Is God the Ben Bernanke of the Universe?

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This is not really the question that the book God, The Economist by M. Douglas Meeks is asking or answering. Here is Meeks’ summary of his task, “It is in no way necessary, according to modern economic theory, to consider God when thinking about economy… Thus, however unusual it might seem, I propose to bring […]















Living With Less in the Land of More

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Many are reflecting on the stuff we own and how it owns us in this season of shopping and gift-giving. I read an excellent article recently about one family’s journey with their relationship to their stuff (Stuffed to the gills: How crap took over my lifeā€”and how I intend to take it back). So, I […]















Reconciling With Darwin

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Stephen Jay Gould took on biological determinism, racism, scientific objectivity, scientific progress, science and religion and much more in his 1977 book Ever Since Darwin: Reflections on Natural History. The primary thrust of this book was to help us come to terms with Darwin and the implications of his ideas for our understanding of ourselves […]















Does Capitalism Need an Upgrade?

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Peter Barnes book Capitalism 3.0 (which is available as a free PDF under a Creative Commons License at onthecommons.org) is a thought provoking and interesting read about the future of capitalism and the future of our world. Barnes vision both of what went wrong in the past and for how to create a more sustainable […]















The New World Religion

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When considering a metaphor for describing a reality that is inherently difficult to grasp, it can be easy to lose your grip on the thing to which the metaphor points. The authors’ of Affluenza follow their metaphor closely and it works for the most part. The best part of their metaphor is that it makes […]















Affluenza: Treatment

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The third part of the book Affluenza explores the idea that consumerism is a disease in terms of its treatment. While I have some reservations and criticisms, which I will address at the end, the authors put their finger on some very important issues and ways to change our consumer culture. Aspirin and Chicken Soup: […]















Affluenza: Causes

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The second part of the book Affluenza considers the causes of the disease of consumerism. Honestly it seemed somewhat lacking in depth. This is a complicated issue. Consider simply the question “What are the causes of poverty?” Books upon books have been written trying to describe the causes of one of the symptoms of our […]















Consumerism: Disease or Religion?

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The book (which was originally a series on PBS) Affluenza uses the metaphor of disease to try and understand the modern world, in particular the consumerism of North American culture. Following this metaphor the book is divided into three sections: symptoms, causes and treatments. Among other things the book is a pretty amazing compilation of […]















The Presence of Absence

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This poem is too short to quote from and make any sense. So, I will quote the whole thing. “The Want of Peace” from Openings (1968) by Wendell Berry All goes back to the earth, and so I do not desire pride of excess or power, but the contentments made by men who have had […]















The Dream

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I have dreams when I am sleeping that I cannot understand and are not publishable for a family audience. I also have dreams for my life and the world, visions of the way things should be. In the poem “The Dream” from Openings (1968) by Wendell Berry the poet imagines the convergence of both kinds […]