Posts Tagged ‘Jaron Lanier’

putting gadgets aside

November 15, 2010

We finish with Jaron Lanier today in FoL, in anticipation of Bill McKibben’s Eaarth. One interesting contrast to follow up on: nature is important to them both, but Lanier does not lament “the end of nature” as an independent, semi-autonomous, special-status entity in its own right. Mother Nature is more like a gadget than a person.

[NOTE TO STUDENTS: No class today. Wednesday we’ll finish midterm reports. Go ahead and begin reading McKibben.]

Lanier’s “new digital humanism,” his answer to the Singularity’s “hope of an afterlife” achieved through technology, seems to him far more promising.

Thanks to neoteny and medical progress, it sometimes seems that we (like Peter Pan) will never grow up and grow old. This has its benefits, in terms of cultural transmission and generational learning. But you have to wonder, too, if we will ever throw off our condition of juvenile arrest and really grow up as a species.

What do children want? Attention, of course, Lanier has an interesting theory about that, as the real driving force behind social networking. Do we broadcast our “status” because we don’t want to feel lonely? Is twitter our new collective night-light?

Moore’s Law doesn’t apply to software, which Lanier says will hit a developmental wall by 2020. (Gordon Moore says eventually  it won’t apply to anything anymore.)

Is the Internet infantilizing us? I would counter that it depends on how you use it. It wouldn’t occur to me to get excited by the release of “MeTickly,” although I do love Dr. Seuss.

But I wish there were a little less silly in Silicon Valley, and a little more urgency about cancer research, sanitation in the 3d world, and other grown-up concerns. There are still many more good things about childhood than bad, but lately there just doesn’t seem to be enough adult supervision. Not that we should permanently put aside childish things, or childish gadgets…

How about in the classroom? Well, there are plenty of eccentrics there, but not many Ms. Frizzles. Still, Lanier seems to imagine the future of pedagogy as a ride on the Magic School Bus. “In the future, I fully expect children to turn into molecules and triangles in order to learn about them…”

I think we get real insight into the source of Lanier’s frustration with cybernetic totalists, with his remarks on “postsymbolic communication” and his deferred dreams of unmediated virtual transparency. Words get in the way, if the dream is plausible. If it isn’t, they’re the only ammunition in our conceptual shotguns.

What cephalopods can teach us about language” teaches us more as well about Lanier’s very distinctive personal sensibility. This is a man intoxicated by novelty and possibility. I like him.

And here’s that amazing, morphing octopus.

But he’s different. Are you (like Jaron)  shocked and jealous too? Nah, me neither.

avoid boring people

November 10, 2010

That was the ambiguous title of Double Helix co-discoverer Jim Watson’s book, and it’s also Jaron Lanier’s caution in today’s section of reading in FoL. If we allow ourselves to be assimilated by our software designs and the computing culture they’re locking in, that’s exactly what we’ll be. But the good news is, we’ll also be too flattened and objectified to notice.

As he promised early on, his manifesto is getting a bit cheerier near the end. He now admits that cybernetic totalism is useful for some purposes of understanding. He still wants to keep it out of our actual engineering designs.

He’d rather think of us as meaning-makers, and of our gadgets as mere tools; but he also sees the utility of computationalism, not as a culturally-pervasive  ideology but as a realistic model of the brain (more precisely, of brain-based personhood). It, and we, have been product-tested and honed by “a very large, very long, and very deep encounter with physical reality.” That’s Lanier’s creation story, maybe the one naturalistic account of birdsong and Shakespeare worth considering.

But first he has to get in another swipe at narrow computationalism, akin to the  “Logical Positivism” we thought was moribund. Apparently it’s hot again, in  Silicon Valley (and at MIT and Tufts). With tons of data hovering in the Cloud, just waiting to verify our sentences, the neo-Positivists say, human subjectivity is unnecessary.

Lanier, we already saw, wants to pin a big scarlet  “Z” (for Zombie) on Dan Dennett and his old collaborator Douglas “Strange Loop” Hofstadter for such thinking. Thing is, if they’re right we’re all zombies. It’d be the end of consciousness as we thought we knew it, and we’d feel fine. We’d be as thoughtful and creative and un-blood-lustful as we ever were.

And as loopy, musically and otherwise: look at Andrew Bird‘s amazing 1-man band at TED.

But Lanier is sure they can’t be right. He rejects the Turing test criterion of personhood. When we start finding ourselves indistinguishable from our gadgets “we make ourselves dull.” But on the other hand, a master storyteller like Richard Powers can make a Turing scenario very lively indeed. Read Galatea 2.2, a hugely clever updating of the Pygmalion (“My Fair Lady”) story, if you doubt it. (Dennett is a fan.) Modern sculptors beware: even if it walks and talks like a lady it may still be hardware.

It’s a very big deal to Lanier that our scanners can read faces now. Privacy may be out the window for good. Will anyone look up from their screens long enough to notice?

Finally, a couple of positively-tinged  speculations from Lanier:

Swearing is rooted in sniffing, the “old factory” olfactory system. Who knew? Probably not Artoo, “it would take a lot of wires to address all those entries in the mental smell dictionary.” Or the metal one?

And, automatic language translation may get good enough to begin breaking down ancient nationalistic hostilities. The universal translator is not just a pipe dream, we’re getting closer. But if the machines hiccup they could start a major conflagration, too. Remember Douglas Adams’ inter-galactic misunderstanding between the Vl’hurgs and the G’gugvunts triggered by a malfunctioning Babel Fish (but resolved by a miscalculation of scale and swallowed by a canine)? So, maybe you don’t want to stick it in your ear.

Finally, Lanier the humanist computer geek is worried about the future of language and literature as the Cloud expands. But if he was right about the “sexual display” component of good words, we shouldn’t have to worry. Persons seeking mates will never be entirely boring. And Wikipedia is still growing, but it’s nowhere near Borges’ Library of  Babel. Is it?

mostly harmless?

November 8, 2010

Jaron Lanier, the old fogey, wants to be put out to pasture. He doesn’t get why kids these days are so smitten with Linux and Wikipedia.

In general he thinks Web 2.0’s culture of  “free & open”  collaboration is “choking off” originality and “eating its own seed stock” by endlessly mashing and recycling old-media content.  What ever happened to real novelty and first-order creativity? As Mr. Emerson challenged, why should we not enjoy our own original relation to the universe? His timid young men hunched over ancient, dusty tomes in libraries have become wired young men and women hunched over keyboards, but the challenge stands. (Wonder what he’d think of this collaborative mashup of his own words, unsourced and de-contextualized?)

Is it really all about the Internet-as-Frankenstein fantasy?.  But the monster was always a freak, albeit a compelling and finally pitiable one. He was not simply the Next Big Thing. He was not the future of life that would render the rest of us obsolete and irrelevant.

Lanier’s problem with the Open Source movement is not that its free and available to all, but that it threatens to turn all into cyphers and drones. He thinks it kills creativity and stifles innovation. I don’t know about that. I’m sure grateful for Open Office  and have been as creative with it as I know how.

I don’t know, either, about the claim that making mashups of old media content “accomplishes nothing.” Those clever Symphony of Science productions brought Carl Sagan’s inspiring cosmic consciousness to a new generation. That’s not nothing.

Speaking as an old fogey, I do agree with his verdict on  the last decade or so of pop music. It does seem pretty derivative and uninspired. Unreal. All too easily represented. Lifeless, disjoint, out of context, not conducive to human connection. But since when were older people expected to like younger people’s music, or even encouraged to listen? Lanier’s charge, though, is that young people don’t really have music of their own anymore. Is he wrong? I can tell you, there’s plenty on my kids’ iPods you won’t catch me listening to.

Then again, there’s Wikipedia and its legion of anonymous mostly-youthful creators. Everyone’s apparently gotten over– or just forgotten?– those early days of reckless, unaccountable slander. I wonder how many of us even remember the Seigenthaler fiasco?

On the other hand, there haven’t been any comparable high-profile hoaxes lately. The anonymous crowd-cloud seems to hold more water than it used to. The New York Times gushed about it yesterday: “Wikipedia is vitally important to the culture…”  Is it really making us smarter, Lanier asks? Or is it just exploiting our laziness?

In any event, Wikipedia’s not nearly as much fun as The Book. Those hitchhikers, whatever else you want to say about them, were distinctive individuals. (Zaphod Beeblebrox, doubly so.) Even Marvin the paranoid android.


November 3, 2010

No, my post title is not about the election results. So far as I can tell, the sky did not fall yesterday. Jon Stewart said recently that “we’ll be fine,” and I’m holding him to that.

Today we have reports from Harrison and Kayla (and ?), and we continue to explore the ways in which we are not gadgets.

But first: Kelley’s report yesterday on Zombies seems relevant here. “Zombies are exactly like us in all physical respects but have no conscious experiences.” They’re not evil, they’re misunderstood, like the undead in general. Like us all.

Lanier is sure he’s conscious, and that other authors and artists and creative people are too. He’s not sure present trends favors conscious artistry, though.  If we stop respecting the mental autonomy and independence of our most creative peers, they’ll suffer and we’ll be deprived of their best efforts. Wake up, says Lanier, before it’s too late.

And, he gets off a wicked shot at those philosophers who seem to undervalue the meaning and importance of individual consciousness. “Zombies can only be detected if they happen to be professional philospohers. Daniel Dennett is obviously a zombie.” Ouch. But Dennett and Lanier should find common ground on the point that we don’t really understand our own consciousness very well. All the more reason not to rush into a hasty marriage to our machines.

Jaron Lanier is concerned with the future of money. How will people make a living with their hearts and heads, as the machines continue to evolve? The Open Source culture has become, for many, a “free culture” of downloadable music, online videos, and other cultural commodities increasingly available and on tap for the discerning consumer. What becomes of creativity when people expect you to give it away? Won’t they become detached from their own creations, alienated from their intellectual and artistic labor?  Won’t that have a chilling affect on art and inspiration? Won’t it result in bad art, uninspired and stagnant culture, and species arrest?

Digital Maoists, cybernetic totalists, remashers, and Web 2.0 enthusiasts generally prefer meta-level revisions of old-fashioned culture. “A mashup is more important than the sources who were mashed.” This seems exactly backwards, since creative originality doesn’t just fall from the Cloud but always begins in somebody’s brain – not the hive mind.  But creativity is being marginalized and downgraded in the depleted desert of Information, on Lanier’s view, not properly rewarded. This is bad news for creative people, and for the species.

This is an echo of that Updike-Kelly debate over the future of books we talked about in September. Do artists really want to hawk t-shirts and submit to “meet the author” occasions, to pay the rent, rather than reap a fair and even generous return for their hard solitary labors? Of course not. This is America, and so can you.

This is, as I read it, a pretty *grisly scenario. “Performances, access to the creator, personalization,” whatever that is — does this not throw us back to the pre-literate societies, where only the present, live person can make an impression and offer, as it were, value? Have not writers, since the onset of the Gutenberg revolution, imagined that they already were, in their written and printed texts, giving an “access to the creator” more pointed, more shapely, more loaded with aesthetic and informational value than an unmediated, unpolished personal conversation? Has the electronic revolution pushed us so far down the path of celebrity as a summum bonum that an author’s works, be they one volume or 50, serve primarily as his or her ticket to the lecture platform, or, since even that is somewhat hierarchical and aloof, a series of one-on-one orgies of personal access?

This does sound like the end of authorship, and the wrong way to go.

We’ve not gone there, yet. Lanier recalls confident predictions from VR skeptics, two decades ago, that “only a tiny minority of people would ever write anything for others to read.” Now, it seems, just about everybody’s blogging and tweeting and status-updating etc.

Granted, a lot of that falls well short of anything we’d want to celebrate as “creative.” But there’s plenty of content coming from all quarters. Lanier’s worried about its future in a “free and open” environment where everyone is encouraged to cadge and copy and cut and paste and remix and remash…

Hence, his “epiphany”:  the human world works, to the extent that it does, because it can depend on an “ocean of good will” backed by civilized formal constraints on greed and aggression. This is somewhere between Hobbes and Rousseau. Guess you could call it Human Nature 2.0. People are just about good enough, cooperative and friendly enough, if given their space and their stuff and a fair return on investment, secured by the full faith and credit of an effective, legitimately sovereign mutual authority: your tax dollars at work.

The message: let creative people be themselves, let ’em  sell their work as they see fit, and don’t “steal this book” or anything else produced by the hearts and brains of conscious, vital, flesh-and-blood human beings.

That would be unconscionable.

NOTE to students: A reporter for the campus newspaper Sidelines is doing a story for Monday’s edition on the upcoming “Environmental Ethics and Native Wisdom” course, and wants to include some students’ perspectives.  If you’re interested in sharing, you can contact her directly:

gadgets 2.0

November 1, 2010

On, now, in FoL, to Jaron Lanier and his surprising, arresting, perplexing, sane and humane You Are Not a Gadget. And on to some more report presentations.

[Web resources and FAQs… homepage & bio… Must-read quizbooks]

Lanier writes:

A central thesis of the book is that it ought to be possible by now to criticize aspects of digital experience without criticizing the whole of it.  Unfortunately, it is not always easy to get that point across.

Non-technical readers can easily come to a misunderstanding about the scope of my criticism, because they aren’t used to  differentiating the things I criticize from the things I praise.  Even some of the book’s positive reviews [nyt, Independent] have given the wrong impression.   It can be confusing even for technical people to keep in mind the differences between things like the Internet, the Web, cloud computing, and Web 2.0.  I am critical of Web 2.0 but am thrilled and delighted by all the other things on this list.

Most of all, he’s convinced there’s a baseline reality we’re all more-or-less acquainted with at first hand; but, increasingly, we’re more-or-less confused about it, and at risk of killing it on the altar of Information. He pioneered Virtual Reality, Lanier says, because Reality 1.0 is too cool to lose. He just doesn’t get transhumanism and its posthuman dreams:

It’s so weird to me that Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity is Near, wants the global computing cloud to scoop up the contents of our brains so we can live forever in virtual reality. When my friends and I built the first virtual reality machines, the whole point was to make this world more creative, expressive, empathic, and interesting. It was not to escape it.

He’s a kind of romantic about mortality and hard reality. I think he has a case. But what is virtual reality, anyway? Is it so new? Let’s talk about it. (Talk is itself another form of mediated experience that extends our range of practical reality, no?)


September 22, 2010

First, to follow up Monday’s impromptu discussion:  I was wondering if books face a future of figurative immolation, not the  literal burning of the Alexandrian library (or the crazy Gainesville pastor) but every bit as terminal. Our large-scale cultural turn to e-reading, away from traditional book authorship and publication, raises questions about the long-term durability of the printed word and, hence, of our ability to transmit any legacy at all to future generations.

John Updike had important thoughts about the future of books, late in his life. He disputed Kevin Kelly’s rosy vision of a future of literary mash-ups and “snippets” unmoored from their thus-marginalized and fungible authors.

Books traditionally have edges: some are rough-cut, some are smooth-cut, and a few, at least at my extravagant publishing house, are even top-stained. In the electronic anthill, where are the edges? The book revolution, which, from the Renaissance on, taught men and women to cherish and cultivate their individuality, threatens to end in a sparkling cloud of snippets.

Updike elaborated his concerns in this speech, released as a podcast

Kevin Kelly, you may then think, is some kind of radical firebrand. But he doesn’t come across that way in our Clock of the Long Now reading today. The most sensible statement in today’s text, though, is Hillis’s response to Kelly’s report of the “complexity scientists” and their mocking of Long Now’s ambitions:

Believing in the future is not the same as believing you can predict or determine it. The Long Now Foundation is not about determining the destiny of our descendants, it is about leaving them with a chance to determine a destiny of their own.

(That’s exactly the point Harrison was making on Monday,  right?)

Also in Sunday’s Times Magazine special issue on the future of technology in education, Kelly’s conservative framing of computing as a tool we may pick up and put down at will is measured and reassuring. He quotes his previously home-schooled son, about to enter High School:

“I’m learning how to learn, but I can’t wait till next year when I have some real good teachers — better than me.”

He had learned the most critical thing: how to keep learning. A month ago he entered high school eager to be taught — not facts, or even skills, but a lifelong process that would keep pace with technology’s rapid, ceaseless teaching.

If we listen to technology, and learn to be proficient in its ways, then we’ll be able to harness this most powerful force in the world.

And if we don’t? Not so reassuring. But this seems right enough:

• The proper response to a stupid technology is to make a better one, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to replace it with a better idea.

Jaron Lanier, who– we will read soon– insists that he’s not a gadget (and neither are you), also points out that education does what genes cannot, viz., transfer nongenetic information (“memes”) between generations:

To the degree that education is about the transfer of the known between generations, it can be digitized, analyzed, optimized and bottled or posted on Twitter. To the degree that education is about the self-invention of the human race, the gargantuan process of steering billions of brains into unforeseeable states and configurations in the future, it can continue only if each brain learns to invent itself. And that is beyond computation because it is beyond our comprehension. Learning at its truest is a leap into the unknown.

Leaping can be a good thing, it’s how we get somewhere. But, as Lanier cautions: “Trusting teachers too much also has its perils.” Danger, Will Robinson.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But on the other hand, Will did always trust his Robot. It’s the duplicitous Dr. Smiths you really have to watch out for.

“Future” begins

August 30, 2010

I have to say it at least once: The future is now.

The “Future of Life” course, that is. It starts today. Trying to get a jump-start, I’ve emailed students (though Beloit says the “1st Yrs,” the Class of 2014— born in 1992!– don’t really do email anymore) and asked them to begin pondering a statement from William James in his Pragmatism, at the end of his third lecture:

The really vital question for us all is, What is this world going to be? What is life eventually to make of itself? The centre of gravity of philosophy must therefore alter its place. The earth of things, long thrown into shadow by the glories of the upper ether, must resume its rights. To shift the emphasis in this way means that philosophic questions will fall to be treated by minds of a less abstractionist type than heretofore, minds more scientific and individualistic in their tone yet not irreligious either. It will be an alteration in ‘the seat of authority’ that reminds one almost of the protestant reformation. And as, to papal minds, protestantism has often seemed a mere mess of anarchy and confusion, such, no doubt, will pragmatism often seem to ultra-rationalist minds in philosophy. It will seem so much sheer trash, philosophically. But life wags on, all the same, and compasses its ends, in protestant countries. I venture to think that philosophic protestantism will compass a not dissimilar prosperity. Gutenberg etext

I’ve asked my still-future students (or the ones who still read email, anyhow): Do you agree with James? Wherein lies the “vitality,” for you? Or is the future a black box any normally-constituted human should expect to have difficulty imagining or caring about? What would it mean, really to care about it? How would, or how does, caring impact your choices and actions?

That’s part of what our course will be about. “Future” and “life” both sprawl in an almost untameable way, of course, so we’ll have plenty of parsing to do as we go along. That means even more basic, orienting questions: Is the future all about me, or about us, at all? Or is it all about successors to whom our relation is murky? Should we consider our main obligation to be to ourselves as individuals, to our (contingent) historical epoch, to our wider communities, our DNA, the species, the planet, the carboniferous form of life, or— as the late Carl Sagan said– to the very cosmos, “ancient and vast” and ongoing, itself?

So many questions. We’ll begin looking for answers with a nod to Dan Dennett, who pointed out that we are the beneficiaries of generations of people who cared about us while knowing they’d never meet us, and with a forward-looking glance backward from 19th century futurist Edward Bellamy (“Looking Backward“). How easy it is to get details wrong, but how exciting to dream of real progress in subduing the inherited scourges– including economic and political as well as biological plagues– of the past.

Then, Sagan’s calendar and the Long Now Foundation’s clock (“now“),’s “Third Culture” crowd, Jaron Lanier, Bill McKibben, Richard Powers,  maybe E.O. Wilson and Aubrey de Grey too.

So many possibilities, in the great open-ended pluralistic universe. I talked about some of them on the radio back in the Spring, when the future seemed so far off.

But first, it being the first day, we’ll introduce ourselves. I’m tired of being “Dr. Phil,” maybe I’ll pass along Older Daughter’s suggestion that, in this class at least, I become “Phil of the future.”

transhumanist piety

August 11, 2010

The new scientific quest for immortality is secular, not religious? Maybe that was hasty.

Jaron Lanier says these new seekers (Kurzweil, de Grey et al) are religious, too, motivated by the same aversion to death that has always populated the pews. In this light, Singularity University is the transhumanist mother-church.  Its core message?

One day in the not-so-distant future, the Internet will suddenly coalesce into a super-intelligent A.I., infinitely smarter than any of us individually and all of us combined; it will become alive in the blink of an eye, and take over the world before humans even realize what’s happening.

Some think the newly sentient Internet would then choose to kill us; others think it would be generous and digitize us the way Google is digitizing old books, so that we can live forever as algorithms inside the global brain. Yes, this sounds like many different science fiction movies. Yes, it sounds nutty when stated so bluntly. But these are ideas with tremendous currency in Silicon Valley; these are guiding principles, not just amusements, for many of the most influential technologists.

Well. If they’re talking about destruction– of humanity, individuality, subjectivity, personal consciousness– they can count me out.

But is that what they’re talking about? According to the Transhumanist Declaration, they

favour allowing individuals wide personal choice over how they enable their lives. This includes use of techniques that may be developed to assist memory, concentration, and mental energy; life extension therapies; reproductive choice technologies; cryonics procedures; and many other possible human modification and enhancement technologies.

Cryonics, eh? That raises a red flag (with Red Sox and a “B”) for me.

But who could be against “wide personal choice”?

singular future

August 10, 2010

Immortality. It’s not just for the religious, anymore.

You can matriculate at Singularity U. and major in it. Or something close. The curriculum includes programs in Futures Studies, bio- and nanotech, AI & robotics… but reading between the lines, the real subject at this school whose stated mission is to “address humanity’s Grand Challenges” seems to be the defeat (not just acceptance or understanding) of death. [“Merely Human? That’s So Yesterday“… Jaron Lanier on the “First Church of Robotics“]

Or you can line up with Aubrey de Grey to study “the strange science of immortality.” That’s the subtitle of Jonathan Weiner’s Long for this World, a page-turning account of the strange scientist who confidently predicts that humans will soon begin to live forever. [de Grey’s “manifesto“]

Unlike Chancellor/Trustee Ray Kurzweil, de Grey says he’s motivated not by dreams of personal immortality for himself or his kin– (he has no children, saying “anyone can have kids. I want to make a difference.”)– but to benefit humanity.

It sounds like fiction. It sounds, in fact, like Gary Shteyngart’s latest novel of a dystopian future in which people carry Orwellian smart phones so they can run instant background checks on each other and constantly monitor their credit ratings, and go to college to major in things like Images and Assertiveness.

“A cornerstone of the Post-Human Philosophy,” in the brave new world, is that if you really want to live forever you’ll find a way. The people who think this way, the narrator observes, are captivated by a singular “inability to grasp the present moment.”

Is there a sensible way we can inhabit the present, invest in the deep future, and genuinely study and advance the amelioration of the human condition? And do it without being kooky eccentric egocentric geniuses? That’s what we’re going to study in Future of Life, getting under way in just a couple of weeks at my own singular university.

making plans

May 6, 2010

Our relationship with time really is a puzzle. Older Daughter solves it neatly when she reminds me: “the past is history, the future’s a mystery, today’s a gift. That why it’s called the present.” Says she got that from the Kung-fu panda.

There’s a lot to be said for the present-time perspective. For instance:

Once attention is shifted from the future and we begin to enjoy activities at the time we do them and for what they are, we have transcended the mentality that views life as a process of mediation toward distant ends.

That was John Lachs in Intermediate Man.

Albert Camus in The Rebel: “Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.”

Wendell Berry:

We can do nothing for the human future that we will not do for the human present… [One] who works and behaves well today need take no thought for the morrow; he has discharged today’s only obligation to tomorrow.

The Devil’s Dictionary defines the future as “that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured.” Neverland.

On the other hand, Carl Sagan: “Our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky…”

Michael Chabon:

Parents are betting on their children, and their children after them, and theirs… If you don’t believe in the future, unreservedly and dreamily… I don’t see how you can have children.

Jaron Lanier:

We have to think about the digital layers we are laying down now in order to benefit future generations. We should be optimistic that civilization  will survive this challenging century, and put some effort into creating the best possible world for those who will inherit our efforts.

Dan Dennett:

One thing that makes us unique as a species is that for the last five or ten thousand years we have been the beneficiaries of conscious planning by our parents and cultures. Today we are actively concerning ourselves with what the world is going to be like in the future. We have strong beliefs about this. They play a role in what homo sapiens is going to be like a thousand years from now.

Finally, Bill McKibben says of the climatically degraded world we’ve been carelessly combusting: “We still must live on the world we’ve created– lightly, carefully, gracefully.” That’s going to take some serious conscious planning too.