Adam Briggle–my friend, colleague, and PhD director–gets a nice review of his latest book from the New York Times. Really glad to see this. Many reviews closer to Texas and to PetroDollars totally mischaracterized this important book.
In his investigation of what determines people’s attitudes toward progress and technology, Briggle makes an illuminating distinction between “precautionaries” and “proactionaries”: “Precautionaries look down to our roots in the animal kingdom. Proactionaries look up to our future in the stars.” Precautionaries identify with the creatures, fragile and finite, and they moderate their ambitions and appetites accordingly. Proactionaries identify with the immeasurably energetic stars: “For the proactionary, ‘enough’ is a dirty word.” But animals and stars are hard to mobilize; politically they are quietists. When it comes to policy, both the animal-minded and the star-minded are forced to identify with people, as they’re the ones who might see your logo, stop the pickup and vote Yes or No.