This note used to say that the links appear in the order I read them and was meant imply that they were more or less random in their subject matter, other than being of interest to me. Recently I started a few new sections at the bottom of the links on subjects that are of particular interest to me. But I can see that as time passes I am moving to a greater degree of "curation", which the dictionary tell me is about organizing and maintaining a collection. Applied to this collection of links and books I guess this will mean selecting links less randomly and trying to make them relevant in the context of this blog and whatever is going on in the world during the month.
- Why American Collapse is Only Just Beginning (Not Ending), by Umair Haque, Method--Eudaimonia
Six Megatrends That Will Shape the Future
And all this without even a mention of Peak Oil or Climate Change.
- The Dangerous Myth That Hillary Clinton Ignored the Working Class, by Derek Thompson, The Atlantic
"To many white Trump voters, the problem wasn’t her economic stance, but the larger vision—a multi-ethnic social democracy—that it was a part of."
Canadians seem to find this very plausible, but Americans I have discussed it with mostly disagree, stating that Hillary Clinton is a hawkish neo-liberal, with no sympathy for the working class.
- Why does Canada have a different gun culture than the USA?
Some excellent answers to this Quora question. Only one that is really off base--you won't have any trouble telling which one I mean. But the first answer is really the only one you need to read.
- What is Canadian life like, compared to American life?
Some excellent answers to this Quora question. Only one that is slighty off base, down playing the differences, which are real and significant.
- The Boundaries and Future of Solution Space, by Nicole Foss, The Automatic Earth
This is an absolute must read
- Dr. Charles Hall: The Laws Of Nature Trump Economics, by Adam Taggart, Peak Prosperity
Chris Martenson interviews Dr. Charles Hall about EROEI
- The World Will Not Mourn the Decline of U.S. Hegemony, by Paul Street, Canadian Dimension, Truth Dig
- How to Thrive When the World’s Falling Apart, by Umair Haque, Medium--Eudaimonia
A Tiny Seven Step Program for Happiness, Beauty, Truth, and Love.
Some good ideas about preparing oneself to cope with collapse.
- How long will it take for the rain to become radioactive as a result of the nuclear waste in the Pacific ocean from the damage at the Fukushima plant?
Excellent answers from a couple of responders on Quora.
- Elon Musk’s “Innovations” are Not the Future — They’re Delaying It, by Paris Marx, Medium
Tech CEOs are out for themselves, not the public good.
- The troubling realities of our energy transition, by Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
- Eating Clean Is Useless, by Michael Easter, Tonic
"Clean eating? That's some rich white people shit."
- Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same, by The Logic of Science
- How To Live Without Rules, by Nathan J. Robinson, Current Affairs
The difference between telling people what to do and helping them decide what to do…
- 9 Rules For Living in Sad Times, by Benjamin Studebaker
- The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right
, by Mark Bittman and David L. Katz, Grub Street.
I was torn about including this. There is a little bit of the goofy attitude we see so often about "chemicals", and sadly the comments about organic foods, pesticides and GMOs are clearly a product of the organic food lobby's on going program of disinformation--areas where the authors are clearly not experts. But if you ignore that, the dietary information itself is not bad.
- An American Crisis: 18 Facts About Gun Violence—and 6 Promising Ways to Reduce the Suffering , by Team Trace, The Trace
"The United States suffers from a gun violence crisis, a problem exacerbated by misinformation and a lack of understanding of the epidemic’s dimensions and scale. Knowing the facts can be a first step toward advancing solutions and preventing some of the tens of thousands of homicides, assaults, and other crimes committed with firearms each year."
- Canadian seaweed is radioactive. Is the global media ignoring Fukushima to protect the nuclear industry? , from Quora
- Empty half the Earth of its humans. It's the only way to save the planet, by Kim Stanley Robinson, The Guardian
Robinson is a fine science fiction writer, but maybe not so good on science fact, especially where collapse is concerned. The trouble with moving most of our population into the cities is that those cities are critically dependent on the continued functioning of the complex networks of industrial society and thus vulnerable to any of the various sorts of collapse I talk about on this blog. Give me a small town any day. Preferrably surrounded by agricultural land that doens;t have to be irrigated.
Poverty, Housing, Homelessness
Last month I listed a link to an article that maintained poverty is the main cause of homelessness, so I've expended the scope of this section, and rolled minimum wage issues in with it.
- Exposing the great 'poverty reduction' lie, by Jason Hickel, Aljazeera
"The UN claims that its Millennium Development Campaign has reduced poverty globally, but some measures show it is worse."
- Survivors, by Brigid Hains, Aeon.
"Filthy and violent it may be, but life is still precious for the world's street children. Can you look them in the eye?"
- $15 minimum wage or a tax cut: what are the trade-offs? by Sheila Block, Behind the Numbers.
- Thousands of Working New Yorkers Are Living in Homeless Shelters, by Jacquelyn Simone, Coalition for the Homeless
"Rents surged nearly 20% in real dollars from 2000 to 2014, while household income decreased by 6.3%. The number of people living in New York City shelters skyrocketed to more than 60,000 late last year, up from 31,009 in 2002. The rise in the working homeless is a big reason why."
- L.A. homeless crisis grows despite political promises, many speeches and millions of dollars. How do we fix this? by Steve Lopez, LA Times
"Beginning at Central Avenue and heading west, I counted 16 tents on the south side of 5th Street. My longtime traveling companion, Times photographer Francine Orr, counted 15 tents on the north side of the street.
"One block, 31 tents.
"On skid row, this is the norm, and it has been for years. On a recent day, it was not possible to walk on the sidewalk in the one-block stretch of 6th Street between San Julian and Wall streets. Rows of tents and blue tarp shanties lined the entire stretch, extending all the way to the curb, so you had to walk in the street."
Puerto Rico after the hurricane is a present day example of what we can expect to see someday soon in many areas experiencing collapse, though the future will no doubt see even less recovery funding from the mainland.
One would hope the recovery would aim for resilience and sustainability, but that doesn't seem to be the way it is going. And beyond that, I don't hear anyone talking about preparing for the next storm. The reality of climate change is that there will surely be another storm and probably in the near future. it would be a shame if all the recovery work that is being done was wiped out during the next hurricane season.
- Puerto Rico is our Future, Museletter #305, by Richard Heinberg, richardheinberg.com
- 6 months after Hurricane Maria, where recovery stands in Puerto Rico, ABC News, video
- Puerto Rico's grid recovery, by the numbers, by David Ferris, E&E News
- For Investors, Puerto Rico Is a Fantasy Blank Slate, by Yarimar Bonilla, The Nation
"P3s [pubic private partnerships] are attractive to investors because, unlike municipal bonds, they allow the private sector to not just invest in but actually engineer public infrastructure. This means that the development projects that will be prioritized in the wake of Maria will not necessarily be those most needed by storm-ravaged communities, but rather those promising the greatest returns for investors."
- 6 Months After Maria, Puerto Ricans Face a New Threat—Education Reform, by Yarimar Bonilla, Rima Brusi and Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, The Nation
"Colonialism and disaster capitalism are dismantling Puerto Rico's public-school system."
"This traditional, albeit accelerated, model of disaster capitalism where public funds are pillaged for the benefit of specific economic interests is reflected in Keleher’s actions: granting lucrative contracts to private US-based companies (while diminishing and dismissing available public institutions and resources in Puerto Rico), redirecting public funds to create private schools, and closing schools and firing teachers to make public funds available for her reform plan."
- Exodus from Puerto Rico grows as island struggles to rebound from Hurricane Maria, by Arelis R. Hernández, The Washington Post
- The Race-baiter As Kindly Monarch: Trumpism in Puerto Rico, by Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine
Intelligence and IQ Testing
- Your IQ doesn’t mean jack shit, by Jessica Wildfire, Medium
Schools should give up on standard measures of intelligence.
- Scientists debunk the IQ myth: Notion of measuring one's intelligence quotient by singular, standardized test is highly misleading, Science Daily
- Why schools should not teach general critical-thinking skills, by Carl Hendrick , AEON
"We know of no evidence for broad-based improvement in cognition, academic achievement, professional performance, and/or social competencies that derives from decontextualised practice of cognitive skills devoid of domain-specific content."
- If You’re so Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? Turns Out it’s Just Chance, by Emerging Technology from the arXiv, Medium--MIT Technology Review
The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest, a new computer model of wealth creation confirms. Taking that into account can maximize return on many kinds of investment.
- The 6 levels of self-driving car - and what they mean for motorists, by Melanie May, thejournal.ie
- Autonomous Cars: The Level 5 Fallacy, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Medium, Monday Note
"Instead of the pure, straight-to-Level 5 moonshot, we’ll see a progression of incremental improvements, percentages gained, more miles of roads successfully (and unsuccessfully) navigated. And we’ll be treated to vociferous arguments not unlike what we saw and keep seeing in PCs, smartphones, and other tech battlefields."
- After Peak Hype, Self-Driving Cars Enter the Trough of Disillusionment, by Aarian Marshall, Wired Magazine
“Those who think fully self-driving vehicles will be ubiquitous on city streets months from now or even in a few years are not well connected to the state of the art or committed to the safe deployment of the technology.”
- Self-driving car engineer Chris Urmson on Recode, interview by Kara Swisher, Recode Decode, with transcription.
- Look what’s making self-driving cars freak out, by Patrick May, The Mercury News.
New report details all the triggers that have caused the human behind the wheel to take over.
I would argue that the human behind the wheel of a self driving car will inevitably be distracted and will take so long to mental switch tasks and evaluate the situation that the window for corrective action will be long over before they could do anything.
- Victim who died in Tesla crash had complained about auto-pilot, by Dan Noyes, ABC News
- Tesla says crashed vehicle had been on autopilot prior to accident, Reuters, CNBC
- Uber halts self-driving tests after pedestrian killed in Arizona , by Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge
- New video shows moments before fatal self-driving Uber crash, ABC News
- Ecko Rising, by Daniel Ware
First in a three part series, but I don't think I'll read the other two.
- The Corporation Wars: Emergence, by Ken Macleod
Third and final book in an excellent trilogy.
- Dark State, by Charles Stross
Second in a trilogy which is a continuation of a series of six books. But he keeps me coming back for more. A real cliff hanger at the end of this one and the next book isn't coming out until January 2019.
- IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea, by Stephen Murdock
And to round out this month, here are some gems from my bookshelf:
- A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
- Visions of Caliban, by Dale Peterson and Jane Goodall
On Chimpanzees and People.
- The Quark and the Jaguar, by Murray Gell-Mann
Adventures ion the Simple and the Complex
- Seed to Seed, by Suzanne Ashworth
Seed saving and growing techniques for vegetable gardeners.