Thinking About the World

Copyright © 2003..2015, . All rights reserved.

Thinking about the world around me — and often writing about it — has always been one of my favorite hobbies. Here is a selection of some of the results that are fit for public consumption.

  • Disillusion on the Bright Continent
    Nairobi, Kenya, March 2007
    Excerpt: If the first step in finding a solution is identifying the problem and if the problem is that our concepts of justice and morality are outmoded and need to be updated, then we are probably screwed because there is little chance that enough of us will recognize that problem before Fahrenheit 451 descends upon us by either nuclear or climatic causes.
  • Impact of Automated Fabrication on Society
    from Automated Fabrication, 1993
    Excerpt: One might summarize these questions by asking whether fabricators will elevate humankind to new heights of civilization, or render civilization, along with the assembly line, obsolete.
  • Carrying on from Apollo 11
    TV interview, July 20, 1989
    Excerpt: “Going into space” is not the isolated activity of any individual or group of individuals. It is one aspect of the combined activity of all people, and ultimately of all living things, maybe even of all material and energetic elements of the Earth itself. The cave men of ancient Africa were “going into space” when they started sharpening rocks for tools. It is only the extraterrestrial portion of the journey that has waited until this century; the journey has been in progress for millions of years.
  • Consumer Comforts of Eden
    Book review of Products Liability and the Reasonably Safe Product by Alvin Weinstein, et al., in Technology Review, May 1979, p 85..6
    Excerpt: The acceptance of responsibility is the essence of animal life. If when Adam was expelled from Eden, he had sued God for recompensation he would have reduced himself to the level of the creations of the third day [i.e., plants]. Instead, he held his head up and said, “All right, God. I’ll make it without you.” In doing this he established the dignity of the human race which is no greater and no less than the dignity of the eagle leaving the nest and of the lion leaving the den. When a man ceases to guard his own interests, and expects other forces or other people to watch out for him, he abandons that dignity. He is crying for the comfort of Eden.
  • Favorite Quotes from my Journals
    Excerpt: Quantum mechanics is difficult for the same reason that Shakespeare is difficult. But it’s more rewarding because instead of adjusting to the language of the past, you have to adjust to the language of the future.