In this solo episode, KMO re-visits and ties together talk of sex robots, peak oil, the sucky collapse, and surveillance capitalism. He concludes by reading the introduction to the book Modern Nomadics: A Manual and Guide by Alex Wall.
KMO talks to engineer and permaculturalist, Robert Brown, about the strengths and weaknesses of the Peak Oil narrative. KMO recalls the different psychological factions that congregated under the Peak Oil banner. Some were focused on finding investment opportunities, others were disgusted with contemporary society and thrilled at the prospect of it falling to pieces. The conversation also touches on the harms and benefits of digital technology.
KMO has turned Peak Oil apostate. Information technology and machine learning in particular, seem to have played a much more influential and interesting role in determining the course of industrial civilization over the past decade than have shortfalls in petroleum production. In short, the predictions of a Peak Oil fast collapse have failed to materialize. Over that same period, most everyone in the industrialized world has taken to carrying powerful computers around with them that fit in the palms of their hands. Governments and corporations use the data we generate with our online activity for surveillance and social control. What will the coming decade hold? Will the collapse of industrial civilization finally make its entrance, or will information technology extend it's lead over the predicted collapse? KMO puts these questions to long-time C-Realm guest, James Howard Kunstler, who predicts that the collapse is still coming, and that the next couple of years will be marked by greatly increased levels of disorder on the international stage.
KMO welcomes Jay Smith and Jeff Wilburn to the C-Realm to reflect upon the Age of Limits conference. Jay and Jeff, along with their girlfriends, accounted for most of the African-American conference-goers, and this leads to a discussion of how the on-going Peak Oil conversation is one carried out primarily by whites and, to some extent, aims to preserve white privilege and assumes that whites must take the leadership role in deciding how best to address the challenges of the coming long emergency. Both Jay and Jeff initially found the work of James Howard Kunstler to be valuable but later came to chafe at Jim’s seemingly dismissive attitude about black culture and the supposed failure of African-Americans to assimilate into mainstream society.
Music by Monstah Black.