I’m 14 years old, and i live in southeastern michigan. The main reason im writing you is because i cant get people to take anything involved with saving the earth seriously. when i say people i mean the kids in my class, but it scares me that if people take that attitude towards these kinds of issues then we’re pretty well doomed.

its not that i want to tell them how they should live there lives, its that i want them to at least try to understand what were in for if we continue to treat our world this way. i am hoping that since most of them will have read Ishmael by the time i go back to school, that it will have had some kind of impact on them.

i dont really know what kind of response im expecting or if im going to get one, but i just wanted to see if there’s any way i can get people to listen to me and you and all the others that seek freedom from the doom that is sure to come upon our world.

It’s been over a decade since Ishmael was published. My question is, how are we doing?

You once described the potential for exponential growth of the ideas in Ishmael. Has this been the case, or do you think there may come a time when “Quinn-changed minds” are relegated to the ranks of cultish idealists?

My friends and family have put me in such a category for years, and I’m starting to believe them.

I have been reading the book My Ishmael and was wondering if/when we save the world, after a while people might forget about this culture and start locking up their food again, starting a whole new “Mother Culture.” This whole saving the world will be essentially pointless if some one messes it up again. Would we have anything to keep us from doing that again?

I am now fighting two distinct battles. One against the idea that people are supposed to rule the world, and the other against the notion that governments are supposed to rule people.

Frankly, I’m surprised you’re not an anarchist. You’ve indicated that the “laws” that governments write are inferior to those that grow and evolve with cultures. But, in the answers to questions 502 and 592, you seem to concede the inborn right of you and your tribe to govern yourselves—to ignore old minds that are merely elected, and often critically opposed to your ideas.

You contend that the problems of our culture developed systemically, yet you feed a failed, corrupt system (the U.S. government) with your vote. I find it difficult to believe that you can see the potential of walking away from civilization without ceasing the opportunity to walk away from corruption. Al Gore is a great alternative to George Bush for president, just as a clean knife is better that a rusty one for impaling oneself.

How are you different from the prophets who tell people how to live thier lives? I know it is not your intention to do so, but I feel like through reading other questions and talking with other Ishmael readers, that your ideas revolutionize the way we think about the world.

In turn, how we live is ultimately shaped by you. Gutting out our system of understanding and replacing it with that of Ishmael changes how we think and live, right?