Other Writings

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Hawaii: Looking Back from the Year 2050 (1987/2020).

 

I have lived most of my life in Hawaii. From 1979 to 1986, I served in the State of Hawaii Department of Planning and Economic Development, where I worked on ocean and energy issues, and then served as Director of the department, responsible for planning and economic development for the state. In 1987, the year after I completed his work for the department, I wrote nine fictional lectures in which I pretended that it was the year 2050 and I was looking back to report on everything that had happened in the previous 75 years. I described a future that included a migration to the ocean on floating cities, the use of hovercraft on land, whales who coordinate and enforce world peace, a total shift to renewable energy, bodyframes for individual strength, housing modules with wings, a paperless financial system, the Free Market Magna Carta, and microfine probes that monitor our health. My best guess in 1987 was that by 2010, we would have armstrap computer-telephones, remarkably like the smartphones that actually saturated the American market by 2007.

 

As I said in the 1987 Author’s Preface to the lectures: “Imagining the future is fun. It is also essential. It is essential to think about different futures in order to choose some and avoid others—to define a preferred future and seek to reach it. Also, we may be able to discover ways of solving today’s problems by looking at things from a new perspective—that of our grandchildren.” In 2020, thirty-three years later, I re-published the lectures, along with a new Author’s Preface. To download a PDF of the book, click here.

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Our Birds Don’t Eat in the Dark (2021).

 

There are a lot of serious issues facing our world, and we need to engage them. But sometimes, we should stop and enjoy all the things in our world that are amusing, strange, cacophonous, random, contradictory, and fascinating. Our Birds Don’t Eat in the Dark is a collection of 16 whimsical essays that I wrote about curious things. My topics included birds, bananas, clouds, ancestry, sounds, our sense of smell, roosters, drinking, naps, dancing, mitochondria, mindfulness, missing body parts, wind and wings, remote controls, and squirrels. I had a lot of fun writing these essays. To download a PDF of the book, click here.