A Climate Change Counterculture?

Question: Have the ‘60s done their work, or do we need a new counterculture?


Stewart Brand: I would love to see a counter – well in a way, the Whole Earth Catalog was part of the counterculture and treated by some as a kind of leader in the counterculture, but it was also a counter-counterculture phenomenon in the sense that a lot of the hippies of the time were a sort of eschewing technology, eschewing intellectual endeavor, but they were paying attention to people like Marshall MacLuhan and Buckminster Fuller, and I was carrying those people forward, but also the kinds of technologies that I thought fitted in with the “everything goes,” “let’s try stuff” approach that the hippies brought to the world.  I think we need that again now, that there's a younger generation who does not bear relation to the Cold War, which is what my generation did, is not liberated by drugs, which my generation was, is liberated maybe by communication technology and the crisis that the current generation is facing is climate change.  In their lifetime their world will change, and they're the ones that are going to be in charge of figuring out what to do about that.  And I think that that is going to be realized to be a somewhat revolutionary process because the older generation is dragging its feet in this matter and I think the younger generation is much more comfortable with technology.  Like bio-technology, we're starting to get "green bio-hackers," they're much more comfortable with communication technology obviously, so the cell phone revolution in the developing world is something that young people feel a part of.  And I think they are going to be much more comfortable with nuclear technology because they don’t have the Cold War legacy of fears about atomic weaponry.

Recorded on November 17, 2009
Interviewed by Austin Allen

Environmentalist and author Stewart Brand helped define the 60’s. What revolution would he advise young people to start today?

Personal Growth

The life choices that had led me to be sitting in a booth underneath a banner that read “Ask a Philosopher" – at the entrance to the New York City subway at 57th and 8th – were perhaps random but inevitable.

Keep reading Show less

Knowing the stages of neurological development can make you a better parent

There are four main stages. Each has its own particular set of advancements and challenges. 


Jordan Bruner. Vimeo.

Don't you wish you could predict your child's behavior with 100 percent accuracy? Any realistic parent knows it's an impossible daydream, but an appealing one nonetheless. Kids will always surprise you. There are so many factors that go into behavior, not to mention the fact that internal and external forces can sometimes make kids act out of character.

Keep reading Show less

'Self is not entirely lost in dementia,' argues new review

The assumption "that without memory, there can be no self" is wrong, say researchers.

Photo credit: Darren Hauck / Getty Images
Mind & Brain

In the past when scholars have reflected on the psychological impact of dementia they have frequently referred to the loss of the "self" in dramatic and devastating terms, using language such as the "unbecoming of the self" or the "disintegration" of the self. In a new review released as a preprint at PsyArXiv, an international team of psychologists led by Muireann Irish at the University of Sydney challenge this bleak picture which they attribute to the common, but mistaken, assumption "that without memory, there can be no self" (as encapsulated by the line from Hume: "Memory alone… 'tis to be considered… as the source of personal identity").

Keep reading Show less