Archive for the 'Chapbook' Category

THIS IS ONE COST OF USING WORD PROCESSORS…

May 11th, 2016

I’m old enough to have learned to write on a manual typewriter and remember the experience of retyping whole pages when I reworked a draft. Few people—possibly the better writers, I don’t know—still engage in this kind of second- or third-pass at a manuscript. The rest of us edit on the screen and only change […]

FREUD WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS STORY…

May 9th, 2016

What follows stands alone in my experience as the most odd writing ritual I have yet learned of. I suppose there are stranger rites out there, but I have my doubts. …Standing naked at his hotel-hotel room window, Wolfe found that his weariness had suddenly evaporate and that he was eager to write again. Returning […]

DECROISSANCE, MINIMALISM FOR A SMALL PLANET…

November 16th, 2015

A great deal of thought in recent years has gone into how reducing our use of material resources could be managed in ways that actually improve quality of life overall—what the French call selective degrowth. [In French, decroissance has the double meaning of challenging both growth, croissance, and croire, to believe—invoking the idea of choosing […]

NAOMI KLEIN ON THE GREAT TRANSITION, PART II…

October 21st, 2015

We will need comprehensive policies and programs that make low-carbon choices easy and convenient for everyone. Most of all, these policies need to be fair, so that the people already struggling to cover the basics are not being asked to make additional sacrifice to offset the excess consumption of the rich. That means cheap public […]

THIS SCARES THE BEJESUS OUT OF BILLIONAIRES…

October 19th, 2015

This is a message that I have done my best to repeat for most of my life: if you want to save the planet, don’t recycle, don’t reuse, feckin’ reduce the amount of crap you buy. Naomi Klein phrases the sentiment much better. Deep emission cuts in the wealthy nations have to start immediately. That […]

NAOMI KLEIN ON THE GREAT TRANSITION

October 18th, 2015

Changing the earth’s climate in ways that will be chaotic and disastrous is easier to accept than the prospect of changing the fundamental, growth-based, profit-seeking logic of capitalism. The rest of us are going to have to quickly figure out how to turn “managed degrowth” into something that looks a lot less like the Great […]

NAOMI KLEIN ON FETISHISING OUR GDP GROWTH…

October 17th, 2015

Now, I realize that this can all send apocalyptic—as if reducing emissions requires economic crises that result in mass suffering. But that seems so only because we have an economic system that fetishizes GDP growth above all else, regardless of the human or ecological consequences, while failing to place value on those things that most […]

WE CAN’T ALLOW THE TPP TO REPEAT NAFTA…

October 14th, 2015

The errors of this period [the passage of NAFTA] cannot be undone, but it is not too late for a new kind of climate movement to take up the fight against so-called free trade and build this needed architecture now. That doesn’t—and never did—mean an end to economic exchange across borders. It does, however, mean […]

LABOR SOLD OUT BY BIG GREEN…

October 13th, 2015

We missed an opportunity in the ’60s when we failed to unite labor and the anti-war movement. That failure haunts us today when we look how the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street might have been a devastating force in American Politics. So too, has this bad decision haunted, and continues to haunt, the environmental […]

WHEN CHEAP LABOR IS GONE; BUILD ROBOTS…

October 11th, 2015

It is not that companies moving their production to China wanted to drive up emissions: they were after the cheap labor, but exploited workers and an exploited planet are, it turns out, a package deal. A destabilized climate is the cost of deregulated, global capitalism, its unintended yet unavoidable consequence. p. 81-2 From This Changes […]

WHEN TRADE IS KILLING US, KILL THE TRADE…

October 10th, 2015

To allow arcane trade law, which has been negotiated with scant public scrutiny, to have this kind of power over an issue so critical to humanity’s future is a special kind of madness. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz puts it, “Should you let a group of foolish lawyers, who put something together before they […]

SCOTT ADAMS ON THE MANUFACTURING OF LUCK…

July 12th, 2015

I was horrible at sports when I was young. I played three years of summer league baseball as a left and center fielder where my main skill was to get under fly balls and catch them before they touched the ground. The hard part was getting under the ball. If I did that right, then […]

SCOTT ADAMS ON CONSISTENCY AND TRUTH…

July 11th, 2015

I finished reading Scott Adams’ How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big recently and, as is my system, I put my notes from the book into my Electronic Chapbook. Normally I start at the beginning and proceed in due course to the end. I’m not doing that this time. Instead I’ve jumped […]

BE AT PEACE AND THE WORLD MAY BE AT PEACE…

February 20th, 2015

[I]t’s crucial for you to find a way to practice peace. Even if you can only do it in a very restricted manner, it will help you survive. It will help you nourish hope. So I think it’s very important not to allow ourselves to be carried away by the feeling of despair. We should […]

VACLAV HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART VI H…

November 8th, 2014

The fact that human beings have created, and daily create, this self-directed system through which they divest themselves of their innermost identity is not therefore the result of some incomprehensible misunderstanding of history, nor is it history somehow gone off its rails. Neither is it the product of some diabolical higher will which has decided, […]

VACLAV HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART VI G…

November 7th, 2014

Position in the power hierarchy determines the degree of responsibility and guilt, but it gives no one unlimited responsibility and guilt, nor does it completely absolve anyone. Thus the conflict between the aims of life and the aims of the system is not a conflict between two socially defined and separate communities; and only a […]

VACLAV HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART VI F…

November 6th, 2014

Everyone, however, is in fact involved and enslaved, not only the greengrocers but also the prime ministers. Differing positions in the hierarchy merely establish differing degrees of involvement: the greengrocer is involved only to a minor extent, but he also has very little power. The prime minister, naturally, has greater power, but in return he […]

VACLAV HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART VI E…

November 5th, 2014

If an entire district town is plastered with slogans that no one reads, it is on the one hand a message from the district secretary to the regional secretary, but it is also something more: a small example of the principle of social auto-totality at work. Part of the essence of the post-totalitarian system is […]

VACLAV HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART VI D…

November 4th, 2014

The woman who ignored the greengrocer’s slogan may well have hung a similar slogan just an hour before in the corridor of the office where she works. She did it more or less without thinking, just as our greengrocer did, and she could do so precisely because she was doing it against the background of […]

VACLAV HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART VI C…

November 3rd, 2014

The greengrocer had to put the slogan in his window, therefore, not in the hope that someone might read it or be persuaded by it, but to contribute, along with thousands of other slogans, to the panorama that everyone is very much aware of. This panorama, of course, has a subliminal meaning as well: it […]

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