From: Howard Jacobson <>
Reply to:
Subject: It's been a quiet week in Plant Yourself land

Actually, I've got a couple of episodes to share with you while the world turns, hopefully back toward decency and reality. 

Civilization as a Self-Terminating Algorithm: Tyson Yunkaporta on PYP 436

First is last week's - one of the most important conversations I've ever had, based on one of the most impactful books I've ever read.

The guest is Tyson Yunkaporta, an Indigenous Australian scholar and artist whose book Sand Talk examines Western civilization from an indigenous perspective. 

The effect of the book - on me, and on several other people I know - was to show me dozens of unexamined assumptions that have kept me from straying beyond the imprisoning thoughts of my own culture. 

We talked about land, about violence, about veganism, about hunting, about community.

The punch line: Western civilization (that is, the last ten thousand years of "progress") is a self-terminating algorithm. It was never going to be sustainable. It just lasted so long, we were able to fool ourselves that it could go on forever. (Kind of like an airplane in freefall, but so far from the ground that everyone on board just thinks everything's normal.)

Yunkaporta's perspective actually helped me get through the final week of the election, with a better sense of the larger forces of history that are playing themselves out right now. 

Oh, and we laughed a lot as well. (Special guest appearance by martial arts master and science guy Glenn Murphy - they geeked out about martial arts for quite a while :)

Owning Your Health: Glen Merzer and Chef AJ on PYP 437

And this week, Glen Merzer and Chef AJ talk about their new book, Own Your Health, which is what happens when a science journalist who's also a comedian collaborates with a plant-based chef who's also a comedian.

Offer of the Week

Hear Josh LaJaunie and me (but mostly Josh) narrate our latest book, Use the Weight to Lose the Weight.

You can get the paperback or Kindle versions here: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight

The Valediction

Be well!