Is American culture inherently wasteful?

Question: Is American culture inherently wasteful?

Copeland: Well I wouldn’t say that American culture is uniquely inherently wasteful. I would say that an industrial and a developing society is inherently wasteful. I think that the minute we depart from a sustainable and holistic culture or cultural attitude, we . . . and we progress towards an attitude of development, there has been, it would seem, a necessary stage of wastefulness – one which again defines an immaturity with respect to that particular stage. America has thrived through the age of industry, and through the industrial revolution better than most other societies; and has expended with a wealth of potential in a very vast land, and a very wealthy land, and a seeming sense that we are unaccountable to it. In other words it’s a lot easier to be conscious of your surroundings if you live in a limited space than if you do in an expensive space. Because if you live in an expensive environment, there’s always a sense that if you pollute it you can always move to another place and nobody will see it. So the pioneering spirit of . . . of America has not been so conducive to giving Americans a sense of responsibility. But America in many ways represents the best potential, and has represented a tremendous potential for growth, at least through this . . . up until this stage that we are now. Unfortunately I think as we see with any civilizations, any societies, and any cultures – given too much power, that power tends to corrupt and ultimately tends to make people complacent, because invariably wealth generates greed and complacence. And I think America has been tremendous in its creativity and its ability to advance all sorts of technologies and all modes of communication, and advancement in science and whatnot. But I also feel that in succeeding in, you know, the end of the Cold War; and in being sort of heralded economically; and as a power nation a position of supremacy, I think that America has become complacent. Recorded on: 12/3/07

Americans, Copeland says, have become complacement.

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap
popular

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

How to make time for exercise — even on your craziest days

A new study shows choosing to be active is a lot of work for our brains. Here are some ways to make it easier.

Personal Growth

There's no shortage of science suggesting that exercise is good for your mental as well as your physical health — and yet for many of us, incorporating exercise into our daily routines remains a struggle. A new study, published in the journal Neuropsychologia, asks why. Shouldn't it be easier to take on a habit that is so good for us?

Keep reading Show less