Blog

Expanding Our Reach

Assessing the challenges that come along with opportunity
Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 2:33 AM

Autumn officially arrived last weekend, not that we had much time to notice.

It's a busy period here at Peak Prosperity. For a number of good reasons.

While we wait for the markets and our elected leaders to emerge from their cocoon of "consequence-free fantasy," we've occupied ourselves with developing new content for the site. When reality matters again (and it definitely will), a lot of people are going to be urgently looking for insight and answers. We plan to be ready and waiting in advance. More to come on that new content soon, but not in this post. Apologies for the tease.

We've also been busy coordinating with the media and other potential partners interested in helping us spread our message to larger audiences.

We're very fortunate and very grateful to have some meaningful opportunities on the table right now. As we assess our options, Chris and I wanted to share our thinking with you as well as solicit your input.

In the past, we've written in depth about our mission and goals for this site: namely to create a "tipping point of awareness" around the 3Es, and to "create a world worth inheriting" by inspiring and guiding individuals to take informed action in the here and now.

Key to these goals is reaching and influencing a lot of people (eventually millions upon millions) and doing so effectively.

So each time a big partnership opportunity comes our way, we evaluate its promise towards helping us achieve these goals. But we also need to look at it through the lens of our brand to make sure we don't enter territory inconsistent with our values and culture.

Usually, the judgment calls are pretty clear-cut and relatively easy to make. Sometimes, though, it's harder. Typically, the bigger the opportunity, the less control we have and the less "perfect" the fit is.

Our base navigating principle is that it's better to be tolerant than overly choosy. Meaning: if reaching sizable new audiences requires us to venture out of our comfort zone, we should be game for that. As long as, of course, it doesn't make us do anything seriously off-brand or unethical/illegal.

I'm sharing our thinking openly here, as Chris and I are assessing a few proposals that offer access to large audiences that we don't have much penetration into at present. One in particular promises to put the Crash Course into the hands of tens of thousands of new viewers within a very short period of time.

There's no money exchanging hands here. The prize is getting the Crash Course widely distributed to a lot of first-time minds.

These potential partners are new to us, and their audience is different enough from the typical PeakProsperity.com reader that we're taking our time in our evaluation. We won't have complete control of the overall experience in which our material appears, but we will have editorial control over what we say and how we say it.

We've done enough due diligence to feel the odds of this experiment working out well are pretty good. But we can't completely discount the risk that it won't, either.

So, we're left to decide whether to roll the dice or not and we likely will. But Chris and I both want our readers to understand the thought process we go through, and we invite you to share your own. After all, Peak Prosperity is a brand we're building together each of you is a stakeholder.

I suppose this is the burden of success. The more people you attract, the more complex the decision-making becomes. No complaints here, though this is a high-quality problem!

Thanks for any feedback you may provide in the Comments section. And for your role in building the positive momentum underway here at PeakProsperity.com.

cheers,
Adam

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62 Comments

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2011
Posts: 344
Let 'er buck....

Roll them dice.

bob980's picture
bob980
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 27 2010
Posts: 26
Crash Course - Next Level

Go BIG or go home!

BSV's picture
BSV
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 26 2009
Posts: 170
Expanding our Reach

Thanks for the heads-up, Adam. Along with advancing age comes a fair measure of caution, and little warning flags are flying in my mind. You have explained that you and Chris Martenson understand the risks. On the one hand, the opportunity to get the message out to millions of people is pretty enticing. On the other hand, even though you will control your own content, how the material is introduced, along with any following comments, will greatly influence the viewer/listener.

Let us assume for the moment that a major TV network is willing to feature the Crash Course as a one-time program or a series. It would depend greatly on which network, and let's not forget how tightly controlled is ownership of the mainstream U.S. media. I can think of one such outlet that would be sure to discredit the message, while I can think of another that might be more sympathetic.

So it depends on which outlet(s) you deal with. You know this, of course; I'm just musing that the risks are very substantial. Peak Prosperity is already successful. That said, it's probably fair to say that most of us have found just how difficult it is to convince our friends and neighbors to take these issues seriously, and to take a few sensible steps by way of preparation. It's another way of saying that most people have their minds made up that tomorrow will look pretty much like today. When talking to people I know, I can usually get them to listen to such suggestions as having a couple of weeks of food in the pantry and some bottled water. Beyond that eyes glaze over.

So I wish you success in this new endeavor and I will keep my fingers crossed. Let us all hope that it succeeds. Best wishes.

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 465
stakeholders

It seems that the one constant is change and part of that is adapting to what we see happening around us. You, Chris and the staff at PP have proven to be very proficient at staying the course and continually getting the word out about creating a world worth inheriting.

I say go with your gut instincts and see what happens. Know that I will be somewher in the field helping with the ditch digging and pipe laying!!!!!

I'm teased! When will you announce?

Coop

Daniel Judy's picture
Daniel Judy
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 25 2011
Posts: 8
One thought.

The possibility of reaching a much larger audience is definitely hard to pass up. My only comment would be that many of the people that are part of this community now had to do a little digging to get here and have a variety of opinions that add to the depth of discussions. I would hate to see a large group of people overwhelming the site from any particular political group or ideology and losing the diversity that makes this community so great.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2769
Concur

The message needs to grow.  Roll the dice.

pcm's picture
pcm
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2012
Posts: 7
My $0.02

I concur with Daniel Judy's comments.  Human being is a very interesting species.  We are a product of our environment.  Our thinking and decision making processes are heavily influenced by the deep conditioning that we have accumulated over the years.  We take action or decide on thing based on the model of information that can be in the conscious or in the sub-conscious level.

Depending on who you plan to expose the idea to, my personal experience is I find it more difficult to talk with more "senior" people (in age) regarding this idea not to mention changing their mindset (this anecdote supports my model above).  I am not saying that it is a "slam-dunk" doing the same with more younger crowd.  Again, it depends on the individual's background, their willingness to open their mind, cast aside their conditioning and accept new information.

In any event, thank you Adam and Chris continue reaching out to a broader audience of this important work.  I trust your confidence you will do the right thing within your control.

KathyP's picture
KathyP
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 19 2008
Posts: 84
Beware of Political or Ideological Agendas

Would the information be used (or abused) to advance a particular political or ideological agenda?  Your editorial control will be extremely important to guard against this type of abuse. 

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1517
A few suggestions

I have a few "suggestions" for spreading the message, taking into account the mindset of much of the public.

1.  Create "The Crash Course Combat Video Game" and if you're really creative "Grand Theft Central Banker" video game.

2. Weave soft porn into "The Crash Course."

3. Sponsor a NASCAR team.

4. Get this dog to present "The Crash Course" on a youtube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGeKSiCQkPw

On second thought, just do what you're doing and we can get back to my ideas later.

"Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor."

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5570
A great point on our efforts
Daniel Judy wrote:

The possibility of reaching a much larger audience is definitely hard to pass up. My only comment would be that many of the people that are part of this community now had to do a little digging to get here and have a variety of opinions that add to the depth of discussions. I would hate to see a large group of people overwhelming the site from any particular political group or ideology and losing the diversity that makes this community so great.

This is one of the many variables we discuss when considering a new opportunity.  On the one hand, we're sensitive to the idea that a big block of new people could alter the ecosystem, but we also have great faith that the community here will remain solid and then the new people will have to decide if this place is a good fit or not.

Are they curious and open-minded?  Do they like facts?  Then great!  Welcome aboard.

Of greater concern to us is that our current and highly valued members will assume that because we've 'gotten in bed' with some other outfit that we are somehow endorsing everything about that other firm.  If we do ever fully endorse some other firm, like we do with our financial advisor partners, we'll tell you.

Instead, these media partners have their own styles, messages, practices, and clientele.  Sometimes we do things similarly along these dimensions, and sometimes quite differently.   They're like neighbors; take the good, know that you cannot change them to your particular liking, and if and when it's possible to help each other out, do so.

It's really complex, as Adam has said, to enter into such partnerships, and so we do the best we can, knowing that there's a bit that is simply out of our control.  Such is the nature of relationships. smiley

gemel's picture
gemel
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 12 2010
Posts: 53
If you where to create a

If you where to create a program or a series, the media would create a website to mirror the series, behind the scenes etc etc.. This would pull the viewers to this website where you will loose control over the content in the long term. Potentially creating a monster you have to compete with. The problem is not the competing website but the message within it could become distorted.

You also want to be careful that this does not turn out into a National Geographic preppers parade. (This happened once before i believe)

I would keep control over are the essentail keywords that your website is being accessed with. Put those keyword in a contract specifying that these will not be used in the website the network or media outlet will create if any for the programs.

I personally think that most people are happy to sleep their way through this  disaster, but it does not hurt to awaken the few that do not want to ignore the message...

my 2c

 

russiaways's picture
russiaways
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 4 2008
Posts: 18
growing pains

Your job is to spread the message, ours is to hear it and act.  The "you" needs to be somewhat different to reach a larger audience, instead of long talks around a ktchen table many years ago the distance and reach of media cuts both ways. I imagine a larger community to be less of one, more diverse but also more mainstream as well in some sense if successful and just as I prefer a small town to a big city I expect to be less connected with the comments such reach may gererate (Zero Hedge comes to mind...).  But I will still hear the message and it will help me to act (now dialing in my new solar thermal sytem for the heating season) which is the overall purpose and value of this site.  I'm thankful for the sense of connection a more niche site has provided but I would hate to feel selfishly like I want to keep it small for my benefit when its time to love it enough to let it go.  Fly away when your wings are ready.....but try to keep in touch.

And thanks so much!

macro2682's picture
macro2682
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2009
Posts: 539
Hard to judge

Hard to judge based in the info. Are we talking about an HBO special? A network like RT?  Are there political affiliations?  Are we talking about a parent company? An RIA?

I sell financial products to institutional investors for a living.  Having to explain complicated ownership structures and affiliates really makes for a tough sell, and for good reason. I'm a big fan of organic growth. Hire an expert to penetrate new markets.  Just my opinion, sans context. 

 

jtwalsh's picture
jtwalsh
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 264
Change is coming

            The whole point of the crash course is to get a message in clear and concise terms to whoever will listen.  The need for this message is more urgent now than when Chris began.

Five years ago I stumbled upon the crash course as I was trying to make sense of the economic catastrophe which appeared to be brining the world down around me.  Chris’s logical presentation of our situation made immediate sense to me.  Since then I have watched those initial insights discussed, expanded and extrapolated.  So many fine writers, commentators and posters have added to the process of growing understanding.  In that time something evolved that I did not expect. A community of like minded people came together to express their ideas and hopes and ended up providing great education and support to each other in the process.

I know I have rarely commented over the years but I have been here, listening and learning.  More recently I have begun to comment on issues where I hope I can provide insight or support.  One part of me would like Peak Prosperity to stay right where it is. There is still so much we can provide to each other.

The more forward looking part of my brain says it is important for this to grow.  There are other people who need to hear this message.  There are other people who have messages we need to hear.  Will this change Peak Prosperity?  Of course it will.  Will the change be good or bad? That’s really up to us and how we approach the change and the new people we will encounter.

Chris and Adam, my vote is go for it.  I will support your efforts to reach out to others who have not yet heard or realize what is ahead.

thebrewer's picture
thebrewer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2012
Posts: 110
Worth a Calculated Risk

I say the more people who go through the Crash Course the better. The more people who get their light turned on the better it will be for all of us in the long run. It's nice and cosey here inside our PP community but change will not happen unless the gospel of Chris is spread!

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1517
I was hoping for this

I was hoping for this: When reality matters again (and it definitely will), a lot of people are going to be urgently looking for insight and answers. We plan to be ready and waiting in advance. More to come on that new content soon, but not in this post. Apologies for the tease.

Most people aren't interested in our message right now, but when the next stage of the collapse hits, there will be a lot more panicky people interested in what they can do to save themselves.  I want to be ready with a list of answers even at that late stage.  It seems you are thinking along the same lines.  I look forward to what you will come up with.

I'm also hoping what you come up with will be helpful in informing our opinions about what the next steps for our neighborhood, state and nation should be.  For instance, the international financial system will have to be reinvented, but if we leave it to those who are in power now they'll just find another way to scam us (such as SDR's!!!).  At that time, our opinions will be very influential in re-forming public opinion and that kind of thing should help us come up with actual sustainable solutions instead more can-kicking techniques and strategies for burying one's head in the sand.

thebrewer's picture
thebrewer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2012
Posts: 110
Most people think me crazy!
thc0655 wrote:

Most people aren't interested in our message right now, but when the next stage of the collapse hits, there will be a lot more panicky people interested in what they can do to save themselves. 

Most people including most of my family think I'm out of my mind. When they hear I've pulled out of the stock market and put all my money in tangibles they think me a fool. They either don't see or don't want to see the illusion that is the stock market.

I'm going to try my hardest not to say I told you so when it all comes tumbling down.wink

gillbilly's picture
gillbilly
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2012
Posts: 423
Tough call

I can imagine this is a very difficult decision to make. Going "bigger" is always filled with trade-offs, and I'm sure you are weighing them carefully. Co-option is one concern I would have. Larger partners often have political or ideological leanings, not to mention political parties are experts at co-opting ideas and messages. That's when the message begins to lose its value or impact. I'm thinking of things that have already been co-opted by big business/government such as sustainability and organic. It's not that these messages haven't had an impact, it's just that if all our food on the shelves say organic, and all our buildings get the stamp of "sustainable" it leaves you wondering what it really means and a little distrustful. Really tough call! I would also like to piggy back on the others and give you your own advice to trust yourself. Does this partnership seem like a natural next step? If so, then take the leap and hope for the best. Faith is good at times like these:-)

Good luck either way!

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
there is a model for such growth

I have been a member of more than one size of church over the years. When a church grows, the groups inside it provide the sense of community. In a large church, you might be a member of the choir, or part of running children's programs, or be a maintenence of gardening volunteer.

Here, we have Groups, ready to go, and they will provide the sense of community we will need as events make our message more palatable and important.

Phaedrus the younger's picture
Phaedrus the younger
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 21 2013
Posts: 64
Have you considered a subsidiary?

Chris, Adam, your proposal to create a bigger platform seems a perfectly natural outflow from your brand message of sharing and collaboration in the face of great change.  I see at least 3 benefits: helping greater numbers of people to become resilient is a worthy cause in itself; the more people who are resilient and community minded increase the odds of positive outcomes collectively; and finally, to the extent there is still opportunity to influence the course of macro events, the more people who understand and are willing to speak up, the better.

It struck me that there may be an option to preserve the intimacy of the core community while gaining wider reach by creating a subsidiary of PP.   The trade-off would be more effort and a risk of brand dilution. 

 

VeganDB12's picture
VeganDB12
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 18 2008
Posts: 731
There is no bad publicity they say....

....At least when you want recognition be it good or bad. My 2 cents: I think you have established your reputations as being solid, fact oriented and reliable. It will be very difficult to change that unless your peers turn on you.  I supposed that could happen if you get too popular (and professional envy takes over).  Still your peer group seems like a pretty upright bunch. If the message gets distorted it will hurt the recipients of the misinformation more than PP I think. Perhaps you can clarify it as needed at that point.

Based on my own very limited experience with media endeavors, you have little control once you wrap and the agenda of your collaborators will become first priority once you give them control.  It is still good to get the exposure in my opinion. 

Best wishes and looking forward to seeing what happens

Denise

Farmer Brown's picture
Farmer Brown
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2008
Posts: 1503
Do it

I say roll. Sounds like you guys have thought this through and have considered the pros and cons. You know the reality better than anyone and need to make the call in the end.

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 561
tough call to make for sure

Adam and Chris,

I want to first of all say that I appreciate you consulting with us. That tells me that you have recognized and respected that your business success is equal to the sum of its parts. That you include us as one of those parts is pretty amazing to me, given how prevalent greed and me me me is in this world. But then again, that is why I am a member here - integrity actually means something on this site. And for me, integrity is the name of the game - either you have it, or you don't. One cannot have a bit of integrity.

My first instinct is to do what you tell us - trust yourself. But then the devil's advocate in me pops up to throw a few curve balls at my thinking. So to go back to the first paragraph, do the people/companies/outfits you are thinking of getting into bed with have integrity? Will they still respect you in the morning (could not resist wink) But more than anything, will you still respect yourselves in the morning?

One question comes to mind, which is what is your ultimate motive? Is it to reach as many people as possible with this so very important message, therefore being a more altruistic goal; or is it to grow the business - which you are completely and totally entitled to do as entrepreneurs - and therefore a personal financial goal. I ask this only in light of Adams self admitted rant a while back about deep pockets helping much less worthy internet ventures get ahead, enriching the owners while good and decent sites like this struggle to make the big times. Make no mistake I am a capitalist at heart - the right kind of capitalist tho', not this greedy, corrupt model we are witnessing. I would not begrudge you any success you have, for in my eyes, you have earned it.

I am thinking of two popular sayings: "the early bird gets the worm" and "slow and steady wins the race". Is it possible to A) do this venture so that you are the early bird, but B) maintain enough control to keep the race under control and at a steady pace? If you can succeed in doing that, then I think you should go for it.

Either way, you have my support. If you go ahead with it something tells me that the many long time and dedicated members will lend support as and when needed. With luck, ever more diversity and insights from a larger membership base will tip us into the exponential growth territory for getting out the increasingly critical message of the 3E's. On that note, I would say take the plunge. If you don't, who will?

Jan

 

treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 590
Walk softly and carry a big stick

I have seen people who I admired who were offered broader media coverage walk into a hatchet job.  Basically being set up as fall guys to discredit the ideas and concepts that they represented.  I am sure that you have done your homework, but as the mainstream media message is seriously challanged, it will start to bite back hard.  I have seen it many times.  Go for it, but be ready for anything.

ftealjr's picture
ftealjr
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2009
Posts: 32
My thoughts about such a move

Chris and Adam:

Of all the things I like about this site, the most important for me is the restrained and balanced approach that it embraces.  All voices are heard and facts and logic are given great weight.

I fear that if we present the problems we face as if we were dealing with the "four horsemen of the apolypse" near term, a lot of thoughtful folks will be turned away. (That said, I do believe our current situation is very perilous.)

Another risky direction would be one which appears to be motivated by the desire to make money from approaching misery rather than one which is an expression of a deep concern for future generations. Financial matters should stress current wealth preservation and the well being of our grandchildren.

 

Good Luck

Rector's picture
Rector
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 7 2010
Posts: 490
Tipping

The point of the exercise has always been to expose people to the facts effectively.  If you find a way to get that done, then you are making progress.  If our little community here is disrupted, we will live.  The madmen and ideologues will still have to play by the rules here.  

Chris, this whole enchilada is yours and you have done a smashing job so far. . .we appreciate your scholarship and management expertise. . .get the message out there because the world is running out of time.  We don't have time to worry about "us".

Rector

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 527
bigger audience

The 'Chris Martenson' name is also a brand.  Your name is used for interviews on various financial news shows and is part and parcel of the Crash Course.  I might suggest segregating that brand andusing that as your initial feed site for a new large group and then encourage transfer over to Peak Prosperity for those who find it attractive. Others may want a different platform for discussion based around another mode of communication for instance.   Variety is the spice of life.  The Crash Course is info for all to digest.  Peak Prosperity is one response to that information. 

James E.

Thetallestmanonearth's picture
Thetallestmanonearth
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 28 2013
Posts: 320
Get the word out and do it fast

We're all here because we're looking for information that will help us get the message out.  Every one of us has run into road blocks in personal conversation because the message is not condusive to soundbites and not being discussed on CNN/FOX.  The Crash Course is robust and easily digestable and I firmly believe that if you can get it out there you'll eventually reach that "millionth monkey".  I'm happy to hear this and excited for where it leads.  Your existing community will just have to step it up so the new kids learn the rules.

CleanEnergyFan's picture
CleanEnergyFan
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 29 2012
Posts: 103
Go With Your Gut

I agree with most of the comments already posted especially JTWalsh and WestCoastJan (WCJ) so will keep this short.  Chris you know you have so much "cred" with your current audience that even if this new venue distorted the message, we would already know it was them and not you.  I personally think you HAVE to branch out..the message is too important and you are too good of a spokesperson for delivering this message that chances have to be taken to reach a broader audience.  I also agree with WCJ that you absolutely deserve to make a financial living and we want you to be successful financially in this endeavor...one of the concerns I have had about PP is whether it can generate enough revenue to grow the staff and provide the rewards commensurate with the value you are delivering.  Good luck in the new venture, we look forward to you reaching a broader audience and getting an increasing diversity of opinions...the truth will still win out.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1763
Support you in the leap

Thanks for including us before the leap.  We appreciate that.  And we can hang on as the shock waves of a new culture come through pp.

I support you in getting this idea out to as big an audience as can possibly hear it.  And making money in ways that benefit the greater good of all.

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 432
OK, since you asked.....The

OK, since you asked.....The word needs to be spread, so a thoughtful and "due-diligenced" partnership seems inevitable and hopefully workable.  A couple thoughts though- what is the partner's expectation and interest in the CC?  And, "pearls before swine" comes to mind (remember those comments from readers of the Press Democrat article, Adam?).  But this isn't an issue of growth-for-growth's-sake.  It's a worthy and necessary expansion of what's going on here at PP.  I have full faith and confidence in you two to make this work for all of us and the not-yet enlightened.  Good luck, we're with you regardless of outcome, I'd wager.  Aloha, Steve.

 

to_be_frank's picture
to_be_frank
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2012
Posts: 11
We're All Supporting You

Chris and Adam, you have my support in taking whatever course you think is best, and that appears to be the near unanimous concensus of everyone who has commented.  We know you would never “sell out” by compromising your message or principles to appeal to a broader audience.  If you continue to say the same things as you have, as clearly and articulately and well researched as you have, I don’t see how speaking to more people will change the content or impact of your message.  You may encounter more detractors along the way, and they will undoubtedly include those who have agendas that are unpleasant or at odds with your mission and goals for this site.  Unfortunately, I don’t see how that can be avoided if you begin speaking to a larger audience.  However, you will also educate many new people along the way who will be receptive, and that is what you must eventually do if these ideas are to cross into mainstream discourse.

TokyoBruce's picture
TokyoBruce
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 13 2011
Posts: 5
Any possibility of transparency issues?

I really appreciate and trust the integrity of the Peak Prosperity site because of the accuracy of the content, and the transparency shown through full-disclosure of business relationships. On the slim chance that their was a conflict between the editors rights and the big partner's / sponsors' (?) preferences, with what level of transparency would / could it be dealt with? It it plausable that contractual obligations would impede transparency on certain choices made behind the scenes (podcast guest selection, etc) or even about the occurance of such a conflict? What would members expectations be for such a scenario? 

perite's picture
perite
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2012
Posts: 7
Plan B

The whole reason you and Chris and all of us share our views on this site is because we are trying to develop a Plan B for our future.

It would be really good to know that you and Chris have a Plan B in place in the unlikely event of a collapsing partnership :-/

xx

Retha's picture
Retha
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 13 2011
Posts: 67
Spread the word!

Chris & Adam,

Who better to try and spread the word than you?  While I have been somewhat of a background participant here, I have seen and learned that you both have stayed the course with your message, surrounded yourselves with quality people to help spread that message, and have provided a plethora of information and 'guidance' to help those who wish to help themselves (and are aware enough to know they need to).

 And like many, seeing the glazed look in the eyes of friends and family when I start talking about how 'things' really are, I think if an opportunity arises for you to spread your message, it is greatly needed at this point.  Before we know it, it will be too late!  

My only caveat - just make sure the expansion doesn't end up like the show doomsday preppers!  At first start, it looked like it might be a good show to offer the masses some ideas on how to be prepared, and then it was presented as people obsessed with preparing for some type of apocalypse.  And of course, no one takes it seriously.  That said, you all have proven resourceful in your efforts thus far, I imagine that will continue.  

Good luck!

jgritter's picture
jgritter
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2011
Posts: 273
Go for it!

Thanks for the "heads up", but she's your ship, gentlemen, steer her as you may. 

I am curious to see what you've come up with.  Obviously you share the same frustration that the rest of us have as to trying to raise the alarm, only to be met with blank looks of bovine simplicity or smirks and the suggestion that we don't have enough tin foil in our hats.

Paul Revere knew that things might end very badly too.  Ride, gentlemen, ride!

John G

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 728
You have more facts than we do

First, I'd have to say that a big reason the Crash Course is not a household topic is that most people don't want to consider it, even if they essentially agree with it.

My wife is an excellent example.  She is totally in agreement that we are in trouble, but doesn't want the topic discussed and doesn't want to do anything more than very basic preparation.  

Others who I've shared the message with treat me like a lunatic.  That's not going to change until people are ready.  Peak Prosperity is not alone in this.  The message has been around literally for decades.  In some cases, as with Peak Prosperity, it has been presented intelligently and in a manner hard to refute.  Yet, it still is largely ignored.

I believe a major event will have to take place to make people pay attention, possibly even larger than another stock market crash.  

The only thing missing is willingness on the part of the audience.  If they were ready, the message would get out.  I would tell two people, who would tell two people...

Having said that, I think it's important who Peak Prosperity affiliates with.  Peak Prosperitites reputation at this point is largely pure and the message largely unencumbered by a national bias one way or the other.  If Peak Prosperity directly affiliates with a larger media presence, then any bias that the public holds toward that organization rubs off to an extent on Peak Prosperity.   Part of this is any credibility bias.  If, for example, you affiliate with a media presence that has alienated 40% of the population, you stand to immediately loose that same portion of the population.

Again, you know all of this and have more information than we do.  Like others on this site, I trust your judgment.

Les

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 561
one addtional thought

Something to consider before taking the plunge:

I know somone who was the editor of a small local newspaper. With his blessing the paper ran an article with an environmental message that shone a less than favourable light on the auto industry.  A few local car dealerships voiced their displeasure by threatening to pull their advertising business away from the paper if the article was not retracted. Sadly, the publisher sided with the dealerships (money talks, right...) and the editor resigned, being unwilling to go along with advertisors getting editorial veto.

So.... given the powerful lobby of the advertising industry, and given that most websites are revenue dependent on advertising, is this type of thing a concern? The people you are going to partner with could be stellar at the outset, but if arms get twisted by advertisors will that cause them to change their tune? Something to think about.

Jan

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1517
Fact-based intervention vs. Emotion-based intervention

 

I agree with you LesPhelps and I've had similar experiences:

First, I'd have to say that a big reason the Crash Course is not a household topic is that most people don't want to consider it, even if they essentially agree with it.

My wife is an excellent example.  She is totally in agreement that we are in trouble, but doesn't want the topic discussed and doesn't want to do anything more than very basic preparation.  

Others who I've shared the message with treat me like a lunatic.  That's not going to change until people are ready.  Peak Prosperity is not alone in this.  The message has been around literally for decades.  In some cases, as with Peak Prosperity, it has been presented intelligently and in a manner hard to refute.  Yet, it still is largely ignored.

I believe a major event will have to take place to make people pay attention, possibly even larger than another stock market crash.     

I've had the same experience.  I've started identifying more and more people who have inside themselves a deep vague sense of forboding for our future.  But it's too overwhelming or frightening for them to deal with, so they push it down deeper into their minds/hearts, and try to get back to every day life.  They don't want to think or talk about it, but they sense something VERY BAD is just around the next bend in the road.  They try not to think about it, but it keeps popping into their consciousness.

Maybe they don't need more facts or evidence, but maybe they need someone to help them emotionally deal with what they fear.  Many need more of an emotion-based intervention, not a fact-based intervention.  Most of us here have responded to the fact-based intervention (The Crash Course, for instance).  The personality  types of the majority of people need an emotion-based intervention.  Their style is not to deal with the facts until they have the emotional resources in place to do so.  Secondly, most people's initial attention is NOT captured by facts, but by emotions.  Many of us here deal with the facts first, then get our emotions involved.  (All of that does NOT mean that emotion-based approaches are devoid of facts, or that fact-based approaches disregard emotions.  It DOES mean people start at different places to deal with the same problem.)

Whatever happens next, I think we might benefit by appealing to the hearts as well as to the minds of our neighbors.  (BTW, within The Crash Course the section about exponential growth using Fenway Park filling up with water as an illustration is an appeal to emotion, and a powerful one.) 

What's the old proverb?  "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

jpitre's picture
jpitre
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 3 2009
Posts: 366
Crash Course acceptance

When I first was introduced to the Crash Course, I couldn't help but have the feeling that just around the corner in a few months, the economic end would be here and I could be roaming the streets looking for food. Several years have passed and not much has changed that affects me on a daily basis.

I spent some time reading and studying John Michael Greer's book, "Long Descent" - In my opinion, his approach needs to be used as a tempering mechanism to take along with the Crash Course. The course by itself rings bells in my mind of immediacy and appocalypse now conditions. I don't think Chris intended foster hysterical views of our future, however many of us have done so - to some extent myself.

A typical day at the office or in the shopping mall doesn't seem to have changed much from years gone by. The stock market is up, gold is down, fracking has solved our energy problems, so why should bolt the door and run for cover? Sure the underlying factors associated with the Crash Course are still there, but they don't seem to be having much effect on day-to-day life - a little here and a little there, but not much overall.

My point is not that the Crash Course is wrong, just that the timeframes associated with all that is wrong are not predictable. I think we need to use and present the Crash Course principles as good background information to assist in our actions for the future, but be careful not to cry wolf too often. For instance, the crash of Greece and other European countries has been hyped to the extreme, and while devastating for those directly involved, has had little effect on the world in general. Many of those skeptical about the Crash Course lesson have become dulled to the sound of alarm bells that (so far) have not foretold immediate disaster.

The message in all of this is that "our" message needs to be tempered if we expect to be heard by the majority. Constantly harping on gold going to $10,000 and the Dow dropping to 2000 will (has to some extent)  sideline this site and its message to the fringe, when all along the real message is for us lead a rational and conservative lifestyle - no debt, income based on sustainable work, good water supply and at least partial food self sufficiency and local community.

My couple of cents worth

Jim

Michael_Armstrong's picture
Michael_Armstrong
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 28 2011
Posts: 8
my thoughts

I value this site's independence. As a result, there are opinions and facts I have been able to hear that have influenced my thinking.

Just be careful who you align yourself with and do not compromise your independence. Choose partners with integrity who will expand your reach AND strengthen your message.

You have a strong foundation to build on so I’d say trust your judgment and go for it.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1763
PP: Delivering Frightening News Positively

I appreciate the comments by thc0655 and Les above about the limited tolerance most of us humans have for devastatingly bad news.  We humans need to have a hopeful, positive outlook and to feel a sense of well-being in our hearts.  It is my experience that a message that is purely frightening, without offering a way through, is likely to be shut out by most people.

This is one of the great beauties of the PeakProsperity way of framing the 3 E's:

We have a predicament and this is how we will respond--changes that will enrich our lives regardless of what the future brings.

The message is positive, accessible, full of hopefulness that something good is developing and that we can participate in that goodness.

My wife also can only tolerate hearing a small amount about disruption of the food distribution supply and the risk of starvation.  But she is comfortable tending the gorgeous plants flourishing in our garden, to compost, to help me build a deer fence and delights in the prospects of fresh blueberries next spring.  Supporting our local CSA sounds "delicious" and "healthy."

She doesn't like to hear that our domestic water supply is dependent on an intact electrical grid for pumping and therefore vulnerable to disruption.   But she is happy to collect the rainwater that falls in great abundance from the sky onto our roof top.  She experience this as "receiving the abundance of God" and "living in harmony with nature," both of which she feels good aligning herself with.

It seems that the way that the message is framed is one of the factor influencing accessibility.  And this is where Peak Prosperity has excelled.  The 3 E's are delivered with high EQ.   Big hat tip to the maturity of the PP team (including Becca!).

 

 

 

 

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 728
Regarding the discussion on emotions

I believe the article I have shared more often than any other from Peak Prosperity is the article Chris wrote years ago on the "Six Stages of Awareness."  I simply don't tell people about Peak Prosperity without telling them about the Six Stages.  

It was necessary for me to keep the Six Stages in mind to move forward.  I read Limits to Growth over a decade before taking the Crash Course.  The difference is that Limits to Growth gives you a sense of something happening safely in the future.  The Crash Course gives you the sense that it is talking about something that is alread in progress.  The Crash Course, for me, produced a much more immediate and powerful emotional response.

One suggestion I would make is that the "Six Stages" article be linked very prominently to the Crash Course and the further reading section.  Forgive me if it already is linked.  I haven't noticed it, but I don't profess to know every link on the Peak Prosperity website.

Additionally, more content like the Six Stages would be welcome.

Les

Bradford's picture
Bradford
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 23 2009
Posts: 20
linear/exponential...rational/"hysterical"?
jpitre wrote:

I spent some time reading and studying John Michael Greer's book, "Long Descent" - In my opinion, his approach needs to be used as a tempering mechanism to take along with the Crash Course. The course by itself rings bells in my mind of immediacy and appocalypse now conditions. I don't think Chris intended foster hysterical views of our future, however many of us have done so - to some extent myself.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function."

-Albert Bartlett  ("The most IMPORTANT video you'll ever see")

Defining an exponential depletion of resources as being merely a linear perdicament (as in "Long Descent") is a recipe for disaster, IMHO.

 

 

 

Nate's picture
Nate
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 5 2009
Posts: 573
3E evangelists

I have always considered Chris and Adam evangelists for the 3E’s.  Their methods are very similar to Biblical evangelists.  Keys to spreading your message are to clearly and consistently share your beliefs, build bridges and not roadblocks by backing your words from guiding principles and stay clear of controversial topics.  Infiltrate into their world – don’t isolate. Be tolerant. Walk the talk.

In the early 1990’s when a Southern California evangelist decided to spread the world through a larger venue, he was widely criticized.  The reasons for not going forward were numerous.  But he started small and carefully grew his efforts.  His consistent efforts continued to grow and he now preaches in baseball stadiums to standing room only audiences.

Expanding your audience means you are sincere about your message and you care about people.  Not reaching out would indicate you don’t care about the future of people.  That’s not Chris and Adam.

 

Mike Dill's picture
Mike Dill
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 8 2009
Posts: 28
Expansion and honesty

Thank you for the warning, whatever form it takes. The One thing I value here is the honesty of the Opinions presented, even if sometimes they do not relate directly to me, or even when they go against what I believe is happening or will be happening in the short run.

The One Thing that will sour me is if we go forward and a mistake is made, AND there is no TOP VIEW declaration that things have gotten out of control or have gone the wrong way. It is necessary for me that the honesty that everyone here has given is not compromised.

 

gillbilly's picture
gillbilly
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2012
Posts: 423
The truth is we don't know the future

jpitre, I understand your point of view and I tend to agree. Although Bartlett's calculus is correct within its closed system of mathematics, it is only a true prediction in the real world if the world adheres to the mathematical model. Calculus is a way of interpreting the world, it doesn't necessarily mean the world will adhere to it. If all things remain constant (unlikely), well, then maybe things will unfold as expected. But, If we, for instance, unexpectedly have a killer virus that takes hold of the world tomorrow, wiping out half the population, then the reality changes, and the world no longer adheres to the model. The truth is none of us knows what will happen tomorrow. The world is anything but predictable. CM has said many times... "If you had told me five years ago that X (fill in the blank) would be X now..." I don't use this example to undermine the message of the 3 Es, because it doesn't at all.  We use the limited knowledge that we have of the past to make sense of the present, contextualizing everything, so that we can act in relation to a completely unknowable future.  The world is inherently unpredictable (thank goodness), which will continue to throw wrenches into our cognitive models. To me, the 3Es has evolved into an issue regarding quality of life.

For instance, Chris has said we know the price of everything and the value of nothing. To me, this statement goes far beyond  our economic markets and the models we use to interpret them. This goes to the heart of society. Becoming more resilient is about moving away from the quantity and into the quality. This to me is the way the CC/3Es message could be effectively disseminated in a positive way. To me it is the most powerful message it brings.

 

 

q-bosty's picture
q-bosty
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 8
Beware the elephants and donkeys -- and Go For It!
I remember when I first watched the Crash Course.  One of the things that I found so powerful, and so refreshing, was the very deliberate political agnosticism.  There is no better example of this than in Chapter 16 - Fuzzy Numbers.  The way Chris walked through history, showing how both political parties have shared in creating the current predicament, was particularly powerful.  Staying above the tired partisan bickering lent tremendous credibility to the Crash Course message.
 
Though it may seem to some that the world is hopelessly split into this left-vs-right quagmire, I don't think so.  There is a large, underserved majority who hungers for the fact-loving, calm, objectivity of Peak Prosperity.
 
While you haven't tipped your hand on with whom, or how, you may expand --  associating with some of the obvious players, like the cable news channels, runs the risk of weakening one of the largest strengths of the Peak Prosperity community.  So far, you've struck a great balance in this regard with your guest interviews.  Hopefully you can pull the same thing off while engaging your new audience.
 
Expanding, engaging a new audience, getting the message out to those who are ready, and introducing the message to those who aren't quite "there yet" are all exactly the right things to do.  
 
Just please don't get too close to the shrill siren songs of the elephants or donkeys.
treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 590
Living the message

I know that many of us here are doing what we can to prepare for an uncertain future, transforming ourselves and our personal lives to the extent possible.  There are a lot of motivations for doing so, not the least of which is that the current political, social and economic systems are so degraded that even if this mess could go on for ever, who would want it to.

I do also hear that most people feel extremely isolated in their efforts. Many of us have told and heard here the "everybody I talk to about this thinks I'm crazy story".  One of the great motivations for posting hear is to step back into a community that is once again grounded in some sort of rational sense of reality.  That comes with the inherent frustration of posting on a website with international reach and interest is that very little of this wonderful dialog translates into I'll be over Saturday to  help pick strawberries and make jamb, Sunday we'll head to your house to help dig potatoes and weatherstrip some windows. Some here are lucky enough to have that kind of community.

So many people are dropping out of the system that have no place to fall to.  Just heard a story tonight about Fresno homeless villages that are being demolished. Many are the working poor who don't have a lot of options.  Meanwhile millionaire senators are thinking that we need to cut the food stamp program because Americans' just aren't motivated enough to find work, what they need is a little hunger to get them going.  Can you say social unrest!

I know that the mission of PP is primarily educational, but how do we take our collective lifestyle efforts and coalesce them into something  substantive that can start to grow virally. How do we create something that begins to create a critical mass that becomes self sustaining?  The next steps are out there somewhere, I feel it around the corner.  How do we collectively live this thing?

Don35's picture
Don35
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 4 2012
Posts: 43
q-bosty wrote: I remember
q-bosty wrote:
I remember when I first watched the Crash Course.  One of the things that I found so powerful, and so refreshing, was the very deliberate political agnosticism.  There is no better example of this than in Chapter 16 - Fuzzy Numbers.  The way Chris walked through history, showing how both political parties have shared in creating the current predicament, was particularly powerful.  Staying above the tired partisan bickering lent tremendous credibility to the Crash Course message.
 
Just please don't get too close to the shrill siren songs of the elephants or donkeys.

 

Yes. That appealed to me also. Refreshing is a great word for it. There is clarity in the message and the mind if the message isn't tainted with over the top emotion. That is one reason I don't watch TV news shows, although another is that I haven't had a TV for a few years. smiley

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