structure., which we talked about in chapter 1, is the most infamous example. But others, including, Webvan, and, eventually went under for similar reasons.
Alex Moazed (Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy)
Whether you’re building a platform business or not, you can’t succeed in this economic environment without understanding how platforms work.
Alex Moazed (Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy)
A prosperous economy rests on a high level of research and investment in order to preserve the environment, develop tourism and state of the art industries, maintain the national patrimony, transmit its cultural traditions and identity, innovate, and so on. Especially in France, the trend is quite the opposite.
Guillaume Faye (Convergence of Catastrophes)
Money accumulation by the rich is not the same as wealth creation by a society. If we are serious about creating wealth, our focus should not be on taking care of the rich so that their money trickles down; it should be on making sure everyone has a fair chance--in education, health, social capital, access to financial capital-- to create new information and ideas. Innovation arises from a fertile environment that allows individual genius to bloom and that amplifies individual genius, through cooperation, to benefit society. Extreme concentration of wealth kills prosperity in precisely the same way that untended weeds overrun and then kill gardens.
Eric Liu (The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government)
It’s important for me to link my critique of the attention economy to the promise of bioregional awareness because I believe that capitalism, colonialist thinking, loneliness, and an abusive stance toward the environment all coproduce one another.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
Here is what I believe to be the bottom line on economic cycles: The output of an economy is the product of hours worked and output per hour; thus the long-term growth of an economy is determined primarily by fundamental factors like birth rate and the rate of gain in productivity (but also by other changes in society and environment). These factors usually change relatively little from year to year, and only gradually from decade to decade. Thus the average rate of growth is rather steady over long periods of time. Only in the longest of time frames does the secular growth rate of an economy significantly speed up or slow down. But it does. Given the relative stability of underlying secular growth, one might be tempted to expect that the performance of economies would be consistent from year to year. However, a number of factors are subject to variability, causing economic growth—even as it follows the underlying trendline on average—to also exhibit annual variability. These factors can perhaps be viewed as follows: Endogenous—Annual economic performance can be influenced by variation in decisions made by economic units: for consumers to spend or save, for example, or for businesses to expand or contract, to add to inventories (calling for increased production) or sell from inventories (reducing production relative to what it might otherwise have been). Often these decisions are influenced by the state of mind of economic actors, such as consumers or the managers of businesses. Exogenous—Annual performance can also be influenced by (a) man-made events that are not strictly economic, such as the occurrence of war; government decisions to change tax rates or adjust trade barriers; or changes caused by cartels in the price of commodities, or (b) natural events that occur without the involvement of people, such as droughts, hurricanes and earthquakes. Long-term economic growth is steady for long periods of time but subject to change pursuant to long-term cycles. Short-term economic growth follows the long-term trend on average, but it oscillates around that trendline from year to year. People try hard to predict annual variation as a source of potential investing profit. And on average they’re close to the truth most of the time. But few people do it right consistently; few do it that much better than everyone else; and few correctly predict the major deviations from trend.
Howard Marks (Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side)
Soon, it will not be possible to fix the economy by compromising on the environment.
Mukesh Borar (Redesigning Life with Automation: Redefining Work, Rethinking Time, and Restructuring Consumption)