Dave Pollard's chronicle of civilization's collapse, creative works and essays on our culture.
A trail of crumbs, runes and exclamations along my path in search of a better way to live and make a living, and a better understanding of how the world really works.



December 10, 2006

Sunday Open Thread — December 10, 2006

Filed under: Preparing for Civilization's End — Dave Pollard @ 20:15
Living on the Edge 2
What I’m planning on writing about soon:
  • Reintermediation: Why hollowed-out organizations are impoverished and fragile, and how to fill them out again, in a brave new way.
  • Rail: A solution to the transportation portion of global warming, or an impossibly expensive attempt to put the auto genie back in the bottle?
  • Experience-Based Decision Making: It seems an obvious choice, until you understand why the alternatives hold sway.
  • Making Blog Comments and Forums and Wikis Work: Do we need groundrules to enable real conversations, and would anyone follow the groundrules if we did?
  • The Long Tail: Why the tail will never wag the dog (while it’s attached to the dog).
  • Best Business Books of the Year: A null set!

What I’m thinking about:

Despite social networking and the Internet and various face-to-face meetup opportunities, those of us who recognize the need to build a new culture are still terribly isolated, and a long way from consensus ourselves on what we should do. There’s a lot of us on the Edge, but we’re still disconnected, economically, physically and philosophically, and we’re starved of the resources we need to make anything happen. We will need to do a lot of learning from a lot of experiments, but how are we going to find the time and resources to do them, and to agree on what experiments to do first, and with whom, and coordinate our learnings from them?

Things happen the way they do for a reason. I keep making excuses for writing about the need for change — creating intentional communities and natural enterprises and radically simple living programs and information-sharing and organization networks — but not doing anything about it. Why? Because while there’s no better way to Let-Self-Change than just beginning, it is far from clear how to just begin. Where and how should we just begin? What is the first step, and can anyone know what it is for anyone else? And when we should know better that it’s hopeless, what is it that keeps us going, believing we’re somehow going to save the world?

Part of the answer has to be breaking free from the gravity that keeps sucking us away from the Edge back to the mainstream centre of our culture. Money, debt, social pressure, laws, the media, political pressure groups, advertising and many more ‘forces of gravity’ make it very hard to break free until and unless we have no other choice (until these forces no longer have any hold on us, which is probably never for most of us). And they make it very easy to make excuses, to do nothing. But I think it’s unfair to blame our action on procrastination and lackof courage. I’m more inclined to believe the time is not yet right.

The only problem is, by the time the time is right, it may be far too late.

So what’s keeping you awake at night these days?

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