There are times when I feel like we're all Moties, the aliens in Pournelle and Niven's The Mote in God's Eye. Here's what one of them looks like:Thus, this blog.
And here's what Wikipedia says about how their civilizations end and begin again:
Each war typically ends in the complete destruction of the current civilization on Mote Prime. However, due to their high birth rates, enough Moties always survive to eventually repopulate the planet. A faster rise to civilization leads to a longer period between Collapses, since productivity increases more quickly than the population. The museums exist to accelerate this process after a collapse. They are located in unpopulated areas to avoid their destruction during the inevitable wars. Once the surviving population is advanced enough to solve the puzzle at the door, they have access to a literal catalogue of civilizations, and the weapons to put them into effect. Population is controlled by disease and injury between collapses and reconstructions, but the cycles have thus far never been stopped completely.When I think of Moties being a metaphor for humans, then I think of myself as a Crazy Eddie. As the passage above concludes, "Only a mythical character called "Crazy Eddie" believes there is a way to change this, and any Motie who comes to believe a solution is possible is labeled as a "Crazy Eddie" and deemed insane." The term is also "a translation of the term the Moties use for any exercise in futility, or any attempt to do, or even think about doing, anything to try to stop the inevitable collapse of their current civilization which is war driven by overpopulation."
The Cycles of civilization, war, and collapse have apparently been repeating for hundreds of thousands of years. In some cases, Mote Prime was completely sterilized and then repopulated by those living in hollowed-out asteroids within the system. The current asymmetrical form is probably a mutation resulting from nuclear weaponry prior to a collapse.
Presumably, each civilization arises, unlocks the museums, and discovers that unless they can solve a problem that had plagued countless others, they are doomed. Thus, the Moties have become fatalistically resigned to the never-ending Cycles.
Consequently, all my environmental and political activism seems like an exercise in being a "Crazy Eddie." I'm half tempted to start a blog about civilizational collapse (as if there aren't enough of them already) and how to try to stave it off or at least survive it (not enough of those, IMHO), then name it "Crazy Eddie's Motie News." A Google search shows no uses of this term. The field's wide open for me.
The feedback, such as it was, was quite positive. On my Facebook page (no, I'm not linking to it; I don't want to make life any easier for my stalkers than it already is), one of my treehugger friends wrote, "Do it. I have a feeling this would be a good thing for you." On my Livejournal, one person said that as long as I didn't monetize my blog, I'd be OK. I have no intention of doing such a thing, as Niven and Pournelle's lawyers would probably crush me for copyright infringement. Another gave some suggestions.
"First thing is to eat the clowns who spend money on bombs not books, with organic BBQ sauce of course.Actually, saving the libraries might strike some people as frivolous, but remember that the way the humans in the book discovered the truth about moties was by stumbling into a museum designed to speed the rise of Motie civilization after the next collapse. Another example involves Canticle for Leibowitz, the plot of which revolves around a monastery that includes a library the mission of which is to help revive civilization after its collapse. So, it's not as stupid an idea as it seems. Thanks to that suggestion, you can expect posts on saving cultural institutions during collapse, not just for how to keep yourself fed and safe.
Saving civilization is about preventing libraries falling into ruin while we build sports arenas and military bases.
Oh, and using climate change deniers as building material for flood prevention levies."
You should also expect to read posts about politics. One of the common themes of this blog will be explaining how global, national, and local events and politics are about various factions fighting to maintain their shares of a shrinking pie--one they openly deny is shrinking. Once you recognize that's what's going on, a lot of mystifying events become much more understandable.
I'll also post reviews of other blogs about societal collapse and what to do about it. There are plenty of them out there, and they all deserve a good meta look. The ones who receive favorable reviews, or that demonstrate that they are worth paying attention to even if they are bad, will end up on my blogroll. The first one up is likely to be Clusterfuck Nation. I have lots of opinions about James Howard Kunstler, and I now have a forum to post them. Besides, he updates in a few hours. How convenient! /Church Lady
Finally, expect digressions about post-apocalyptic science fiction. After all, this is a blog named after a legendary character from a legendary science fiction novel!