Math is certainly not the best language for every situation, but it is essential for many situations. And once we understand this, and not merely acknowledge it but shift our paradigms to understand it as a very special method of communication, we can use math without fear.
If you’ve ever visited Canyonlands National Park, or hiked the Appalachian Trail, or spent time at over a hundred other similar locations across America’s beautiful and diverse ecosystems and geography, it’s likely that you have Stewart Udall at least partly to thank.
I came away from Steubenville, as I came away later from Grove City, with the startling idea that things are possible. Small things; local things; putting two things together, not all things but two things.
Freeing ourselves from the corrosive Consumer identity isn’t an individual task, but a call for system change rings hollow if we are afraid of personal change. How can we imagine a world beyond the Consumer if we can’t talk about our experiences of consuming and acknowledge that down-powering will not be easy?
Wendell Berry has written endlessly about the goodness of local work; if, for Berry, the goodness of such work is connected to agrarian virtue, while for Jackson it is connected to ecological necessity, does that make much practical difference?