Aug 2007

And So It Begins

In September I am going to start a new course, called Leadership Calgary. This is an unusual move for me because I'm taking it on a great deal of faith. The course isn't explained very well through their official media channels, and so I've had to rely on information mainly from talking with my friend Chris, who has already gone through the course and is now on the planning committee.

I'll have more on the course later once I get into it a little bit. For now, I've finished the first book on the reading list, and I'd like to give my first impressions.

The book is A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright. It is the text form of his CBC Massey Lecture. I was very happy with the book. It does a good job of providing an overview of the problem of civilization as we know it. Wright makes the case that we are currently in "The Great Experiment" of civilization, and we don't really know whether or not we've gotten it right. The author explains that there are many examples from the past that we fail to learn from, that many civilizations of the past also failed to learn from. There are also successes (Western civilization not necessarily one of them) that we could use as well.

I will be re-reading the book to make notes for the course, so I will have more to say on the book after that. I do recommend the book for anyone who is interested in the subject. It's a quick read and smoothly written.