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Simple Living

Does It Matter Who Is Perpetrating the Destruction of Our World, or Why?

[Keith Farnish thinks it’s useful, perhaps even necessary, to get angry at the perpetrators of the destruction of our world. He believes it can shake us out of our lethargy and our sense of helplessness. I’ve never found anger particularly useful, since I usually end up feeling that the objects of my anger didn’t mean […]

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Why We Do What We Do

I was researching some of my old posts the other day and realized there is a synergy among three of them that I hadn’t recognized before. This article will attempt to pull them together to create a theory for why we do what we do. The three articles are: 1. From last December, my article […]

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Dave Gets Interviewed for a Podcast on Complexity and Transition

A few days ago I was interviewed by Steve Patterson for his regular podcast program Two Beers With Steve, as we talked about complex systems, dependence on industrial civilization, transition, resilience and steady state economics. Steve is well-read and a terrific interviewer, and there are some great podcasts on his site, including, recently, Stoneleigh (from […]

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An Existential Approach to Bringing About Change

Donella (Dana) Meadows was famous for her twelve ways to intervene in a system, one of the most often cited works in the field of bringing about change. What is often forgotten is that she listed the twelve ways in reverse order, from least effective to most effective, and suggested that there were really only […]

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Lesson From a Wild Cat

Four years ago I wrote about my remarkable experience with PucPuc, the wild grouse who used to greet me every day when I ran laps in my back yard in Caledon, and even climbed up and perched on my shoulder when I sat down beside her. Many readers told me I should see this visit […]

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A Culture of Dependence

Before civilization culture, children were dependent on their parents for a period of about ten years, during which, following the model of most wild creatures, they spent most of their waking lives learning to be independent, through play. So now let’s look at what happens to us in modern civilization culture: We’re dependent on our […]

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Links and Tweets for the Month: October 15, 2010

PREPARING FOR CIVILIZATION’S COLLAPSE The Revolution Will Not Be Blogged (or Tweeted): Sharon Astyk on our overuse of computers and the folly of technophile thinking: [Citing Jared Diamond] “All of our current problems are unintended negative consequences of our existing technology. The rapid advances in technology during the 20th century have been creating difficult new […]

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What the World Needs Now

(This morning I received a message from my dear British friend Andrew Campbell, expressing frustration with a couple of people he looked up to, and riffing off the anti-expert, anti-’leader’ tone of my post yesterday on coping with complexity. Here is how I replied.) Over the years I’ve met a lot of ‘leaders’, from senior […]

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Complexity: It’s Not That Simple

Complexity theory has been around for a generation now, but most people don’t understand it. I often read or listen to consultants, ‘experts’ and media people who proffer ludicrously simplistic ’solutions’ to complex predicaments. Since it seems most people would prefer things to be simple, these ‘experts’ always seem to have an uncritical audience. Because […]

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Ten Important Questions

These are the questions I’m asking myself these days, trying to come to grips with why, now that my life is idyllic, now that I have the time and opportunity to do anything I want, I’m sitting here, doing nothing, my hands turned up, feeling fearful, disconnected, directionless. These are no-escape questions: No closed-ended “yes […]

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