My thoughts and hopes go out to all the people and creatures of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. We are going to learn a lot in the next few days about human nature, resilience, our inability to understand the lessons of history, and the uselessness of centralized emergency “plans”.
All You Need to Know About the Election, the Electorate, and US Politics: A series of articles in the past week really hit home on the realities of American politics and the current state of politics in the US. Joe Bageant’s anonymous political consultant friend has an analysis of Obama’s “move to the center”, and concludes:
And the sad reality is that most Americans fear change, the word that appears so prominently on all Obama’s messages. Yes, 90% of them are victims of a relentless thirty-year class war pursued ruthlessly by the power elite, but they have been conditioned by learned helplessness to feel impotent to change anything, and to distrust anyone changing things for them. So no matter how bad it is, Americans have been propagandized to believe that getting government to change anything will just make a bad situation worse. And since it’s the individual to blame for all the ills of the society, not government, best thing is to have no changes at all, and to weaken government (excepting the military of course) so there can be no changes in the future, either. And, incidentally, when McCain has a heart attack and dies in office in the midst of the Iran War, do you really think the power elite will allow a small-town Alaskan woman mayor to run their country? In the meantime, Olbermann responds to McCain proclaiming recently to those poor dumbed-down working class guys “victory in Iraq is finally in sight.”
Major Life Changes: My brave Cheryl embarks on a one-year tour around the perimeter of Australia today; she has been through so much tragedy lately, so help me wish her bon voyage! Karen Crone is off to Nigeria to work in a medical centre. Patry Francis is recovering from painful surgery that has re-sensitized her to others’ more constant suffering. And Jen Lemen is still coming to grips with her recent astonishing and heart-breaking trip to Africa. Is it time for your life to change in a major way? What’s holding you back?
Why Feminism Must Be Anti-Capitalist: Or more precisely anti-corporatist. A brilliant essay by Jessica Hoffman argues that all forms of oppression are connected, and freedom for all of us depends on the destruction of all forms of oppression, including corporatist oppression.
The Collective Decision-Making Process: Chris Corrigan has created a new model of “talking our way to a decision” based on Otto Scharmer’s Theory U. I liked it so much I changed some of the words to create the collective decision-making process shown at right. The activities in the top half are individual, personal, while those in the bottom half are collective. Those on the left side are reflective while those on the right side are active. Through invitation and “opening space”, personal passion is engaged and leads to collective conversation, which through collective understanding leads to collective consensus, and then, through collective and personal decision, to personal responsibility for actions. This is what took me a long time to understand: While decisions may be collective (or may be made by fiat), actions are always ultimately personal; even in those actions that we undertake together, we are each, literally “doing our own thing”. If we are not first engaged, and if we are not part of the conversation that leads to consensus, and if we don’t then take personal responsibility to act, nothing gets done. I have seen in business that bad decisions are always ignored — people will jump through hoops to appear to be doing what they are told while actually doing what they believe makes sense. Our sense of personal responsibility is that strong. Passion –> Conversation –> Consensus –> Decision — That’s how things get (effectively and sustainably) done in this world.
Life After Birth: Another compelling, brooding, poetic essay and photo from Pohangina Pete.
The Ants Go Marching One by One: “We must think of ourselves as a line of ants bringing food to our Queen. But If we step out of line and decide to distribute the food amongst ourselves we will no longer be only receiving portions for our hard work. We will no longer be starving and working for more. The Queen will now be the hungry one and she will eventually die of starvation. All we have to do is step out of line; itís that simple.”
How to Design a Web Page: Liz Danzico’s slideshare presentation on the usability of WordPress is very smart: “People will do stuff [workarounds] when design fails…Most people ignore most of the [web page]…People don’t like surprises [i.e. changes]…People prefer verbs [over nouns] to navigate web pages…[after completing a task online] users need suggestions, nexts, and reassurance…Show, don’t tell.” Thanks to Kathy Sierra for the link.
Why Cap-and-Trade Solutions to Global Warming Won’t Work: “‘Cap and trade’ is the rage today as a primary solution to global warming. But the European Union’s struggle with this approach indicates it has an uncertain future. This is because global warming, at its core, is not a technology or policy problem. It is the greatest failure of thought in human history.”
Predictions Tell Us Nothing About What is Possible: Tom Atlee tells us (in addition to providing us with a poem) the three steps to realize what’s possible: Let go of outcome; Come to grips with our own intrinsic participation in Whatever Happens; and Look for positive possibilities and ways to partner them into greater probability. Thanks to David Parkinson for the link.
Create Your Video Calling Card: Natalie Shell shows us how to use video to tell the world what you’re all about. I want one of these.
Republican Platform Proposes Journeys to Mars: As if they hadn’t fucked up this planet enough.
Great Vegan Recipes: The cookbook Veganomicon, and a whole bunch of simple, wonderful online vegan recipes. Thanks to Patti Digh for the link.
Thoughts for the Week:
Other Writers About CollapseAlbert Bates (US)
Andrew Nikiforuk (CA)
Carolyn Baker (US)*
Catherine Ingram (US)
Chris Hedges (US)
Dahr Jamail (US)
David Petraitis (US)
David Wallace-Wells (US)
Dean Spillane-Walker (US)*
Derrick Jensen (US)
Dmitry Orlov (US)
Doing It Ourselves (AU)
Dougald & Paul (UK)*
Gail Tverberg (US)
Guy McPherson (US)
Ilargi & Nicole (CA)*
Jan Wyllie (UK)
Janaia & Robin (US)*
Jem Bendell (US)
Jim Kunstler (US)
John Michael Greer (US)
Jonathan Franzen (US)
Kari McGregor (AU)
Keith Farnish (UK)
NTHE Love (UK)
Paul Chefurka (CA)
Paul Heft (US)*
Post Carbon Inst. (US)
Richard Heinberg (US)
Robert Jensen (US)
Roy Scranton (US)
Sam Mitchell (US)
Sam Rose (US)*
Tim Bennett (US)
Tim Garrett (US)
Umair Haque (US)
William Rees (CA)
Archive by Category
My Bio, Contact Info, Signature PostsAbout the Author (2016)
--- My Best 100 Posts --
Preparing for Civilization's End:
What Would Net-Zero Emissions Look Like?
Why Economic Collapse Will Precede Climate Collapse
Being Adaptable: A Reminder List
A Culture of Fear
What Will It Take?
A Future Without Us
Dean Walker Interview (video)
The Mushroom at the End of the World
What Would It Take To Live Sustainably?
The New Political Map (Poster)
Complexity and Collapse
Save the World Reading List
What a Desolated Earth Looks Like
Giving Up on Environmentalism
The Dark & Gathering Sameness of the World
The End of Philosophy
The Boiling Frog
What to Believe Now?
Conversation & Silence
The Language of Our Eyes
Cultural Acedia: When We Can No Longer Care
Several Short Sentences About Learning
Why I Don't Want to Hear Your Story
A Harvest of Myths
The Qualities of a Great Story
The Trouble With Stories
A Model of Identity & Community
Not Ready to Do What's Needed
A Culture of Dependence
So What's Next
Ten Things to Do When You're Feeling Hopeless
No Use to the World Broken
Living in Another World
Does Language Restrict What We Can Think?
The Value of Conversation Manifesto Nobody Knows Anything
If I Only Had 37 Days
The Only Life We Know
A Long Way Down
No Noble Savages
Figments of Reality
Too Far Ahead
The Rogue Animal
How the World Really Works:
If You Wanted to Sabotage the Elections
Collective Intelligence & Complexity
Ten Things I Wish I'd Learned Earlier
The Problem With Systems
Against Hope (Video)
The Admission of Necessary Ignorance
Several Short Sentences About Jellyfish
A Synopsis of 'Finding the Sweet Spot'
Learning from Indigenous Cultures
The Gift Economy
The Job of the Media
The Wal-Mart Dilemma
The Illusion of the Separate Self:
Did Early Humans Have Selves?
Nothing On Offer Here
Even Simpler and More Hopeless Than That
What Happens in Vagus
We Have No Choice
Never Comfortable in the Skin of Self
Letting Go of the Story of Me
All There Is, Is This
A Theory of No Mind
The Ever-Stranger (Poem)
The Fortune Teller (Short Story)
Non-Duality Dude (Play)
Your Self: An Owner's Manual (Satire)
All the Things I Thought I Knew (Short Story)
On the Shoulders of Giants (Short Story)
Calling the Cage Freedom (Short Story)
Only This (Poem)
The Other Extinction (Short Story)
Disruption (Short Story)
A Thought-Less Experiment (Poem)
Speaking Grosbeak (Short Story)
The Only Way There (Short Story)
The Wild Man (Short Story)
Flywheel (Short Story)
The Opposite of Presence (Satire)
How to Make Love Last (Poem)
The Horses' Bodies (Poem)
Distracted (Short Story)
Worse, Still (Poem)
A Conversation (Short Story)
Farewell to Albion (Poem)
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