Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lessons from an aging hippy

Those of a certain age probably read the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe's chronicle of the Merry Pranksters and psychedic movement in mid-sixties San Francisco. I did and, although I no longer find much in the movement admirable (I am, in its parlance, "off the bus"), I still have fond memories of meeting Ken Kesey at a Harvard function and ... you know ... inhaling.

One of the Merry Pranksters was a guy named Stewart Brand who is now regarded as one of the founders of the environmental movement and the originator of The Whole Earth Catalog from which Moondog and Sunbeam ordered ordered hemp sleepers for little Starshine. He later went on to become a guru of the cyberage.

There's an interesting interview with him in today's New York Times. It seems two things worry him about the environmental movement today. The first is its tendency to see problems in romantic rather than scientific terms. For him, the answer to global warming is nuclear power not a return to the Bronze Age. For guys like Al Gore who apparently have a carbon footprint the size of Megalasaurus, this has to be good news.

He also cautions against apocalyptic thinking. But then Al's already got the Oscar.


James Aach said...

FYI: You might find the following book on nuclear energy, endorsed by Stewart Brand, to be of interest. "Rad Decision" is a novel on the topic, written by a longtime nuclear worker (me). There's no cost to online readers of "Rad Decision". RadDecision.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

YOU inhaled!!

Anonymous said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.

Fast visuals/ words make slow emotions extinct.

Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

A fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

A fast (large) society will always be cruel to Animals/ Trees/ Air/ Water/ Land and to Itself.

To read the complete article please follow either of these links :