Eugene Linden
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Latest Musing

Imagining a Post Pandemic World

How might a post-pandemic world look and feel? Let’s imagine a creative team at a New York City advertising agency pitching a campaign in 2050 for a new perfume (more than most products, perfumes are sold by attaching to the dreams and aspirations of their times).  The Big Apple, ...

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Latest Book

Deep Past
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Articles by Category
endangered animals
rapid climate change
global deforestation
fragging

Books

Winds of Change
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Afterword to the softbound edition.


The Octopus and the Orangutan
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The Future In Plain Sight
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The Parrot's Lament
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Silent Partners
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Affluence and Discontent
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The Alms Race
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Apes, Men, & Language
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TheOctopusandtheOrangutan

Buy The Octopus and the Orangutan at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, or BookSense. THE OCTOPUS AND THE ORANGUTAN From the publisher's press release: Award-winning writer Eugene Linden returns to the animal kingdom in this eagerly-awaited follow-up to The Parrot's Lament. In The Octopus and the Orangutan, Eugene Linden takes readers on another unforgettable journey into the minds and hearts of animals. The Parrot's Lament, his acclaimed previous book, explored the animal intelligence revealed as different creatures negotiated with, fooled, and teased zookeepers, trainers, and each other. Now, in a wide-ranging collection of real-life anecdotes that offer further compelling evidence of animals' higher mental capabilities and their awareness of the needs and feelings of others, Linden goes beyond these everyday encounters and takes us deeper into their minds through this new window on intelligence. The Octopus and the Orangutan finds intelligent behavior in surprising new places, ranging from the octopus' garden to the crow's nest. Amazing feats of stealth, deception, and larceny are balanced with unexpected acts of kindness and friendship. Animals show they are cagey bargainers and tough negotiators both with their human keepers and with one another. And, for the first time, we observe an astonishing new behavior previously thought to be exclusively human. The animals themselves are our guides in this fresh look at the question of animal intelligence. From the beloved pets we think we know to the remarkable creatures in the wild, Eugene Linden once again shares his wonder and joy at the infinite variety of animal behavior that continues to inform, amaze, and touch us all. The author will donate a portion of his royalties to the Humane Society of the United States and to Traffic, a branch of the World Wildlife Fund dedicated to stopping the trade in endangered species. Eugene Linden is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Parrot's Lament, The Future in Plain Sight, Silent Partners, and other books on animals and the environment. He has consulted for the U.S. State Department, the UN Development Program, and he is a widely traveled speaker and lecturer. In 2001, Yale University named Linden a Poynter Fellow in recognition of his writing on the environment. He lives in Nyack, New York. Buy The Octopus and the Orangutan at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, or BookSense.

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Short Take

In an Interconnected World, Niches Get Big

There’s an excellent article by David Gardner in the online sports magazine The Ringer about niche sports and how social media allows the best players in tiny niche sports -- disc golf, trick archery, e.g. -- to make a living where these players couldn't possibly make much money through exposure in the mainstream media. This is the benign side of a fundamental feature of the internet: it allows tiny constituencies at the far ends of the normal curve to find each other. 

Because the internet connects billions of people, those tiny niches (in percentage terms) can turn out to be very large numbers of people in the aggregate. Large enough to allow players in obscure sports to get multi-million dollar endorsement contracts; large enough to assemble a gigantic mob to invade the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

There’s the rub. This feature of the internet and social media not only allows niche athletes to make a living, but also enables paranoids and psychopaths to hatch plots and recruit. Where in the old days the dangerously deranged might have a hard time connecting with like-minded sociopaths, now an army of such is just a few clicks away.

Which of these two sides of the coin will have the biggest impact on the future?

 



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