Category Archives: Journalism

It’s Where We Live

Home, by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. A stunning photographic exploration of our own backyard, a surprising amount of which I felt like I was seeing for the first time. The whole movie is here… Advertisements

Posted in Climate Change, Culture, education, History, How We Build, How We Live, How we Move, How We Think, Journalism, Livability, Science, Sustainability, technology, thinking, What if? | Leave a comment

Reversal of Fortune

For most of human history, the two birds More and Better roosted on the same branch. You could toss one stone and hope to hit them both. That’s why the centuries since Adam Smith launched modern economics with his book The Wealth of Nations have been so single-mindedly devoted to the dogged pursuit of maximum economic production. Smith’s core ideas—that individuals pursuing their own interests in a market society end up making each other richer; and that increasing efficiency, usually by increasing scale, is the key to increasing wealth—have indisputably worked. They’ve produced more More than he could ever have imagined. They’ve built the unprecedented prosperity and ease that distinguish the lives of most of the people reading these words. It is no wonder and no accident that Smith’s ideas still dominate our politics, our outlook, even our personalities.
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Edward Burtynsky and the Manufactured Landscape

Canadian photographer Burtynsky has made a life’s work out of documenting landscapes altered or wholly created by human industry. The images are gorgeous, hypnotic, terrifying, and sobering, sometimes all at once. They serve as proof that we can have a profound impact on our own backyards, the implication being that if you string enough profoundly altered backyards together you have a profoundly altered planet and, in all likelihood, profoundly altered natural systems.
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Coming Home: Stories of Simpler Times

You can’t ask an acquaintance if he had a good childhood. It’s too personal — and a potential can of worms. But we’re naturally curious, looking for clues about the situations that our friends come from. This interest comes out in questions like “What do your parents do?” “Are you close with your family?” “Have you been home recently?” and even the straightforward “Where are you from?”

But what does a “good childhood” mean anyway? Most upbringings are complicated; mixed bags. Most parents try their best, and all make mistakes.

Descriptions, whether words or images, of the physical spaces of our formative years hint at the relationships within. If these walls could talk, they’d tell tales long forgotten. Continue reading

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