Clue in, turn off, restart

One after another we go through the process. Some are fortunate enough to get far enough along before the moment of truth happens that at least they have a fat enough bank and brokerage account to fall back on (assuming, that is, that the endless frauds in the financial system don’t impoverish you as happened…

Austerity, balance, commonweal

Austerity, says Mark Blyth, is a dangerous idea. When I first went to hear Blyth, a Scots-born professor of political economy from Brown University give his lecture “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea” last month at the University of Toronto, I went in prepared to hear ideas I disagreed with. I’d gone because I’d…

Breaking Points

All over the world, people are giving up. Think about it. Where they get to vote, often nowadays, a majority can’t be bothered. When asked, they simply say “it makes no difference”. More and more are going beyond that. You see people refusing promotions now, refusing to go higher on the career ladder where there…

Twenty-first century educational imperatives

If you were redesigning the public school system for the twenty-first century, what imperatives would need to go into the curriculum and teaching methods to make the change worthwhile? We’re not talking “fad of the month” or “social engineering experiment” here, but a real top-to-bottom rethinking of how long we go to school, why we’re…

Spike, the story of your life

You were born near its tip. You know nothing other than this. The endless growing choices, abundance, opportunities that came as the spike burst out of the plain and rocketed skyward, breaking into space from the surface of the earth below. That sounds a bit like science fiction or fantasy, doesn’t it? Yet it’s very…

Going without money

Money. It seems to be the core of our society. Everything has its price. Everything is for sale. Without money, who are you? Increasingly, as this decade winds on, more and more of us will find ourselves outside the money economy as we’ve known it. If we’re lucky, a minimum wage job or barely turning…

Supporting an ecosystem

What the twentieth century turned out to be about was scale. It started out as fully integrated entities: iron ore, coal, sand, etc. came in at one end of Ford’s River Rouge facility and a Ford Steel Mill poured steel, a Ford Glass Plant made glass, and so up the way until, at the other…