Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Post-collapse professional credentials

[Guest post by Peter.]

At first sight you may think that this is a nonsensical topic. Is anyone really going to care about your professional credentials post-collapse? Unfortunately the answer may be “yes.” In order to illustrate the problems you may face, I am going to present you with a hypothetical scenario of a physician providing general medical services in an ongoing-collapse or post-collapse environment. The general principles are also applicable to other professions such as nursing, dentistry and pharmacy, civil engineering, etc.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Answers to Tough Questions

Over the past two weeks I have been reaching out to my readers in an effort to come up with some answers to four very difficult questions that have come out of the third annual Age of Limits Conference. Some of the answers that have rolled in, via blog comments and emails, are very good—much better than anything I could have come up with. All I had to do was select the best of the bunch and edit them for clarity. I omitted the names, to help you take them in the right spirit: as anonymous gifts from disembodied voices on the internet. That's probably the best that a transitory virtual community, linked together by a predominantly coal-fired energy technology that powers some unbelievably resource-intensive microchips, should ever hope to achieve.

Monday, June 16, 2014

American Foreign Policy Fiascos

Jon Shireman
The US has been quite busy this century trying to undo itself as a world power. This was slow going in the beginning—after all, mighty empires don't tend to fail overnight—but after a decade of assiduous effort the pace has started picking up speed. Like most collapses, the fiascos the US has been creating proceed slowly at first, then all at once.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Village Medicine

[The Four Questions have drawn an incredible number of responses, both as blog comments and as much longer emails. They are still coming in, and will take me some time to process.]

The e-book edition of Communities that Abide includes a chapter by Peter Gray, which didn't make it into the paper edition. Peter is a family physician in Canada (as is James, who contributed another chapter on medicine; it is nice that Canadian medics are stepping up to helping people deal with the medical madness that reigns south of the border). He set out to explain “how a village healer in a post-collapse community of a few hundred people, with some basic knowledge and simple tools, might make a positive difference to health, illness and suffering in that community. Peter is not any sort of alternative practitioner: “The tools and techniques described in this essay are only to be used in scenarios where conventional Western medicine is unavailable.” But unlike the vast majority of his colleagues, Peter has spent a great deal of time thinking forward to the time when the tools Western medicine takes for granted are unavailable, and finding out which alternatives are effective, which medical interventions should still be attempted, and which are pointless to try.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Communities that Abide Kindle Edition

The e-book (Amazon Kindle) edition of the book is now available worldwide, and includes a bonus chapter on Village Medicine by Peter Gray, an allopathic practitioner who has been giving the inevitable future of his profession a lot of thought.

Please order it here.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Four Questions

At the end of last week's review of Age of Limits 2014, I posed the following four questions, which I think are key to moving beyond merely intellectualizing the predicament we face, and toward making actual meaningful changes to the way we live:

1. How can we communicate the reality of collapse to family and friends in ways that are constructive rather than destructive and find helpful ways to reflect our “endarkenment” in our everyday behavior?

2. How can we form personal relationships with people that can survive the disappearance of official life support systems based on finance, commerce and centralized authority?

3. How can we transform our physical selves into ones that will stand a chance, by eliminating lifestyle diseases, bad habits, luxuries and comforts, and by finding maximally independent and resilient ways to provide the necessities?

4. How can we make use of ritual and spiritual practice to transform a group of individuals into a community?