Mike Packard

Mike is a Data Scientist with the United States Forest Service and an amateur environmentalist. After growing up outside Boston, Mike went to school in Washington DC, where he majored in economics and later worked in economic consulting. After becoming disillusioned with his chosen field, Mike went to graduate school and found his way into government work. Over the last several years he has developed a keen interest in the great challenges of our time (climate change, environmental degradation, and social breakdown) and has strived to explore appropriate responses through writing and local action.

Essay into his journey into this work:

– Masters degree from U-Chicago in Computational Social Science, with a thesis titled “Knowledge Production for a Healthy Planet.”
– Presidential Management Fellow, working at the US Forest Service

The curse of competence

While I was eventually able to get off the treadmill without too much of a stumble, I think human society is facing a similar dynamic, and I don’t know how graceful our collective dismount will be. More than anything, I want my friends, family, and neighbors to understand the consequences of our collective trajectory. The technical name for the ratcheting-up, “curse of competence” dynamic is the Jevons Paradox.

December 2, 2023