May 13, 2020
Before you heap praise on someone’s cooking, even for something as delicious as porcupine pot pie, you might want to consider the effects of ego inflation and the downsides of a hyper-individualistic culture. In this episode Asher, Rob, and Jason wonder if individualism (not to mention all those other “-isms”… capitalism, socialism, communism) is simply the product of a relatively short period of expansionism, and what of our values must be kept or discarded as we enter a new era of contraction and bureaucratic breakdown. While expressing a profound desire to retain the progress humanity has made on numerous fronts (don’t sleep on 21st-century dentistry), they make sure to insult one another just enough for proper ego containment.
- Gut health and time with hunter-gatherers
- Jason Bradford’s The Future Is Rural: Food System Adaptations to the Great Simplification
- William Ophuls wrote Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity in 1977. Here is a book review.
- The Limits to Growth, one of the historic (1972) environmentalist publications
- Red Dawn, the quintessential Cold War movie (with apologies to Rocky IV)
- Transition Towns movement
- Stephen Quilley wrote a 2013 article in the journal Environmental Values that draws on the work of Ophuls — “De-Growth Is Not a Liberal Agenda: Relocalisation and the Limits to Low Energy Cosmopolitanism.” He examines the “…tensions, trade-offs and possibilities for a socially liberal, culturally cosmopolitan and science-based civilisation under conditions of degrowth and metabolic contraction.”
- Stephen Quilley’s personal blog, “Navigators of the Anthropocene“
- Nate Hagens wrote a 2019 paper in Ecological Economics: “Economics for the future — Beyond the superorganism”
- Joseph Tainter, the author of The Collapse of Complex Societies, wrote a 2000 paper entitled “Problem Solving: Complexity, History, Sustainability,” that describes the simplification of the Byzantine Empire.