Returning to a wider conversation
"Why don't you write more?" another writer asked me.
"Because there's no better feeling than the moment when it's finished, and nothing I'll try harder to avoid than sitting down to start."
That's true enough, but there's something else. Writing is so bound up with authority. You don't sign a contract with a dance move. We still live with the legacy of the book as magical object or implement of indoctrination, promising the final word.
What helps - the reason I write more these days - is spending time with artists and improvisers, people for whom words are a second language, and remembering that even the most carefully crafted text is only a contribution to a wider conversation, in which words are only one form of expression.
Books & pamphlets
Articles & essays
- Rehoming Society: Ivan Illich & the Vernacular in D. Hine, P. Kingsnorth & A. Odasso (eds) Dark Mountain: Issue 3 (2012).
- In the future, everyone will be powerful for 15 minutes! in D. Hine & K. Kahn-Harris (eds) Despatches from the Invisible Revolution (2012).
- The Space Hackers are coming! in V. Gupta (ed) The Future We Deserve (2012).
- Remember the Future?, Dark Mountain: Issue 2, June 2011.
- Coming To Our (Animal) Senses: A conversation with David Abram, Dark Mountain: Issue 2, June 2011.
- Time for New Public Thinking, launch essay for New Public Thinking, February 2011.
- Dériving Scarcity, written as thinker-out-of-residence with the Scarcity & Culture in the Built Environment project, University of Westminster, February 2011.
- It's the end of the world (as we know it), Key Stage 2 resource pack, Sheffield King James Project, February 2011.
- Space Makers at Brixton Village (aka Granville Arcade) in T. Britton (ed) Hand Made: Portraits of emergent new community culture, August 2010.
- Black Elephants & Skull Jackets: a conversation with Vinay Gupta, Dark Mountain: Issue 1, June 2010.
- Death and the mountain: John Berger's enduring sense of hope, Dark Mountain: Issue 1, June 2010.
- The environmental movement needs to stop pretending, The Guardian, 13 May 2010.
- The Future of Unemployment, AGIT8, 9 February 2009.
- Deschooling Cyberspace (Part 1): Ivan Illich and the Personalisation of Computing, PEN Journal 8, Spring-Summer 2008
- Nonline community: freedom, education, the net, openDemocracy, 20 February 2008.
- Climate change: a question of democracy, openDemocracy, 2 March 2007
- How to sell anything, Pick Me Up, 11 April 2006
- China's days of protest, openDemocracy, 16 June 2004.
I end up blogging on various sites, besides having gone through several of my own. My current personal blog is here, while in August 2010 I began exploring a line of thought about the unravelling of the western middle class lifestyle - and the limited sympathy we should give ourselves over this - under the heading of Collapsonomics! My old blog was Changing the World (and other excuses for not getting a proper job). This is a selection of my more substantial posts from there and elsewhere.
- Looking for Hope in the Dark, Transition Network, 12 July 2011.
- Finding the Pattern, Dougald's posterous, 12 July 2011.
- The University in Transition, Dougald's posterous, 7 February 2011.
- The Really Free School, Dougald's posterous, 1 February 2011.
- What I Learned (2003-10), Other Excuses, 1 January 2011.
- The internet isn't here to help us get rich, Collapsonomics, 14 January 2011.
- The Bleak Midwinter, Dark Mountain, 24 December 2010.
- What's wrong with the Euro?, Collapsonomics, 23 November 2010.
- Against Global Communication, Dark Mountain, 16 March 2010.
- A Beginner's Guide to Twitter, Other Excuses, 5 February 2010
- What Do You Do, After You Stop Pretending?, Dark Mountain, 31 January 2010
- Making a living, shaping our lives & muddling through, Other Excuses, 17 November 2009.
- Space Makers Agency, Other Excuses, 24 September 2009.
- Defusing the Apocalypse: A Response to John Gray, Dark Mountain, 20 September 2009
- School of Everything: Time to Unplug?, Other Excuses, 18 August 2009.
- When is a problem not a problem?, Dark Mountain, 23 July 2009.
- Talking to "Future Users", unsheffield, 12 June 2009
- Why journalists write so much rubbish about Twitter, Other Excuses, 11 June 2009.
- G20 Reflections: Sousveillance, Other Excuses, 20 May 2009.
- How not to predict the future (or why Second Life is like video calling), Other Excuses, 27 April 2009.
- Social Media vs the Recession, Other Excuses, 28 January 2009.
- The "Why Don't You?" Web, Learning & Skills Network, 1 December 2008.
- Browsing the Human Library, School of Everything, 30 September 2008.
- How I stopped worrying and learned to love the market, School of Everything, 12 September 2008.
- Potsherds and Pedagogy, School of Everything, 5 August 2008.
- Everybody Learns: Escaping from Educational Gridlock, School of Everything, 4 June 2008.
- Fax Machines and the Invention of the Wheel, Other Excuses, 19 December 2007.
- The Problem with the Gentlemanly University, Other Excuses, 17 December 2007.
- Why the only true schooling is a vacation (or "What I didn't do in my holidays"), Other Excuses, 14 December 2007.
- To be AND not to be, Other Excuses, 20 November 2007.
- Stilted Conversations, Other Excuses, 7 October 2007.
- Bureaucracy, Care & Attention, Other Excuses, 26 September 2007.
- All Fall Down: Jared Diamond and Ran Prieur, Other Excuses, 13 September 2007.
- Do Have Nightmares!, Other Excuses, 12 August 2007.
- Serendipitous Learning and Zemblanitous Education, Other Excuses, 1 August 2007.
- Good news is no news, Other Excuses, 27 July 2007.
- Wounded and Hopeful, Other Excuses, 18 July 2007.
- It's wet up north, Other Excuses, 28 June 2007.
- Black Bloc, White Bloc: Part One and Part Two, Other Excuses, 10 and 24 June 2007.
- Pick Me Up (Again), Other Excuses, 14 May 2007.
- In Praise of Customer Unfriendliness, Other Excuses, 21 March 2007.
- Prehistoric Totalitarianism and Tiny Elephants, Other Excuses, 9 March 2007.
- A Lost Whale and a Polar Bear Swimming in the Footlights, Other Excuses, 1 March 2007.
- Mud Maps and Long Breakfasts, Other Excuses, 24 February 2007.
- The Hippo, The Tortoise and the Possibility of Change, Other Excuses, 15 February 2007.
- Looking for the Signs of the Times, Other Excuses, 13 February 2007.
- Rich World, Poor World: Iñárritu's Babel, Other Excuses, 22 January 2007.