Paul Mobbs’ blog on lifestyle change and simplicity, exploring the ecological and psychological dimensions of regularly spending time outdoors
At the root of this discussion is a very simple question: “What if, one day, everything just stopped; could you survive?”. I don’t mean apocalypse; I mean engaging with the very practical reality that long before human civilisation ends, or nears the end, ‘consumerism’ will have collapsed first.
That is what this series will explore: How it is possible to learn to live “when the lights go out”, and to do that very easily and cheaply. How, by spending time developing practical skills outdoors – outside of the restrictions of today’s everyday ‘normality’ – you can learn to move beyond the restrictions of that life, as the inevitable breakdown of ‘normality’ grinds inexorably forward over the next 10 to 20 years.
This site merges ‘Ramblinactivist’ Paul Mobbs’ ‘work’ and ‘relaxation’ blogs to develop a new way of looking at today's multiple, related ecological crises. It proposes that the response of us as individuals is entirely the same no matter what the issue – creating a new simpler, less material lifestyle outside of the common expectations of ‘modern’ society.
One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, sixteen women from Ascott-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire were made an example of by a system of power that sought to resist inevitable change. What does it tell us about Britain today?
The issue here is ‘mechanomorphism’: The tendency for humans in a technological environment to identify their essential being with that of a machine. This idea will take a little time for me to unpack – so please, unplug your remote network connections, disable interrupts, and drop your motor functions into standby mode!
As British people currently wrestle with the reality that they do not have the power to choose the governing executive – and that their representation is in actuality in name only, and renders little political control – it’s fitting that we celebrate the 375th anniversary of one of the significant events of English history.
In 1962, Aldous Huxley, author of ‘Brave New World’, gave a speech to mark thirty years since its publication. Sixty years after that speech, and Huxley’s prognostication of the populous learning to ‘love their servitude’ continues to evolve.
What inspired this post was a recent comment in response to another posts. To paraphrase: ‘I’m not going to read that because other articles on that site are anti-technology’. What I say in response is that I am not ‘anti-technology’, but ‘pro-science’.
Metal containers for boiling water are ‘ancient’; but what do you think ancient Greek (their word, ‘kotyle’) or Roman people used to heat their pans? Electricity? Kerosine? Compressed petroleum gas? Heating water is foundational to human society – a technology that defines us. How do we maintain that skill in an increasingly uncertain world?
There are events and periods of history that are not talked about; they raise difficult, political questions about that history. Viewing how the past has created the world as it is today, with all its perceived faults, can be a journey into that unspoken, ‘taboo history’.