April 2008 Archives

Review: The Stillborn God

April 24, 2008

As with any number of non-fictions books I've read lately, Mark Lilla's The Stillborn God is one I'll have to return to in the future for a detailed skimming. I like taking notes; yet, notetaking requires extra time, and can make it difficult to see the forest for the trees. Thus I've been experimenting with reading all the way through, with an eye to returning soon to skim back over for the most thought-provoking elements. Hasn't happened yet with anything else though =/.

Incrementalism and Sustainability

April 11, 2008

I haven't been reading WorldChanging so much as I used to, as much due to my lack of time as anything, but when I stopped by yesterday I was reminded why I love this site, and contribute towards its upkeep: Alex Steffen's Neighborliness, Innovation and Sustainability.

My first reaction was — I've read this before. But then I realized that there were some new combinations in ideas, some new permutations, and new personal reflection resulted. So, fine, no worries if Steffen has written about the same concepts several times. They need to be re-iterated again and again. From them, I noticed two things: I need to find my next steps to move past a green-substitution lifestyle into something more sustainable, and though coming from a humanist perspective, Alex is converging on some of the same ideas that underpin Bahá'í notions of the social changes required to move society from our present unstable course into a higher, sustainable one.

This post will address the first of these two items — incrementalism. I'll return soon to the second theme.

Plant a Billion Trees

April 5, 2008

I've been feeling the need to plant some trees to offset my recent trip to Austin and to make up for an upcoming trip to my parents' place. And the Nature Conservancy just happens to have sent me an e-mail today about a new Plant a Billion Trees campaign for re-foresting the Atlantic forest of Brazil. Based on the various carbon offset programs — though this isn't marketed as a carbon offset, it essentially serves that purpose — $25 seemed like an appropriate amount for these two trips.

Willpower

April 2, 2008

New research seems to show that we have a depletable store of willpower, but we can also strengthen our efficiency in using that store (which might be glucose): discussed in a NYT op-ed, Tighten Your Belt, Strengthen Your Mind. When I read this earlier today I had some vague notion of writing about fasting and will power, but now I just don't have it in me. Lack of glucose? No, lack of Muse. My blood sugar should be just fine, still pretty full after a good dinner of turkey chili.

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