Bad advice: Why the future won’t be like the past

15 10 2013

Bad advice: Why the future won’t be like the past.

We like to think that we shape our destiny rather than destiny shaping us. It’s not so much that our choices don’t matter as that we cannot accurately forecast their results. If those choices redound to our benefit, then we style ourselves brilliantly perceptive. If they dog us with failures, we blame it on the stars.

I am reminded of Michael Grant’s pithy summary of Stoic philosophy in his wonderful short history The World of Rome: “So pray not for blessings, but for the power to do without them.” That’s the true meaning of a robust life: Living well even when fortune does not favor us.

 

Kurt Cobb is an author, speaker, and columnist focusing on energy and the environment. He is a regular contributor to the Energy Voices section of The Christian Science Monitor and author of the peak-oil-themed novel Prelude. In addition, he has written columns for the Paris-based science news site Scitizen, and his work has been featured on Energy Bulletin (now Resilience.org), The Oil Drum, OilPrice.com, Econ Matters, Peak Oil Review, 321energy, Common Dreams, Le Monde Diplomatique and many other sites. He maintains a blog called Resource Insights and can be contacted at kurtcobb2001@yahoo.com.

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