Anyone who is paying attention knows that we are facing a great many interacting crises in the United States.  Indeed, we may well be facing “the end of the world as we know it,” if we do not wake up and soon.

Below, I list just a few of our interacting problems.

When we work on issues like education, schools, social change, or poverty and do not place our work in this larger perspective, we are simply helping to ensure that people aren’t keeping their eye on the ball, something that benefits only the elites, and, then, even for them, only for the short-term.

Is the picture too big to look at?  Perhaps.

We have waited an awfully long time to do anything about these matters, especially as they link to each other.  I suspect that the best approach here is to look for these deep linkages and exploit them.

For many of our endeavors—though not all—I suspect that 25 are key.

  1. Broken Schools Mired in Poverty, Testing, Punitive Accountability, and the Degradation of Teachers and Teaching
  2. Casino Capitalism (No Tie to Production, Just High-Risk Bets Using “Other People’s Money”)
  3. College Graduates Underemployed and in Debt (50% are in jobs that do not really require a college degree)
  4. Detachment of Productivity and Compensation for Workers
  5. Emerging Massive Decrease in Job Creation (Robots, Internet, Fab Labs, Casualization, etc.)
  6. Degradation of Democracy as Money Dominates Politics
  7. Degradation of Work, Wages, and Benefits
  8. Echo Chambers on Social Media and the Internet
  9. Greed-Ridden and Deeply Broken Health Care System
  10. Global Climate Change
  11. Global Environmental Degradation
  12. Imperiled and Broken Colleges and Universities (There are now dozens of books on the crises in our system of higher-education)
  13. Job Market Polarization (Bad Jobs and High Ones that Require High Skill, No Middle)
  14. Low Social Mobility (US among bottom of European nations)
  15. Massive and Increasing Flows of Dislocated Immigrants
  16. Massive Redistribution of Wealth Upward (95% of Income Gains 2009-2012 Taken by the Wealthiest 1%)
  17. Monopolization of Commerce (Fewer and Fewer Free Markets)
  18. Ideological Polarization of Politics
  19. Racism and Home-Grown Right-Wing and Islamic Terrorism
  20. Soaring Inequality in U.S. and across the World
  21. Status Syndrome (When People Feel that They Don’t Count = Bad Health)
    [Read the Spirit Level and The Status Syndrome]
  22. The Dark Web (Much Bigger than the Light Web
  23. The Internet of Things and Hacking (Too Connected, Easy to Bring Down)
  24. Underfunded and Crumbling Infrastructure
  25. World-Wide Conflicts and Wars Between Haves and Have-Nots



1 2 3
March 29th, 2018

The Interpreter System (7)

Let’s return to our diagram of a human being (or, “an enviro-human system”).  I want now to look just at […]

March 27th, 2018

Joint Actor Systems (6)

The diagram I used in the last post is misleading in that it makes things look more contained and bounded […]

March 26th, 2018

A Human Being (5)

Last time, we raised the question: “What is ‘Jim”?” (substitute your own name for “Jim” here).  We think of ourselves […]

March 25th, 2018

Jim and Identities/Discourses (4)

When we make a choice, who is making the choice?  We have already seen that there are lots of things […]

March 10th, 2018

Alternates (3)

When we make a choice about ourselves often that choice is vastly undetermined by the information we have available.  Say […]

March 7th, 2018

Flourishing (2)

It makes little sense to see a human being (or any other animal) as an individual making free choices.  In […]

February 25th, 2018

Free Will (1)

Note that the question of free will simply does not arise for animals.  We think that, even for intelligent species, […]

October 29th, 2017

The Principle of Charity

October 8th, 2017

Character Education

Recently, the College of Education at Arizona State University—where I work— received funding from the Kern Family Foundation to make […]

June 15th, 2017

Neoliberalism Part 6 (The End)

What killed people’s sense of mattering was the growth of very high levels of inequality.  What caused such high levels […]

June 14th, 2017

Neoliberalism Part 5

Many of us tend to think of history as a march forward and upward. So, we tend to interpret the […]

June 14th, 2017

Neoliberalism Part 4

The Catholic Church declined in three stages. The same was true for many other institutions.  “The Sixties” (roughly from 1963 […]

June 12th, 2017

Neoliberalism Part 3

Today, we have among the highest levels of inequality we have ever had.  Drug addiction, environmental degradation, flows of climate […]

June 11th, 2017

Neoliberalism Part 2

The British economist John Maynard Keynes and “Keynesian Economics” were foundational to the Bretton Woods Agreement and to the world […]

June 10th, 2017

Neoliberalism Part 1

Though neo-liberalism is the “usual suspect” for the miseries of our institutions and society, it is not nearly as relevant […]

May 30th, 2017

Main Points from My New Book

Teaching, Learning, Literary in our High-Risk, High-Tech World: A Framework for Becoming Human (Teachers College Press, 2017). Ignorance We humans […]

April 17th, 2017

The Importance of Discourse Analysis:
Step 10 The End

Neither love nor liking is necessary for the sorts of critical discussions among different frameworks that might lead to shared […]

April 15th, 2016

The Importance of Discourse Analysis:
Step 9 Interpretation

Goodwill.  What could possibly encourage people in a fractured and inequitable world to have goodwill?  I, for one, do not […]

April 14th, 2016

The Importance of Discourse Analysis:
Step 8 An Example

I want now to give an example of two different frameworks that certainly appear incommensurable.  My purpose here is make […]

April 12th, 2016

The Importance of Discourse Analysis:
Step 7 Discussion

We are at a critical juncture now in our attempt to understand why frameworks can cause us humans such grief.  […]