Eugene Linden
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Lastest Musing
I'm Not Hopeful About COP21 in Paris

[A version of this appeared Nov. 29 in Yale Climate Connections]     Starting November 30, some 45,000-plus interested parties converge in Paris to try to influence the final form of what is supposed to be a universal agreement among nations on how to address the unfolding threat ...

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Featured Book

The Ragged Edge of the World
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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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affluenceanddiscontent

Affluence and Discontent offers a theory about the nature and origins of the consumer society. The book argues that the consumer society is the latest artifact in an ancient rhythm of western societies that has seen reason gradually marginalize religious influences over behavior. The genius of the consumer society lies in the way it capitalizes on the very religious discontents if produces: as materialism and reason crowd out religion, these disenfranchised forces resurface in fads and countercultural movements that are then domesticated as new sources of consumer interest.

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Short Take

Why is it that the most gun-crazy states in the country are the most terrified of the prospect of taking in Syrian refugees? Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, all packed with citizens armed to the teeth, have governors scared witless by poor refugees who've been forced to flee by anarchy in their homelands. Didn't the NRA tell us that the only thing that stands between us and a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun? Maybe we need a good guy with a tank?

Meanwhile, Connecticut (once memorably derided as a "pussy state" by the Daily Show's Samantha Bee), with relatively strict gun control laws, seems to think it can handle the widows, orphans, and the 2% of military-aged males who find themselves without a country and seeking asylum.



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