a car irony

Hi reader, I appreciate all of the probably undeserved attention I get from you bearing with me through my nit-picking critiques of this and that daily modern phenomenon. I don’t know if any of it will be for naught, or not—perhaps I should stop writing and make the full plunge in to farming? Farming is my body’s passion, if not fully my brain’s passion (yet). I just feel compelled (copper personality and ocd are probably big influences) to mention and publicize these little ideas about how the world is not working in our favor, hoping that if in accumulation enough are identified we can really make the world a better place. I remind myself to focus on problems that are theoretically preventable, and not so far removed from human tangible power that they feel disempowering just to ponder. Anyways, thanks for reading these sort of ramblings too, which you have if you got this far down!

To make it worth your time, what I was originally going to post about actually was perhaps nit-picking, but I feel compelled to mention it:

Instinctively, I would think that the act of sitting down gives a self-reinforcing feedback loop sequence to the brain->body->brain->body, and so on, that it is time to safely relax and let one’s guard down. However: one of the generally most dangerous activities humans partake in is driving, which of course takes place while we are sitting down (I am not suggesting we should have standing cars! I am quite of the mind that cars—and trucks, and most other metallic objects that move at high speeds—should be uninvented). We probably let our guard down far too often when sitting and watching things of consequence, and too easily falling in to complacency when sitting and viewing things of little consequence, but to keep this to driving—I think we are in even greater danger (unjust danger) because of things that are outside of our immediate control; such things as the very shape of the car, but also of course that cars weigh many times more than our little bodies and they move much faster too, a deadly combination when the metal frame collides internally or externally with the human frame.

As far as uninventing this system, this probably seems too tall a task and against what I previously said. But to the contrary I think there is a (parking) lot we can all choose to get towards the ideal of a carless world. The car-road-fuel system, like any other, can be atrophied by lack of engagement through finding ways to limit and stop the use of it. Living more locally is a big part of the fix, and would fix a number of things including a great deal of the psychological woes by being simultaneously under and over connected (a topic for another post, if I can ever get to it) to wide geographies that we (some of us) presume mastery over while really only have cursory knowledge of.

¡Park the car and move yourself, instead of parking yourself in a moved car!

¡A carless world can finally return to be a little more of a careless world!

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5 thoughts on “a car irony

  1. If only, if only….. I wouldn’t want to bring my daughter up in the part of the city where I work but teaching at a university isn’t a job you can pick up anywhere. I’ve spent the last ten years (since she was born) thinking of how an alternative for I can feed her and be intellectually stimulated by people from around the world but as yet have no solution.

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    • I hear what you are saying about jobs as an academic being sparse, and often located in cities. Maybe the answer is staring right at us, with the discourses that are available on the Internet. However to make a living off that is another matter, and I enjoy seminars a lot more than youtube videos/podcasts/essay-readings. I have mostly given up on the idea of an academic life, and am transitioning to a farmer/homesteader occupation. Universities will soon imho be shown to be historically quite ephemeral.

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      • I think it’s really important for students to learn with each other and a teacher. Some people need contact more than others but if you’re like me, there’s no way I could do online courses. I therefore don’t think the answer is ‘staring at us’ with YouTube videos and the like.

        There are a lot of things wrong with universities – we despair for example at the increasing number of lectures, which are shown to be the worst way to learn. However, that is more or less exactly what I got on a PDC that I did – with the added insult that they disclosed my personal details to unknown third parties and other grave misdemeanours.

        It’s great if you have the capacity to do homesteading. As a single parent in the UK without support who needs human contact (specifically the opportunity to mix with people from around the world and speak several languages), homesteading is out of the question.

        The more I look into permaculture, the more I see it offers no more of a solution than anything else. Kindness and compassion are what the world needs. Being publicly humiliated on the PDC for not wanted to drive myself and others around in my car does not fit into that paradigm at all.

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        • I’m sorry that the pdc went so poorly for you, that’s a shame and I wonder if others who took it under the same teacher(s) had similiar complaints. I have not yet taken one, but have vetted through a few different options here on the east coast, usa. Homesteading seems far fetched to me too at my current point, but I am also feeling continued existence in an unsupported metropolis is very far fetched. It keeps on trucking (literally) for the moment, but I think it will have to stop, save some new energy resource that keeps the silliness going.

          I love universities and person to person learning, including lectures actually (but it must be from a good lecturer. This audio learning is how I do best I think, being a big listener to economic podcasts (not as big on some permaculture podcasts).

          The best best teacher though, is my own mind, giving it things to chew on, a day or week later it spits out some awesome answers, if I just give it the time and space and lack of stressors to do its thing. It might even be the akashic record talking?

          Thanks as always for sharing your candid thoughts, and good fortunes navigating the future!

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          • Thank you – and good luck to you, too.

            I learn best by doing and so the PDC is in many ways neither here nor there. I’d rather not have to be driving to and from work, at the very least, but when my daughter is older I might be able to revise this situation. It is good to be living on the edge of the countryside, though.

            Lots of interesting things can happen in a metropolis but I understand why you might not be drawn to living and working in one. As you have an idea of how you see your future, I hope this will lead you on the right path for yourself. And I would agree that the mind is the best teacher 😊.

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