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Of loyalty and place by wisconsin_cur on Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:03 am
Wendell Berry has written at length regarding the colonization of rural areas by urban economic interests. Like any other colony, rural areas are stripped of their raw materials: their minerals, their soil, their best and brightest young people and sold finished products from the cities. In one of his essays Mr. Berry even complains memorably that even the pastors that are assigned to rural areas are interns who are just biding their time, waiting to get a better assignment in the city and, as such, are not really invested in the people they are called to serve today.

Even if they lack a liberation vocabulary to give voice to their frustration, the frustration of the colonized is felt in many rural areas. Upon successfully completing my first interrogation by neighbors when we moved to our current location they disclosed a disdain for the "big city millionaires" who build their McMansions near...

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The fragile system by Jack on Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:03 pm
Is our civilization fragile or robust? Within this question lies the central problem of peak oil as well as other challenges. If robust, then damage and problems are unlikely to create systemic collapse. If fragile, then a single breakdown could propagate like the break lines in a pane of glass.

In the past, we've seen evidence of remarkable endurance. The various European countries faced enormous hardships during the wars, and yet continued as functional societies. Likewise, Japanese society did not fail despite a pair of nuclear strikes. And we can observe other societies that endure a variety of privations.

On the other side, we might note the systemic breakdown in New Orleans post Katrina. Likewise, a decline in housing prices seems to have cascaded into a global economic crisis - one which may not yet be fully resolved. These may suggest that American society, at least, has some vulnerability.

Perhaps long-term abundance and national affluence leads to weakness among part...

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If AGW is a hoax, by wisconsin_cur on Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:41 pm
we will all, after a fashion, be worse off.

It has long been my contention that homo sapien will respond to a return to the steel grip of scarcity by turning on one another: nation against nation, tribe against tribe, a father against his son, daughters against their mothers. This may be unavoidable but we each have an individual interest in seeing this manifestation of scarcity postponed as long as possible.

While there are thing that an individual or family can do to insulate themselves from the social cannibalism to come, no one is truly safe. The greater the distance between the breakdown in civility and the new equilibrium which will emerge the greater our exposure to risk. We will be thrust into a game of Russian Roulette. We are fools if we think we want to play any longer than forced to.

If anthropological global warming turns out to be a fatally flawed premise we can expect the forces of anti-intellectualism to strengthen their hand and it will...

[ Continued ]

4 Comments Viewed 60422 times
Haves versus Have Nots by Jack on Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:22 am
I viewed a discussion at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=191&start=540 that amused - but then, I have a macabre sense of humor. In essence, one side suggested that "the community" will voluntarily help each other, while the other side indicated that the haves were not, in their view, providing for the have-nots.

My first thought was Norse Greenland colony, alluding to Jared Diamond's Collapse. There, the haves took care of the have-nots - and, in the end, they all starved to death as they froze in the dark. On Easter Island, they fought - true, there was, apparently, a die-off of 95%, but the remnants survived. It seems that cooperation may be less effective than competition.

On further reflection, the issue of haves versus have-nots is not a binary condition. Rather, there is a distribution curve of means. For each of us, some are more affluent, some are...

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0 Comments Viewed 10776 times
Injuries by eastbay on Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:01 am
Two weeks ago I injured my left knee. I have no idea what caused it. As many of you may recall, I am a very active person biking regularly, lifting weights, jogging, and engaging in a wide variety of common exercise activities, so it could have been caused by just about anything. The area just above my kneecap started hurting out of the blue and as a result I can no longer run, bike, walk properly, or move up or down stairs without moving very slowly. So I decided to limp and assumed the pain would just go away quickly healing itself as nearly all injuries will. After all, it only hurts when I move it.

Then last Saturday morning, as I was slowly working in the back yard, my lower back unexpectedly 'gave out' and I collapsed straight to the ground. I loudly yelled out in pain and my neighbors on each side of me came running over offering aid. My daughters also ran over and I quickly explained to the growing crowd that it was not a broken bone or a cardiovascular issue and all I...

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11 Comments Viewed 56043 times

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