My blogroll is curated, meaning that I link only to what I can recommend according to my own standards and values. Links have changed over the nearly eight years I’ve been blogging, the same as my blogging focus. I started out wanting to write a culture blog and unexpectedly careened toward writing more about doom once I became more fully awake and aware of just how horrific the future will be. There is no bigger story out there, and many people like me are telling it. Most adopt perspectives based on science or news (chronicling), transition and/or survival (prepping), or merely facing down
what’s left of the future (coping). A few write dystopian fiction or conjecture about what will unfold (prediction). I try to explore some of the cultural story, which aims at understanding but arguably fits just as well under coping.
What really bums me out, though, is the number of writers who begin by telling and then end up selling, typically books or memberships. Maybe the intention behind writing books is to share what one has worked out and learned. A simple statement to that effect would calm me down, as I recognize books don’t get written and produced without some costs involved. But when a writer (best intentions not always assumed) shoves his or her book(s) in everyone’s face and implores them to buy multiple copies for family and friends (like, say, Morris Berman), well, let me just say I won’t be doing any holiday shopping that way.
Dave Pollard’s website has never been on my blogroll, though I’ve quoted him numerous times. Carolyn Baker’s website only recently came to my attention. They appear together in a conversation hosted by Peak Moment TV, which appears to be earnest in its reports on “people creating resilient communities for a more sustainable, lower-energy future in the face of energy, climate and economic uncertainty.” Content is offered for free, but there are the ubiquitous donate and support buttons if one wishes to contribute.
At the end, Baker’s desperation to position her book cover inside the video frame is appalling in its tackiness and clumsiness. I was so put off by her obvious selling that I couldn’t attend to whatever it was she said. Actually, I gave up listening to her long before then, but not because her message is poor (it’s okay, just not especially helpful). Pollard, on the other hand, doesn’t push his books. He tells that he’s already quite over his former objectives (the subjects of his books I suspect) because nothing worked or ever will work. Instead, he’s trying to help others cope, in part by preparing and positioning himself for when others have achieved readiness to face the truth. So, too, is Baker. Both seem to believe a remnant will manage somehow to survive. I’m less optimistic.
I don’t want to fall into the trap of the intentional fallacy: guessing the minds of others by their actions, words, and behaviors. But I’m a little weirded out by the notion that despite having missed the moving target repeatedly and revised his objectives (speaking here of Pollard — I lack familiarity with Baker to know her trajectory), he can now offer consolation and wisdom as we race toward the end. There is no lack of self-appointed gurus out there who attract followings, though I can’t imagine why anyone would seek that sort of prison except maybe for the self-aggrandizement factor. Even short of that, punditry makes most people look like fools. Someone stop me if ever I veer too close to believing that whatever I’m sharing here in this public venue and elsewhere will amount to more than one small voice calling out feebly into the cavern.