Susan Zakin’s writing is brilliant and irreverent, tough and funny, opinionated and sometimes outrageous But this is also a serious work, the most thorough and thoughtful survey of the American environmental movement I have seen.
Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science Monitor
Catches the rowdy, passionate utopianism of the first non-elite generation of environmentalists. They changed the game, and woke a lot of people up.
Gary Snyder, Pultizer-Prize winning poet, Turtle Island, Practice of the Wild
A primer for how to face our Earth’s predicament with wit and courage…Funny, smart, irreverent, opinionated and always mind-expanding.
Bill McKibben, author, The End of Nature, founder 350.org
Critics say their content is dangerous and irresponsible, but these influencers can’t get enough of the train-hopping life.
Dancer vividly remembers the first time he hopped a freight train.
It was a warm October day in 2020, and he’d stationed himself north of Longmont, Colorado, near the railway yard, where the train often rolls through town. He’d been standing next to a tree for hours, debating whether he was really going to go through with this dangerous act — and trying to ease the butterflies in his stomach.
He’d learned about train-hopping in 2017, after discovering the videos of James “Jim” Stobie, a prolific vlogger known online as Stobe the Hobo. Stobie died later that same year, after getting into an accident while hopping trains in Maryland. He was 33. Nevertheless, Dancer was inspired by the key message of Stobie’s videos: that viewers should see the often-unexplored areas of the U.S.
Artists have long gotten away with murder, sometimes literally. After Benvenuto Cellini killed his rival, the goldsmith Pompeo de Capitaneis, in 1534, Pope Paul III—a Cellini fan—reportedly pardoned the Florentine artist, declaring that men like him “ought not to be bound by law.” In 1660 the Dutch painter Jacob van Loo stabbed a wine merchant to death during a brawl in Amsterdam, and then fled to Paris. But, as the art historians Rudolf and Margot Wittkower have noted in their vigorously researched 1963 treatise on the behavior of artists, Born Under Saturn, van Loo had no problem being elected to the Royal Academy there just two years later. His reputation as an artist was what mattered.
Artists have not only indulged in criminal behavior and then been forgiven for it, by philosophers and historians, princes and popes, they have also sometimes openly advertised it. “I do not understand laws,” Arthur Rimbaud wrote in 1873, summing up the attitude of the renegade artist. “I have no moral sense. I am a brute.”
The reign of the Hero has come to an end. As humanity faces increasing crisis and collapse, we come to a threshold where the archetype of the Hero can no longer be our saviour. We have entered a liminal time – a space between stories – and so we must bend and instead look to, and learn from, the boundary-crossing, shape-shifting Trickster.
Join Ben Murphy and John Wolfstone as they explore the significance of this cultural transition and how it applies to each of our lives.
Crimes of the Future director David Cronenberg is expecting a major response to his graphic new body horror film.
During an interview with Deadline, the 79-year-old filmmaker said he’s expecting a lot of people to be ‘revulsed’ by the movie – and anticipates walkouts.
“There are some very strong scenes,” he explained. “I mean, I’m sure that we will have walkouts within the first five minutes of the movie. I’m sure of that. Some people who have seen the film have said that they think the last 20 minutes will be very hard on people, and that there’ll be a lot of walkouts. Some guy said that he almost had a panic attack.”
“I say, ‘Well, that would be OK’,” said Cronenberg about the potential reactions to Crimes of the Future. “But I’m not convinced that that will be a general reaction. I do expect walkouts in Cannes, and that’s a very special thing. [Laughs] People always walk out, and the seats notoriously clack as you get up, because the seats fold back and hit the back of the seat. So, you hear clack, clack, clack. Whether they’ll be outraged the way they were with Crash, I somehow don’t think so. They might be revulsed to the point that they want to leave, but that’s not the same as being outraged. However, I have no idea really what’s going to happen.”
Crimes of the Future is a twisted return to sci-fi horror for Cronenberg, who previously brought us the likes of Scanners and Videodrome.
Here’s the official synopsis: “As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. Accompanied by his partner, celebrity performance artist Saul Tenser showcases the metamorphosis of his organs. Meanwhile, a mysterious group tries to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.”
In this deeply researched work of speculative nonfiction that reads like Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized crossed with David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth, a celebrated journalist takes a fiercely divided America and imagines five chilling scenarios that lead to its collapse, based on in-depth interviews with experts of all kinds.
On a small two-lane bridge in a rural county that loathes the federal government, the US Army uses lethal force to end a standoff with hard-right anti-government patriots. Inside an ordinary diner, a disaffected young man with a handgun takes aim at the American president stepping in for an impromptu photo-op, and a bullet splits the hyper-partisan country into violently opposed mourners and revelers. In New York City, a Category 2 hurricane plunges entire neighborhoods underwater and creates millions of refugees overnight—a blow that comes on the heels of a financial crash and years of catastrophic droughts— and tips America over the edge into ruin.
These nightmarish scenarios are just three of the five possibilities most likely to spark devastating chaos in the United States that are brought to life in The Next Civil War, a chilling and deeply researched work of speculative nonfiction. Drawing upon sophisticated predictive models and nearly two hundred interviews with experts—civil war scholars, military leaders, law enforcement officials, secret service agents, agricultural specialists, environmentalists, war historians, and political scientists—journalist Stephen Marche predicts the terrifying future collapse that so many of us do not want to see unfolding in front of our eyes. Marche has spoken with soldiers and counterinsurgency experts about what it would take to control the population of the United States, and the battle plans for the next civil war have already been drawn up. Not by novelists, but by colonels.
No matter your political leaning, most of us can sense that America is barreling toward catastrophe—of one kind or another. Relevant and revelatory, The Next Civil War plainly breaks down the looming threats to America and is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of its people, its land, and its government.
This week we interview David Skrbina, an author and professor who writes about his anti-technology philosphy. David has written a book with Ted Kazynski (the Unabomber) who holds a similar philosophy.
In the interview, we discuss David’s philosophy, his vision for the future, as well as his book with Ted Kazynski.
You can find his books here: Confronting Technology, Metaphysics of Technology, Technological Slavery.
If you’d like to join David’s “Anti-Tech Collective”, you can do so here.
David Skrbina (sker-BEE-na), PhD, was a senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Michigan, Dearborn from 2003 to 2018. He taught a graduate course in Technology and Sustainability at the University of Helsinki in fall, 2020. His areas of interest include philosophy of mind, eco-philosophy, philosophy of technology, and environmental ethics.
The tech elite have a plan to survive the apocalypse: they want to leave us all behind.
Five mysterious billionaires summoned Douglas Rushkoff to a desert resort for a private talk. The topic? How to survive The Event: the societal catastrophe they know is coming. Rushkoff came to understand that these men were under the influence of The Mindset, a Silicon Valley–style certainty that they can break the laws of physics, economics, and morality to escape a disaster of their own making—as long as they have enough money and the right technology. In Survival of the Richest, Rushkoff traces the origins of The Mindset in science and technology through its current expression in missions to Mars, island bunkers, and the Metaverse. This mind-blowing work of social analysis shows us how to transcend the landscape The Mindset created—a world alive with algorithms and intelligences actively rewarding our most selfish tendencies—and rediscover community, mutual aid, and human interdependency. Instead of changing the people, he argues, we can change the program.
Evil Genes is a book by Barbara Oakley, a systems engineer, about the neurological and social factors contributing to chronic antisocial behavior. The text was published on October 31, 2007 by Prometheus Books. The book has earned both praise and criticism for its treatment of what Oakley considers gaps in psychological research surrounding “successfully sinister” individuals — those who show subclinical symptoms of personality disorders, and who are often found in positions of authority in politics, religion, business, and academia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_Genes
Neurology (from Greek: νεῦρον, neuron, and the suffix -λογία -logia “study of”) is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system. Neurology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of conditions and disease involving the central and peripheral nervous system (and its subdivisions, the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system); including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue, such as muscle. Neurological practice relies heavily on the field of neuroscience, which is the scientific study of the nervous system. A neurologist is a physician specializing in neurology and trained to investigate, or diagnose and treat neurological disorders. Neurologists may also be involved in clinical research, clinical trials, and basic or translational research. While neurology is a non-surgical specialty, its corresponding surgical specialty is neurosurgery. There is significant overlap between the fields of neurology and psychiatry, with the boundary between the two disciplines and the conditions they treat being somewhat nebulous. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurology
Anti-social behaviours are actions that harm or lack consideration for the well-being of others. Many people also label behaviour which is deemed contrary to prevailing norms for social conduct as anti-social behaviour. The term is especially used in British English. Anti-social is frequently used, incorrectly, to mean either “nonsocial” or “unsociable”. The words are not synonyms. The American Psychiatric Association, in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, diagnoses persistent anti-social behaviour as antisocial personality disorder. The World Health Organization includes it in the International Classification of Diseases as “dissocial personality disorder”. A pattern of persistent anti-social behaviours can also be present in children and adolescents diagnosed with conduct problems, including conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder under the DSM-5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-so…
Psychopathy, sometimes considered synonymous with sociopathy, is characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits. Different conceptions of psychopathy have been used throughout history that are only partly overlapping and may sometimes be contradictory. Hervey M. Cleckley, an American psychiatrist, influenced the initial diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality reaction/disturbance in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), as did American psychologist George E. Partridge. The DSM and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) subsequently introduced the diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and dissocial personality disorder (DPD) respectively, stating that these diagnoses have been referred to (or include what is referred to) as psychopathy or sociopathy. The creation of ASPD and DPD was driven by the fact that many of the classic traits of psychopathy were impossible to measure objectively. Canadian psychologist Robert D. Hare later repopularized the construct of psychopathy in criminology with his Psychopathy Checklist. Although no psychiatric or psychological organization has sanctioned a diagnosis titled “psychopathy”, assessments of psychopathic characteristics are widely used in criminal justice settings in some nations and may have important consequences for individuals.[specify] The study of psychopathy is an active field of research. The term is also used by the general public, popular press, and in fictional portrayals. While the term is often employed in common usage along with “crazy”, “insane”, and “mentally ill”, there is a categorical difference between psychosis and psychopathy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychop…