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Ishmael Community Guestbook Archive

Back to the *Current* Guestbook Previous 15 Records · Next 15 Records

Jaret #14808
Van, BC Canada - Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 11:47:26 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hey Madrone, I'm very interested in what you mean by we don't have 2 or 3 generations or 50 to 100 years. And what is the basis for it, global warming?


madrone #14807
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 11:20:59 CST (GMT -6:00)

David-- you know, there's been several times that I have read comments of yours that I agreed with and appreciated (with the exception of your incomprehensible interest in FC). But in recent posts, you have made it abundantly clear that you scorn my thoughts re: feminism and the personal. So why would I offer to speak further to you? Is it not a waste of both our time?

At the risk of further branding as a male-basher, all I can say is that you stand out to me as a good example of the kind of man who gives men a bad name to women, feminist or not: you want affirmation no matter what you say to me, you want the power to say what is discussed and how, and the right to get pissy and/or to ignore me, though you don't accord the same to me. Believe me, attitudes like yours are a dime a dozen and I no longer doubt what to do when I find myself confronted with one: first, try to live and let live, with as little contact as possible. When that fails, kick ass.

When the subject of feminism is raised, you, like most men, start getting all hot and bothered--without, I would guess, even having done a lick of reading about it! You think I am talking in simplistic terms about "equal rights" and "battle of the sexes", and "women unreasonably bashing men for the sins of their fathers"--without the LEAST knowledge of the stunning depth and breadth and spiritual clarity of true feminist vision.

So I will thank you to leave off with your adolescent-style arrogance and temper with me. Well, do as you please, but I will ignore you, as I also ignore FC. I am not sorry that I cannot affirm your status as a star of this show, no more than you are not sorry not to give a real thought to feminism!



madrone #14806
, USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 11:1:16 CST (GMT -6:00)

It would be nice if we had several generations, or even another 50-100 yrs to go for the gradual change, make it palatable to Mr and Ms Average Taker. We don't. So, while you're dreaming up the best way to talk to these "average folks", you might want to also learn how to chop wood, carry water, grow food/identify it in the wild, things like that. Maybe start small, like quit watching tv and supporting the vastly wasteful film industry; once you've done that, you'll have an amazing amount of time on your hands. Out of boredom, you just might think about taking up gardening or making your own bread or music...thus taking yourself that much closer to survival as a creature.

And maybe you don't want to live in a commune in the country, but soon, much sooner than most people believe, the cities will be nothing much more than sinkholes of toxicity and disease, despair and violence. I moved out of Chicagoland in 1975, where much of my family still lives--and I see, during the few visits I make, that the area is already far along that trail.

Remember the parable of the frogs in hot water...the one who started out in cold water died, because the water heated up under him so slowly that he didn't know he was in trouble til he was poached dead. The one tossed straight into boiling water jumped right out, of course, hurt but able to heal.

Which one will YOU be?


David Theis #14805
Hackenheim, Germany -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 10:58:57 CST (GMT -6:00)


sorry, but I can't see how to talk to you. You dismiss the main argument most people give and this is that you think your way is the right way. On the other hand you tell us we think walking away is the right way. That's not true, it's one way, just as your way is one way, one of many. You say people won't give up things, but you ask for people being selfless. Is that easier? How will anyone be selfless if you don't start changing his/her mind? As long as he/she has no reason to do so, no one will do it.

On another point, if you dismiss nearly anything Quinn writes, what did he give you actually? It seems you know a lot more than he does. Never mind.

And they are examples of people walking away. Anasazi, is an example I guess. That's the point of everything. Revolution is just another taker idea, which never worked.

In fact you are blaming all of us of going the wrong way. You did that and that's why I and other feel so angry about you. You said (not in these words) we're nothing than a group of talking people, only complaining, without a notion to change anything. Your main point is we have to stop the plane at all means necessary (or NECESSARY if you like). So what the hell do you think we are doing here?

To Verevolf and Jim,

thanks guys you said everything I couldn't say the last hours. I agree absolutely with everything you said. Verevolf especially, great stuff, thanks a lot!


am I not good enough or what? No I'm really pissed off and this does not happen too often. First you say I did not answer you although I did. And when I remind you of that, you simply ignore me. If I had known you'd dismiss me no matter what I say, I would have said nothing. Damn, and you're telling me things about wrong and right ways, as WE consider them. THANKS YOU VERY MUCH!!

Jaret #14804
Van, BC Canada -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 10:53:18 CST (GMT -6:00)

Let's just quickly say that there are many different kinds of businesses and not all are bad and only profit centered.

Here's jsut one,

What about the people that own the corner store. Yes they want profit, but that just pays their wage. Some get paid better than others because they run the store different. But they know that they will never get really big and grow and they don't want that. They just want to stay open and always be there where they live and work, as part of the community.


Jaret #14803
Van, BC Canada -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 10:36:33 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hey Jim, Sara, and Debbie - I like your style!!

There's just nothing else to do but home school and get as sustainable as possible. From doing what you can right at home now to whatever you can when you have made a life away from a city. Mind set. Tribal businesses can exist. It might not be the answer, but it is a great tool in todays world for supporting communities and getting a group together finacially and sharing the same vision. Therefore pushing for change not only outside of the system on the individual and community level, but also pushing from within corporate and government. If communities take charge of their own essential services then they can push for less government.. Avoid big companies.. kind of thing.

Oh and when I say pushing I mean living by example, but letting it be known there are options and the knowledge is free.

Lets do both the fringed communing with nature thing and the attractive way to the public bit. Sell it, give it away free, whatever you do to get people to truly take responsibility for themselves and their actions is okay by me.

Well not totally whatever way, if I strongly disagree with the style, don't try to awaken people I know or love with it, or then again even me if I'm not awake yet.

Where's the line though eh, I heard a story just the other day that almost made me sick up. You'd think there should be some universal laws that make sure people don't do it anywhere... but how can we....don't fear what we don't understand I guess....


Ameno #14802
Los Angeles, CA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 9:50:15 CST (GMT -6:00)

OK, my story was obviously completely misunderstood, and it has people thinking that I am proposing some sort of armed struggle. I MOST CERTAINLY AM NOT. I am proposing that the plane must be stopped from crashing by ANY MEANS NECESSARY. It isn't very selfless at all, considering that if the cockpit isn't taken you are gonna die. That probably isn't (at least initially) an armed struggle. This battle is for hearts and minds of the world, and humans are much smarter than going guns blazing into a fight without some real chance. Did MArtin Luther King Jr. or Ghandi tell anyone to fight with armed rebellion, NO, because that would have backfired, as it will here. However, both men were prepared to give their lives for the cause, AND BOTH DID. That is all I am saying.

The key is the solution, is it not? We all want at least some glimpse of it. Well, to understand the solution, you need to understand the problem thoroughly (DQ restates this in his books time and time again). DQ very much undercuts business as the real issue.

First I want to say, I don't BLAME anyone, and as you'll see in my discourse (should be done by tomorrow or Saturday), where we are is certainly an evolutionary process, almost destined to be due to certain chains of events. We cannot escape the fact that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" (look it up).

This is why tribal business will never work. A business is based on 3 things, without these things you have no business. Now, you will have fluctuating degrees of each, but each MUST be there. They are NATURAL RESOURCES (wood, land, water, etc.), HUMAN RESOURCES (self explanatory), and CAPITAL RESOURCES (these are generally finished products made from natural resources, like tools). The hijacking is that in the current business model, all three can be owned. THAT IS TRULY OUR CULTURE. It is truly an abstraction. A tribal business still seeks to OWN all three. Therefor it is JUST A BUSINESS, there is nothing tribal about it. In leaver societies, only one of those is ever owned (capital resources), and an individual's hold on that is pretty tenuous. Therein lies the real difference.

There is no impetus to "lock up the food", have totalitarian agriculture, destroy the environment, or got to full scale war if these three things cannot be made into private property (ESPECIALLY NATURAL RESOURCES).

I will, in my discourse, show how this evolved. It will be very obvious once you see it. And, I also have some idea on how people can "walk away," Which I will write up in another discourse.

Jim Linder #14801
San Jose, CA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 9:50:8 CST (GMT -6:00)

My final comments on feminism (like David, I try to stay away from this one): I think I stated it before, and someone else pretty much said the same thing (see I forget names too). I think the treatment of women to be a symptom of the memes we are enacting.

Rather than all disagreeing or trying to make us men feel like scum (not that that isn’t justified), can’t we try to find common ground. Can’t we all agree, that in history, women have been treated on the whole continuum? From gods to goods (hey, that’s pretty catchy. Make sure you give me credit when you use it! J). Today, can’t we all agree that women are still treated on a continuum? (Maybe not as gods.) And I would think we could all agree that we want all living things to be given equal respect, including women.

Debbie, great post. I’m going to copy that to my personal archive. I was bummed when I read the Bison Band stories, because I was ready to join them for a long weekend, only to find out as I read more that they moved back into Pyramid city.

One of the best books I have read about all this is: Asking the Earth: Farms, Forestry, and Survival in India by Pereira and Seabrook. I think it must have been influenced by Ishmael, because all the same messages are there. Only in this book, they illustrate how Britain forced the indigenous Indians to live like takers. It sort of put a face on the whole thing for me. They even talked about how the tribes did very nice using trees and herbs to do things, and then the government basically took away their ability to do so, and made takers (or more accurately, consumers) of them.

As far as walking away proposals, I have tried to be very careful and only state what this one changed mind is planning to do. I HAVE given up my Suburban (and ate $5000 worth of payments) for a Prius. I WANT to give up my supermarkets and my nice cozy house. I welcome comments to tell my why this might not be a good idea, but in the end, it is all up to me. As for others, I don’t intend to tell them “What to do”. I only intend to say “The pilot is not your friend” and to show them how I am dealing with that fact. Once they decide the pilot is not their friend, then they can decide for themselves what they want to do. This is the one part of the vision, that I think I understand the most.

I found the Ishi book I am reading at a garage sale. Funny story I will save for another time. It’s called Ishi; Last of his tribe by Theodora Kroeber. I’m about a third done. I just looked inside the cover, and it turns out it is a California state textbook from 1964! (I used to think libraries were only filled with old books. Now I realize that if you are studying older things, it doesn’t matter)

Back to draggin stones…


Jen #14800
Webster, WI USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 9:29:46 CST (GMT -6:00)

Jim~ RE:#15119

Which book on Ishi are you reading? I have 2 books on him in my library: 1.Ishi In Two Worlds-Theodora Kroeber 2.Ishi the Last Yahi/A Documentary History-edited by Robert F. Heizer & Theodora Kroeber

If you are reading something other than those two, I'd really appreciate it if you'd give me the info on it. I've been researching the life of this amazing man for several years and am always hungry for new info.

Thanks a bunch!


Sara #14799
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 9:28:47 CST (GMT -6:00)

i think we're getting ahead of ourselves here with the dying for our cause, intentional communities, wilderness training, etc.

maybe this is just my vision of how things will be, but i think change will happen much slower than that, and in a much more organic way. also, i think we need to keep in mind that our change will not necessarily be a change back to Leaver ways, but a change to new ways for a new culture. while wilderness training is certainly a good thing, especially if that's what you're interested in, i don't think we necessarily need to plan to be hunter gatherers living off the land in 10 years. the change, like all other cultural changes and movements that have actually worked, will have to be extremely gradual.

the change will also have to be attractive to the general public. confront the average suburban family with the statement, "let's walk away from society and live in a commune," or "let's go live off the land and walk away from civilization," no one is going to want to walk away. they are going to say, "what? and give up our comfortable house, and our nice big car, and our central A/C, and our TV, and our running water, and our supermarket..." and they're going to dismiss you as a neo-hippie who is all into "communing with nature." but explain to them in a way that would sound good to anyone and would not sound like it involves a lot of "giving up," and you might get somewhere.

of course, this is just my opinion. but i think that identifying ourselves as a fringe "communing with nature" kind of group is going to be poison.

what we need to be doing, in my opinion, is to use the media, and to work from ideas the mainstream already finds acceptable. this is what the women's lib movement did -- they used aspects of the media and pop culture (writing books, protesting, airing their messages in mainstream TV and films, etc.) to get their message accross. and it worked, in a very short time. look at the change in the way the current generation views female issues and the way their grandparents do. in the space of just 30-odd years, things have changed dramatically.

or look at the gay rights movement. in 1968 homosexuality was a sickness. 32 years later, we have major gay characters in hit TV shows. and TV is one of the most conservative pop culture mediums.

we need to change the minds of the passengers on the plane, not rush the hijackers alone.

Mark Shragge #14798
San Francisco, CA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 9:21:50 CST (GMT -6:00)

Professor Donnelly at the Fromm Institute at University of San Francisco taught a course based on Ishmael. It was very interesting and an eye-opener.

Stephen Figgins #14797
Monroe, WA USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 9:15:52 CST (GMT -6:00)

Ameno, I think how your viewpoint differs from Quinn's is not in where you two lay the blame (TA vs. Corporations) but rather in how you are looking at the problem altogether.

To understand Quinn's approach it might help to understand what Peter Senge writes in The Fifth Discipline about the relation between Systems Thinking and Mental Models, and perhaps some of what Dawkins writes about memes near the end of his book The Selfish Gene.

Quinn draws from this that our system reflects our mental models, that it is built from our mental models much the same way our own bodies are built from our genes. Unless those mental models change, the system itself cannot be changed. You might be able to tinker it a bit this way or that way some with programs, but the system as a whole will resist change because it is the result of how we think.

Quinn isn't blaming hijackers, or businesses, or pharoahs, or governments, or anyone in particular. These positions, he says, are an inevitable part of how we think. Like your corporations, like GE, they don't depend on who works for the corporation, the parts are interchangable as long as the design holds, as long as its central ideas hold. The corporation holds.

If you want to attack Quinn's suggestions, his fallacies, you might want to start with his approach. Was this approach, mental models and systems thinking, a mistake? Or is Quinn onto something here, and you just think maybe he picked out the wrong memes as the deadly ones?

Chew on that when you are writing about Quinn's fallacies. If you don't address this central point, that our mental models create our culture, then your arguments will just come across as straw men, and your knocking them down only as so much wind.

Debbie #14796
, NJ USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 8:53:44 CST (GMT -6:00)

Go Verevolf! I'm glad you've been able to stay up and yell at Ameno. I'm starting to like the analogy of "making your own parachute." Going to a wilderness school is one good way. Starting an intentional sustainable community based on small scale agriculture is another. I'm thinking of maybe working at the "Dancing Rabbit" ecovillage over the summer and develop my skills. There are plenty of other ways of course.

Here are some examples of peoople walking away. You may consider these to be FLEEING FROM or FLOCKING TO, but it's all the same to me. Today, there are the homeless, street gangs and cults. There's the voluntary simplicity movement and permaculture. In the past, we have the famous Ted Kaczynski, who did it in the 70s. Notice what happened when he became delusional and decided he could take on the Great Satan of technology with a few explosives (hey, there's no wrong way to rush the cockpit, as long as you do it, right?). The hippies tried it in the 60s. Some succeded and are still making a living on their communes to this day. Notice how the activist hippies, the ones which risked life and limb to make a statement, only managed to make life in the prison a little more comfortable. Whoop-de-doo.

I wonder if Ameno would have been happier if Jim's headlines included, "Jim Linder shot and killed while attempting to assassinate heads of evil businesses" or something.

If there's one thing that never ceases to amaze me about human beings is our unwavering ability to adapt to new conditions, as long as it is in our best interest to do so. Following only our survival instincts, humans have managed to live and live well everywhere from the middle of the desert to the artic circle. Imagine living your entire life drinking only camel blood. People have done it. This is why I believe that when the time comes that it is painfully obvious that we must walk away (or FLEE FROM civilization or FLOCK TO the jungle) in order to insure our survival, people will do it. They'll find a way.

Brandis #14795
Phoenix, AZ USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 8:52:46 CST (GMT -6:00)

Madrone- You had said that most of the things that DQ spoke of in his books were not new ideas to you (aside from the Cain and Abel/ Agriculture view) because you have read many books on this same topic. I wondered if you might remember some of the titles of these books so that i could read them. I have read DQ's books several times and would like to read some new literature on the topic. I have been through some of the books on the website's suggested reading list and wondered if you had more to add to this. Also, for anyone else that has some good books relating to this very topic, I would love to hear from you as well. I just want to mention that I think that it is wonderful that people such as yourselves are discussing these topics through this guestbook and I enjoy reading the entries. Thank you very much. Have a wonderful day! Brandis

john kurmann #14794
Kansas City, MO USA -
Thursday, December 6, 2001 at 7:22:58 CST (GMT -6:00)

Yes, it's that pamphlet post again, Guestbook regulars, so feel free to skip it:

With Dan's permission, my brother and I have produced tri-fold pamphlet versions of seven Quinnian speeches: "Reaching for the Future with All Three Hands," "The Little Engine that Couldn't," "A Path of Hope for the Future," "The New Renaissance," "Our Secret Plan" (appears under the original name of "On Investments" on this website), "Technology and the Other War," and "Protecting the Environment" (if you haven't already read them, you can go to the "Things to Read" section and click on "Essays and speeches" to do so). Bev Courtney and I have also created a pamphlet of our own called "Tunnel Vision: How We're Thinking Ourselves and Our Children to Death" which explores the question of worldview. DQ has put his stamp of approval on it by allowing us to use the "Ishmael in thought" image. In addition, I have created a version of DQ's "Talk About Wealth!" essay that's more suitable for copying and distribution than a simple print-out from this website would be. I am distributing some of these in the Kansas City area with the help of other local Bs. [What this means is that we leave them at libraries, coffeehouses, bookstores, and the like for people to pick up, not that we stand on street corners passing them out. I'm not saying that such an approach would be "wrong," but I think it's best to let people come to these ideas on their own, when they're ready.] If you'd like to get masters of any or all of these materials so you can make copies to distribute in your area (don't worry, they won't cost you anything), contact me.

You can check up on the rest of what I'm doing by pulling up my entry in the Ishmael Community Network. Also, click on my name to visit the on-line column I co-hosted with Bill Gresham called "Rethinking the World."

In addition to the pamphlet masters, I also have a few other things you might find of interest:

-A 1992 story about DQ from a publication called Inquirer (e-mail copy);

-A 1996 interview with DQ (a very extensive one) from Illusions magazine (website link);

-A recounting of an e-mail dialogue between DQ and Lance Pierce, also from Illusions, which illustrates both how Quinn thinks and how his ideas are often misunderstood; this one's very important to understanding what DQ is really saying (website link);

-A 1997 interview with DQ from The Sun magazine (e-mail copy);

-A 1999 article about DQ from Texas Monthly magazine (e-mail copy);

-An essay by Thom Hartmann (author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight) called "The Lost People" (website link);

-An essay by Ronald Wright (author of Stolen Continents) called "Civilization is a pyramid scheme";

-An essay by Jared Diamond (author of Guns, Germs and Steel) called "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race";

-A joint statement issued by the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of London titled "Population Growth, Resource Consumption and a Sustainable World" (nice to have around to show to folks who think science is going to be able to solve our problems because it makes clear that scientists aren't by any means convinced of that; website link to preview and hard-copy available);

-Files delineating the revisions made to Ishmael, The Story of B, and My Ishmael when they were released in later editions.

E-mail me if you would like any or all of the above items.

Hope to hear from some of you soon. Take care.

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