Tuesday, June 19, 2018

One mile at a time

Over the last years, one of my favourite means of procrastination, beyond writing Rawls & Me of course, has been reading the travel blog “One Mile at a Time”. Yet, with 9 + 5 hours in economy ahead of me, it does not seem like I learnt that much about the wizardry world of points and miles after all...
As for adding up miles, I had set a goal of running 100 km this month before leaving for the US which I was able to achive yesterday, although with the tiniest of margins. Nevertheless, I hope to be able to go for another run already tomorrow morning before heading over to Oakland for my talk with this year's Breakthrough Generation fellows. This time around, I will base my talk to a large extent on the paper I published in The Anthropocene Review a couple of years ago which tried to challenge predominant conceptions of "sustainability".

Preparing for the subsequent Dialogue, I came across an interesting new book by Charles C. Mann that seems to touch upon many of the same issues as my paper, in particular the long-standing debate between “prophets” calling for humanity to scale back and “wizards” arguing that we can overcome environmental determinism through social and technological innovation. Interesting, both prophets and wizards support the idea of human exceptionalism, in the first case in the sense that the human species, unlike any other animal, can consciously limit its consumption and reproduction rate, and in the second case, that it can use technology and knowledge to overcome its environmental constraints.

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