Classic Blog: ‘Afternow’ – what’s next for the health of society? by Phil Hanlon

Professor Phil Hanlon from the University of Glasgow discusses such seemingly intractable problems as; obesity, overwhelming involvement in various ‘addictions’, loss of wellbeing and inequalities as emergent products of our late modern culture and social structures. He argues that these problems will not improve until there is a radical transformation of our whole society and the culture that has created it.

‘Endgame’ by Phil Hanlon

Continuing the excellent series of videos from Professor Phil Hanlon’s website Afternow.

‘In a finite world, infinite growth is not possible: this is the crisis of sustainability that people everywhere must now face. In this video Phil Hanlon describes how issues like climate change, peak oil, population growth and resource depletion provide convincing evidence that there are limits to conventional economic growth.

Almost every aspect of life is characterised by growth, peak and decline. This is true of species, physiological systems, businesses and much else. The problem is that we are not good, as a species, at seeing the point at which decline is likely.  

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‘Consumerism: Dissatisfaction guarenteed’ By Phil Hanlon

I continue the excellent series of videos by Professor Phil Hanlon centred around ‘What’s next for the health of society’ from his Afternow website.

‘In this video Phil Hanlon explores in more depth what ‘modernity’ is and why it has created current levels of ‘dis-ease’ in the modern world.

Modernity has brought many benefits (including technological improvements, material comfort, modern medicine and health care etc), but the downside includes the ‘dis-eases’ rehearsed in the earlier videos. 

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‘Dis-ease’ by Phil Hanlon

I continue the series of videos made by Phil Hanlon, Professor of Public Health at Glasgow University. Check out all the video and writings on Phil’s Afternow website. I love this website – what Phil has to say is very important.

‘In this video Phil Hanlon suggests that the public health problems we now face (such as obesity, enduring health inequalities, the rise in mental distress, and increasingly problematic use of drugs and alcohol) have a common source: they are the result of the increasingly adverse effects of the mindset and approach which characterises modernity.

They can helpfully be thought of not as ‘diseases’ but as ‘dis-eases’, associated with modernity.  

He suggests that the biggest problem we face may be modernity itself, which means that the health and wellbeing issues which confront us can no longer be addressed by conventional forms of thinking, tools or approaches. 

We now face what might be called an ‘ingenuity gap’.  This is the gap between the problems we face and the adequacy of the tools available to create solutions.’

‘The crisis of modernity’ by Phil Hanlon

Recently, I introduced you to Professor Philip Hanlon. Mark Gilman had told me about Phil and his work and I am excited by what he and his colleagues are doing. Over the coming weeks, I’m going to show a series of film clips which describe Phil’s Afternow project.

On the relevant webpage, Phil says:

‘Modernity has brought many benefits (including technological improvements, material comfort, longer life expectancy and improved health), but the downside includes the emergence of new problems which stem from the way we live our lives and structure our society.

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‘Afternow’ – what’s next for the health of society?

Professor Phil Hanlon from the University of Glasgow discusses such seemingly intractable problems as; obesity, overwhelming involvement in various ‘addictions’, loss of wellbeing and inequalities as emergent products of our late modern culture and social structures. He argues that these problems will not improve until there is a radical transformation of our whole society and the culture that has created it.