Societal Decline of Rationality and the Collective Good; with the Rise of Emotion and the Individual

Societal Decline of Rationality and the Collective Good; with the Rise of Emotion and the Individual // Feb 17, 2022

Is our entire world going nuts?

Are people in all fields of human endeavour, and at all levels of government and corporations losing it?

Are we no smarter than a sack-of-hammers?

Often, it seems that way to me, due to human inability to address climate change. In the last few weeks, with the “occupation of Ottawa” this feeling has been greatly amplified, at least for me and the vast majority of Ottawa residents.

This is not just in our imaginations. I chat about a recent peer reviewed scientific paper that examines the language used in millions of books from 1850 to present day.

This study clearly shows a decline in rationality and science based thought since the 1980s, and a sharp rise in intuitive and emotional type words over the last few decades. Not only is rationality being trumped by emotion and beliefs, but we have also shifted away from the collective, to the individual.

Fascinating study, with numerous, far reaching implications, especially since we need science and rational thinking to preserve any semblance of democracy, and have any change of dealing with abrupt climate system change and near-term (5 to 10 year) global food shortages from extreme weather in our climate casino.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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