Deutsch, D. (2021). The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World (Reprint ed.). Penguin Books.
- Problems are inevitable Problems are soluble. Solutions bring new problems. Society cannot reach a state of supposed perfection (or "sustainability" seen as stability)
- Static societies fail because they eventually end up with a problem they cannot solve, by lack of knowledge (and optimism?)
- Contrary to Easter Island, South America etc... we are not a static society (
- The only way to sustain life on earth is to progress in science and tech (we need wealth for that) to continue solving our problems
Chapter 17 - Unsustainable
Comparison with easter Island: they deforested themselves to extinction etc.
The real question is "Why did they not get away?"
We are different! We are not like them.
Their "old culture" is portraid as bountifull and rich ... They had ample ressources but failed to use them sustainably.
Supression of change is not what humans need
Being unsustainable is what allows us to survive on this hostile planet: growing popluation thanks to medecine and agriculture, standard of living ... all of this far surpasses Easter Island at its peak
You have to live with the solution and set about solving the new problems that it creates
Problems are inevitable.
We have to make sure we have a culture that can solve the problems that arise
Progress is sustainable ... only if we are in an optimitisc and dynamic society that solves its problems, not if we are in an archaic and frozen society
Example of Lamas as an poor explanation to why south america does not dominate the world.
Culture is much better explanation
Sustainability is pessimistic!
Since every atom can be considred a ressource ... every problem we have can be considered a resource management problem! We will always haev them
We cannot predict future knowledge ... so we only see the depletion and the problems: Story of color TVs
This leads to people wanting to reduce the population