26 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2023
      • for: ecological civilization, degrowth, futures, deep ecology, emptiness, polycrisis, human exceptionalism, planned descent
      • source
      • Description

        • Nate hosts this discussion on what constitutes an ecological civilization with guests
          • William Rees
          • Rex Weyler
          • Nora Bateson
      • Reflections Overall,

        • an insightful discussion on the polycrisis and
        • reflections on what is in store for civilization.
      • There is consensus that
        • what we are experiencing has been decades in the making and
        • the solutions-oriented approach to solving problems has only treated the symptoms and indeed has made things worse.
      • There is a strong undercurrent of the emptiness in nature
      • Rex

        • emphasized the folly of human exceptionalism that has been socially normalized and which
        • continues to create the major separation that fuels the polycrisis.
        • Not recognizing that we are nature, not recognizing our animal nature
        • we look upon nature with an attitude of controlling nature, rather than flowing with her.
        • advocated Taoism as a more consistent way to frame nature rather than the reductionist, control methodology that separates us from nature.
      • Nora's perspective is the folly of abstraction that generates fixed preconceptions of aspects of nature that we then reify.

        • The fixed preconceptions are solidified but they are an oversimplified version of reality,
        • and that oversimplification leads to actualizing the cliche"a little knowledge is dangerous" into civilization
        • in other words, the continuous manufacture of progress traps.
      • William sees our impending crash as not only inevitable, but natural.

        • In this, he concurs with Rex's perspective.
        • Human beings are simply another species and like them,
          • we are susceptible to population explosions when negative feedbacks are removed,
          • which can lead to nature self-correcting with mass dieoff when resources are overconsumed.
    1. accepting our animal  nature, and end this human exceptionalism,   which blinds us to our animal nature, just  for starters. If we have a meeting about   climate or biodiversity, in our minds we need  to invite all other creatures to those meetings.   And I'm not just trying to be foolish or silly  here. I'm serious, I'm dead serious about it. We   01:24:09 need to be sitting at the table with the elephants  and the jaguars and the wolves and the algae and   the apple trees and the bees and allowing  those voices somehow into our conversation.
      • for: symbiocene, human exceptionalism
      • question
        • how do we invite them in? if they cannot represent themselves, how do we represent them?
          • does anyone know what' it's like to be a bat?
      • remind ourselves of our animal nature
        • mortality salience counters human exceptionalism
  2. May 2023
  3. Mar 2023
    1. As ajournalist, historian, novelist, and autobiographer, Adams was con-stantly focused on the American experiment, testing a statementoffered by another figure in Democracy: ‘You Americans believe your-selves to be excepted from the operation of general laws. You care notfor experience’ (LA 37–8).

      In Chapter 1: American Exceptionalism of Myth America (Basic Books, 2023) historian David A. Bell indicates that Jay Lovestone and Joseph Stalin originated the idea of American Exceptionalism in 1920, but in Democracy (1880, p.72) Henry Adams seems to capture an early precursor of the sentiment:

      "Ah!" exclaimed the baron, with his wickedest leer, "what for is my conclusion good? You Americans believe yourselves to be excepted from the operation of general laws. You care not for experience. I have lived seventy-five years, and all that time in the midst of corruption. I am corrupt myself, only I do have courage to proclaim it, and you others have it not. Rome, Paris, Vienna, Petersburg, London, all are corrupt; only Washington is pure! Well, I declare to you that in all my experience I have found no society which has had elements of corruption like the United States. The children in the street are corrupt, and know how to cheat me. The cities are all corrupt, and also the towns and the counties and the States' legislatures and the judges. Every where men betray trusts both public and private, steal money, run away with public funds.

      Had a flavor of American Exceptionalism been brewing for decades before Stalin's comment?

    1. Rank, Mark Robert, Lawrence M. Eppard, and Heather E. Bullock. Poorly Understood: What America Gets Wrong About Poverty. Oxford University Press, 2021.

      Reading as part of Dan Allosso's Book Club

      Mostly finished last week, though I managed to miss the last book club meeting for family reasons, but finished out the last few pages tonight.

      annotation target: url: urn:x-pdf:c3701d1c083b974a888f7eaa4009f11f

  4. Sep 2022
    1. Consider another example—education. It is true that in most countries, asin the United States, a higher level of educational attainment is typically as-sociated with a lower risk of economic insecurity. But the penalties associatedwith low levels of educational attainment, and the rewards associated with highlevels of attainment, vary significantly by country. Full-time workers without ahigh school degree in Finland, for instance, report the same earnings as thosewith a high school degree. In the United States, however, these workers ex-perience a 24 percent earnings penalty for not completing high school.23 InNorway, a college degree yields only a 20 percent earnings increase over a highschool degree for full-time workers, versus a much higher 68 percent increase inthe United States.24 The percentage of those with a high school degree earningat or below the poverty threshold is more than 4 times higher in the UnitedStates than in Belgium.25

      The US penalizes those who don't complete high school to a higher degree than other countries and this can tend to lower our economic resiliency.

      American exceptionalism at play?

      Another factor at play with respect to https://hypothes.is/a/2uAmuEENEe2KentYKORSww

    2. Theidealized image of American society is one of abundant opportunities, withhard work being rewarded by economic prosperity. Consequently, those whofail to get ahead have only themselves to blame according to this argument. Itis within this context that America thinks of itself as a fair and meritocraticsociety in which people get what they deserve in life.

      There is a variety of confounding myths in America which tend to hold us down. These include economic mobility, meritocracy, poverty, and the land of opportunity.

      With respect to the "land of opportunity", does positive press of a small number of cases from an earlier generation outweigh the actual experience of the majority?


      There was a study on The Blitz in London and England in general in World War II which showed that despite high losses in general, enough people knew one or more who'd lost someone or something to the extreme but that the losses weren't debilitating from a loss perspective and generally served to boost overall morale. Higher losses may have been more demoralizing and harmful, but didn't happen. (Find this source: possibly Malcolm Gladwell??)

      Is this sort of psychological effect at play socially and politically in America and thereby confounding our progress?

  5. Jul 2022
    1. 08:58 - Migrant gene DRD4-7R* Allele and correlation with the pursuit of novelty

      DRD4-7R is the specific gene that Peter implicates in migrants who are adventurous enough to come to America. This is associated with the "can do" perspective that has propelled America into a world leader but also drives America reflexively into the future...on autopilot.

  6. Jul 2021
    1. The pandemic has called into question many of higher education’s core pillars, such as college athletics, the residential campus model, the role of online education and sage-on-the-stage pedagogy.

      The first two really sound US-centric while the other two are common and longstanding. College athletics as one of "Higher Education's core pillars"? It sounds like American exceptionalism. Granted, athletics might become more important to Higher Education in other parts of the World. If so, that's very likely to come from US influence. The residential campus model is an interesting one. It's common and diverse. In my experience, it's not much of a consideration outside of the US.

      Even tenure tends to vary quite a bit. In our context (Quebec's Cegep system), it doesn't really exist. A prof gets a permanent position after a while, as in a "regular job".

      Which does make me think, yet again, about the specificity of Quebec's Higher Education. Universities in Quebec are rather typical among Canadian universities and differences with US universities & colleges can be quite subtle. Colleges in the Cegep system are very specific. They're a bit like two-year colleges in the US or like community colleges in both the US & other parts of Canada (NBCC, for instance). Yet our system remains hard to explain.

      (This tate comes in the context of my reminiscing over my time in the US after monitoring posts from a number of US-based publications including IHE. Guess I should diversify my feeds.)

  7. Jun 2021
    1. That the belief that the United States is a meritocracy is an inherently racist or sexist belief, or that the United States was created by members of a particular race or sex for the purpose of oppressing members of another race or sex.”

      the United States is a meritocracy

      We've liked to tell ourselves this myth, but it's demonstrably untrue.

  8. May 2021
  9. Mar 2021
  10. Feb 2021
    1. In history, for example, he told me, “history was taught from the perspective that America was wrong – and always wrong and … uniquely evil, uniquely pernicious, never ever morally right, never ever justified in any decision that we ever made.”

      I'd be curious to see Miller take his high school textbook and point to specific phrasing to back this up. Even now most US History textbooks are espousing American exceptionalism.

  11. Jan 2021
  12. trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov
    1. For instance, the colonists charge the British king with failing to provide, or even interfering with, representative government

      This is not wrong, but I wanted to flag somewhere that Britain actually possessed a representative government (Parliament) at the time. George III did his best to ignore it, but it existed. It just didn't include representation for colonies.

      I'm not tagging this "these people are stupid" because that's not the issue; they are attempting to make US representative government look more innovative than it actually was.

    2. The world is still—and will always be—divided into nations, not all of which respect the rights of their people, though they should
    3. There was not yet, formally speaking, an American people. There were, instead, living in the thirteen British colonies in North America some two-and-a-half million subjects of a distant king. Those subjects became a people by declaring themselves such and then by winning the independence they had asserted as their right.

      • There were many American peoples. None of them were White.
      • "those subjects became a people by declaring themselves such and then by winning the independence they had asserted as their right" - OK no. Quite a lot of people did not have the autonomy to "declare themselves" part of a people, and indeed were not recognized as such. There were also loyalists. And this idea of "a people" is...really complicated.
      • While it's true that the first citizens of the United States were former British subjects, it is worth noting that a lot of other people lived in the current United States at the time who were tribal citizens, French colonists, Spanish colonists, and enslaved people who weren't considered citizens of anywhere.
    4. its people have shared a history of common struggle and achievement, from carving communities out of a vast, untamed wilderness, to winning independence and forming a new government, through wars, industrialization

      We gotta do this clause by clause:

      • "its people have shared a history of common struggle and achievement" - no. Aside from the long history of dispute about who born in the United States really "counts" as an "American", there has never been a common struggle.
      • "carving communities out of a vast, untamed wilderness" - no. As of this writing I have finished reading the first half of the document and there has, as yet, been no mention of Indigenous peoples. (Also, see the vast literature on the relationship between expansionism, the "frontier", and American exceptionalism.)
      • "winning independence and forming a new government" - dramatic oversimplification. Interesting fact about this document: in contains almost no references to state government.
      • "wars, industrialization, waves of immigration, technological progress, and political change" - not highlighting this because it's wrong, but because it implies a strictly linear progress of history that is typical of American exceptionalism and intellectual arguments for racism, colonialism, etc.

      All in all, what Luke said.

    5. therefore our history is far more one of self-sacrifice, courage, and nobility.

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA crack a book, y'all.

      We are not going to do an accounting here of whether "America" (hi, America is two continents, we're talking about the US) has on balance done more good than harm. That is disingenuous. The fact is that the United States has done great harm that is not erased by its good, and it is more urgent to deal with the harm than to pat ourselves on the back about the good.

    6. “city on a hill”

      This line, associated with Reagan, is from a sermon by John Winthrop, a Puritan immigrant who was primarily interested in establishing a theocracy. It is emblematic of the idea of "American Exceptionalism", which you are about to be beat over the head with. See further https://www.neh.gov/article/how-america-became-city-upon-hill#:~:text=That%201630%20sermon%20by%20John,center%20of%20his%20political%20career.

  13. Nov 2020
    1. In order to even see the danger, to recognize the depth of tensions or the possibilities of fracture, we had to control for American exceptionalism, for the implicit belief that we were the United States of America, and we were different.
  14. Sep 2020
  15. Jan 2016
  16. Dec 2015
  17. Nov 2015
    1. Canada is unique in the world in that it is the only country whose national government has no authority in education;

      Though it may be taken for granted by actors in the sphere of learning in Canada, this factoid can have a large impact in terms of “Canadian Exceptionalism”.

  18. Oct 2014
    1. The US doesn’t contribute to this general correlation, with relatively low corruption levels.

      Oh, really?