Carving Spaces


Chris, excellent. The one quibble I have is that I don't think you're considering the full implications of what you've suggested: "It's a recognition of the total futility of any effort for victory for the side of ecology, conservation, or Gaia, on this civilization's terms." The last four words -- on this civilization's terms --… Continue reading Carving Spaces

“Why Is It Important for You That History Have a Direction?”


This question is asked by John Michael Greer in a reply to a comment on his most recent post. He has been slogging through the log-jam of our cultural resistance to abandoning the bi-polar insistence that we are bound either to Heaven or Hell, Utopia or dystopia. That if we cannot have our heart's desire… Continue reading “Why Is It Important for You That History Have a Direction?”

On Medieval Cathedrals and the Limits of Proprioception


The inevitable question arrived via Twitter. "If civilization is all bad, what about the cathedrals?" I must say I invited this kind of question, literally asking for examples to unpack…. Still, I'm leery of the exercise. I don't write to convince anyone. I write as a record and a way to extend and fill out… Continue reading On Medieval Cathedrals and the Limits of Proprioception

The Trouble with Routine


Krishnamurti, So let's come back to the realization that any activity which is repeated, which is directed in the narrow sense, any method, any routine, logical or illogical, does affect the brain. We have understood that very clearly. Knowledge at a certain level is essential, but psychological knowledge about oneself, one's experiences, etc. becomes routine.… Continue reading The Trouble with Routine

The Trouble with “Uncivilization”


There is a tremendous lurking flaw in any initiative that frames itself as a negative. We know that, yet we struggle with finding a framework, and a simple title for it, that denotes the activities around weening our attention from the grip of civilization without resorting to this awkward and negative term, Uncivilization. This may… Continue reading The Trouble with “Uncivilization”

Craft’s Collision with Civilization, a starting point


Andrew Taggart recently asked me to clarify how I see the deterioration and loss of Craft resulting from its confrontation with civilization. This is a big question! Let's begin with a few definitions. I'm beginning to see Craft as a central focal point in examining how our confrontation with civilization has led us to where… Continue reading Craft’s Collision with Civilization, a starting point

Austerity’s Place


Following the last post, Crafting Awareness, here is a series of statements that arose as the result of that insight. The following is no more than a listing of these points as they came up. They are suggestive of directions of inquiry implied by the assertion that craft has roots beyond civilization and that these… Continue reading Austerity’s Place

Crafting Awareness


Skeins of various threads spiral around me. Their common center may be craft. Craft. It's an interesting word. It seems straightforward enough at first glance but once we start to look more closely it expands. There's a broadness to it. It means making. It also means a vessel that transports us. It denotes a variety… Continue reading Crafting Awareness

The World, or the world…


I've attempted to carve out distinctions and definitions on a regular basis here. Then I've backslid and muddied the waters again and again by letting ambiguity and habit blur these distinctions. Maintaining a vocabulary requires the patience of an archeologist, wiping away the dust of the millennia as a current erupting volcano sifts down a… Continue reading The World, or the world…

The Limits of Imagination


I want, I want! I WANT!" "Well, you can't have! YOU can't HAVE! YOU CAN'T HAVE!

The Confusion Between Collapse and Failure


As more and more people begin to show an awareness that civilization is in danger of collapse, we are still struggling with what I think is an important conflation of two different mechanisms as if they were the same. Civilization is indeed in danger of collapse. I agree with those who say it's been collapsing… Continue reading The Confusion Between Collapse and Failure