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From a Hobby to Lifestyle by wisconsin_cur on Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:13 am
I really enjoy the company of beekeepers but they are a curious lot. We form a bond of connection with a collection of insects and it is a relationship that changes us. The initial response to one's first hive is often joy and wonder. Before any of the challenges of the hobby arise, there is the amazing building and foraging of these social insects. We see them fly home with legs covered in packed pollen. We see them on our lawn and in our trees going about their work. It is fascinating and sends many a novice beekeeper, the author included, into daydreams of making a livlihood out of working with the bees. Then the obstacles arrive.

Mites, wax moths, a neighbor's pesticide use, bears, skunks, vandalism, the toll of winter, disappointing yields, the dumping of foreign honey on the American market all these and many others contrive together to break the beekeepers heart and temper the initial optimism. Perhaps the beekeeper gives up the hobby or maybe she resigns herself to be content...

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1 Comment Viewed 50891 times
Remote doomsteads - initial reflection by Jack on Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:02 pm
It appears that many who consider the possibility of peak oil have a doomstead some distance away - hundreds of miles at least. The premise seems to be that at some point, some level of danger, the individual(s) will go on a trek to the new location and ride out the storm, secure with freeze dried food and a variety of weapons. In essence, they have assumed both a slow, or even a gentle decline and also a uniformly graceful degradation of the system.

Let us explore these ideas. When some sort of crisis occurs, the first and natural instinct is to hoard. When people believe that something is about to happen, or has happened, they clean out the store shelves and fill their tanks with gasoline. Thus, even if the supply lines for goods and fuel are at normal levels, human reactions tend to disrupt the flow and cause shortages. The concern provoked by such occurrences exacerbates the reaction leading to panic.

Now suppose that the problem is neither brief nor immediately transitory....

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3 Comments Viewed 14036 times
Cognitive Dissonance by Jack on Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:25 pm
A formal definition is HERE

In essence, it is the requirement to function according to a set of concepts that one doesn't agree with or regards as false. A lot of people face that challenge, not just Peak Oil types. Much of our society recognizes that the train is well and truly off the tracks, and that life in the future is likely to be worse than it is today. At the same time, the mass media, along with social pressure, emphasize optimism. In essence, Americans are told to save more and to shop - contradictory behaviors - at the same time.

And the consequences? Perhaps the mild (or not so mild) craziness we observe has its roots within the disparity between reality and the required behavior patterns. We might reflect on how such trends might develop.

Organizational leaders, from the top on down, owe their first allegiance to the organization. Some take care of themselves first, of course,...

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A trip to the library by Jack on Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:36 pm
Sometimes, mundane changes illuminate underlying reality in a way no collection of numbers can.

Today, I drove down to the public library with several boxes of old magazines. The library can sell them for a pittance and add a small sum to their funding, and it gets the magazines off my hands. It's been about a year since I went there last.

I noticed several men standing around outside. It's 11 AM on a Tuesday, and 6 men - three individuals, one group of three - are hanging out. One looked to by fortyish, the others younger - mid to late twenties. They were just standing, doing nothing in particular. The group was talking between themselves. They were dressed in the modern urban costume of athletic shoes, dark t-shirts, and casual pants.

They didn't have the defeated look of the homeless about them, nor was there any tell-tale cart of junk. Oddly, they weren't inside the library, which had seating and other amenities. No, they were just watching the comings and goings. I was...

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1 Comment Viewed 10684 times
Media Review: The John Batchelor Show by wisconsin_cur on Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:26 am
The John Batchelor Show (Monday - Sunday from 9 PM-1 AM) is an essential tool for understanding the new order in the 21st Century. Each week John brings 77 WABC listeners breaking news with a carefully cultivated team of sources and correspondents around the world, providing information long before it hits the mainstream media. Described by some as a cross between Matt Drudge and Coast to Coast, The John Batchelor Show is for the thoughtful listener who wants to understand the major players in the great ideological battle of the new millennium.


WABC Radio

I discovered John Batchelor on accident. Flipping through the stations on my satellite radio one night I came across his voice, tuned in for a while and was hooked. I have since traded in the satellite radio for an MP3 play but still make listening to the show a regular part of my week.

What I find most annoying...

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