thomas m wilson

Pro and Anti ‘Progress’ – New Course Coming March 2022

February 9th, 2022

What do we mean when we talk about ‘progress’, and is it always a good thing? In this course we’ll look at a selection of authors who have thought about how modern life in the Western world has made us richer, healthier and more comfortable, but also more lonely and, in some senses, stressed out. At the end of the course we will turn to ways in which kindness and optimism can lead us out of some of the dead ends of contemporary civilisation.

The course is presented thanks to a partnership between the Wanneroo Libraries and the University of The Third Age (U3A).

Every Wednesday for six weeks // 1pm – 2pm // 9 March to 13 April. We will assume that you attend all six weeks if possible.

Please note: Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 it may be necessary to amend the format, location and timing of this course in line with advice from State Government and WA Health Department. This course may be conducted via Zoom if there is a need and/or preference among participants.

Books to be discussed:

Week 1: Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Week 2: Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari

Week 3: The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It by John Tierney and Roy F. Baumeister

Week 4: Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

Week 5: Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling

Week 6: Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100 by Marta Zaraska

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