Indiana: It’s Not That Bad!

I recently read Alan Lightman’s Probable Impossibilities, and sat for a while with the notion of an indifferent universe. I decided I was pretty okay with it. It takes the pressure off to know that the cosmos really does not care. This weekend I wandered through the museum at the Working Men’s Institute in New … Continue reading Indiana: It’s Not That Bad!

You’re Complicit, I’m Complicit

But if you hate the system, and you reject what it represents, and you are against the hierarchies and societal organization it perpetuates, and already regret how it affected yourself or how it may eventually affect your own kids — you also have to reckon with how your participation, even your reluctant, conflicted participation, sustains it. … Continue reading You’re Complicit, I’m Complicit

It’s the Intermediaries

Jon Michael Greer writes about what he calls the metastatic growth of intermediation, a phrase that furrowed my brow for a bit until I worked out that he was referring to the process by which supply meets demand within our increasingly dysfunctional economy. Also: what it means for workers and peasants when so many intermediaries … Continue reading It’s the Intermediaries

The Fate of Peasants

At what point will we call the folks fleeing the drought-stricken west and southwest “climate refugees”? And are they really going to Duluth, or is that just cable news conjuring a trend from random acts of dislocation? Perhaps my old stomping ground in the rust-and-snow-belt will become a new safe haven for those exhausted by … Continue reading The Fate of Peasants

The Other Left-vs-Right

I was introduced recently* to the work of Iain McGilchrist, philosopher, poet, psychiatrist, polymath, best known for his 2009 book The Master and His Emissary, in which he explores the current neuroscience regarding the hemispheric functions of the brain, and considers how those brain functions have shaped western culture. I’ve spent some time this past … Continue reading The Other Left-vs-Right

Rules for Showrunners

When I first encountered the word “showrunner” I thought it referred to the person who went for coffee and bagels for the tv production crew. You know, the “runner.” We had a runner when I worked in corporate, all those years ago. This was the person who delivered important documents to the FedEx counter at … Continue reading Rules for Showrunners

Who Watches the Watchers?

Near the end of his new book, After the Fall, Obama White House adviser Ben Rhodes writes of a meeting between Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Rhodes describes their brief conversation and ends with an observation: This reflexively defensive guy was a thirty-four-year-old worth $44 billion, the world’s fastest-growing billionaire and CEO of a … Continue reading Who Watches the Watchers?

A Radical Absence of Certainty

I went to the library this week and came home with Carlo Rovelli’s Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, recommended in a recent newsletter by Austin Kleon, and written for readers with basically no scientific background whatsoever. I do not understand physics. I read A Brief History of Time — twice! — with complete incomprehension. My … Continue reading A Radical Absence of Certainty

Possibilities Still Within Reach

The sooner we let go of our overinflated sense of importance and grasp that we’re just one civilization out of many, going through the familiar arc of rise and fall, the sooner we can get to work on the possibilities that are still within reach. John Michael Greer, The Future is a Landscape I went to … Continue reading Possibilities Still Within Reach

Life During Collapse

What you’re feeling is exactly how it feels. It’s Saturday and you’re thinking about food while the world is on fire. This is normal. This is life during collapse. Indi Samarajiva, “I Lived Through Collapse. America is Already There.” I went to a local coffee shop yesterday, sat outside with my cold brew and watched … Continue reading Life During Collapse