Blog 145. The Backyard Fence

In those neighborhoods where single-family houses still exist, back yards are usually fenced. So are some front yards. Why is this? What motivates us to put up fences when a once-popular western song was Don’t Fence Me In? Continue reading

Blog 143. Blaming the consequences of climate

We experience events, not the global situation, but the world seems simpler if we can trace each event to a cause. However, within a complex system, an event cannot be ascribed to a unique “cause.” Birds flock and fish school and the stock market tumbles due to the many interactions among the participating individuals. Continue reading

Blog 142. Saving souls at Salinas

This is a story about a fantastic place that few travelers find, a place once alive with intense human efforts and then abruptly left to the grass, trees, and brush.  It’s a story of an American native society-I would call it  “civilized”—that flourished and then disappeared.  Continue reading

Blog 139. American Angst Part 7 of 7: Synopsis

The main function of government is to protect the commons—those things that maintain and benefit society as a whole. That’s law and order. Continue reading

Blog 138. American Angst Part 6 of 7: Relieving angst in a complex system

The daily TV news sustains the angst in America,* but unlike the repetitive TV news, the situation isn’t hopeless.

The known science of complex systems indicates the route to remedy: alter the rules of interaction among the players. Continue reading

Blog 137. American Angst Part 5 of 7: Our Social Rules

Other than continual foreign wars and the changing climate, is there a reason why Americans feel individually distressed and socially anxious? Yes. We’re threatened by each other. We each feel we’ve got to beat the competition, join a group, and distrust everyone else. Continue reading

Blog 136. American Angst Part 4 of 7: Sliding into Fascism

America is split many ways: the divide between rich and poor,(1) educated versus uneducated, the elite versus the common person. We’re beset by a self-perpetuating crime and poverty in the bottom economic class because those individuals justifiably feel hopeless.  It’s the middle classes that should be hopeful, Continue reading