Follow current events, and sooner or later you get a discussion about how they fit into history.There is certainly enough about the present moment in history to make it a distinctive one. Technology and industrialization have succeeded quite well, thank you, as has financial capitalism and all that goes with it.
Increasingly, though, it looks like these achievements are becoming victims of their own success: we’re seeing climate change, peak oil, finance gone wild. The list goes on, and it may very well be that our moment in history is also a pivotal one.
Interesting times, to be sure.
Asked to define history, Winston Churchill allegedly answered: “It’s just one damned thing after another.” True, when you’re in the middle of it, history appears chaotic. But take a step back, and there’s an arc, much like a good story. Follow the arc, and you get a hint of where it might lead.
So. This is where an old hippie with a mortgage, a pension and a changing view of The Future rationalizes having a blog. It’s a way to take part in some of the more interesting stories that we live, if only in the retelling and critiquing of them.
The stories I’m interested in are those that involve politics, energy, technology, and sustainability. I also like the occasional aside into economics, culture, and philosophy.
Even more than stories, I love ideas. I love conversations about ideas. One of my favorite things ever is staying up late with friends who like to “have an intellectual discussion” now and then. Preferably accompanied by a decent bottle of red wine.
Sometimes they’ll say, “You know, you really should write that down.” It’s flattering, of course, but also a little humbling. Okay, then. Here’s one less reason not to write it down.
What’s uncertain is how well those lively sessions of late-night gab translate to the more linear demands of the written page. I’ve created enough of those, both in print and hopefully-someday-in-print, to have developed a wildly unhealthy, co-dependent relationship with the process.
I suspect, then, that this blogging business will be at its best when it’s less like a bunch of finished essays and more like a wide-ranging conversation where I just get to “write that down.” If this works okay for you, then you have my gratitude for the slack — and even more, for your interest.
Thanks for checking in. Keep coming back, and I’ll keep writing it down.