Discussion Questions for “The Endless City” and “The Mental Environment”

Adbusters 90Mallory chose two readings from Adbusters #90, Whole Brain Catalog. Both of these articles examine the changing of our environment due to physical “advances in technology” and, concordantly, how our “mental environment” is reacting.

From The Endless City:
  • How terrified are you after reading this article?
  • Let’s talk about our own pros and cons of this…think global, not just local.
  • “Cities, in short are the cradles of culture and wealth, and will allow earth to accommodate a further three billion people.” At who or what expense? (Ishmael?)
  • Would life actually be intolerable without contact with nature?  What does ‘contact with nature’ even entail?

“We are the first few generations to receive most of our sense of the world meditated rather than direct, to have it arrive through one screen or another instead of from contact with other human beings or with nature.” -Bill McKibben, “The Mental Environment”

From The Mental Environment
  • What is an example of a “mental pollutant” that you have witnessed recently?
  • The paradox of ‘hyperindividualism’.
  • How are we encouraged to be individuals and prescription zombies at the same time?
  • How is consumerism (and global trade) perpetuating our self-absorption? Is it actually limiting our global connectedness?

The Reading and Media Group meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the second floor lounge of Memorial Union.

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