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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Notes on Stormtrooper Syndrome

Notes on Stormtrooper Syndrome

For some time now I’ve been looking for a way to talk about one of the most common bad habits of thought in the modern industrial world.  Habits like this are far more important that a casual glance might suggest.  Plenty of pragmatic factors are piling up crises for our civilization just now, but many of those could be solved—or at least faced in a more constructive way—if our government and business elites could think clearly about them. It’s the fact that they don’t seem to be able to do this that makes the crisis of our time so overwhelming.

It’s really quite remarkable, when you think of it. These days, if a government bureaucracy or one of those dreary panels of multibillionaires get together to try to solve some problem, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll either do nothing or make the problem worse. It’s not that the people in question aren’t educated—they have the best education you can get in a modern Western society. It’s not that they lack  resources—for example, the money and energy that go into those climate conferences each year, put to some productive use, could have contributed considerably to mitigating the effects of climate change. No, the problem is that the people in question are stuck in habits of thought that make it impossible for them to do anything useful in a crisis.

I know that this is a controversial claim these days. Quite a few people have become convinced that our government and corporate elites can’t possibly be as stupid as they seem.  No, it’s got to be a sinister conspiracy! It’s easy to understand why that sort of thinking has become popular…

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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