Friday, November 20, 2015

Trees on Mars. Our Obsession with the Future

While driving this morning, I listened to a lengthy interview with the author of a new book titled interestingly and memorably "Trees on Mars.  Our Obsession with the Future".

The author spoke incredibly well and I am thinking about getting the book.  It seems it  came out this October, and Amazon has no reviews and ratings, yet.

When I turned on the radio, he was just speaking about "Disruption."  Disruption is a current buzz-word in various places like Universities and technology innovators.  It means something like setting aside all the old, so that the future can be imagined and brought about.  Niedzviecki believes in what makes us human, story-telling and face-to-face contact.  He has no idea why anyone would be on Facebook, for example.  Some technologies don't make sense on the human level.  Of course, he is on Facebook, too, but it does not make sense to him, overall.

He pointed out the absurdities of some of our ambitions, and the goals that are being set before our young people.  For example, a woman from Edmonton was short-listed to go on a mission to Mars, on a one-way ticket.  Her husband did not make the short-list.  On the air, the tape was played:  "Yes, of course, I would miss my husband, but..."  Niedzviecki had some really good words to describe what is going on here, but I forgot them now.  But those would be what the book is about:  showing how we are sacrificing humanity for outlandish and practically useless dreams and ambitions.

No doubt, he might go a little far here and there, but I don't know that the main points should not be well taken.  He says, young people, and many of those "precariously employed",  really just want what their parents had--stable employment, affordable housing, etc.

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