Stewart Brand with a Boffer. These things were foam swords for working out your aggressions. The theory was that violence is instinctive in us, and we could reduce the real thing by playfully ritualizing it. Brand introduced me to a lot of things through the Whole Earth Catalog, and its descendants, including Boffers — which got my thigh seriously chomped by a friend’s dog. More lately, Brand has introduced me to Steven LeBlanc’s archeological history of human violence, Constant Battles. We’re violent when we exceed carrying capacity.
I'm interested in practical solutions for an empire and a world that face declining fossil-fuel wealth. Peace and justice may become more elusive as oil becomes dearer. Stability, and what E. F. Schumacher called "a becoming life," will require an economy that operates on its solar income.
At age sixty, I'm beginning to learn how.