Yet more mindful link propagation. I’ve been collecting these up for months!
The Dark Mountain Project, a totally awesome “uncivilization” project, “a new cultural movement for an age of global disruption”. I’ve given them $50 to get a signed copy of their first journal, you should too!
Robin Hanson: This is the Dreamtime, a quirky trip into a future not at all like our own. There is a lot of interesting stuff in this essay, and I hope at a future date to do a more through analysis. For now, I just want to say that we DO live in a era of unprecedented wealth, and that by and large we’ve used this wealth to isolate ourselves from each other and from reality. The implications of both are unfolding all around you.
Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger: Part II: Climate Realpolitik and the End of Postcolonialism, about the failure at Copenhagen and the dysfunction of the United Nations. I am in agreement that what really needs to happen is for the big players (USA, China, EU, Japan, maybe a few others like India, etc.) to get together and commit money to *deployment* of low carbon energy infrastructure, plus phase out of existing high-carbon infrastructure (like coal plants, SUVs, etc). It would also be super to help Brazil and Indonesia stop the burning of rain forests. Everyone knows what needs to be done, let’s just fucking do it.
50 Years of Domesticating Foxes For Science. Awesome, awesome story about how domestication works, what side effects it has. I’d love to have a tame fox as a pet!
Andrew Leonard: Singing the American zeitgeist blues. How the World Works ends 2009 with rust in the soul: “It hasn’t been just a bad year but also a “big zero” decade, and even worse, the end of optimism.” He ends happy though: “I, for one, am very glad the Christmas bomber didn’t kill anyone, that the prospects for the U.S. economy are nowhere near as frightening today as they were a year ago, and that we at least seem to have our attention focused on the important problems — energy, climate, healthcare, financial regulatory reform — instead of just blithely ignoring them.”
James Fallows: How America Can Rise Again. Fallows talks about how our constant worry that America is failing is itself a uniquely American trait with roots deep in our history. Is the fact that we worry so about our collapse the reason we haven’t yet collapsed?
Welcome To The Soft Apocalypse, a very good list of reading material for what happens when civilization collapses but not all hope is lost.
Liquid glass: the spray-on scientific revelation, a real marvel if it works as claimed. It could be one of those things that changes everyday life.