Basically he assigned us a specific prompt, quietly had us write to that prompt while he took care of class business, then--without asking for our input--told us what his thinking based on the prompt he'd provided was. His "journal program" was busy work. Like many traditional teachers, his idea of writing and literature instruction was lecture-driven, not student-centered.
We read Julius Caesar that year still one of my favorite plays of all time, by the way! As we got deeper into the play, I wanted to write about Cassius and Brutus during those minutes we were given for our journals, but I couldn't; instead, I was forced to write to our teacher's prompts, which sounded something like --"Do you believe in prophecy?
Why or why not? If so, what convinced you? If not, what would change your mind? My teacher wanted us to write quietly, then he wanted to share all of his own personal stories about why he kind of believed in prophecy.
I had no problem discussing his area of interest from the play--prophecy--, but years later I can't help but think that we could have had some much richer whole-class, socratic seminars--or heck, even just informal discussions--if we had a choice to a respond to the teacher's prompt, or to b explore a different literature-based idea that we could bring to the table based on what we were finding interesting in the literature.
How hard would giving us a choice have been for him? What always struck me as the most interesting thing about that teacher's Julius Caesar unit was that everyone in my class was assigned the exact same essay topic as our summative assessment to the unit; it was something like, "How do the dreams of men and the idea of prophecy shape our thinking about the future?
I truly would have. When I became a teacher many years later, I did what a lot of new teachers do; I emulated the bad practices of my own past teachers For five or six years, especially when we were reading literature, I forced my kids to write in journals using my prompts, not allowing them to discover their own prompts.
In , I began working on my Master's Degree, and that was the year I enrolled in a Summer Teaching Institute sponsored by the greatest organization for improving teaching practices: My local chapter--the Northern Nevada Writing Project--had me research and create a minute presentation that I was required to deliver to fellow professionals for the purpose of trying to help them see why they might change a current classroom practice.
I researched better ways to maintain a classroom "journal program, and I happily discovered there were new schools of thought about using writer's notebooks instead of journals. How I wished that my tenth grade teacher had known about this similar-yet-different learning tool. Whether I am teaching response to literature or specific writing skills that we will incorporate into a paper during a future writer's workshop day, Writer's Notebooks and Sacred Writing Time have become a foundational base for everything I do when I teach Common Core- and other standards-inspired skills.
My students who, like me back in the tenth grade, used to drop their "journals" straight into the trash can as soon as the semester officially ended now treasure their writer's notebooks. I keep a plastic crate wherein my students can store their writer's notebook between classes over night, but most want to take them home so they can either continue working on a writing idea they started in class, or they just don't feel comfortable having their cherished notebook out of their sight.
I often present professional development sessions on writer's notebooks throughout my district and state, and should I ask my students if I can borrow their notebooks to share at my teacher workshops, well, you should hear them make me swear that nothing will happen to their notebooks while they are in my personal care.
Does every child on my roster love their notebooks to this degree? Kindly check out the Pinterest Boards I link to below if you want to see the energy my students put in to their writer's notebooks for me. Welcome to this page: This particular resource page at my website freely shares not only where my deep-rooted belief in this simple tool--a Writer's Notebook--came from, but it also shares some of my best techniques and lessons for inspiring creative and original thinking from my student writers between the covers of their writer's notebooks.
Each student will maintain a writer's notebook for my class. Every day, we will write in it. Whether it takes its shape inside a composition book, a spiral notebook, or something leather-bound and fancier, when students enter my class, the first tool that finds their desktops is their writer's notebooks. I have baskets where students can safely store them after class, or they can choose to keep them with them, which many of my students do.
The worst thing that can happen in my classroom is to lose one's writer's notebook, because that's where all of our thinking and pre-writing is stored, and to lose those thoughts and ideas will mean that student cannot truly participate when we work on our writing during our class workshops on writing. Our notebooks hold all our best potential writing topics. Right from the start each school year, we will establish an important routine in my Language Arts class.
It's sacred because it's guaranteed--even when there's a substitute teacher for the day--and it's sacred because it's quiet and we take it very seriously. My biggest belief about teaching students to be better writers is that you all have to write every day, and SWT is our opportunity to develop that daily practice.
Ten minutes may not sound like much time at all, but that becomes almost an hour of new writing per week per student. How often do musicians and athletes practice before playing for real in a concert or game?
Certainly more often than we practice in writing class, and I do everything possible to guarantee you writing practice. I want my students well-practiced when they sit down to write a real paper, which we'll do three or four times a semester. What you write about during those ten minutes of SWT is completely up to you. I have found when my students write about self-selected topics that they actually care about, they tend to practice better writing strategies and try to put their better skills to work for them.
Even though the idea of quietly writing for ten uninterrupted minutes may feel foreign for a while, most of my students quickly learn to strategize for this: My students must come to class with interesting ideas to, or they won't maximize the writer's notebook's benefits. When you know you have ten minutes of required writing in my classroom and when you know you have a teacher who values all your attempts to be unique with your use of language skills and vocabulary words Writer's don't just observe the world; they, also, bother to write their observations down.
Whether you intend to be a paid writer in the future or not, while in my class, you will write every day. Like the examples that decorate this webpage and my Pinterest Boards, your notebook pages need to be sources of personal pride, so I ask you to consider your penmanship, language and vocabulary skills. Your writer's notebook needs to become a personal source of pride to you; otherwise, you're not taking advantage of the learning opportunity I am giving you by being a teacher who rarely tells you what you should write about.
Make the absolute most of the ten minutes I give you every day to simply write. And never lose your writer's notebook! Harrison who keeps a writer's notebook too!
Back to the Top of the Page. One of my favorite poems is Judy Brown's " Fire. In the poem, she talks about the importance of keeping "space" between logs in order to maximize a fire's growth potential. My philosophy behind my writer's notebook and SWT routines is simple: Standards require that I pile a lot of "logs" on my students' academic plates, and our ten daily minutes of Sacred Writing Time is there chance to make some space between those logs.
With ten simple minutes of daily "space," my students' fires blaze--even when we're working on writing that's less fun than the writing we do in our notebooks. Like yours, my students are very visual learners. In the early days of establishing my SWT Routine, I depended heavily on the mentor texts Amelia's Notebooks and Max's Logbook to show my writers what a great writer's notebook could look like. Years later, I have so many photographed examples from my own students that I store at Pinterest that I don't have time to show them all anymore.
From these links, my students can self-explore some fantastic examples of daily writing:. I used to require summer notebook writing, but now I'm only allowed to strongly encourage it. Here are some past pages of summer writing from my students.
Our Writer's Notebook Bingo Cards are just one of the three levels off scaffolding I provide my reluctant writers. Here are some pages inspired by those cards. Stick is the "margin mascot" in our notebooks. My students can decorate their writing on their own and nominate themselves for a Mr. Stick of the Week award.
Sometimes a page from a student shines with creativity. I store some of my favorite creative ideas at this Pinterest Board. I also store students' notebook metaphors here. I currently have five writer's notebooks and am working on a sixth. One of my notebooks is particularly special to me, and this Pinterest Board shows my efforts.
If you win a "Mr. Stick of the Week," you can enter my annual "Mr. Stick Notebook Page of the Year" contest. Check out how amazing these student samples are. I also have three ways to support student if the idea of writing about anything they want is daunting to them.
My students know they can ask for access to these three tools at any time:. If you know me, you know that I am a true believer that writers must be responsible for coming up with their own prompts, not depend on buttons like the one below; however, based on the continued popularity of this online prompt collection of mine, I understand that everyone must appreciate a writing prompt from time to time.
If one of my prompts inspires writing from you, then I am glad I still have this original generator still online and functioning. Click the button until you discover a writing prompt that sparks an idea in your brain. Write freely for ten or fifteen minutes, not worrying about writing conventions spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.
Just put some good ideas down in your notebook that you can build upon and improve later. If you have time, I always suggest you go back and add a visual like Mr.
Stick to help you remember what you wrote down. They start with a question on purpose! If you're not sure how to begin your prompt-inspired writing, write a sentence that answers the question and see where your writing goes from there.
Click the button below to be dealt a random prompt from my personal collection of writing topics. Here are two things you can do each September to promote this future international holiday with us! Below is complimentary access to the Alpha-Genres lesson that can be found in the center-square of September's Bingo Card. We love this lesson because it sets up 26 possible topics for students to explore in their writer's notebooks on days they can't think of an idea for writing.
And the end of each September, Dena and I will select and write a poem about our four favorite new, student-created metaphors their teachers submit. Check out the past winners and past poems at this link:. Marissa Moss's entire Amelia's Notebook series is great, and I have them all. My favorite titles include:. Max's Logbook by Marissa Moss out of print but you can get a used copy for cheap! Strategies for Writer's Notebooks by Aimee Buckner. Your Life in Lists A great inspirer!
I have covered up the two or three pages that are adult-themed, and this book sits in my chalk tray. Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith another fun series that will inspire students! As the great Carolyn Tomlinson said about another huge, time-consuming-but-vastly-important topic for education--differentiating instruction--"It's okay to start small.
You know how I'd start, if I was just starting out again? This is not an advertisement for my own stuff, but maybe it is. I know there are teachers reading this right now who've purchased those materials from me, and who--instead of using those ten quiet minutes to establish their own writer's notebooks--they take care of class business and email while their students are being so quiet and their little student pencils are dancing.
If that's you and you don't have a writer's notebook started yet, then stop doing that! My products provide you that ten minutes, and if you still don't have a notebook started, then you bought the materials for the wrong reason. Go start a darn notebook and share your crazy ideas with your kids once you realize how much fun it is to keep one, how much fun it is to ramble some days, how much fun it is to let your thoughts become decoration on what was once a blank notebook page.
It's one of noble missions, folks. I want more teachers to model their own writing. I share some of my own teacher models in this space below. And that standard of whiteness not only erases the experience of people of color; it reflects the actual exclusion of these people in poly life and communities. A white, affluent image that reflects a troubling reality: But it seems to eventually settle on a thesis that black people really are strongly underrepresented.
For the record, here is a small sample of other communities where black people are strongly underrepresented:. Occupy Wall Street protesters unknown but low, one source says 1.
Environmentalists various but universally low. Wikipedia contributors unknown but low. Yoga enthusiasts unknown but low. But what I noticed when I looked up those numbers was that in every case, the people involved have come up with a pat explanation that sounds perfectly plausible right up until you compare it to any other group, at which point it bursts into flames.
For example, Some people explain try to explain declining black interest in baseball by appeal to how some baseball personality made some horribly racist remark. But Donald Sterling continues to be racist as heck, and black people continue to be more than three-quarters of basketball players. But blacks are also underrepresented in groups with precisely the opposite politics. That they make up only 1. Blacks are more likely to endorse environmentalism than whites, but less likely to be involved in the environmentalist movement.
I would guess most of the underrepresentation of black people in all of these things are for the same couple of reasons. For example, bird-watching requires you live somewhere suburban or rural where there are interesting birds, want to waste money on binoculars, and have some free time. Swimming requires you live in an area where the schools or at least the neighborhoods have pools. Third, the thrive-survive dichotomy says materially insecure people are going to value community and conformity more.
Many of these things require leaving the general community to participate in a weird insular subculture, and that requires a sort of lack of preexisting community bonds that I think only comes with the upper middle class. Being a black person probably already exposes you to enough stigma, without becoming a furry as well. Fifth, we already know that neighborhoods and churches tend to end up mostly monoracial through a complicated process of aggregating small acts of self-segregation based on slight preferences not to be completely surrounded by people of a different race.
Sixth, even when black people are involved in weird subcultures, they may do them separately from white people, leading white people to think their hobby is almost all white — and leading mostly white academics to miss them in their studies.
I once heard about a professor who accused Alcoholics Anonymous of being racist, on the grounds that its membership was almost entirely white.
The white professor had surveyed AA groups in his white neighborhood and asked his white friends and white grad students to do the same. Meanwhile, when more sober minds no pun intended investigated, they found black areas had thriving majority-black AA communities. Seventh, a lot of groups are stratified by education level. This matters a lot in areas like atheism that are disproportionately limited to the most educated individuals.
There has to be a strong education filter on polyamory to produce those kinds of numbers, and I think that alone is big enough to explain most of the black underrepresentation.
Eighth, people of the same social class tend to cluster, and black people are disproportionately underrepresented among the upper middle class. Most of these fields are dominated by upper middle class people. Commenter John Schilling says this better than I — a lot of these groups are about differentiating yourself from a presumedly boring low-status middle class existence, but black people fought hard to get into the middle class, or are still fighting, and are less excited about differentiating themselves from it.
The eight points above add up to a likelihood that black people will probably be underrepresented in a lot of weird subculturey nonconformist things. This is not a firm law — black people will be overrepresented in a few weird subculturey nonconformist things that are an especially good fit for their culture — but overall I think the rule holds.
A few paragraphs back I mentioned that Occupy Wall Street was had disproportionately few minorities. Here are some other people who like to mention this: View From The Right. In theocracies ruled by the will of God, people will find that God hates weird people who refuse to conform. In philosopher-kingdoms ruled by pure reason, people will find that pure reason condemns weird people who refuse to conform.
The article that this is reacting against seems really sort of depressing almost. The cost of actively participating in the community can be an intimidating barrier.
Sheff and Hammers found evidence of such exclusion in their study. My experience is the exact opposite. There is a range of socioeconomic statuses, but it trends toward the low end. The cynical part of me is inclined to say, re: Whereas better-educated whether affluent or not young people — who, yes, tended to be college-educated, middle-class and white — clapped a name on it: I think the problem there is less to do with access to the Internet and more with the general problem of representation.
Off the top of my head, thinking of popular fandoms: One companion who was a British black woman Martha Jones and Micky again, background support who have since been replaced by white characters.
Zoe is African-American, and a main character, but the verse background could quite easily be accused of Orientalism rather than true acculturation. Much better, but I have no idea on the participation there.
I know one person who is developing Dwarven culture and society, since Tolkien left so much there to be expanded upon, by taking the Five Houses of the Dwarves that have not been described much and making the Orocarni Dwarves persons of colour as well as expanding on LGBT and explicitly trans and non-binary culture but again, very very minority in the wider fandom.
Slightly better, though for TOS people tend to look down on Lt. Consider the large number of female-dominated fandoms for works with primarily male target audiences in that list of yours. The only comparable in terms of fanworks male-dominated fandom on the Internet I know of is My Little Pony, for which the fans are obviously not the target audience.
The only comparable in terms of fanworks male-dominated fandom on the Internet I know of is My Little Pony Ignoring whether fanwork is a good metric of fandom, there are MANY male-dominated fandoms which produce fanworks. Consider any fantasy series, most video games, most board games, ….
It would seem obvious that adults who like a show for children would have a larger web presence etc. Both predominantly female pastimes. Nasuverse fandom is clearly mostly male and based on clearly male-targeted media although there are still more female Nasuverse fans than you might think.
Was the author uncomfortable passing on the fact that it costs men more? No ticket price for unaccompanied men, because no tickets for un-vetted, unaccompanied men. Of course, this creates a perverse incentive to hire a prostitute to accompany a man who would otherwise not be able to enter.
Polyamory is generally disapproved of, so the normal culturally liberal thing to do is to defend it. Like, are anti-colorblindness and pro-colorblindness people even talking about the same thing? When was the transition, who pushed it, and with what arguments? As I understand it, colorblindness is now considered a way of ignoring that race has a connection to personal experience and culture. If people stopped seeing race as important, then what would race and SJ activists do? They would lose a thing that gives their lives a narrative, they would lose a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves which is often a reason why people join movements or communities.
They would have to find other meaning to their lives to replace that particular part of their identity or get used to living a more boring life. Some people say that some drug companies have conflicting motivations, should they release a new drug that would cannibalize the profits of the old drug by the same company? Some people even go on and say that some drug companies allegedly avoid creating drugs that would cure a disease and prefer to treat symptoms instead.
Of course, one argument against this is that drug companies compete against each other and if your old drug that alleviates symptoms of a chronic illness is to be replaced by a new one, it is better to develop it yourself instead of allowing your competitors to do so. At least this way you get something instead of nothing.
Somewhat similarly, race and SJ activists have conflicting motivation, because the sense of belonging to something greater than yourself is a motivator similar to money.
It is somewhat interesting to think whether it is unavoidable that things are this way whether this situation is desirable is a related but non-identical question. Would it be possible for SJ to somehow have direct competitors, that would promise to reduce the perceived importance of race quickly and permanently? How would that look like? Another anonymous person said: You have a point.
The blog host makes it all the time. But I read your comment as saying that outrage is a kind of sinecure. But my own experience was that the [Occupy Wall Street] protestors were, on the whole, astonishingly good people, if the word good is used in a somewhat special sense.
There around Zucotti Park, down near Wall Street, a few hundred of them had gathered for deeply felt moral purposes they could not name with any precision — for moral goals they often refused, as a moral principle, to specify. Demands cannot reflect the time scale we are working with. This is talking about people from Occupy Wall Street, obviously, but Bottum explicitly identifies those and all the other SJ movements as being basically the same phenomenon, and I agree.
What we want is for people to see how brave we are. I was trying to respond to Nancy Lebovitz at 6: This pretty literally happened to me, except everyone was pretty calm about it. I will answer one of them now, though — usually, anti-colorblindness and pro-colorblindness people are talking about different things.
Pro-colorblindness people want to abolish race similarly to how gender abolitionists want to abolish gender — they want a world in which race is no more important than hair or eye color, and they want to get there by de-racializing current society whenever possible.
Anti-colorblindness people think that colorblindness means ignoring actually existing racism. And the first behavioral adjustment in the textbook was to utterly disregard race as a factor in hiring. Lately, this form of affected blindness got vocal in the presence of affirmative action — which is functionally the exact opposite of dismissing race as a factor in hiring — and then doubly vocal in the presence of the notion of privilege, which manifests functionally as a claim to factor race into practically everything else as well.
SJWs look at cases of institutional racial bias as support of their cause. However, unless they aim that cause specifically only at actual racists, or at the very least, only at the complacent, they end up further antagonizing people who went out of their way to scrupulously root out personal bias.
Perhaps not a literal demon, but I nominate the Dark Side. I just realized something. If you branch out into neighboring empirical clusters in personspace, odds are that black people are also underrepresented in those clusters, for the reasons you laid out.
This is true only in a very narrow, literal sense. Well, believing in God, maybe. But membership in organized religion comes with a lot of social support benefits that the poor need more than the affluent. Atheists have a long tradition of being members of organized religion anyway. It does feel kind of dishonest, though.
Of course, if you bring potential future children into the equation I have no idea what to think. I grew up in the Western New England variety of Catholicism, which was heavy on the charity and social work and doing good deeds angle and light on the hating the unbelievers and gays angle.
Then again, when I requested membership into the meeting, my atheism freaked some people out. So, yes, tough debate. What an interesting blog this is turning out to be. What would you say are the post that define you ideas? Matthew and penforests — Thanks, both of you. Brad and Izaak — I will llook up those, but Izaak, do you mean this post?
Taymon, Vulture and Noah — Alright, though its rather odd that I am about to start the actual Octavia Butler novel next week. To me this whole article smacks or narcissism — cultural narcissism. Getting blacks in their organization is not about actually helping black people, but getting pats on their backs or upvotes and pageviews from their peers. You may want to take a look at the About tab. This eldritch tomb bound in human skin offers to teach you the exact nature of the universe and your place in it.
Seriously consider retreating to a placid island of ignorance. If you do decide to proceed, have someone ready to hug you before you start, because you may need it by the time you finish.
You should follow the above very good suggestions, and then go the Archives and start from the beginning. I did this after I read Moloch, and it was really worth while.
In the first two posts Scott states and then demonstrates the the worthiness of looking into a claim, even if it sounds absurd on its face, instaed of dismissing it.
Some of his best stuff has been posted there. For some reason people seem to be piling on with particular favourites instead of making the proper recommendation: I was just poking a little fun at you. Run-of-the-mill philandering is within the scope of my question. But the people who make a habit of having multiple sexual partners at the same time is much smaller. Still willing to bet that philandering is quite far from being representative of the population as a whole.
How did you calculate this? Did you report that instead of the share of atheists who are black? Being under-represented by a factor of 4 rather than 10 is a significant difference. I would challenge the idea that being in a group in which black people are underrepresented, even though they are free to enter, equals being racist. Or equals any sort of problem.
Now, there are some cases in which seeing that a group is underrepresented in X might lead us to believe they do not have free access to X. But in cases where X is not a necessity, but rather a fringe interest, why should we assume that every group is equally interested and would participate equally if they could?
For instance, birdwatching and basketball are very different pursuits. Why should we expect birdwatchers and basketball players to be demographically identical? I was actually just having a conversation earlier today about the underrepresentation of black people in Unitarian Universalism possible causes brought up: Unitarian churches are boring and smug and black people have way better churches anyway, education, network effects. The person I was talking to point out that a community like a church even a Unitarian church can serve as a power center where networking, politicking, etc.
This kind of reasoning can be extended to the general case: The lesswrongosphere is an excellent example of this: On a couple of occasions I have observed lesswrongospherians helping each other out with silicon-valley job-seeking connections, not to mention tips and tricks and so forth. Usually this is pretty harmless, but demographic features such as race and gender can have negative, or just in-a-direction-uncorrelated-with-effectiveness, effects on the effectiveness of the institutions involved.
Hopefully that makes sense. What they do offer, though, is a route by which well-intentioned anti-discrimination policies can badly backfire. Less obviously but more insidiously, the more laws there are about making you hire fairly exist, the higher your inclination to short-circuit the process and hire a first- or second-degree personal contact is.
However, one power nexus can displace another, and a diversity of power nexi, populated by different types of people, may make that transition more likely to happen. It depends on the type of SJ-type. Those more towards the liberal end of the spectrum tend to place a great deal of emphasis on changing subjective attitudes, whereas those on the left end of the spectrum tend to assume that the attitudes will follow structural changes and material incentives rather than the other way around.
Both obviously have some truth to them, but the difference in emphasis entails a difference in strategies. In particular, the people who made that great interactive demo are not willing to deviate from the self-righteous SJW strategies very much.
But that is not what the model says! If you believe that model is accurate at all, you have to increase gender diversity in tech to reduce experienced sexism, not the other way around!
The other way around will simply never work, if you believe that model. If you believe that model is accurate at all, you have to increase gender diversity in tech to reduce experienced sexism. But obviously the number of sexist experiences could also be reduced by reducing sexist attitudes.
Halving sexism is already ridiculously optimistic. The hard option is also costly. One end is liberal and the other end is…left? Is it a U-shaped bar? Your argument is fundamentally the wrong way around. In fact, much of our understanding of demographics, polling, sampling, statistics, and science in general relies on this assumption. If they are different, something, either intrinsic or extrinsic, is making them different.
The default, I hope this comes as no surprise, is to assume black and white and whatever other people are the same. And then we identify the causes of any observed differences. There is no reason they should be the default, and there is no reason there cannot be an entirely benign explanation for a skewed representation. And the truth is that these explanations are not really defaults, they are short-circuited arguments only when convenient. I rarely see people default to sexism in for instance healthcare , to explain why women live longer than men.
I rarely see people default to racism to explain the success of blacks in basketball. There are barely limits to the sort of idiotic claims you make, if you take skewed representation as proof of discrimination. Height and lifespan are clearly facts, and are sufficient to explain those discrepancies. A discrepancy in, say, high finance, has no such obvious physical mechanism. Not that any default should be very firm, or that any single cause is more likely than a combination of factors. In this case, I assume it has to be because of innate differences between the sexes and cannot be because of sexism…].
Sexism in finance DOES explain male-female discrepancy in finance. Unlike innate gender differences in financial ability, sexism in finance is known to exist and is a clearly observable phenomenon. So there is no need to posit innate gender differences in financial ability to explain male-female discrepancy in the finance industry. I have seen similar claims for any number of other fields, and they consistently fail to check out. Also, talking to you is a waste of time because epistemic closure.
It seems reasonable that this could also drive women out of finance. Or that a similar process that pushes school age women out of serious competition, like they might experience in sports, and this results in fewer women wanting to go into finance. It certainly seems rational to want to see if this hypothesis is true, at least.
But that sexism could as easily be due to a small number of aggressive, narcissistic men who have enough social capital to get away with anything.
Perhaps I should have said, by Occam we should not multiply theoretical entities, when known entities can explain the fact. Here we can explain the discrepancy by known factors such as sexism, without having to posit an unknown entity which men have more of, such as Financial Phlogistan. To look wider than finance, we know that in the wide world sexism does exist. Maximum lifespan for both men and women is well above years, and is thus not the end-all-be-all factor that decides average life length.
Both men and women usually die for reasons unrelated to having reached that lifespan. Hell, one of the MRA talking points is about how women living longer than men is obviously sexism. A couple of starting points: Those links are tip of the iceberg though.
Unfortunately, it pulls overwhelmingly in the other direction. See for instance prostate vs breast cancer funding for a particular example. But it is pretty likely that women get more involved in their own healthcare, both in good and not-so-good ways. The awareness campaigns for prostate cancer have started only recently, so hopefully it will catch up soon. Although there are some other differences, too: But keep in mind the larger point.
Women, even after adjusting for life expectancy, are provided with more expensive care, but this is okay, because maybe we can make the difference disappear if we correct for stuff. It is consistently paraded around as proof of discrimination, without any real sort of explanation.
This sort of double standard is not merely common, but ubiquitous. When male suicide rates are roughly twice of those for females, hands are wrung, the data cannot be trusted, the topic is shunned. Which ties in with the topic of the post itself — where an article regards under-representation of blacks in a community as indicative of racism. Data on attempted suicide is also pretty reliable. First, there are obvious social components unhealthier lifestyles, more dangerous jobs and recreation, and less healthcare.
And second, we should ameliorate injustice imposed by biology where possible. And of course we must correct for stuff in comparisons, but we also should observe what that stuff is, and whether it can be helped by intervention. For instance, there are two things we can correct for in healthcare comparisons: The exact same reasoning applies to the wage gap — we should correct for different career paths, but we should also investigate how people end up in those paths, and whether there are any improvements we can make.
I showed you evidence that women get less, and less competent care, when comparing like care with like. Your response to that was to say that when you compare like with unlike more money is spent on women. Unless you think that money spent on ameloriating the horrendous health consequences of pregnancy and childbirth is misandrist.
Which I guess is possible round here. You posted two extremely inconclusive cherries pointing vaguely in one direction. Nobody, including the experts quoted in the articles, have much of an inkling of why the data skews the way it does. I presented a cherry in the other direction, to demonstrate how easy and inconclusive this is. I also proceeded to destroy your overall point, by showing that -very significantly more resources are invested in care for women, in health care as a whole-.
It is difficult to cherry pick the whole of the tree. Money to money is like to like. And also, you are stupid-head, seeing as tossing in gratuitous insults is your way of doing things. I am not saying that health care is sexist. I am asking for the same sort of eagerness to explain away the data skew, as displayed in this case, to be applied to the wage gap, disproportionate representation, etcetera.
If skews in the favor of women, in healthcare, can be reconciled with no actual sexism, then I have made my point. Again, you are not in good faith. Near as I can tell, many studies which do indeed try to explain the wage gap without asserting sexism e. So you are not Nita, you are merely chastising me for replying unsatisfactorily to not-you? Because explaining what points I am and am not defending is dodging the question? Certainly this amounts to costlier health insurance and more sick days?
I thought that was obvious but have clarified in case anyone other than you was confused. I thought that meaning was obvious but have clarified in case anyone other than you was confused.
All of which are typically compounded by Schelling and the nature of social networks — if white people start leaving Myspace for Facebook, further white people are going to join Facebook preferentially over Myspace. Culture is in itself a thing which needs to be explained. Why should black culture be different from white culture?
Call me deterministic, but absent black people isotopes and white people isotopes, any proposed difference has to be traceable to some cause associated with our definitions of Black and White. But a lot of it is probably just isolation due to segregation, etc. Racism led to segregration, segregation to isolation, and isolation to differentiation. It might be interesting to point this out here: I absolutely cannot tell the race of a Brazilian by the way they speak, their name, their clothes, their preferred activities, preferred food, music, or whatever.
The US and Brazil have similar enough histories in this aspect, and I find this difference curious. I also think it could be useful to study when looking at race and culture in the US. Have any of you read Judith Harris? She posits — and gives examples that I find quite convincing for — a human tendency first to identify with a group, then to shift your group behavior to distinguish yourself from other groups.
If people identify as blacks and whites, they will tend to purely from that fact prefer to act more like members of their group and less like members of the other group; if there are not pre-existing differences they will develop some.
Lack of this pattern in other countries could reflect people identifying less strongly along racial grounds, and more as part of other groups. Rather than a biological analogy like sickle cell anemia, a cultural analogy like language is more appropriate here.
There is a clearly non-biological reason that the vast majority of Cantonese speakers are Asian. And it is certainly due to the anti-birdism that plagues our society. What else could it possibly be? This has got to end. There is no assumption that a sample self-selected for some trait, even a seemingly unrelated one, will do the same.
But I do imagine that there is a social price to pay for black people who come out as being polyamorists that is not there for white people, quite simply because there are already cultural stereotypes about black people being hyper-sexual, promiscuous, etc.
Did you link to unvisit because it omits the big picture at the beginning something you often complain about? Unvisit sounds like a great idea. It seems like an almost perfect partial counter to the problem you described in the Toxoplasmosis of Rage, in the sense that by feeding a viral story through Unvisit the way you did , you raise awareness of Unvisit. So the solution adapts perfectly to the shape of the problem, and people stop feeding ad revenue to exactly those stories they want to respond to without endorsing.
Do you think it might be a good idea to highlight the fact that you used Unvisit in the post? Unvisit has no ads, and is operating at a net loss because of this. The net loss also allows me to have a small defence against copyright claims, as they cannot state that I am stealing ad revenue. Another option to unvisit is archive. If an outragist wants to delete their ill-conceived blog post, I say let them.
Another Scott A has a term for it: From now on I tolerate everything except intolerance and feel no outrage, except towards outragists. They all appeal to people who imagine themselves superior to the norm of middle-class America, or want to be seen as such? But mostly I see highbrow intellectual hobbies in a country that still has a strong anti-intellectual streak, conspicuously health-conscious athleticism in the land of sedentary obesity, super-enlightened religious and social philosophies in a mostly Christian nation, and nominally altruistic political activism by self-appointed shepherds on behalf of the sheeple.
And the Wall Street managers, obviously. Blacks are mostly either trying to climb into middle-class American society from below, or if already there to maintain what they see as a tenuous position. Because middle-class American society is in almost every way better than where they came from, where their immediate ancestors were forcibly kept, where many of them still are and others fear falling back to.
Blacks may also feel they have the potential to be better than middle-class America, and justifiably so, but for most of them the obvious path runs through the middle class rather than around it. Another example of a group where blacks are underrepresented relative to their share of the population …. I have been involved for a very long time with the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group that does historical recreation from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
As best I can tell, there is no significant discrimination against blacks in the group, at least the parts I have been involved with. During the early years, the seneschals roughly CEO of a nonprofit of two of the first three SCA kingdoms were black, and there are a fair number of other examples of blacks in high status roles.
But, again by casual observation, blacks are a considerably smaller part of the SCA population than of the national population. The explanation I have heard is that the parents of blacks are less tolerant of frivolous activities, activities that divert time and money away from serious matters, than the parents of whites.
The parents in question would presumably be middle class but, as some here have suggested, less secure in that position and less willing to see their children put staying in the middle class at risk than the parents of whites.
Seems like this could also be well-explained by the fact that the history being re-enacted is not that of blacks. And I come at this from two angles. One is, are you racist if you are not attracted to someone of a different race? The other is from a purely Bayesian standpoint. I suspect a core issue in all this is very poorly defined words plus affect heuristic aka emotive and non-constructive responses from people.
My sense is that this blog is really trying to deal with more constructive responses on tough issues. A bit more thought on words packed with different meanings, aka suitcase words. I agreed with half of that post. The claim that attraction is all culturally mediated veers in the direction of a false consciousness claim. There are lots of people who would totally be attracted to trans people and to fat people and to disabled people and to every other constructed-as-undesirable category of people if they asked themselves about it!
So, gay guys get to be born that way, but I have to feel guilty for my preferences? Good luck with that sell. Ten years ago, I thought big glasses with thick plastic frames looked really stupid. Then they came into fashion. Now I frequently find them hot. Countless times, I have witnessed in myself that culture can influence my preferences dramatically.
Do I think that this can be problematic? Do I think I should feel personally guilty about it? If so, the effect of the glasses on your perceived hotness need not have changed at all, you just see them more on people who can actually pull them off. Which language you speak is culturally mediated. And lots of people could learn another language. Does that mean you have to feel guilty about not putting all your time into learning foreign languages? We should be angry about this!
What language kids should learn is indeed often a matter of bitter cultural dispute. No one is under any obligation, ever, to question their attraction preferences, any more than picky eaters are obligated to try new foods or than people living in rural Indiana are obligated to try moving to a big city.
I suspect that it would often make them happier. This is because the investment is pretty minimal and the return on information is very high. Therefore, I think that an average person would likely find it worthwhile to spend a little bit of time poking their preferences, because from anecdotal evidence they are more malleable than you might be assuming and having more options is nice.
What observations raise or lower the Bayesian probabilities of either sort? You may have reacted defensively to the mention of preferences being culturally mediated, and not paid particularly close attention to the rest of the post, including the part where she talks about people reacting defensively to the mention of preferences being culturally mediated.
If the latter, then I disagree. Perhaps a concept of straight-by-default, analogous to cis-by-default, would be useful.
I feel no moral obligation to be xenophilic, etc. You are getting the bingo-card feeling, because you are trying to have your cake and eat it too. You no longer want to sleep with them. While theoretically possible, it should be extremely well substantiated, before one sets out to educate the barbarians. If you want to open the flood-gates for people to second-guess the sexuality of others, you will have a hard time fending off the conservatives who similarly know that homosexuality is just a phase people will grow out of, and then they will regret not having a normal family and kids.
Both groups think they are doing the individuals a favor by butting in, as well as society as large. Personally, I prefer the solution where consenting adults sort their own business out. Unless you pick value of things out of a hat, you are being judgemental in ascribing them. For instance, I have a gay friend who is convinced that everyone is naturally attracted to both sexes, and straight people just suppress it.
Remember that you are one life-form among many and understand that everything has intrinsic value. If you want to call it something else, do that. If you want to look to tribal societies for your inspiration, do it. If that seems too gooey, just look up into the sky. Sit on the grass, touch a tree trunk, walk into the hills, dig in the garden, look at what you find in the soil, marvel at what the hell this thing called life could possibly be.
Value it for what it is, try to understand what it is, and have nothing but pity or contempt for people who tell you that its only value is in what they can extract from it. The coming decades are likely to challenge much of what we think we know about what progress is, and about who we are in relation to the rest of nature. Advanced technologies will challenge our sense of what it means to be human at the same time as the tide of extinction rolls on. The ongoing collapse of social and economic infrastructures, and of the web of life itself, will kill off much of what we value.
In this context, ask yourself: Can you work, with others or alone, to create places or networks that act as refuges from the unfolding storm? Can you think, or act, like the librarian of a monastery through the Dark Ages, guarding the old books as empires rise and fall outside?
It will be apparent by now that in these last five paragraphs I have been talking to myself. These are the things that make sense to me right now when I think about what is coming and what I can do, still, with some joy and determination.
But there has to be something beyond despair too; or rather, something that accompanies it, like a companion on the road. This is my approach, right now. It is, I suppose, the development of a personal philosophy for a dark time: None of it is going to save the world—but then there is no saving the world, and the ones who say there is are the ones you need to save it from.
My head is buzzing with it. I am going to pick up my new scythe, lovingly made for me from sugar maple, a beautiful object in itself, which I can just look at for hours. I am going to pick it up and go out and find some grass to mow. I am going to cut great swaths of it, my blade gliding through the vegetation, leaving it in elegant curving windrows behind me.
I am going to walk ahead, following the ground, emptying my head, managing the land, not like a god but like a tenant. I am going to breathe the still-clean air and listen to the still-singing birds and reflect on the fact that the earth is older and harder than the machine that is eating it—that it is indeed more resilient than fragile—and that change comes quickly when it comes, and that knowledge is not the same as wisdom.
A scythe is an old tool, but it has changed through its millennia of existence, changed and adapted as surely as have the humans who wield it and the grasses it is designed to mow.
Like a microchip or a combustion engine, it is a technology that has allowed us to manipulate and control our environment, and to accelerate the rate of that manipulation and control. A scythe, too, is a progress trap. But it is limited enough in its speed and application to allow that control to be exercised in a way that is understandable by, and accountable to, individual human beings.
It is a compromise we can control, as much as we can ever control anything; a stage on the journey we can still understand.
There is always change, as a neo-environmentalist would happily tell you; but there are different qualities of change. There is human-scale change, and there is industrial-scale change; there is change led by the needs of complex systems, and change led by the needs of individual humans. There is a manageable rate of evolution, and there is a chaotic, excitable rush toward shiny things perched on the edge of a great ravine, flashing and scrolling like sirens in the gathering dusk.
When you have mown a hayfield, you should turn and look back on your work admiringly. If you have got it right, you should see a field lined with long, curving windrows of cut grass, with clean, mown strips between them. If you were up at dawn, mowing in the dew—the best time, and the traditional one to cut for hay—you should leave the windrows to dry in the sun, then go down the rows with a pitchfork later in the day and turn them over.
Dry it for a few hours or a few days, depending on the weather, then come back and turn it over again. Give it as much time as it needs to dry in the sun.
Kingsworth, you have quite the ability to give me goosebumps and make me question everything I do. Thank you for this essay — it has restored some degree of faith that there are things that can be done. Coming back into my own body, and learning to interact on a direct and visceral level with the world around me, has proven to be the most comforting and satisfying thing I can do.
Thank you again for your words. Even when you think you might sound cynical and not relatable to the younger generation, know that there are people like me who find guidance in your experience and contemplations. Bill Joy, the chief scientist of Sun Microsystems and creator of Java also found Kaczynski a source of insight, particularly with regard to recognizing the machine as becoming more and more the active agent of control or at least influence.
I think Kingsworth has written a terrifically thoughtful and provocative piece. If I have one criticism it is that he simply writes off all within-the-system solutions. Like most environmentalists he takes a pass on overpopulation and efforts to address it, something that activist groups and nations from time to time have attempted to deal with. Kingsworth is happy that the treated water he drinks is cholera free.
Is it really that hard to say that the society we live in that will probably take us off the cliff has at least concentrated some of the surpluses it has gouged out of nature into knowledge that we can hopefully walk back to a simpler, more sustainable life?
I appreciate the attempt to offer active alternatives, rather than simply leaving us high and dry with a lot of thoughtful negatives. One alternative which is implied in 5 but not really focused on is building self-sustaining alternative communities. From my background one interest I would have would be in sailing craft. Like Orlov, I think it is bound to make a comeback as the main vehicle of ocean transportation. Kingsworth you come across as a work in progress.
I hope you will keep updating and refining your thinking here as long as the world allows it. Your dark ecology meditations certainly stimulate my thinking. I am writing a book called Dark Ecology, strangely enough. Because of some talks I did recently, John Zerzan started writing to me, out of the blue. This is an amazing piece.
Thank you, thank you. You express much of what goes on inside my tangled mind and sad heart. I lived a much more intimate and reverent lifestyle before the computer invaded my life. I have spent over 2 decades in technology as an artist and designer and for the past several years I have been experiencing a deep existential anxiety. One of my favorite reads is this interview with Norman Mailer shortly before he passed. I enjoy your writing so much Mr. Kingsworth— its like having my innermost feelings, thoughts and ideas given voice in a profoundly eloquent, erudite and insighful way.
It is truly comforting to know there is another human being out there who sees the mess in the same way and has arrived at many of the same conclusions and course of action. I hope you will consider putting out a collection of your brilliant and insightful essays. They really do deserve such treatment. The risk for all published writers is that they keep issuing the same ideas, without much in the way of back-and-forth, or any of the sparks of illumination.
Kingsowrth has said much of this before, but his particualr retreatism is not going to remake the green posture. Banish the telly, scythe your life away — but social reality is all that will be set upon the earth by our species, and there is no way to wish away the trappings of modern civilization — the figures of energy use and environmental collapse are too stark for any of this advice.
No matter much Orion and McKibben and Kingsnorth and any of the merry brand of green spiritual gurus try, this is a global corporate suspersysem we all are subject to, in whole or in part or just the majority of our neighbors, and that absorbs any of this as it heads, over the larger scale beyond our own lives, to its logical destination.
This is all offered in the spirit of generosity — Kingsnorth and a few others here are trying to make sense of this disconnection they feel, here amidst the spiritualists, but he is flailing jsut like the rest of us. Nevertheless is great hearing armonic foreign words from the distance. These guys seem so right it worries me deeply. It is a pity you took away none of the points that the author has made. Your criticisms — and cynicism — are discussed throughout the article.
It is a challenging piece — but while you may have trouble accepting some of the premises, I urge you to not idly dismiss them. An Internet comment challenge should be responded to — the fate of the world depends on this. GEF is wrong to cast my words aside as rank and empty cynicism. Kingsnorth becomes infatuated with the Unabomber. Unfortunately, this is a wrong premise for extensive thinking. Like the stupefying Derrick Jensen, the Unabomber believes one central fallacy — that violence directed the supersystem will somehow lead to its breakdown.
Anyone who wants to consider this angle is not dealing with social reality. The Unabomer killed people for no end — no benefit for the natural world, anywhere. Individuals persist in seeing themselves as somehow above or beyond this supersystem, but they are not.
Orion is major environmental site- at least Kingsnorth has some second thoughts about becoming enmeshed in the fallacies of green neoliberalism, but, judging by this essay, he still has a ways to go. He is trying to deal with the brute facts of our predicament, but he is following a well-worn, dubious path of heroic simplicity.
Thank you for this lovely essay. Thank you for putting into focus so clearly what my concerns have been. Your answers have given me much to think about. Else we might have saved some of what made such a time worth living in. Something similar could be said for our economy. It begins as our servant and then becomes our master. The point is, somehow human agency gets lost as we become entangled in our own clever inventions. Between them, technology and our economic system are riding roughshod over everything that makes human life, and all Life, worthwhile, and we seem powerless to stop it.
I take that as an article of faith. I wonder if I am alone in believing that a total collapse of the global industrial economy would be the very best thing for the Community of Life, for Mother Earth or Gaia , and maybe even for a possible human future? When I assume my larger identity, and not just that of a single individual of one particular species; that is, when I identify with all of Life, and all the abundance, complexity, and diversity that four billion years of evolutionary history managed to create, before we came along; I find it painful, but not unthinkable, to contemplate a world in balance and thriving, and better off, without us; and preferring that world to the one we are ruining now.
But if it is, I side with Life that thrives in beauty. Fire, plague, and famine; flood, tsunami, volcano; earthquake: Too smart for our own good, and too weak to take on our own earth-devouring culture. I guess we deserve what we get! The global economy is in terrible shape, producing mass immiseration for the majority, ladling out yachts for the marauding rich, but the benefits of technology will be clung to until its the the lasr remaining social good.
Species extinction, which we have caused more than any other predator, as you put it well, is not a happy time for the species going under. We are adaptable as social life forms with a rich history of perseverance, but the coming adaptation to climate catastrophe and the horrors of malevolent institutions will require managing heartlessness, despair, self-limitation.
I understand that Orion is a cheap target, being a shoestring operation that generally tries to do more good for humanity than bad, but most anger gets expressed within the family. Loaded with heavy, difficult, yet inspiring ideas. There is no looking back in a complete sense, but there is certainly no hope in a high-tech future — an exceedingly tenuous, potentially doomed balancing act for activated humans.
Every hyper-sensitive being on this planet must fight apathy and the tug of prevailing currents if there is any hope for our own future. Given some time, the biosphere will chug on just fine, thank you…. I think you miss my point about the desirability of an immediate collapse of the global industrial economy. Yes, of course, it would be more than an inconvenience to us, but according to my sources, that is about all, at this late stage, that gives this planet any chance at all of not going into catastrophic collapse.
Most climate models being used today do not include positive feedback loops brought on by the uncovering of peat bogs in Siberia and methane release in the arctic, due to ice melt. Methane, by the way, is in the short term about a hundred times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon. If, for instance, we were by some sweet miracle to immediately lose electricity globally, that would slow down our poisoning and devouring of the planet to the point that it might actually not lose all four billion years of evolutionary creativity.
Yes, I know, it would really spoil our wonderful high-tech way of life, and make kind of a mess for us in the short term. And do we honestly believe that everything else can go down, and we will stand here alone, triumphant on our poisonous heap of destruction? Everything is connected to everything else. When the Earth goes down we go down with it. That never gets put on the human balance sheet, but the economy of Nature feels the loss that comes with our short term gains.
To me, your opinion sounds like dogma based on the doctrines of reductionist, materialist science. I am seventy years old, and have by choice spent most of my life living very close to Nature. I know what I have seen and experienced, and know there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in materialist philosophy.
You, of course, are free to have your own opinion. I will make one last point: Special as we think we are, we are not equipped to encompass the Mystery.
I suspect Martin is not whole heartedly trying to discredit any of the folks who think there are opportunities to shift the paradigm, but rather make the point that the strength of the dominant system is so powerful, so overwhelming that the likelihood of making ground with even well thought out ideas, is not likely.
Yes, he may be implying it is a waist of time and I have strong suspicions he is correct. I suspect, like many, that it will all come down to the local systems, the ones closest to us that will carry the day. Having a pie-in-the-sky dream of changing the world and the masses in it many are illiterate, many too engulfed in their day to day, many in a euphoric trans state over the glories of techno-trumphalistic pipe dream, multitudes of religious wet dreamers is not really possible.
Obviously, Kingsworth is also struggling and like many writers, and the list is long, at the end of their writings, toss out a couple of possibilities just as a way of appeasing the dreamers, maybe just tidbits of thought food, knowing that the odds are not in our favor.
Nature will bat last and she might clean out the stadium doing it. With luck, the system will slowly decline under the load of depletions, misuse, mis-allocations, over population, pollution and other maladies brought on by the system. Those folks not suffering from rectal-cranial inversion and possessing proper placement, and raw living knowledge may fare better than others.
There will be peripheral damage to all species. And I do appreciate his helpful suggestions. We need to be able, expert, at joining together! That is, forging cooperation, indeed going back to tribal forms of joining together. Whether our species survive on earth or perish, in the short term all the possible ameliorations we can try will depend on cooperation, both in the long and short term, on a huge scale.
We have to take it back. And we could if we could join together, because I believe there are enough who believe in the climate crisis now, especially in the poor nations, many of which are closer to destruction than we lucky few.
The latest US election gives cause for hope — not because of Obama but in spite of him. The hopeful thing is that the poor, the brown, the black, the women, the gays coalesced against the forces of prejudice, and denial; that is, against the fascists, and that will bring some change for many of us.
Gotta work on that,too! Kingsworth, good for you to share your thoughts and to sharpen the tools of scholarship to amplify them. When I think of Kaczynski, I think of cowardice, brutality, and villainy, not clarity in service of conviviality. Imagine some trivial, off-campus Reaganite opening what he thought was a gift-book only to marvel, in the millisecond before oblivion or blindness, at the use of green materials, recycled wood chips even, before the cleverly contrived environmental statement detonated in his face.
Surprise, you un-tenured boob! Better yet, imagine his children, mere nascent machine-cogs, discovering the cute, little, disguised manifesto before daddy does.
Damn, these math majors are clever. But we expect sharpness from men of Harvard. I guess the raw beauty of wreaking havoc, the who, the why, the where, is in the eye of the beholder. The homicidal hermit has something to teach us. Why mess with letters to the editor when anonymous, random violence can correct our civilization and its misguided ways. Have we overlooked unsung prophets from other campuses? Where did Ted Bundy go to school? What about Charlie Manson?
He lived in the desert. Maybe a retro-album on the evils of urbanization and chain-store proliferation? Guy McPherson has chosen to disengage himself from the economy, which is a private, psychological matter — of utterly no consequence to the natural world that you and I speak of. Global emissions of fossil fuels are rising, and poised to rise much higher. Religious terms are just empty words — but we do live with irrational drives, insticts, emotions. No one deserves too much credit for any of these lifelong attempts, since we are in such dire straits.
I wish to underscore and uplift all the affirmative comments regarding your magnificent work here. Magnificent, yes, I say, because it most clearly elucidates the very things that have bedeviled me for more years than you have been alive. I have not reproduced.
My biggest gift to the future is that my minimal carbon footprint ends with me. MANY of my friends, college educated and upper middle class, are also childless I know the standard warnings against this tack. But I could not have a grandchild living in the world I know to be coming. And just a selfish comment: I do believe Nature can survive all that humans can do to her.
Of course, how not? A tsunami is one way of cleansing your home but is hell on the French Provincial furniture. As we wreck our way to the end only to prove that we will loose the fight against Her, the tigers, the frogs, the giant Sequoias will go down first.
Who the hell do we think we are? It is not at all hard to see human consciousness as a lethal virus set loose on this exquisite planet. I wrote a little homage to a singer of the scythe Hilaire Belloc whose distributism still has adherents.
Marris and Brand take climate change very seriously, while Lomborg does not. It made me happy to see this article, as with others the author put into words the feelings I have. We seem to be grieving our loss, in all the phases Kubler Ross identified. All five of his tentative answers are also mine; I wonder if our 25 year old will feel the same.
He has a harder choice, he will see more of the dissolution, lose many more species, be tangled in more social disruption and disarray. Whether we like it, or not, we are a product of nature and nature has a dark side. It also developed levels of biological complexity hundreds of millions of years ago, that our technologies and societies are only now beginning to mimic. We are cells in some larger organism. If I was to ask if nature has some larger, fractal plan, it would be that the planet is growing itself a central nervous system, with humanity as the medium.
This is an essay I wrote last winter, on taking stock of our situation: The problem is that information tends to be static.
It holds and binds the energy required to maintain it. This sets up a conflict between the dynamic energy and the static information, so the system develops methods of reseting and erasing excess information. Biology does this by individual organisms dying, as the species regenerates.
Bodies are processes in themselves, as generations of cells are formed and shed. As our social institutions build up legacy costs, they also find themselves losing ground to less burdened, more dynamic entities. So there is a constant churn of structures building up and breaking down. Just as individual mobile organisms evolved central nervous systems in order to navigate complex environments and respond to circumstances, groups of people develop governing structures in order coordinate their responses to situations they encounter.
This requires a conceptual frame to define the purpose of the organization and instill allegiance, such as religious texts, national constitutions, or even company mission statements. Goals, group narratives, external adversaries, etc.
There are many equally powerful influences both internal and external, trying to break down such organizations. Even conflicts between keeping them together and continuing to fulfill original purposes can be rending, as management and vision clash.
The problem here is that we tend to think of good and bad as an issue of black and white moral clarity, even if the details are usually messy and unclear. While we instinctively think of good and bad as ideals, they are really the primal biological binary code. Life is attracted to the beneficial and repelled by the detrimental. What is bad for the chicken is good for the fox and there is no clear line where the chicken ends and the fox begins. Between black and white are not just shades of grey, but all the colors of the spectrum.
The price we pay for being able to feel in the first place, is that a lot of it is pain. There are consequences to consider when we are moving; The faster we go, the less able we are to maneuver and the greater damage when we encounter the unexpected.
Going slow limits our access to new environments, but strengthens our connections to the one in which we exist. It is drawing rights on the rest of the community. Its value stems from the willingness of the participants in that contract to honor it.
Contracts are not owned by any one party. They are an agreement among different parties. To the extent the financial system is the circulatory system of society, money is the blood flowing through it. Its effectiveness is dependent on its fungibility. We no more own the money in our pocket, than we own the road we are driving on.
Yes, we are in sole possession of any one spot on that road at any one time, but its value is due to the connectivity with all other roads. We own our cars, houses, businesses, etc, but not the roads connecting them and no one cries socialism over that. We have to think of money in the same way. If people understand that money is a form of public utility and not actually private property, then they will naturally be far more careful what value they take out of social relations and environmental resources to put in a bank account.
I would say it is an evolved store of value, closer to a commodity. If money is worth something one day and loses value the next day, no contract is violated. This would be a terrific basis for a discussion. How much did civilization purposefully evolve and how much was it some kind of trial and error process, like say a beehive.
I think his main argument is a strong fossil fuel driven economy will, down the road, fund some bangup technological solutions to our environmental problems better and faster than a fossil fuel deprived weaker one. He seems to think our ability to adapt will carry us through the interim. Yet there are serious limits as to how much sustainable debt the economy can support, so there is pressure to lower standards, since stored wealth is very popular. Yet its value is an obligation drawn on the larger economy and that is a contract.
So back to my point that if people began to understand it as a multi-party contract and not just some nebulous store of value, they would better understand how it functions and not be so naive as how the strings are pulled. The essay puts this in a broader context than what I pasted. Remember withdrawing is merely moving in a different direction…that is the intelligent response. In the Costa Rica rainforest the equivalent to the scythe is the machete in all its manifestations. That makes sense John.
I guess where I would put the emphasis is that borrowing operates on the expectation of economic growth. At some point that runs into limits and then you are operating on faith economics. Achieving steady state economics restores money to its pure store of value function for facilitating barter in goods and services.
Too busy selling articles on Orion? Not willing to rock the boat? OTP letter to senders re: Iraq, 9 February The Rendulic Rule set the legal precedent for the importance of the subjective test in determining a case of Military Necessity. He presented evidence that the Norwegian population would not voluntarily evacuate. International law has justified, acquitted or given lenient sentences to violent and non-violent actions of civil disobedience, which included murder, kidnapping, arson, etc:.
Brown Lake County, Jan. Block Galt Judicial Dist. D San Luis Obispo Jud. J Benton County Dist. Bock Denver County Ct.
Anti-Military Industrial Complex 4: May ; Washington v. Clean Needles Campaign 2 California v. He nearly brought down an airplane…. Violence met with violence creates more violence. Non-violence actions, like putting yourself in the way of a bulldozer inspire others. Non-violent resistance is not for cowards. It is not a quiet, passive acceptance of evil. One is passive and non-violent physically, but very active spiritually, always seeking ways to persuade the opponent of advantages to the way of love, cooperation, and peace.
The goal is not to defeat or humiliate the opponent but rather to win him or her over to understanding new ways to create cooperation and community. The non-violent resister attacks the forces of evil, not the people who are engaged in injustice. The non-violent resister accepts suffering without retaliating; accepts violence, but never commits it. It is God flowing through the human heart. Non-violent resistance is based on the belief that the universe is just.
There is God or a creative force that is moving us toward universal love and wholeness continually. All beings, those who are not people and those who are. First, though, the peevishness of Lara is symptomatic of the deep green fraud. The State chooses whatevr words its wants when it enforces its rule.
How do you think Daniel MacGowan went to prison for so long, and what do you think will keep him in the chains of parole now? This is the immorality of Orion giving space to poseurs like Derrick Jensen. What should be the price of advocating martyrdom? The awful case of Assange should be a further instruction.
Did he not have one iota of comprehension of how powerful are its institutions of repression and counter-attack? Does not the Occupy failure confirm this? It sounds like either you a misunderstood my response, or b you did understand it, and you are a nonviolent fundamentalist.
Non-violence is fine; if you dealing with someone who may be convinced, after you have demonstrated to them your sincerity and commitment to the issue. Non-violence in defense to being attacked, is also rather idiotic, I would think; but if you are a nonviolent fundamentalist, by all means, enjoy and remain addicted to your fundamentalism.
If you are being attacked, international law, military law, states that you have the right to respond violently to being attacked, in self defence. Kaczynsky sincerely subjectively he met the military necessity subjective test believed that nature is being attacked, that industrial civilization is at war with nature. You are suggesting that when Party A is at war with Party B, just cause you are a pacificst fundamentalist, you cannot make a statement of support in favour of Party B, responding militarily in self defence i.
I have a rap sheet for a terrorism, b malicious damage to state property, c contempt of court swearing at judge and prosecutor , d crimen injuria insulting a politician. I am non-violent, but only in terms of refusing to attack someone else violently. Is it possible to read the words of Theodore Kaczynski and Daniel McGowan and be convinced by their cases, that they deserve support in arguing on behalf of the defence of ecological military necessity?
Certainly not the first dozen or hundred; but as more people realize the ecological military necessity of defending nature, by means of non-violent political activism, and for those few who choose violence, that even they should should be supported to stand before the court and argue a defence of ecological military necessity; so there message spreads.
Where are the Frantz Fanon liberals now????? Your choice is thus to prioritize the lives of those who support Industrial civilization, whose are at war with you, willing to exterminate you….. Anyone who commits the acts of a Daniel McGowan or Kaczynski, knows very well they stand the chance of going to prison. If you think you get change without being willing to sacrifice, you are delusional. Appreciate those who are willing to sacrifice. YOu appear to confuse a advocating violence, with b advocating that those who have made their own subjective choice, that violence is their own option, be denied an honourable ecological subjective necessity defence.
They may have knowledge that I could not acquire in dozens of years, and htier knowledge places them in a subjective position, that their only option is violence. Who the hell am I to tell them, that just cause that is not my experience, it should not be theirs, and they should be denied an ecological military necessity defence for their violent actions?
Thats like someone who has never subjectively experienced rape, telling a gang rape surivor — hey, you should have laid back and enjoyed it.. He is interested in a left wing fan club…. Alien on Pale Blue Dot vs. And between the years , they lost more than they won. When underdogs break the rules, Malcolm Gladwell.
Lara, I thought we were talking about Mr. I share your deep anger. I do believe that non-violent action is the bravest action. I very much appreciate Orion allowing for so much thoughtful discourse on the horrid state of the earth and our continued malevolent effect on it. You raised the issue of your non-violent beliefs.
I dont imagine Killingworth is a hypocrit, in general. In my culture, when a person exposes any possible hypocritical action of mine, he is doing me a huge favour. If his criticism is accurate, I am able to confront and amend the particular aspect in which I was being hypocritical, and that is something I very much appreciate. That is the act of true friend. Better an honourable enemy, than a false friend. I got allot of respect for honest mass murderers, or honest redneck bigots.
At least you can have a clear specific discussion, on any topic under the sun. By con artists, I mean people who talk nonviolence, but never been to prison to test their commitment to nonviolence, to prove their commitment to it. I never said anything about you being militant. I would imagine a better description would maybe be passive aggressive. I said it sounded like you were a non-violent fundamentalist.
Which is fine, if that is what you want to be. Could be for you — not so much for others. MacGowan hurt no one, yet endured hellish conditions, torture really, and so does the Unambomber. You seem so cavalier about imprisonment — it is really a horrible, wasteful condition when seen from the inside — a matter of shame for all.
I did not send him to prison. You did not send him to prison. You seem to have great confusion over the reach or limit of the actions of people. Sacrifice, suffering, belligerance — for what end?
Can you consider the folly of trying to accomplush something that cannot be accomplished? King, with all your citations, you make me sick. Get a scythe, get a machete, get out there and do the good work or shut up. You assholes know nothing about working in the dirt. Your life is an endless debate. Good lord, whom did I attack? Do you consider constructive honest criticism, an attack?
I imagine, if I had consciously responded that I was being attacked, at the time, my responses would have been very different. But thanks for providing yours.
September Remember the essays you had to write in high school? Topic sentence, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs, conclusion. The conclusion being, say, that Ahab in Moby Dick was a Christ-like figure. Oy.
The main problem with writers like Joe (and to be fair, that’s a Tiny group) is that they destroy the dreams of the rest of us, I’ve always been a pretty good writer and at times I think maybe I should start blogging and try to build an audience, but then you read a Posnanski piece like this and you realise, why bother, I’d just be wasting everyone’s time, why pollute the world with my.
This page contains material which is kept because it is considered humorous. Please do not take it too seriously. A painter keeps a sketchbook--a place to pencil-sketch persons and objects that might eventually be included in a painting. A writer's notebook, which all my students record original ideas in daily, serves as a our "painter's sketchbook" for our future writer's workshop considerableaps.tkt me at [email protected] with any questions about this page.
Jake Tuck writes a humorous essay about quitting writing personal essays about quitting things: “No longer do I lug around the ball and chain of constantly having to dress up common life choices. There are unwritten taboos on the internet. There are things you Don’t Say. There are replies you may not give. There are comments you may not make.