Blog 134. American Angst Part 2 of 7: Alienation of the Individual

Individuals feel angry, frustrated, isolated, abandoned by their society, offended by immigrants, and threatened by political ideologues who want to take over. The stores are big-box: you don’t buy your shoes or your shampoo with assistance from a friendly sales person. Your only safe conversation seems to be with Siri on your cell phone. Continue reading

Blog 122. What’s driving us crazy?

I hear folks complain that the overload of information and change is driving us crazy. A phone call used to be a rare interruption. Now, even robo calls “reach out and touch someone.” Continue reading

Blog 52. Aging in America—a systems question?

Last week, I reviewed Julian Barnes’ story of an aging, retired man named Tony Webster.  Webster lives alone, remembers regrettable events of his youth, suffers remorse when he encounters the living and ghostly persons of his past, and still does not find a way to heal the hurts or to generate meaning in his life.  Perhaps, as his former girlfriend says, he “just doesn’t get it.”

Does today’s youth-oriented culture—a functioning system—regard older people as irrelevant, as those who no longer “get it?”  Continue reading

Blog 45. The flow of information and misinformation

The big headline above a 26 column-inch editorial says,

Climate change threat is overblown.

This is in the newspaper of the most science-centered town of the nation?  Well, some accounts claim Los Alamos has more science Ph.D.s per unit population than anywhere else. Continue reading

Blog 42. Cyber (and other) security and responsibility

During the recent week, Charlie Rose (PBS) interviewed Peter Singer, author of a new book entitled Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know.  The book deals with infiltration, theft, and disruption via digital communications, particularly the internet. Continue reading