Sometimes you can learn things by watching "reality TV", so long as you keep in mind that it's not ... you know ... real.
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August 9, 2012
August 7, 2012
So I'm struggling with the process of getting my mind around all the aspects of socio-economic sustainability. Lots of good reading, resulting in lots of references to lots more books and articles, some of which will doubtless soon appear in these ramblings.
August 2, 2012
Any time I indicate that a market-based solution to any given problem might be less than optimal, I get beaten over the head with Adam Smith's "invisible hand". A lot of folks (including a lot of folks on Greenback's campus) seem to think that Smith's classic Wealth of Nations defined, once and for all, the innate superiority of "free markets" in all goods, all services, all circumstances.
August 1, 2012
It's probably a little bit (but only a little bit) unfair of me to lay blame for the cultural immaturity that is consumerism at the door of American higher education. After all, most of the behaviors and expectations that prevent children (consumers) from becoming adults (citizens) are established well before entry to college or university.
July 26, 2012
Well, maybe not the pets themselves. Maybe more their owners. Especially when it comes to dogs, because dogs can't help the fact that for millenia they've been bred for subservience. Cats, on the other hand, might have to take the rap themselves.
July 22, 2012
Just a short thought, regarding sustainability books. The Local Politics of Global Sustainability, the best book I've found so far about social sustainability, is filed in the Greenback library system under Library of Congress classification "HC 79". HC 79 is the classification for "Economic history and conditions -- Special topics".
July 18, 2012
It all started when Dave Newport at UC-Boulder (I think it was Dave, but looking back I can't find the specifics) said good things about the book "Understanding the Social Dimension of Sustainability."
July 11, 2012
Following on from yesterday's post, and reflecting on posts dating from February, it strikes me that Greenback U's overriding concept of sustainability frames it as a technological problem. But, while we have a number of very-good technologically-oriented academic programs, we have far more departments, faculty and students who focus on the arts, the humanities and the social sciences. Maybe that's part of the reason that the sustainability issue has such a hard time getting traction around here.
July 10, 2012
Subscribers to the Green Schools Listserv recently got invited to participate in a sustainability survey. And while the opportunity to fill out yet another fool survey is not generally attractive, this one was from a grad student at Erasmus U in Rotterdam. I have a soft spot for Rotterday (Frau R says I have a lot of soft spots, mostly north of my neck), so I decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did.
July 9, 2012
Recently, I was talking to a friend of the family. A middle-aged woman with a PhD, she's fluent in three languages and has spent a reasonable portion of her life in Europe. One question that came up was why, in certain countries, people might be disallowed from spending their own money to buy health care that the relevant national health care system might deem to be unnecessary or of low priority.