Charles Mann is a scientific writer, much awarded, and rightly so, who has released a book, The Wizard and The Prophet, this year, about 2 approaches to human starvation. The Green Revolution was a revolution in choosing parts of the plant genome to work 4 times as effectively to feed us. On the other hand, we realize that we have limits to embrace on this finite planet, and we have a moment in time to do that work, before we all die suddenly of success. Mann talks for 55 minutes, and there are 35 minutes of selected questions he answers after that.
Mann presents as high a flow rate of information, and as well organized, as I can get from reading, which is rare and deeply satisfying. This is really good and insightful information, no matter how much you may already know. I watched it all. Thanks for the tip, Jeanine.
Charles Hugh Smith looks at our current situation in the US and Western economic system. What now? (All i can find as an entry to the path forward is replacing TV with vegetable gardening, and bike commuting. these change my perceptions and the kinds of thoughts which enter my mind. Meditation arises more readily on a bike than in a car, too.)
In other words, the social crises, the constitutional crises, the financial crises--all of these are to some degree mere manifestations of the failure of centralized systems that arose to benefit from conditions that no longer exist. Our centralized institutions and systems are failing, and shuffling the management and tweaking the parameters cannot stave off collapse.What nobody gorging at the trough of the status quo dares admit is the system is failing most of its participants, and this is the source of populism and other manifestations of social disorder.
Paul Craig Roberts let USMC General Smedley Butler speak on July 4, the words as true as ever...“WAR is a racket. It always has been. “It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. “A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes. “A few profit — and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war. “The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nation’s manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of the nation — it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted — to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.” https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf