This week, nine articles/videos that are hard to categorize, but very important in what they tell us about how the world works and what we can do to understand and cope with it better.
Presenting Single Frames Onscreen:Idiagram produces single frame diagrams (an entire presentation, that would usually be represented with a whole series of graphics and slides, is captured in one massive graphic) online in such a way that, when you scroll over each of the elements of the overview graphic (top image above), the details of that component of the process appear (bottom image above). The challenge with single frames is that they can fill entire walls of a room, so they couldn’t be displayed on a computer screen — until now. This particular single frame is about coping with complexity, and, though I don’t agree with the authors’ overall view on this, the ‘implement’ part represented by the lower image above is right on. Thanks to Anecdote for the link.
Complex Decision-Making in Action: Driving in India: Also from Anecdote, a fascinating video showing the tacit rules for driving in India’s bustling city streets (read the user comments below the video for an explanation of the ‘rules’). It’s a self-managed system for coping with complexity and, surprisingly, it works.
YouTube and Google Video Show What’s Really Happening in Iraq & Afghanistan: As reported in the NYT, YouTube and Google Video (soon to be one combined service) is a good place to find videos of what life is like in the war-torn world, including insurgent attacks on US and NATO forces. But self-censorship is rearing its ugly head, with Google taking down videos when people who can’t handle the truth (or propaganda that is not US government propaganda) complain.
Last Nail in the Coffin for the US Environment: As if the Bush Administration’s anti-environment stance, deregulation and non-enforcement of existing regulation wasn’t bad enough, local ‘property rights’ groups, with the support of an anti-government judiciary, are enacting laws that make it impossible (illegal, in fact) for government to enforce any environmental regulations that affect private property or private property values in any way. So even if the US does elect a government that cares about environmental protection, it will be unable to re-enact or enforce environmental regulations.
The Tipping Point: A Visual Demonstration: A wonderfully-crafted and moving YouTube video about ‘free hugs’ shows how public sentiment reaches a tipping point and then shifts dramatically as a result of it. Google is censoring this one too, so catch it while you can. Thanks to Kenn Melvin for the link.
Why People Watch Reality TV: In response to my question in a recent post on why people watch this crap, Craig De Ruisseau points us to this survey in Psychology Today. If they’re right, it’s even worse than I thought — not only do people find watching others get humiliated entertaining, they long to be famous (and humiliated) themselves. Sounds like masochism to me (but then so does voting for Bush).
Another Encouraging Research Result for Probiotics: The CBC reports on another study supporting the value of probiotics (essentially, ingesting selected bacteria to replace the bacteria thatnormally live and process food in your gut) in treating inflammatory bowel diseases (I have ulcerative colitis) and related auto-immune hyperactivity diseases. This report is more positive than an earlier CBC report. Thanks to Doug Alder for the link.
MRSA, The Latest Epidemic Disease You’ve Never Heard of: Also from Doug, another report on MRSA, the flesh-eating bacterial disease that resists antibiotic treatment (thanks to our society’s absurd overuse and over-prescription of antibiotics). The Wired report notes that MRSA is now responsible for half of all skin infections treated in U.S. emergency rooms. The CBC is also reporting on this epidemic.
Lou Dobbs on the Disenfranchisement of the Middle Class: CNN’s Lou Dobbs vents anger at corporatist control of the US and how it has disenfranchised the middle class. Thanks to Dale Asberry for the link.
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)
Doing It Ourselves (AU)
Dougald & Paul (UK)*
Gail Tverberg (US)
Guy McPherson (US)
Jan Wyllie (UK)
Janaia & Robin (US)*
Jem Bendell (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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