This week, one of the painters working around the house told me he’s an early riser, so he had seen Borlaug in the halls, making his way to his office. At 95 that journey is not fast, but ags understand little happens over night. Of course, this is one man who changed the world so quickly many still cite as authoritative those sure there was no solution. Borlaug won those debates, but attention turned from such catastrophes just as he was winning and went on to new ones, just as he went on to new problems and new continents.
The quiet that surrounds him says much about our msm but perhaps as much about us. We court fear because of its drama; for some it paralyzes, for others it provokes more thought. Sympathy for others was a prime mover in his early studies; tragedy is impetus. That there is little market for such a biography is sad. The fact that we have moved on and forgotten the importance of such research is, however, probably a regrettable but practical adaption of our species to good times. The fact that we don’t often see his example is, however, a problem. It is not just that a society that looks for scapegoats more often than heroes is likely to get fewer of the latter but that a society that bewails problems without looking for patterns of success & solutions is also likely to get fewer of the latter.
(Listed in reviews at A&L; Denis Dutton is quoted in the review.)