Computing in the Long Emergency

Where will computing go in the coming years? I thought I should find out, so I watched this roundtable and other talks and interviews on the subject (warning: it’s pretty dry stuff). I came away underwhelmed. Maybe it’s that besides technological utopians of the Ray Kurzweil variety, the visions of the future presented by technologists … Continue Reading

some garden progress

Not much, but I’m getting things done.  This is what my back patio/yard looked like when I moved in: And this is what it looks like now:     There’s quite a bit of clutter to get rid of, and I still need to arrange containers better and sow some of the small beds, but … Continue Reading

top brassica

Collards are my favorite green leafy vegetable to grow.  They’re adaptable to many temperate climates, they’re slow to bolt, they don’t wilt easily, and once they get to a good size you can harvest leaves over the course of a season without killing the plant itself. Plus they’re extremely forgiving in the kitchen.  Unlike the … Continue Reading

A Sheet Mulch

how resilient is the food system?

Given industrial food’s dependence on petroleum, it’s easy to conclude that peak oil poses a serious threat to our food supply.  And it’s likewise easy, given the importance of food in our lives, to conclude that making food peak-oil-resilient is one of the first things to worry about.  So it’s a nice surprise to hear … Continue Reading

a brief history of Dutch bicycle paths

Thanks to Catarina Dutilh Novaes at NewAPPS, I saw a nice short film about the recent history of cycling and cycle paths in the Netherlands.  As she puts it: As so many other countries, after WWII the Netherlands went through an economic boom, which among other things meant many more cars and the accompanying need … Continue Reading

An Oil, Energy, and Alternatives FAQ

Over the past two years I’ve had the chance to give presentations on energy in front of different audiences, and have enjoyed the discussions that followed. However, I’ve found that there’s a lot of background material that needs covering on energy, economics, oil, growth, ecology, etc. that makes it difficult to get the conversation going. … Continue Reading

Persistent Pollutants

Recently I read McKay Jenkins’s What’s Gotten Into Us?. The book, like many others in recent years, attempted to catalog the ways in which we’ve invisibly transformed our lived environment over the last several decades to incorporate all sorts of synthetic compounds, many of which stick around for decades more, many of which are extremely … Continue Reading