Energy is the only universal currency: one of its many forms must be transformed to another in order for stars to shine, planets to rotate, plants to grow, and civilizations to evolve.
…no matter how complex or affluent, human societies are nothing but subsystems of the biosphere, the Earth’s thin veneer of life, which is ultimately run by bacteria, fungi and green plants.
I’ve read about 80 books a year for the past 50 years. I come from cultural breeding. I don’t have a cellphone. When you spend all your time checking your cellphone messages, or updating your Facebook (of course I don’t have a Facebook page) then you don’t have any time for reading.
You get up and, first thing in the morning, you do your 500 words. Do it every day and you’ve got a book in eight or nine months.
Everyone [in higher education] was what I call drillers of deeper wells. These academics sit at the bottom of a deep well and they look up and see a sliver of the sky. They know everything about that little sliver of sky and nothing else. I scan all my horizons.
Apple! Boy, what a story. No taxes paid, everything made abroad – yet everyone worships them. This new iPhone, there’s nothing new in it. Just a golden color. What the hell, right? When people start playing with color, you know they’re played out.
A useful analogy is to see traditional societies as relying on instantaneous (or minimally delayed) and constantly replenished solar income, while modern civilization is withdrawing accumulated solar capital at rates that will exhaust it in a tiny fraction of the time that was needed to create it.