Ask the Cultural Psychiatrist: Seeking a Needed “New Common Sense”
With Psychiatrist and Futurist Charles M. Johnston, MD
As a psychiatrist and futurist, I attempt to bring big-picture perspective to how we think and make choices, both as individuals and more collectively. I have particular interest in the kind of thinking needed if we are to make good choices in our often overwhelming and contradictory-seeming times. Today. we find exciting new possibilities, and not just technological possibilities. We are seeing possible new steps in what it means to be human. And, at once, we encounter circumstance that can seem quite crazy. We confront disturbing amounts of social division, denial around issues that could ultimately be our undoing, and people’s attention too often highjacked by distraction.
I see our times challenging us to turn first pages in a new chapter in our human I see our times challenging us to an essential kind of “growing up” as a species. Creative Systems Theory, the body of conceptual work the underlies my contribution, speaks of a needed new Cultural Maturity. Here we will examine how Cultural Maturity–related changes produce many of today’s most exiting new possibilities. We will also see how culturally mature understanding provides the necessary antidote to much of the craziness that we encounter today.
A recognition that might seem contradictory will tie these episodes together. While A recognition that might seem contradictory will tie these episodes together. While Cultural Maturity’s changes make significant demands, where they take us is ultimately straightforward—indeed common sense. The difference is simply that this is a maturity of common sense that we are only now becoming capable of fully grasping (and often tolerating).
It may be decades before the importance of Cultural Maturity’s changes is broadly appreciated. And it may be well into the next century before we know if we will be able to pull off all that they ask of us. What we can know is that any kind of future we will want to be a part of depends on our success with the task. This You-Tube channel is one piece in my efforts as an advocate for the future’s needed “new common sense.”
Your questions may come from listening to the various episodes or reflect concerns that you have as you try to make sense of today’s challenges. There is nothing I enjoy more than a good question. You can send questions by email to email@example.com or by including them in the comments section of particular episodes.
Understanding Today’s Needed “New Common Sense”
- 1 – Conversations on the Future
- 2 – Human Purpose and the Evolution of Narrative
- 3 – Today’s Needed New Common Sense
- 4 – Ideology and the Mythologizing of Truth
- 5 – Cultural Maturity’s Cognitive Reordering
- 6 – Parts Work and Cultural Maturity’s Necessary Cognitive Rewiring
- 7 – Accepting a Newly Ultimate Responsibility—A First New Capacity
- 8 – Embracing Complexity and Uncertainty—A Second New Capacity
- 9 – Recognizing the Power of Limits—A Third New Capacity
- 10 – Appreciating Context – A Further New Capacity
- 11 – Morality’s Needed New Common Sense – A First Broad Topic
- 12 – A New Chapter in the Story of Love – A Second Broad Topic
- 13 – Rethinking Leadership – A Third Broad Topic
- 14 – Recognizing the Importance of Changing Not Just What We Think, But How We Think
- 15 – The Why of Polarization – Why We See Today’s Extreme Social and Political Discord
- 16 – Confronting the Roots of War
- 17 – Confronting Climate Change
- 18 – The Health Care Delivery Crisis
- 19 – The Abortion Dilemma
- 20 – Immigration and Collective Identity
- 21 – Bigotry and Its Complexities
- 22 – Science and Religion
- 23 – Rethinking Human Advancement
- 24 – Techno-Utopian Delusions
- 25 – Postmodern Pseudo Significance
- 26 – Confusing Spiritual Ideology With the Future’s Needed Growing Up
Front Page News Reflections
- Afghanistan, Billionaires in Space, and the Opioid Crisis
- Lessons From the Pandemic
- How Social Media Algorithms Undermine Truth and Make Social Polarization Almost Inevitable
- Lessons From the News Itself
- Rethinking Artificial Intelligence
Responding to Your Questions
- Optimism, Pessimism, and a Compare-and-Contrast Look at Cultural Maturity
- Health Care Consequences of Today’s Crisis of Purpose
- Challenging Long-Term, Big-Picture Perspective
- If Culturally Mature Understanding Is “Common Sense,” Why is It Such a Challenge?
- Am I Missing Something?: Responding To a Couple Discord-Related Objections
- The Concept of Transitional Absurdity
- Confusing Equality with Equivalence
- So What About Capitalism and Socialism?