The point is… not to build a more just prison…


This paraphrase, taken from the end of Ishmael, continues to reverberate with me. "I have neglected one small point…" Ishmael begins to say, almost as an afterthought. "One of my students was an ex-convict…" "…what is crucial to your survival … is not the redistribution of power and wealth within the prison but rather the… Continue reading The point is… not to build a more just prison…

Tyranny of Choice


We are confronted by the seductive promise of endless choice. Not simply in the way Nixon wowed Khrushchev in a supermarket in the fifties. We now have this medium to toss us into an infinity of choices for our attention simply by rolling a mouse and clicking on icons. The pressure of futility is strong… Continue reading Tyranny of Choice

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

A Scary Story for Halloween and the Mid-term Elections


We've come full circle. The biannual cycle of Halloween scary stories ending not in All-Souls day, but the Ash Wednesday that follows Election Day, when we wake up to the blessed reconsecration of Business as Usual. Let's not fret. Let's be sure to maintain our side of the bargain, after all they're doing it all for our own good, we should be Thankful.

Futility, the chasm between efficiency and effectiveness


In the tension between our immersion in the fabric of being and the atomized self's struggle to achieve a stasis, a utopia, not of richness, but an illusory concretion of wealth, in which we wish to stop without falling; we define the human condition. The workings of consciousness are so easily misunderstood as signs of separateness from the rest as epitomized in Cogito Ergo Sum. Yet consciousness, our phenomenological embededness in experience is the only window we have through which to glimpse an awareness of our integration into greater systems and structures.

The Price of Ease


What if what we're intuitively motivated to avoid were futility, not the absence of ease?

Creatures of Empathy


We are creatures of empathy. We are in a double-bind – one among many. Either suppressing our empathy, or letting ourselves feel even a fraction of the death and destruction we are complicit in takes a tremendous toll. When we look timorously at the effects of collapse we discount what I expect to be an… Continue reading Creatures of Empathy

Clearing the Mind


As the ramp-up to the Dark Mountain Festival gains momentum and these ideas find outlets in wider circles so many people don't know what to make of this view. They seem to equate the active work of plumbing the depths of our actual situation, stripping away shallow assumptions and hazy pseudo-mythologies that cocoon us within an acceptance of the status quo, as the only possible alternative to some deeply dystopian "end of the world." They equate this action with "doing nothing" while valuing "doing something," even as they can find no evidence that whatever their particular "something" is will help. It's not working.

Survival of the Fittest


Is this really such a difficult concept? I don't think so, its just inconvenient. It's so much more gratifying to claim that all of our culturally induced pathologies are somehow reflections of our "true" natures and therefor "inalienable." Couple this with the related notion of American, Western, Civilized, even Human Exceptionalism and you have a sure-fire antidote to the intrusion of any reality into our frantic displacement and projections.

Imbeciles with High IQs


He says, in brief, that any culture advanced enough to be capable of interstellar space travel will be such über-consuming colonizing depradating monsters that we would stand as much chance of surviving contact with them as a West African on the arrival of Shell, or an Amazonian on meeting Rio Tinto.

What are we up against?


We're still talking about Enormity. It takes an enormous amount of effort to even glance at these potentialities without wanting to run away and hide. But then, there's more….