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Nate Hagens: Reality 101 – A Survey of the Human Predicament

February 12, 2016

NOTE: Images in this archived article have been removed.


From Radio Ecoshock:

I don’t know about you, but I’m often stuck on Bob Dylan’s words: “something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is”. Wouldn’t it be great if we could take a course to understand reality?

The course exists. Dr. Nathan J. Hagens teaches “Reality 101 – A Survey of the Human Predicament” to graduate students at the University of Minnesota. Nate Hagens is a familiar name to anyone who tracks energy and resilience. Nate was a successful Wall Street trader. He left all that in 2003 to probe deeper. Nate is on the Board of Directors of the Post Carbon Institute, a Director of the Bottleneck Foundation, and he teaches. He’s working on a book that he doesn’t want to talk about yet. Hagens lives on a farm in Wisconsin with a collection of animals.

The course begins with the real overview: the first photos of Earth from space. Then it gets into “Systems theory and complexity” with a combination of You tube videos and Nate’s own unreleased writing.

Earth from Apollo 11 image via Wikimedia.

One Comment, RSS

  • Cool class. We are still living in the window of cheap energy. But what about the future? Well, the total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year. There is more energy absorbed in one hour at this rate than the world used in one year (2002). Various modalities of direct or indirect capture of solar are the best bets. And there’s where it gets interesting — technologically, financially, socially, culturally, educationally, politically. For starters.