KMO's 2017 summer odyssey begins in this episode. First stop is the home of author, blogger and podcaster, James Howard Kunstler. JHK took KMO on a garden tour, and then they got down to the serious business of making up fanciful stories with the aid of a set of Story Cubes. The next day, KMO drove to Lancaster, PA to the home of Kevin Lynn of the Center for Progressive Urban Politics. We'll hear more from Kevin in an upcoming episode. The rest of this episode consists of a meditation on the costs of social media inspired by an episode of Hidden Brain.
Duncan Crary, former co-host of the Kunstlercast, was scheduled to appear on C-Realm Radio #45 to talk about James Howard Kunstler's response to the Shit-Town Podcast. JHK had had email and phone communications with John B. McLamore. But a family emergency kept Duncan from calling into the live radio show, but he and KMO did get together on Skype later that day. That conversation can be heard in this episode of the Vault. KMO and Duncan talk about the problem of "doomerism," and the degree to which purveyors of "doomer porn" can be held responsible for the choices of the people who are attracted to that sort of message.
KMO is leaving Bellows Falls for the summer, so this will be the last episode of C-Realm Radio for a good long while. In the first hour, we hear from Duncan Crary and James Howard Kunstler about Jim's correspondence with John B. McLemore, a cranky character from Alabama made famous by the S-Town podcast. Duncan was supposed to call in to discuss the pre-recorded material, but life intervened and KMO ended up riffing for the second half of the first hour about his own dances with doomerism.
In the second hour, KMO's long-time partner in podcasting over at the Z-Realm, Marty, joins the conversation to talk about life, the universe and Wonder Woman. Marty was called in for the first episode of C-Realm Radio, so it is only appropriate that he should be around for the last episode.
Friend of the C-Realm, The Cloudwalking Owl, sees a pattern in the topics that KMO covers in C-Realm conversations. He also notices that KMO never makes direct mention of community organizing. In this episode, Owl speaks of Saul Alinsky and shares some his own successes in the realm of community-building and bringing people together to promote their common interests. The conversation touches on the unhelpful mindset of Doomerism, but a detailed examination of how the conviction that all is lost stands in the way of effect community-building will have to wait for a future conversation.
A couple of months ago, KMO met with several Peak Oil personalities in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and asked them a question about electric cars that was provided by Eric Boyd. If you missed that, you can watch the YouTube video. Eric was not satisfied with what seemed like canned responses. He explains why in this episode. The conversation then touches on Hulu's adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale before moving on to China's push to be the world leader in the development and utilization of artificial intelligence. Of course, you can't talk about AI's impact on the economic landscape without talking about it's job-killing aspect. Jobs provide a stable identity over time, or at least they used to when it was common for people to stay at the same company for decades. Hopefully, the Millenials will do better at re-inventing themselves than have the Boomer men who lost their jobs late in the game.
Timothy Kercheville describes himself as a landless farmer, and he is demonstrating how a world of opportunities exists for people who are long on passion but short on land and capital. Timothy's is using his passion for regenerative agriculture to transform his local community in Kentucky. He has turned the sprawling lawn of the local jail into a working farm and transformed prisoners into gardeners in the process, and at every turn, he is using farming as a high-leverage point for preparing his community for the transition to a post-petroleum world.
The conversation about IQ and life outcomes just won't die, largely because of the push-back that KMO receives every time he tries to advance the discussion. In this episode, KMO spends some time defining intelligence while also admitting that it is a slippery, context-dependent idea that is liable to evolve over time. Thereafter, KMO and Douglas Lain respond to listener feedback on their previous conversation on this topic. That conversation involves the examination of possible alternate histories and touches on the question of whether it is better to reach a large audience who mostly don't get what you're talking about or reaching a small but sophisticated audience who grok what you have to say and offer you the incentive to go deeper.