• Declaring victory

    by  • August 3, 2011 • Everything Else • 0 Comments

    It’s come time for me to “declare victory” on two projects.

    1) The Institute for Collapsonomics got going on this blog well over two years ago, in March 2009. The US has just narrowly avoided a sovereign default at which point there is no further need to argue about whether economic risks to the global economy need to be addressed just like any other risk. (MP3, Uncivilization 2010 session). Contingency plans need to be made for economic collapse and individuals, groups, organizations and the State all need to be preparing. The Institute for Collapsonomics was correct and prescient, and there’s no more to argue about. We won this one. You can be prepared to handle the risk or not, but our thesis has been proven. You can follow the blow-by-blow feed on #collapsonomics

    2) The Hexayurt Project has likewise attained maturity as an open source project. Right now I can barely keep up with the mailing list traffic, and very seldom does anybody ask me anything directly. People are researching, innovating and sharing together effectively as a team. Edmund Harriss, Scott Davis and Dylan Toymaker have surpassed me in design, and Julie Danger and Lucas Gonzalez have surpassed me in documentation. I’m continuing to do my part, of course, but we’re no longer in a position where if I don’t build it, it doesn’t happen. Judging by mailing list traffic and other factors, I expect there to be several hundred hexayurts at Burning Man this year. The test units in Haiti and Sri Lanka continue to do reasonably well. I am now confident that given time, the hexayurt will spread as far as it is useful.

    I have a slight case of empty-nest about these projects but there’s nothing worse than being stuck in an identity too long. To continue to grow, feel and be alive there must be constant change and to continue to pretend that these projects need my constant attention would be to refuse new challenges. I can stay stuck in these roles, or I can move on. I choose to move on.


    It’s been hard, psychologically, to disentangle myself from my old perspective and way of doing things to free myself up to do the job right on The Future We Deserve book. I knew I’d hit a crisis when I read the manuscript and it completely wiped out my own sense of the future; nothing I thought I knew or casually assumed to be true was left standing, outside of a few simple technological trends. It shifted my sense of human potential, too, as I saw that everybody had deep insight in the places where the future affected them closely: in fact, specialists tended to talk about other people’s experiences, rather than their own, and wrote less compellingly. Why can’t we effectively use the wisdom that everybody has about their own lives?

    So now the editing begins. If you want to give a hand, please get in touch, but it’s not so much that it will be an onerous task. I’m sorry this has taken such a long time to start, but I had to become the person who could see the future in the way that the book portrayed it before I could do the project justice. I had expected to stand where I was, and move the book around me, but instead I found myself having to move to the vision of the future contained in the book, and work from there; I could not deny that I had my mind changed by what the contributors had written, and it’s taken me most of a year to catch up with myself.

    I think I’ve finally done it. You will see progress now. The one thing I do need help with is figuring out how to get PediaPress to play nicely with the ISBN system. Does the LightningSource deal fix that? If anybody has insights on that, please get in touch!

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    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


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