Media we find worthwhile

The Vision of Earth team has decided to begin briefly reviewing media that we find compelling, interesting, or useful. A lot of media exists that has enriched our lives immensely. This project is an effort to share that richness with you the reader.

Our reviews will necessarily be relatively short and sparse, since their intent is to inform you about the media content enough that you can decide for yourself whether you want to experience it. In the cases of online media, we will provide links to the content if possible. In the case of offline media such as books or movies, we will attempt to provide you with links to those products on the sites of online sellers.

Books

End Of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs was a primary motivator for our investigations into the issue of world poverty. We have mentioned ideas from this book in our poverty definitions and ladder of economic development articles.

The Measure of Man by Joseph Wood Krutch was an interesting read on the subject of humanity’s capacity to exist peacefully. On its winding path to a compelling finish, this book delved into deep discussion of the existence of human autonomy and consciousness. In particular it argues against the positions of the mechanists and behaviorists. In our review of The Measure of Man we note that, despite its age, this book is remarkably relevant today.

The dangers of news media speed is the first in a series of posts inspired by the excellent book No Time To Think: The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle. Later posts comment on the epidemic of news that is not actually news and media speed’s negative effect on politics. Lastly, we look at how we can try to fix our media hypnosis.

We have been impressed with the book No Logo by Naomi Klein. We plan on writing a series of articles about some of the topics that it raises. The first article is about lifestyle brands, why they exist, and why they work.

Interviews

Laura Pfeifer, the founder and editor of Regina Urban Ecology, agreed to an interview on the subjects of urban ecology and community leadership in October 2010.

Jim Elliott is a notable figure in the sustainability movement in Regina and Saskatchewan. He is involved with many environmental action groups, poverty-reduction groups, and the Citizen’s Public Transit Coalition for Regina. He has also run for mayor of Regina in the past, and plans to run again. He kindly submitted to an interview, which we have posted at: Jim Elliott shares his thoughts on sustainability, community, and living green

Wind power expert Paul Gipe advocates that we deliberately create our green energy future rather than wait around for it to happen. He says that we should aim to democratize our energy production for a more prosperous future. Read more in our interview: Interview with wind power guru Paul Gipe.

Lindsey Simpson, one of the organizers of TEDxMcGill, talks in this interview about why she likes to volunteer and plan such big events. TEDxMcGill is an externally organized TED event in the city of Montreal, Canada on November 20th, 2010. Read more in our interview: Lindsey Simpson of TEDxMcGill on volunteerism and planning major events.

Ben’s Media Recommendations

Tony Robbins on inspiration and accomplishment is a short review of Tony’s TED talk. Tony shares his intensive experience in trying to understand why we do what we do, and how we can improve our lives by understanding ourselves.

RSA Animate on what motivates us gives a brief overview of the ideas in this excellent video. This video gets my highest level of recommendation. Despite a lifelong interest in these topics, I found this video to be very fresh, enlightening and entertaining.

Tim Jackson: Towards a more human economic system discusses an interesting TED talk on reformulating our definition of prosperity so that it reflects aspects of our humanity that are underserved by the current economic system.

Why does meaning mean so much? is a post on the subject of meaning in our lives. Drawing upon my own experience, and the excellent book “Man’s Search for Meaning“, I propose a perspective on what meaning really means for our lives.

Hans Rosling: Health, wealth, and progress of the world is a post about an excellent TED talk on the subject of modern economic development and improvements in world health.

Our global human tribe: How we must extend empathy beyond religion and nation was inspired by an excellent talk by Jeremy Rifkin at the RSA. Rifkin implores us: “to begin rethinking human nature. To bring out our empathic sociability, so that we can rethink the institutions and society and prepare the groundwork for an empathic civilisation.”

Jeffrey Sachs on the high price of ignoring poverty was inspired by an interview with Jeffrey Sachs. We can end poverty in two decades if we put our minds to it, and 0.7% of our money towards the goal. HIV/AIDS has reached a steady state in the world. Military spending is 25 times aid spending. We can achieve peace through shared prosperity, so ending poverty is crucial for improving our world.

Science denial: Vaccines, vitamins, and GMOs was inspired by a TED talk by Michael Specter. Vaccines save lives, yet people fear them. GMOs are primarily opposed for reasons unrelated to the method of their construction. Specter is unequivocal about his statement that we need science, and we need to transform our society so that it can embrace the knowledge that the process of science gives us.

Ben Harack

I’m an aspiring omnologist who is fascinated by humanity’s potential.

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