What comes after Sustainability? Resilience?

According to Rob Hopkins of the Transition Movement, and following David Holmgren, the co-creator of the permaculture concept, sustainability is not enough and we need to move beyond it. But what comes after sustainability? The answer, it seems, is: resilience. How successful has the paradigm of sustainability been at achieving its aims? It makes an … Continue reading What comes after Sustainability? Resilience?

Bias: it’s not a bug, it’s a feature

"Kahan’s argument about the woman who does not believe in global warming is a surprising and persuasive example of a general principle: if we want to understand others, we can always ask what is making their behaviour ‘rational’ from their point of view. If, on the other hand, we just assume they are irrational, no … Continue reading Bias: it’s not a bug, it’s a feature

Fatalist development aid

The Economist evaluates a scheme to give poor people cash handouts at random, instead of through traditional aid programmes. Mixed results...http://www.economist.com/news/international/21588385-giving-money-directly-poor-people-works-surprisingly-well-it-cannot-dealFatalism, as described by Grid-Group Cultural theory, is more than merely the worldview that blind fate rules our lives. It takes this as a given and then seeks to make the world even more random. … Continue reading Fatalist development aid

A Simple Primer on Cultural Cognition

A Simple Primer on Cultural CognitionThe New Republic has a short summary of the cultural cognition project: how to talk to climate change deniers.Those who 'deny' climate change aren't mad, deluded or evil - they're just paying close attention to the community to which they owe allegiance. Various groups make use of publicly held views … Continue reading A Simple Primer on Cultural Cognition

Ignorance may be bliss but it’s not democracy

Ignorance may be bliss but it's not democracyThe basis of democracy is an informed public. Voters don't have to be clever or well-meaning for this to work - but ensuring they are duped amounts to breaking the system and replacing it with something else. Jay Rosen asks:Can there even be an informed public and consent-of-the-governed for … Continue reading Ignorance may be bliss but it’s not democracy

The really real reason why banks have so many scandals

“Since we have not more power of knowing the future than any other men, we have made many mistakes (who has not during the past five years?), but our mistakes have been errors of judgment and not of principle.” J.P. Morgan Jnr, 1933 A couple of months ago I was toying with the idea of … Continue reading The really real reason why banks have so many scandals

More on Questions about Grid-Group Theory

So Y asked three interesting questions regarding Grid-Group Cultural Theory. This is a line of thought, a method of inquiry, developed by the British social anthropologist Mary Douglas, along with numerous collaboraters, and more recently numerous younger adopters who never actually worked with Douglas. Its early presentation was in the influential book Natural Symbols. DMK … Continue reading More on Questions about Grid-Group Theory