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While reading Crichton's bibliography, I was struck by one entry in particular:

Furedi, Frank. Culture of Fear: Risk-taking and the Morality of Low Expectation. New York: Continuum, 2002. As Western societies become more affluent and safer, as life expectancy has steadily increased, one might expect the populations to become relaxed and secure. The opposite has happened: Western societies have become panic-stricken and hysterically risk averse. The pattern is evident in everything from environmental issues to the vastly increased supervision of children. This text by a British sociologist discusses why.

(In looking this up on Google, I came across a Wikipedia article of the same name.)

I have not yet read this book, but I intend to. While I cannot yet express an opinion of my own on the author's conclusions, this citation in turn reminded me of a lecture I attended in 1995, called "Building a 21st Century Mind", given by an anthropologist named Jennifer James.

To the best of my recollection and note-taking ability, she said:

Every period of chaos and disorder produces a better society:

Dark Ages -> Renaissance

If we could see the overall (self-organizing) pattern, we would recognize this, and not worry (about the future).

...

People have said throughout all time: Our generation was born and lived during the good times; your generation will see the world going to hell in a bucket.

Why we worry: We have trouble making sense of what's going on. We are improvising during periods of chaos, or transition.

I would not say this quote is 100% accurate in verbiage, but sufficiently accurate in spirit. However, it does get one thinking.

Being an American in a post-9/11 world perhaps predisposes me to seeing a tendency towards governance by FUD and the ubiquity of fear mongering as a strategy for social control. Where that ends and scientific inquiry into global climate change begins, I truly cannot say.

HTH,

planetscape

In reply to Re^6: Global warning is an act of: by planetscape
in thread Global warning is an act of: by Arunbear

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