The corollary to urban/suburban life, at least for me, is that I find it hard to live sustainably in other ways. I must drive most places and there’s nowhere here for me to grow even a tiny fraction of what I might consume. I’m highly dependent on the grid—everything in my apartment is electric—and limited in how I might reduce my impact. The convenience of urban life is also the temptation of urban life—I am highly, highly dependent on Amazon delivery, far more than I have any reasonable need to be.
Ken Ward is the guy we imagine we all would be in the face of great ethical and physical crises.
He would have been the Quaker ushering fleeing slaves into his basement within hearing distance of the hounds that tracked them.
Enter: Lost Connections, By Johann Hari.
I connect to this book. It might have been more useful to me as a manual about a year ago, or even two years ago, but chances are good that I wouldn't have had the resources--mental, physical, spiritual, environmental--to put anything into practice. Funny how that works. Tragic.
Solid read. The author wrote this book as a personal project--he shares his own experiences with the escalator of psych meds he started as a late teen. I appreciate that kind of passion in an author. He traveled all over the world, talked to experts in a variety of fields, looked at the social psychology of depression, its prevalence (or lack thereof) in different cultures. He distills his findings (which he does not claim are comprehensive) into two main sections, which I will briefly cover.
Photo taken by See.
I grew up without religion. My mild curiosity in second grade led to a trip to Easter and Passover services, respectively. My parents then allowed me to go with our neighbors--Jehovah's Witnesses--to one Sunday service. When I showed danger of being converted, I wasn't allowed to attend again. There was no Hebrew School, no Bat Mitzvah until I was an adult and on Birthright. We celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah, both in a secular way (that is to say, I got a lot of presents as a kid).
John Michael Greer's Retrotopia is a piece of narrative fiction that takes place in November, 2065, in the fictional Lakeland Republic, one of several new nations that came out of the dissolution of the United States in the aftermath of the Second Civil War, which takes place some decades before this book begins.
In my other blog I talk from time to time about the process of making something while engaging in all the contiguous steps needed for the entire enterprise. In the course of that linked post, I discuss all the inputs that go into the butchering and breakdown of a sheep, from rendering pieces of flesh into jerky to tanning the hide. In that process, we collect our own tanning materials and even flint knap the cutting tools we use in the butchering process.
Book review on a bunch of futuristic hipster ideas.
Be safe. Buy your food from Farmer Joe.
Photo courtesy of Versaland Farm. The World is Watching.
Photo courtesy Vita Saver. The Gorge on fire.
Talk is cheap. So is gas--for now.
Who is really crazy here?
The economic future of a world moving into the past.
Three generations of my family, all a little weird.
Chewy modelling my latest fashionable creation.
Food. It comes from the earth...but it's not really that easy, actually.
None of these will save you, in the end.
I got this composter for free. Now I'm going to convince my neighbors to give me their vegetable waste so I can turn it into sweet black gold.
Finding a way to learn guitar through work-trade.