Thursday, December 19, 2013

Useful Resources for Seeing the World As It Is

I want to understand the civilization we live in, including its robustness or fragility. This post contains writings and presentations I've found very compelling on this topic, though don't assume I agree with everything in every piece. Each topic gets a blue box and a 'starter' link which is good to read if you only read one link for that topic. To see more links on the topic, click in the blue box to expand it, and click again to contract it.

Notes about this post are at the bottom.  Any constructive feedback is welcome!

About the Following Topics
I'm interested in the following topics but haven't researched them as much, so links are thinner.

About this post

I don't think of myself as a negative person, even though many of these items focus on problems or negative perspectives. I simply want to understand what's going on around me, and then build a positive, meaningful, healthy life based on that understanding. And anyway, regardless how bad things get, just being aware is an amazing thing, and a great journey. Past and future posts on this blog will focus on my response to issues brought up above (resource issues, environmental issues, social fragility, etc).


I plan to keep this page updated with references to essays, books, speeches, and other resources which I've found really useful or enlightening.

If I read a cross-posted version, I try to link the original here unless the cross-poster added interesting commentary or the original requires registration.

Some links really belong in multiple categories; you'll see lots of categories have interesting overlap. I include the names of the reports/books/essays so if the links go bad, search online for the title and let me know about it.

My goals with this page are 1) introduce the breadth and depth of problems we face to interested friends & family 2) help me keep track of writings I may want to review or reference in the future; 3) make those writings easy to share, and 4) allow my friends and family to read what I read and judge the ideas even when I can't articulate all the ideas and evidence perfectly. If any strangers benefit - good for you! I believe in 'pay it forward', and I clearly have a lot of paying to do, being very indebted to many thinkers.

The goal of this post is NOT to fully convince you of any particular problem or solution, since that would require a different kind of post, an emphasis on primary research, etc. The goal is rather to introduce the breadth and depth of problems. If you're interested in learning more or are skeptical (as you should be), then some simple web searches will give you a fuller understanding of these topics.

I haven't focused hard on some topics like health care and food fraud, so for those kinds of topics this post acts as a repository of work I'll want to reference later rather than a good intro to the whole topic.

Lastly... there's tons more good work out there than I've managed to put here. I just couldn't wait forever to publish this post as I scoured my lists of saved work. If you want to talk about any of this, I'd love feedback, even (especially) if you disagree with anything.