Wizard vs Prophet

M2403833c/o chuen seng teoh

I recently came across a a write-up on kottke.org about Charles Mann’s The Wizard and the Prophet. The premise of the book is on two opposing views, exemplified by two scientists, on how humanity can sustain their life as they know it on Earth with continued population growth. The two views are embodied by the Prophet and the Wizard. Below is a short excerpt giving a succinct overview.

Prophets look at the world as finite, and people as constrained by their environment. Wizards see possibilities as inexhaustible, and humans as wily managers of the planet. One views growth and development as the lot and blessing of our species; others regard stability and preservation as our future and our goal. Wizards regard Earth as a toolbox, its contents freely available for use; Prophets think of the natural world as embodying an overarching order that should not casually be disturbed.

Just based on this excerpt, I feel a tendency towards the views of a Wizard. I look forward to reading this book and hope to better inform my own personal life views and choices. Stay tuned for part 2 for more thoughts on this topic.


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