Peak Wishful Thinking

November 17th, 2011

photo taken in the Santa Fe railyard (click to embiggen)

While few of us actually would argue that Peak Oil will bring us relief from this world of somnambulistic disbelief, at some level we tend to believe at the level of neurons and pleasure receptors that it will. With Peak Oil, we seem to assume, we can finally put down our pens, step away from the computer, end all the unheard shouting and facebooking, and get on with the more joyful work of growing food and building shelter with our local community.
This is not a very realistic scenario. Peak Oil is not likely to provide clarity. It is far more likely to cast us into a world of even greater conflict and disagreement. Instead of a clear admission from others that we were right after all, resource depletion will likely be blamed on excess governmental regulation, environmentalist over-reaction, or Europeans, and in an increasingly menacing tone.
via Peak Fantasy | Energy Bulletin.

So, really then, why care about others not caring?

The sense I get as I mull this over as a designer and a human being is that I still feel obligated(?) to explain, or flag issues that potentially lead to more troubles ahead. I can bring up broader cultural concerns with friends and family until they are sick of hearing about it, but there’s little interaction with “the general public” beyond 140 character, snarky remarks on Twitter, or lengthier posts on a “wall” within a browser (what percentage of this town even has internet access??).

So how do you even become an engaged citizen?

The more ominous sense is that there are no tools in today’s “American” culture to cut through the ridiculous speculations and circus acts of political punditry. Marketing/PR firms, and impotent mainstream journalism are spoon-feeding the public with heaping piles of propaganda. Public discourse—if it exists and attempts to compete—is on such feeble ground that it’s easily ignored. Communities flounder with public forums. Facts on anything controversial are constantly brushed aside. In many ways, discussions about current events don’t even take place.

Sophism with a strange blend of stoicism. Both like sweat running down a fat mound of Hubristic Consumerist Fantasies. [this would make a great case-study for mapping mental models because another segment of the population could easily be identified as hormone filled fuck-toads happily filling their lives with debt-charged toys.]

Which begins to explain the greater problem.

When problems arise — resource/energy crises, poisoned land and water, absurd economic disparities leading to concentrated political power (which perpetuates taxpayer subsidies for ridiculously profitable corporations), ‘preemptive’ invasions of foreign countries, neglected and collapsing local infrastructure — the only ones with a practiced methodology are the ad agencies, PR camps, paid “interest groups”, and Corporate-sponsored political entities. Each of these groups are far better at spreading “news” and solicitations than individual citizens.

How can we promote wider, more engaged discourse outside of special interest groups?

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