The Back Porch
Come sit in the shade for a while. You never know what this old dog might hack up.
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- April 2012
If confronted by a mob,
   Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:04 am

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Climbing a wall of flak

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:56 am

Bring up the idea that the century will end with 5-6 billion fewer people on the planet in polite company and you will hear a quiet before a storm of personal attack. The average person seems incapable of distinguishing between an evaluation of what you think will happen from what you want to happen. I have a theory about this is a result of catagory mixing which has taken place in our culture over the last century. We have, for so long, enveloped ourself in the notion that if you want something to happen you have to believe it will happen that we automatically assume that if someone believes something will happen they want it to happen. I remember getting the same flak when I openly discussed the possibility of a mass casuality terrorist attack with family in the 1990's and complained of the dangerous state of New Orleans' levees three years before Katrina.

If you want to escape a life of responding with the herd it is important to develop your own worldview, your own perception...

[ Continued ]

3 Comments Viewed 59907 times

We must unlearn what we have learned

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:59 pm

If you are under fifty you have benefited from a long period of “price stability.” Since the stagflation of the 1970's we have experienced low single digit inflation as normal. For large parts of our population this is the way things have always been and, by extension, the way it always will be. Experience governs our view of the world, from our sense of morality to our sense of cultural propriety. Along with the stories we have heard from our parents and grandparents; it also is the toolbox for the management of our personal finances and home. As a culture, however, we have discounted the value of the stories of our elders and, as a result, our toolbox is limited. It is not too late, however, to listen to those stories and learn from them.

The experience of relative price stability has led to an assumption of further stability. Money may still “burn a hole in our pocket” but this springs from a desire to consume; not an evaluation of the possibility that the dollar will be wort...

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Last edited by wisconsin_cur on Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

2 Comments Viewed 61014 times

Motoring for a long descent

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:33 am

My attitude toward the fast crash v slow decline debate has always been that one should not bet on the apocalypse but it is good to be insured against it. What this means in terms of preparations is that I have sought to prepare to be permanently poor in a world with decreasing amounts of resources and increasingly local. While I am not preparing for the current state to the fall of the grid overnight, I do try to insure against it. It is realatively cheap to make sure one has a couple of years of calories on hand. An alternative source for clean drinking water is useful regardless of how the future plays out. I can keep my house warm better with electricity; but we will be just fine without. I do not expect the apocalypse but I do keep in my car all that I would need to hike home (in any season) in case of an EMP attack.

With that disclaimer, I feel that we must be prepared to live in a world where I need to motor to work and to town in a world where we are increasingly poor. A...

[ Continued ]

1 Comment Viewed 54500 times

Publlic Lecture ~2 hours

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:03 pm

London School of Economic Lecture on the politics of peak oil (and climate change)

The Government of Uncertainty: how to follow the politics of oil
Speaker: Professor Tim Mitchell
Chair: Dr Sam Ashenden
This event was recorded on 15 October 2009 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
This lecture explores the politics of oil and how we can seek to understand it, at a time when uncertainty is presenting new challenges to the claims of objective knowledge. Tim Mitchell is professor of Arab studies at Columbia University, New York. Sam Ashenden is managing editor of Economy and Society and senior lecturer in Sociology, Birkbeck College.

I have only listened to the first 30 minutes of this...

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Last edited by wisconsin_cur on Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

0 Comments Viewed 51060 times

Surfing the energy drain

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:20 am

Last month I tapped a co-worker on the shoulder and she spun around and proceeded to chew me out and threaten me. A friend who I generally thought of as fairly leveled headed is starting to talk about the violent overthrow of the government. A rather non-threatening drunk woman in the E.R. is told to comply or she will be mopping up urine with her hair by a health care professional. An overweight, 50+ urbanite with joint problems and addiction prone spouse that has never grown a vegetable in her life and does not know the difference between alternating and direct current sits down to tell me how she and her husband are considering moving to the North Shore of Lake Superior. They want to buy a farm and grow all of their own food in a green house to be heated all winter long with a windmill. We are getting to the point of the economic/energy collapse where people are starting to get funny; and we should only expect it to get worse.

When I was fourteen I took a water rescue course and...

[ Continued ]

5 Comments Viewed 71932 times

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