Citizen Action Monitor

The nature of our human predicament told in 34 videos uploaded to You Tube by Dr. Nate Hagens

Available here — An organized list of Hagens’ embedded videos for easy access and viewing.

No 2501 Posted by fw, August 6, 2019

To access links to other posts by Nate Hagens about The Human Predicament, click on the Tab titled Teachings of Dr. Nate Hagens about The Human Predicament – Links to Posts

Dr. Nate Hagens, professor at the University of Minnesota, has uploaded a set of 34 videos on the nature of our human predicament. These videos, which he uses in his teachings and public lectures, are grouped in three sections —  Brain and Behavior; Energy and Economy; and The Big Picture. They are freely available for all on You Tube, offering a total of 6 hours of viewing time.

To paraphrase Dr. Hagens, the current narratives in our media are disconnected from reality on both the optimistic and the pessimistic sides. Because of a general energy blindness in our culture, the narratives in the media have become polarized. Either we can make an easy seamless transition to clean, low-carbon renewables, while maintaining metabolic 30-ton primate, individual lifestyles — or, that renewables are energy sinks and a waste of time and precious resources, and there’s nothing we can do to avert an Easter Island repeat.

In order to diagnose what we should do about the challenges we face, and plot a way forward, Hagens contends we first have to analyze and understand the “bigger picture”, that is, the very nature of our human predicament. To do this, Dr. Hagens developed a systems synthesis approach on the big-picture issues facing human society. The bigger picture, according to Hagens, is one that integrates human behaviour, energy, and money into this emerging superorganism called humanity. Globally, humans are turning into an energy-squandering superorganism, like some blind, purposeless amoeba.

Under this framing, viewing humanity as an energy-dissipating superorganism, Hagens declares four things that are NOT likely to happen any time soon –

1/ “We’re not likely to grow the economy AND mitigate the Sixth Mass Extinction and climate change; 2/ We’re not likely to grow the economy by getting rid of the bad fuels and replacing them with rebuildables [renewables that have to be rebuilt every 20-30 years]; 3/ We’re not likely to choose to leave fossil carbon in the ground because it’s so tethered to our experiences, our life standards, our wages, our profits, our growth, the cheap stuff that we buy; and 4/ Governments are not likely to embrace limits to growth before limits to growth are well past.”

In this context, below is my numbered list of Hagens’ 34 video titles, with hyperlinks to facilitate access and viewing on You Tube. The titles in the list are grouped in their three sections. As well, each title includes its viewing time (min:sec).



Part 1 — Evolution, Natural Selection and the Agenda of the Gene (15:02)

Part 2 – Sexual Selection and Social Status (9:38)

Part 3 – Dopamine, Supernormal Stimuli and Consumerism, Segment 1 (8:28)

Part 4 – Dopamine, Supernormal Stimuli and Consumerism, Segment 2  (9:41)

Part 5 – Our Social Natures – Segment 1 (Groups and Tribes) (9:57)

Part 6 – Our Social Natures – Segment 2 (The Superorganism and Culture) (8:36)

Part 7 – Self-Blindness – Segment 1 (Cognitive Biases) (7:52)

Part 8 – Self-Blindness – Segment 2 (Cognitive Biases) (10:02)

Part 9 – Time Bias (10:06)

Part 10 – From Self Blindness to Self Awareness (19:07)


Part 1: Energy Blindness (2:55)

Part 2: Energy Surplus (6:46)

Part 3 – Energy Benefits (10:06)

Part 4: Energy Scale (5:37)

Part 5: Energy Impacts (6:21)

Part 6: Energy Primacy, Segment 1 (8:27)

Part 7: Energy Primacy, Segment 2 (1:53)

Part 8: Energy Primacy, Segment 3 (4:43)

Part 9: Energy Primacy, Segment 4 (5:58)

Part 10: Energy Primacy, Segment 5 (4:58)

Part 11: Energy Remoteness (6:23)

Part 12: Energy Depletion (9:59)

Part 13: Energy Fungibility (7:51)

Part 14: Energy Transitions (15:48)

Part 15: Energy and Happiness (6:28)

Part 16: Energy and Our Future (11:59)


Part 1: Introduction (2:18)

Part 2: Ecology and Systems (11:09)

Part 3: Externalities, Segment 1: Intro (6:11)

Part 4: Externalities, Segment 2: Heating and Oceans (20:28)

Part 5: Externalities, Segment 3: The Web of Life (13:33)

Part 6: The Superorganism (short version) (18:12)

Part 7: 8 Great Questions for Our Time (19:19)

Part 8: What to Do? (short list) (12:34)

FAIR USE NOTICE – For details click here

%d bloggers like this: