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I am happy to announce that the essays I have written over the past three years are now available for purchase worldwide in book form. Of course, you can read these essays right on this blog, but I hope that having them all together in a single plump little book will make the experience more enjoyable. Presenting these essays as a single collection and juxtaposing the deadly serious with the downright whimsical makes difficult subjects a little bit lighter.
At the risk of overstating the obvious, I'd like to point out that it is your purchases of my books—nothing else—that make it economically possible for me to continue writing and for you to continue reading what I write.
I expect that I will have fewer opportunities to write in the coming months. I am going out into the ocean, you see, and although there will be periodic landfalls, I don't know how many anchorages will come equipped with open wifi or a 4G signal to allow me to blog from them. And so this retrospective offers you a way to continue reading my writings in the meantime should you wish to do so. Looking back, the topics that I wrote on have only become more relevant over time. I stand by everything I wrote, and hope that my work will continue to be worth revisiting as events unfold.
Many thanks to Matt Harter for doing the rendering of the planet's surface covered with highway interchanges and parking lots, to Will Kilburn for editing and proofreading the text, and to the developers at CreateSpace (part of Amazon) for streamlining the publishing process. I would also like to thank those of my readers, who never hesitate to point out whenever I goofed, allowing me to make corrections.
Table of Contents
Dance of the Marionettes • Perfectly Comfortable • The Wheel of Misfortune • Trained for Success, Bred to be Eaten • A Modest Health Care Proposal • Shale Gas: The View from Russia • Down the Skyscraper • Sustainable Living as Religious Observance • Fragility and Collapse: Slowly at first, then all at once • Our Brave Experiment • Peak Oil Oppositional Disorder: Neurosis or Psychosis? • Politics of the Unconscious • The Most Interesting Driver in the World • Suicidal Services • Le Vieillard Gros • In Praise of Anarchy, Part I • In Praise of Anarchy, Part II • In Praise of Anarchy, Part III • The Limits of Language • Due to circumstances under control • Meanwhie in Ireland • The Practice of Anarchy • A Royal Pain in the Ass • Meanwhile in Russia • Escape from the Merry Christmas Zone • The Image of the Enemy • The Ecology of Hell • Pray for an Asteroid • Monkey Trap Nation • Understanding Organizational Stupidity • The Rationale behind the Boston Psy-ops • Meet the Chechens • Look for loopholes to avoid extinction • The Sixth Stage of Collapse • The Story of “Er” • Blessed are the Idiots • In Praise of Nomads • How To Time Collapses • “American” exceptionalism • The Good Life: Mobility, Anonymity, Freedom • Reichstag Fire in Kiev • The Madness of President Putin • Moneybag Logic