Links 2011-04-03 Coal, Egypt, Climate Camp, Agentic Deadlock

We are All Wotan have an excellent post on “Jevons Paradox

quoting John Bellamy Foster: “Jevons had no answer to the paradox he raised. Britain could either rapidly use up its cheap source of fuel – the coal upon which its industrialization rested – or use it up more slowly. In the end, Jevons said they should use it up rapidly: “If we lavishly and boldly push forward in the creation of our riches, both material and intellectual, it is hard to over-estimate the pitch of beneficial influence to which we may attain in the present. But the maintenance of such a position is physically impossible. We have to make the momentous choice between brief but true greatness and longer continued mediocrity” (The Coal Question, pp. 459-460). Put it that way, the direction to be taken was clear: to pursue glory in the present and a drastically degraded position for future generations.”

[Update 4/3/11 a reader points me to an essay she wrote on "moral dupes."]

A moral dupe is one who makes sacrifices on behalf of his/her own conscience in matters of the commons, and in so doing aids and abets those who do not.
A person who decides to do the “right thing” at some disadvantage to himself may be said to have the satisfaction that doing the right thing brings. But the moral dupe reaps no such comfort; he must admit that his having done the right thing actually makes it possible for the wrongdoers to do more wrong….

There’s a great Egypt backgrounder on the Guardian’s Comment is Free by Hossan el-Hamalawy on the recent overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, who had been having it coming for a long long time

Rhizome point towards an interesting sounding event called 6 billion ways in London this Saturday.

Bristling Badger has a post on Climate Camp. While I don’t agree with much of it, the author is a smart guy, so I may well be wrong, and it is definitely worth your time for a read.

Antonio Dias has a wonderful post called “A Ramble on Negotiations with the Self
Except I have absolutely no idea, no sirree, what he could mean when he writes “There are constant demands to behave like a predictable commodity, even in this under-world of post-everything discussions. We internalize these expectations and desire to be machines even as we talk about the dangers of seeing things, each other, ourselves; as machines. Even in this tempest-in-a-teapot of barely-read blogs there is a tension to maintain “market-share” and not lose….”
He also has a subtle distinction between ritual and routine that I’ve half-inched

In preparation for a youtube video about “agentic deadlock,” I’ve quoted a chunk of a paper about the difference between “Choice” and “Decision”.

Fantastic comments of late (especially) below the “Youtube: From Cannon Fodder to Ego Fodder” post! It’s why I blog, to hear from clued-up people.

About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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2 Responses to Links 2011-04-03 Coal, Egypt, Climate Camp, Agentic Deadlock

  1. leavergirl says:

    There is no solution to the Jevons paradox. If you frugalize, you just make it possible for others to waste more. The game has to change.

    Also, see my essay on moral dupes. It’s mm good. ;)

    http://www.philosophyetc.net/2008/08/vera-on-sustainability-and-moral-dupes.html

  2. dwighttowers says:

    Thanks LG, I read the essay when you posted, but forgot to come back here to say “huzzah”

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