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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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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.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
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  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
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Videos
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  • Scott Barry Kaufman details 3 brain networks involved in creative thinking, and Wendy Suzuki busts the famous left-brain, right-brain myth.

Dinosaur bone? Meteorite? These men's wedding bands are a real break from boredom.

Manly Bands wanted to improve on mens' wedding bands. Mission accomplished.

Sex & Relationships
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What if Middle-earth was in Pakistan?

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Image: Mohammad Reza Kamali, reproduced with kind permission
Strange Maps
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How #Unity2020 plans to end the two-party system, bring back Andrew Yang

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Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The #Unity2020 plan was recently outlined by Bret Weinstein, a former biology professor, on the Joe Rogan Experience.
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