Obligatory Year End Post
Totally Digestible by Addled Holiday Brains
First, thank all of you who read this. Without you there would be little point in writing it other than hoping for some possible posterity value.
This is my last post of 2022 (“thank goodness!” I hope you don’t say) and I wish you enjoyment of the weirdness that is the Winter Solstice.
So you know, I tried to offer a monthly subscription rate of $1/month in case someone thought Views You Can Use was worth it. The platform wouldn’t allow it; they require I charge a minimum of $5/month. I’m not going to charge $60/year, and I don’t believe most other writing here on Substack is worth that.
Instead, consider subscribing to the Atlantic or New Yorker or The Guardian or Counterpunch. Read Robert Reich. Donate to Extinction Rebellion. The same $60 can pay for crews of top flight professional reporters digging deep into the real meat of things across a wide swath of concerns and expertise. Or $60 can support people putting their bodies on the line where it really matters.
Meantime I think you’ll read things here you won’t find elsewhere, and you’re getting a good deal since it’s free. So never mind all that pay crap - you know the drill: please encourage others to read this stuff. This coming year I’ll think about incentives to attach to paid subscriptions that will actually accomplish something. Stay tuned.
Here’s what’s coming in 2023, when we’ll plumb the depths together by leveraging critical thinking, iconoclasm, and deobfuscation. We’ll talk about what needs to happen and how we can all lean into making it so. To wit:
Divestment and ESG are failed models of how to use money as leverage to mitigate the climate calamity. These approaches were a worthy attempt, but the next 25 years need to look very different than these past efforts. I’ll talk about a different way, and how you yourself can put some money where it will do some real work to fix the hydrocarbon mess.
I suppose I have to write the obligatory piece on how lame the chatter is about ChatGPT. Where were the grownups in the room when the creators of ChatGPT put on the whiteboard: “knowledge represented as language pattern probabilities derived from analyzing billions of humans typing on the Internet” and said, “we need to invest billions of dollars in this” - eh?
Economic models of the true costs of climate destruction and environmental depredation are a joke. Relying only on current economic methods for analysis is like thinking that if you keep digging the hole you’re in, going deeper with the only tool you have and understand, you’ll eventually pop out the other side.
Speaking of which - environmental movements love to call out reduction of meat-eating as an important climate mitigation and something individuals can do to create a better world. This is bullshit - I’ll show you why and talk about the dark side behind this narrative.
I’ll dig a little deeper into the privacy some of the online robo-therapist sites. I just found another one: their home page reaches out - totally unnecessarily - to a page owned by some dude living in Moscow. That delivers unto him ways to fetch your personal Internet address. Nice.
Narrative busting. We have to expose the dominant narratives that are responsible for the global cataclysm that is Modern Global Hyper-Capitalism. Then we need to refute the fallacies of those incumbent myths and tell new stories. We’ll revisit narratives like “More People Are Living Above the Poverty Line Than Ever Before” and “People Are Living Longer Than Ever Before.”
We supposedly teach our children “play fair” and “share” and “be considerate of others” - so why do we see such greed, destruction, and apocalyptic consumption when children grow up? What are we missing?
That’s enough! I’ve now committed to an ambitious program of writing and I’ll have to deliver. I’d better not add any more.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS - Days are going to get longer from here so light a fire and rejoice, like humans have been doing for at least 20,000 years. Wrap your ritual in your favorite narrative.