Toxic Cultural Choices

The problem is that we live in a culture where winning is more important than life itself. There are probably a lot more people who don’t care that much about winning than those who do, but they don’t have a chance to participate in a good game. When they try, they are labelled losers. Shark bait. It’s better to just back off and let the sharks chew on each other, responding to make-believe crises they can pretend to resolve and ignoring the real ones that are actually impossible to deal with in a win-lose cultural setting.

A wisdom culture would find a way for people to work together in behalf of reality solutions.

We have only negative options. We can jump in and swim with the sharks. That means basically that we must spend our time fighting against fighting. Against (or for) war, rape, special interests taking over the school system. Whatever, it’s all a dominance game in which everyone is fighting for or against something, pretending somehow they will save us all from fighting if they fight hard enough.

Or not. In which case the outcome might be worse.

We don’t have the option to jump in and build a wisdom culture where people actually talk among themselves. And listen. sf020916bs

And you know what really gets me about this? There are actually people who wonder why our children so often function by bullying each other.

Short term games; long-term losses

If you agree with us about trash-talking (from any source), that: “It sidetracks all the major issues they’re facing.” (Sen. Olympia Snowe). Then we are not alone.  Reported by John Harwood, NYTimes.


A day after Obama’s call to use our huge national power to make things better, I spent the morning reading the political news, as required by my current podcasting course, and I am very discouraged.

If the reporters think this whole thing is nothing more than a game — well all I can say this morning is that as a scientist I know that it is real and it is about lives and about suffering, and we could be doing better using the power of our brains to do something more useful than just diddle around playing games.

James Lovelock, British scientist, speaking on the BBC Today show, understands very clearly what is happening, and he isn’t discouraged.  But he seems to think everyone else is as rational as he is, and I know some people don’t even care to listen to the facts of life on this earth.

If you won’t listen to the facts, if you think opinions are the same as facts, then you hardly have any power at all to cope with real, immutable facts.