Monthly Archives: February 2021

Tumbling and Exploring

First, a couple weeks ago I fell down a rabbit hole. It was chance really but the kind of thing that happens when you’re in the right mental mode for it to happen. I visited an Apple oriented forum that I used to frequent but rarely visit these days. Not sure why I decided to pay it a visit but by chance found a thread that led me to a wiki-style information management application, Obsidian, which was just the thing I needed to begin a tumble into a new project. I think I’d already been considering something, I just had not allowed it to condense into anything solid.

So, I tumbled and the cloud began to condense. The idea is to write more, primarily for my own personal wiki. About what? Well, mostly, just a chronicle of sorts. A daily log about life. An exploration of my life lived. Ideas, people, events… life up till now. The idea being to reinforce memories and perhaps rekindle interests of my past. Or at the very least to revisit them.

Tumble, tumble. As I began putting this project into place I began writing which is, of course, the point. Writing and remembering. Writing and reflecting. Writing and exploring. And on and on.

I’m not sure how often my posts there will cross over to here as that’s not really the goal. But I suspect it might happen. Or it might be that a post there will turn into a post for here. But I have to say, it’s been rewarding to spend more time writing. Nothing fancy as nothing that I write ever is. But just taking time to mull things over via the written word. And to make it a daily routine. I’m not sure how long the practice will last.

The first big tumble this first couple of weeks has been a revisit to social ecology. I’ve enjoyed it and am just beginning that re-exploration really. Social ecology is not the sort of thing that is explored casually. Developed by Murray Bookchin over several decades, it’s a broad and deep exploration of human history, specifically the human development from nature into human culture based upon hierarchical social systems of command and control, of domination. Bookchin offered analysis of this historical development, he explored it with great depth and from this he developed the beginnings of a movement for pushing beyond what we have today. I’m not prepared yet to write at great length because this will require more time. I’m starting with a re-read of his foundational work, The Ecology of Freedom which is one of several of his books that I read in the late 1990s while working on my Masters thesis via the Institute for Social Ecology.

So, the past few weeks have been the beginning of delving back into these books and ideas. Not that I ever left them but having them stew in the depths of mind is not the same as active consideration. So, there’s that and for now it’s enough for this post. More soon and more on a regular basis I hope.

Climate Change and Personal Responsibility

It seems that once a year I end up writing a post about climate change and personal responsibility. It’s a repeating thread based on a long running frustration that I have with this notion that we humans are somehow incapable of affecting change.

We act as though the government that we all consider broke, the government that has, thus far, refused to address the problem of our time in any meaningful way, is suddenly going to fix it. It doesn’t and so things get worse. Year after year the climate reports keep coming and they always report that the situation is more dire than previously thought. Our response is to throw our hands up in the air. We gnash our teeth and rend our garments in despair (some anyway) but we keep on keeping on. We keep driving. Keep buying. Keep heating and cooling to our comfort. Keep flying. Keep doing everything and anything. As if we need the government to force us to behave better.

We say to ourselves that it’s really industry that is the problem as if global capitalism operates in a vacuum and for no reason. Somehow we conveniently forget that capitalism operates to feed our manufactured desires (and of course, for their profit).

In the absence of meaningful action for 20 years taken by government, industry or citizens, we now find ourselves here and now. And we still insist that we are powerless to make changes. I think we can and should do better.

So, here we are, February 2021. A new president, a Congress controlled by Democrats and we will see if any progress is made. It’s clear that Biden wants to push hard to not only undo the backward steps by the previous administration and go even further than Obama did. That’s great. But we can see that, as expected, there will be obstructions and the interests of energy producers, particularly those based on coal, will fight back. So, we can expect, as usual, a few steps forward but it won’t be enough. And when power swings back the other way progress will again stop and possibly push back the other way.

All that said, when I look around at the U.S. in 2021 I see a lot of confusion about basic truth and reality. In a world of delusion, when half the population seems guided by conspiracy theories, it’s increasingly difficult to have much hope in rational, science-based thinking and decision making be it in personal life or any level of government.