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Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Friday, October 23, 2009, 10:10 AM

One year ago today, the final installment of the Crash Course was loaded to the site.


Happy birthday, Crash Course!


It was a terrible concept and a worse business decision.  Three and a half hours of intellectually dense material, lacking a happy ending, that I decided to give away for free.  On paper, it should have been a disaster.  But in reality, it has been enormously successful, having been featured in the Washington Post, on PBS, in the Huffington Post, and on Financial Sense Newshour with Jim Puplava, just to name a few..


So now that a year has passed, and this incredible and vibrant community has coalesced around the Crash Course, let's review where we've been and what we've accomplished.


By the Numbers


PeakProsperity.com has some thoroughly amazing traffic statistics.  This snapshot from Google Analytics shows the data for the past year (from 10/21/2008 to 10/21/2009):



 


More than 1.1 million visitors, 3 million visits, and over 10 million page views.  I admit that we could have gotten a lot more traffic if we had focused a bit more on celebrity gossip, but considering the subject matter, I think these are remarkable numbers.


The number I am most proud of is underlined with a red dotted line - 8:37 minutes.  This is the average amount of time people have spent at each visit to PeakProsperity.com over the past year, and it is a remarkable web statistic.  This averages in all the people who bounced off after 10 seconds with the folks who settled in and watched the entire Crash Course in one sitting and then wandered over to the forums to pen an essay or two.


This one number indicates that excellent content can attract people and hold their attention.


Where did all these people come from?


According to Alexa, they - you - came from all over the globe. A quick word on Alexa rankings:  A lower number is better, and the actual number represents where the website stands in comparison to every single other website in the world. So if there are 15,000,000 websites and you have a ranking of 150,000, you are in the top 1%.  The Alexa ranking of this website is certainly respectable on a world-wide basis, with a score of ~45,000.  It appears that I might find more than a few friends to share a meal with in New Zealand or Sri Lanka or Poland, according to the table below:



Just looking at the Crash Course itself, the main landing page has been viewed more than one and a quarter million times:



 Some 26,000 DVDs have been sold, more than 100,000 downloads have been recorded from the Torrent sites, and the ~50,000 views from YouTube accompany the unknown statistics of numerous other sites that host the Crash Course on their own servers.


Because we don't know how many times the DVDs or downloads have been viewed, we have to guess, but I feel comfortable estimating that the Crash Course has been viewed by roughly 1.5 million individuals.


Translation Efforts


The Crash Course is now also fully available in Spanish (here at PeakProsperity.com and on YouTube), and is completely translated into French (in text form only), with Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, and Chinese on the way.


A year ago, the Crash Course was only available in English.


All of these translation efforts have been made by volunteers, and we are deeply grateful for their dedication and hard work.


The Most Important Results


The most important results are the numerous testimonials and heartfelt emails that we receive on an ongoing basis, explaining (for example) how the Crash Course helped to change the writer's thinking, sort out critical life decisions, or nudge a reluctant partner.


Beyond our wildest hopes, the Crash Course has proven to be a remarkably effective agent of change.  I guess this shouldn't have been too surprising, since it's the same information that caused me and my family to utterly transform our own path through life.


Resisting Temptation


I promised myself that once the Crash Course was completed, I would let a whole year pass, spending that time in the service of spreading awareness and building understanding about the issues contained within the Crash Course. Intent on this path, I resisted numerous calls to move into solutions or to promote specific organizations or causes.


I did this because I knew deep down that it would have been premature to move into solutions before achieving a critical mass of awareness and understanding.  I also refrained because I knew that stepping through one door often means closing two or more others.


It is my fervent belief that we need everybody on board for this next transition.  Therefore, keeping all the doors open seemed the most prudent course of action.


What's next?


I am glad that I had the wisdom to stay out of the "solutions space" until now.  This year has been a very rich learning experience for me.  Looking back, I am certain I would have made choices with less insight and understanding than I now have.   It was worth the wait.


This next year will be all about addressing "What's next?" and choosing from among the many possible courses of action, organizations, and solutions to actively promote critical change.


The Vision


I truly believe that we have the time and the resources to pull off a relatively gentle and favorable outcome.  But there's also a set of very dark potential futures laid out before us that will result from blindly adhering to the status quo.


The difference between these separate futures is really up to us.  Each of us individually, and all of us collectively. 


As I've pondered this over the past year, it occurs to me that if we want to have any hope of wrestling humanity back to living within the carrying capacity of the earth without traveling a very dark road, we are going to need a social movement.


And not just any movement, but a mammoth grassroots effort that has the full weight of our wisdom and spirit behind it .


We will need to redefine our sense of prosperity into what I call "True Prosperity" - a place where we are living with less stuff, but more happiness and satisfaction.  We'll need to change our priorities, our economic model (sorry, debt-based money; you lose), what we value, and even the stories we tell ourselves.


But to do any of this, we need a vision, along with the words and messages necessary to convey it, or nobody will agree to follow along.  I intend to bring what leadership I can to this effort and to reach out and offer my skills to whomever is already heading in the right direction.


At the very core, I hold a belief that the future can only be great if we are ready to pursue truly non-status-quo-solutions and if we are willing to release those that don’t work or no longer serve us.


I see a future of opportunity and relative abundance if, and only if, we elevate the position of 'careful steward' above all others.


Achieving Balance


I have a confession to make.  All of the success and numbers above have come at a great cost.   A personal cost, measured in fourteen-hour work-days, carrying the weight of a small business and letting too many other facets of my life take a back seat.  I am in the worst physical shape of my life, and fixing that has to go right near the top of my personal priority list.  With this first-year anniversary, I strive to fine-tune my current list of responsibilities and spread out into new areas.


I have a responsibility to myself and my family, which will translate into efforts to enhance our homestead.


I have an ongoing commitment to my enrolled members, and this is of utmost importance to me.  Words cannot express how much I appreciate your dedication.


I intend to continue shaping and guiding the public portion of PeakProsperity.com.


And I feel compelled to work as hard as I can to turn the vision I described above into reality.


Each of these areas could easily represent a full time job for the next year.  And though I simply can't manage four full-time jobs in 2010, I can do my very best to manage my time, resources, and team so that all four areas get the attention they require over the next year and beyond.


Thank You


I want to thank the many supporters of this site.  So many of you have offered support in different and valuable ways.  I am very grateful to the people who contribute by posting here at PeakProsperity.com, and those who have promoted the Crash Course via e-mail and in their communities.   I greatly appreciate the contributions of those who have volunteered their time as Brigade members, translators, and moderators, along with those who have contributed to our outreach efforts in other helpful ways.


And an especially heartfelt thank you goes to those who have supported this site financially with donations, with enrolled memberships, and sometimes both.  Without your financial support, this site would still be pretty much just an idea in some guy's head (mine).


To the casual reader it may not be apparent, but an enormous amount of effort and dedication are required to keep the content fresh, the conversations civil, the topics germane, and the trolls at bay.  To our moderators must go an enormous rousing cheer of gratitude, another to Davos for many months of assembling the Daily Digest, and another to our new daily contributors as well.


I greatly enjoy working with my staff and all of the tireless volunteers at the site.  Together, we've managed to reach more than a million people in ways that have transformed lives.


So thank you.  And here's to another monumental year ahead.  I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together.

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45 Comments

scbissler's picture
scbissler
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 9 2008
Posts: 39
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris, Thank you so very much for all your efforts.  This site is without a doubt one of the greatest resources available, and the fact that so much of the content is free is truly remarkable.  Also, a big Thank you to all of the regular posters.  The intelligence and passion of all of you is quite inspiring.  Keep up the great work everyone.  And Chris, please take care of yourself .

EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 546
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

To think Chris - you are the person who made crystal clear the system we are operating under by taking a moment from your work-a-day life and making what you know - known to others. You are everything that is good about free speech, democracy and the internet.

You deserve good health, being with those you cherish and all that real prosperity can be.

I enjoy spreading the word and feel really fortunate to be a part of this community and I feel that as a group - WE have so much work to do in helping to spread the message as the more people realize how the system we operate under now can no longer accomplish peace, security, real prosperity and full-filled lives.

I'm looking forward to the next phase of what it will take to made our system work for everyone.

Be Well - Be the Peace. EndGamePlayer

cipher's picture
cipher
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 19 2009
Posts: 51
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Dear Dr. M,

I would like to express my gratitude for the knoweledge I have gained over past 6 months of being hooked with the site. I have always been surprised at your dedication to this community. You have been instrumental in spreading awareness about not one but many of the critical issues and most importantly, have enabled others like me to be able to look at big picture and understand what's going on.

I have been educating myself using the resources provided in the learnings section and admit that I have surely learned more in this time then any other period in my life.

You definitely deserve to take care of yourself and your family.

Your efforts are very much appreciated. Thank you again for all that you have done.

with respect and warm regards

Mayank

 

Newton Heath's picture
Newton Heath
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 4
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Congratulations Chris.

I was forwarded the link to the crash course 12 months ago.

The passion and insight of the DD clientele caused my compulsive return (Thankyou Davos).

The realization of all I have learned recently forced my back payment for tuition. 

I look forward to the 2nd birthday address and wonder where the journey of the next 12 months will take us .

fleximan5's picture
fleximan5
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 11 2009
Posts: 3
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

A heartfelt thanks to you Chris.

I have sent many folks your way. You explain it all with a depth, clarity and forward vision that is most appreciated.

Tommygun's picture
Tommygun
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 21 2009
Posts: 65
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris,

 You are a  good leader, a visionary with great insight, and good at building community. Thanks for such a wonderful website and for the Crash Course. A year ago I had very little interest in the three E's. I was only interested in PM back then. Now I have an organic garden, chickens, food storage and a general plan for a new sustainable way to live thanks to daily visits to your website and  to extensive readings of all your articles and  the Daily Digest (big thanks to Davos). I love this website. Thanks again and stay strong !!

Tommy

darrah7's picture
darrah7
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 14
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Dr. Martenson,

Thank you for the Crash Course and all your contributions.  It has without a doubt had a huge impact on my life and the way I see the world going forward.  I hope you are able to achieve the balance you desire with your family.  I know I find this difficult sometimes with my own life and family.

Thanks to Davos and the other contributors, too.  I look forward to another year with all of you.

Ryan

tabletop's picture
tabletop
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 29
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

I can't begin to thank you for opening my eyes and expanding my awareness. You truly have a gift of message clarity that I would categorize at a level of a Thomas Paine of our age.

Christopher Ross Keesey 

grl's picture
grl
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 30 2008
Posts: 188
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Thank you! thank you Chris for having the vision and dedication. CM.com is truly an amazing site and the Crash Course was the most valuable course I ever took.  When I first viewed the Crash Course almost a year ago, it opened my mind and was most certainly the turning point in my understanding. While understanding is painful sometimes, it is more painful to see those I care about continue to stick their heads in the sand, or more literally - in front of American Idol et al. It is my hope that as the obvious reveals itself to more and more people, there will be increasing numbers who will be open to considering the concepts of the CC and willing to stick their toes in the water. Your success is our success; congrats on a great first year and here's to an even better second year. (Exponential growth is sometimes a good thing Smile)

 

 

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Congratulations Chris, a fine community you created. 

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2239
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Let's see, the first anniversary is the, what, paper anniversary?  Tin?  Bauxite?  Escapes me now.

No matter -- CONGRATS on a spectacular first year!  Here's to more and better in the year to come!

VIVA!!!   Sager

Jeff Borsuk's picture
Jeff Borsuk
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 25 2008
Posts: 150
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Well done, Chris!

It can never be said that you didn't make a big and lasting difference for your fellow man while you were on earth. Your time and efforts will continue to manifest for generations to come.

Aho! and Thank you!

Jeff

 

joe jackson's picture
joe jackson
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 7 2008
Posts: 13
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Hello Chris.  A little over a year ago I felt that things were just not right but could not figure it out.  When I started watching the crash course bells went off and lights flashed.  You have a great spirit and gift.  Thanks for sharing.

Joe

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2247
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Congratulations Chris, Becca and family!  Thanks for all you have given to us.  And thanks for proving, by your example,  that there are still good people in the world, who truly care about the greater good!  It is an honor to be a part of you community.

Take care of yourself,

pinecarr

RichardCassie's picture
RichardCassie
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 21 2009
Posts: 17
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Thank you, Dr. Martenson, for your willingness to share your insight with anyone who will listen. Your Spirit has helped join together multitudes of like mind and understanding.  The Great Turning is humming along all over our small planet and many indeed are rejoicing.  As you understand, this is all so much larger than pure economics. The revelation that greed is alive and well, and is steadily eroding our community and resources, has pierced the heart of many more who seek truth because of your work.  The work before us all is humbling and exciting-- the possibilities are amazing!

Because you mentioned your health, I am compelled to share the source of my family's journey back to sustainable wellness. The Weston A. Price non-profit and activist organization promotes traditional food preparation by emphasizing nutrient-density drawn from traditional cultures from all around the world.  It stands in sharp contrast to all governments' usual protection of big agriculture's factory farming (destroying planet) and industrial food processing (removes all nutrition, endangers health, food unsafe) for profit at the expense of health and true community (small farms' demise).

So much for my plug for the dear-to-my-heart concern which goes hand-in-hand with your belief that we need a world-wide grass-roots movement.  I believe it is truly happening. Please see www.westonaprice.org, www.acresusa.com, and, perhaps most of all, www.yesmagazine.org.

I wish you well on your journey.

Cassie Hare

machinehead's picture
machinehead
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2008
Posts: 1077
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Well done, Chris. This site has meant a lot to me. Some old friends that we knew elsewhere, in the pre-PeakProsperity.com days, are here too. 

My only regret is that it's been too long since we spilled out of a midtown brewery -- where you once dazzled us with an amazingly heavy one-ounce gold coin -- and mooned the Nasdaq stock market. 

Someday we'll repeat the feat at the Root of all Evil -- that marble tomb of murdered money, the Marriner S. Eccles 'federal' 'reserve' building. I hope to be there the day Chairman Benny Bubbles is evacuated from the roof in a helicopter ... so daunted about his bleak future on the Bush ranch in Paraguay that he can't shower the capital's streets with hundred-dollah bills, as is his wont today.

Hope Benny takes the Crash Course DVD to study on the long flight down. A PhD-Econ won't even buy you a tamale on the dusty streets of Asuncion, much less respect. ;-)

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

100,000 acres in Paraguay.....with an airfield.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5752
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Thank you everyone for your comments and the show of support, they mean a lot to me.

I am most honored to be part of this community that has sprung up in these parts.  We are on a very interesting journey together!

Here's a small gift, of sorts, back.  When I went out to Boulder Colorado in July I gave a talk to roughly 300 people that happened to be taped by Dave Gardner who was in town to shoot some elements for his upcoming documentary "Growth Busters".

We took that tape and did our best to add back in the charts and graphics to make it something that could be followed and tonight it is finally available for viewing.

The 45 minute version (click here)

If you know someone who can't/won't watch the whole CC, or who might be swayed by the fact that a lot of people seem to be in audience, then we hope this version is useful. 

We also suggest that this version is perfect for providing to your local cable access channel to run...the DVDs that can be used for this purpose will be available soon (check the marketplace page soon or, if you are a brigade member and we have your address, your mailbox as you'll be receiving some).

Best,
Chris

 

Ken C's picture
Ken C
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2009
Posts: 753
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!
cmartenson wrote:

Thank you everyone for your comments and the show of support, they mean a lot to me.

I am most honored to be part of this community that has sprung up in these parts.  We are on a very interesting journey together!

Here's a small gift, of sorts, back.  When I went out to Boulder Colorado in July I gave a talk to roughly 300 people that happened to be taped by Dave Gardner who was in town to shoot some elements for his upcoming documentary "Growth Busters".

We took that tape and did our best to add back in the charts and graphics to make it something that could be followed and tonight it is finally available for viewing.

The 45 minute version (click here)

If you know someone who can't/won't watch the whole CC, or who might be swayed by the fact that a lot of people seem to be in audience, then we hope this version is useful. 

We also suggest that this version is perfect for providing to your local cable access channel to run...the DVDs that can be used for this purpose will be available soon (check the marketplace page soon or, if you are a brigade member and we have your address, your mailbox as you'll be receiving some).

Best,
Chris

 

 

HI Chris,

 

I am logged in and I  am an Enrolled Member but the system won't let me watch the video.

 

Ken

 

Farmer Brown's picture
Farmer Brown
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2008
Posts: 1503
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris,

Congratulations and a heartfelt thanks for planting the seeds that have made a positive change in my life.  And this is coming from an extremely stubborn person!

FB

Lemonyellowschwin's picture
Lemonyellowschwin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2008
Posts: 561
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Me too . . . same problem as Ken. 

JRB's picture
JRB
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: May 17 2009
Posts: 149
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Ditto.

dps's picture
dps
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 27 2008
Posts: 442
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

confirmed.  I'm enrolled & brigade.  can't run the film.

I'll be watching my mail!!!

And, again, thanks, Chris!  Another big hug inserted here.  ... dons

Woodman's picture
Woodman
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

I stumbled into the Crash Course, yet to be finished, while searching for answers for the uncomfortable trends I sensed, and it truly has marked a turning point in my life and awareness; thanks!  If you haven't met Chris and family in person, he is the real deal.

No complaints here if you take some time from the website to get back in shape.  That's something I make top priority everyday no matter how much work I have to do.  I find the work is always there anyway, but a workout does wonders for my attitude and self confidence.   Moreover, staying healthy is just as important as wealth, food, shelter, and community to preparing for a very different next 20 years. 

Tom

kemosavvy's picture
kemosavvy
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 254
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Thank you Chris, Thank you Davos, Thanks to all the frequent posters to this site,

You guys have changed my life. I never once posted on a website in my life, but I found myself compelled by this community to get involved.

 

joemanc's picture
joemanc
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

I found this site just over a year ago. It has completely changed my life and how I view things, all for the better. I look forward to what the next year will bring both on cm.com and in my life.

Chris - you definitely need to take care of yourself. If Montague is not too hilly, get yourself a bike and start bikeriding, it's very, very good exercise for you. At least I believe it is for me. And get an indoor trainer so you can bike ride indoors during the winter.

Thank you, and everyone else behind the scenes, again for EVERYTHING!

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Online)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 483
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris,

Very well done to you and to all of your family and staff for all of the help you have provided to people aroung the world. Your efforts are an example and an inspiration to everyone interested in making the future  much different and much more vibrant than the past.

Personally I have never been more optimistic about our future potential than I am now. Thank you for being a big part of that for me and my friends and my family Chris.

Coop

James Wandler's picture
James Wandler
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 12 2008
Posts: 219
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris,

Everything you've done has been so powerful - thank you.  I hope you'll be able to put more time into the homesteading and less on enrolled members - working the land will give you the exercise you need - just take it slow so your body can acclimatize.  The unlimited work of homesteading will always be there so just set an easy pace and chip away at it.

I'm very excited to see that you have a 45 min presentation that could run on local TV...unfortunately I got up and scanned the channels and I don't have a local TV station.  Hmmm...perhaps I'll have to look at something regional...

The one thing that could give this site a bolt of lightning to spark that mammoth grassroots effort would be to allow all of us to link up with each other geographically in real life.  We are a latent power trapped under a glass jar that can be unleashed if we were able to find each other.  If you can set us free then you can step aside a lot more and you'll accelerate the change emerging in communities everywhere.  Once the site feature was enabled then you would just need a couple of steps:

- send an email to all registered and enrolled members of the new feature and that they would just need to follow certain steps to allow their nearest physical city to be recognized by others

- add a new final chapter to the crash course directing people to become registered members and identify their geographic area and to contact those registered members nearest them that have already identified themselves

- put something high profile on the main page about linking up so that people that have viewed the crash course some time ago and just happen to go back to the site out of curiosity might be drawn back into it in real life

Obviously the usual warnings about dealing with strangers would need to be advised - phone calls first, meet in a public place, etc.

I know that this was in the works six months ago but since then I've had my head down relocating and farming so if there was something advised about why this wasn't going to occur - I'm sorry I missed it. 

Regardless, I'll be trying to, sensitively, effect some local change.  It has occurred to me this evening that I should try to find 30 or so people in my (rural) area of varying skill sets and form a cooperative and buy a farm and hire someone who could do animal husbandry.  If possible in one shot I would be able to:  build community, get people back to nature, build soil, plant trees for energy descent, integrate a complementary currency into the structure, balance yield against storing energy (permaculture techniques), allow people the opportunity to get back to the land even if they would never do it on their own, get high quality food, build food security, find a better investment than money in the bank, give people a chance to learn and practice new skills (e.g. processing/preserving food), give people the opportunity to earn income and build capital as their time was time banked, allow for experimental farming (observe and interact - permaculture again), get people familiar with the constraints of farming, let people help with legal issues, let people contribute with marketing, have fun, get fresh air, take positive action, have their neighbours wondering/interested in what they are doing, have something to trade with other responsible producers, create a place that provides them with leisure and purpose, demonstrate holistic management in animal husbandry, share in overabundance of fruit trees, etc., etc.

I'm sure this isn't a new idea but if I could get like minded people with a variety of skill sets and follow the international coops guidelines (http://www.ica.coop/coop/principles.html) I should be able to set up a model that could be replicated elsewhere (and nearby so that these co-ops can bootstrap other co-ops).  And if my idea can't work where I am perhaps I am planting the seed of the idea with someone else that reads this and does find this appealing and can carry it out.

Congratulations on your, and your family's, achievements!

James

 

rheba's picture
rheba
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2009
Posts: 71
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Glad to see the statistics. Where to go from here is a big question. It would be great to be able to get together with like minded neighbors. I think the point of buying the Crash Course DVD is to try to create existing neighbors into like-minded ones. I can't say that I have yet been successful in doing that. For one thing, it means cleaning my house so I can have people over!

So far, no legitimate political way has emerged to channel progressive voters views into effective action and people are getting frustrated. If you want to read something scary, go to the Alternet and read the debate between Chris Hedges and Bill McKibbon. I guess that what people want to do next may depend upon where they come down in that debate.

I have been involved in politics since Voice Political Party days at the U of Michigan (that dates me!) I have learned how easy it is to stop things and destroy them and how hard it is to create and to preserve. Open, non-violent collective action is the only hope for our society. I think it is going to be very tempting to engage in revolutionary rhetoric and maybe even action. If the principles of the Crash Course are correct then events are leading us towards revolutionary change no matter what we do so why make things any worse than they will be anyway? Furthermore, there is a huge security/police apparatus that is and/or will infiltrate every group that talks about social change. This may sound a bit naive, but we may have the opportunity to educate them if we stay clear and focused. 

Here are some people who I think are doing good work. I am very impressed by the blogs authored by Sharon Astyk  and John Michael Greer. They are conservers in the best sense of the term. The transition town/post carbon people also seem to be positive groups. They address the need for localization that I think many of us believe will offer opportunities for our families and neighbors. The Weston A. Price Foundation and the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund are critical if we want to allow people to develop small agricultural enterprises without being shut down by local and state boards of health. 

I don't see anyone who is organizing for the 2010 elections where we progressives should be able to send a message to Washington - at least not in Massachusetts. Michael Moore's clever website is suggesting the "starve the beast" approach to fighting the corporate system. 

Hope that the dialogue will continue here and that we can really have a productive discussion about next steps, both personal, financial and, if people wish it, political. 

 

Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Just so you know Chris, i found the CC on google finance message boards during the big market swings back in Nov of 08. It was in the DJIA message boards where people put up links for all kinds of cool sites such as crashcourse, money as debt video, and others. Thats how i found out about the CC.

straight's picture
straight
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2008
Posts: 103
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Happy Birthday from Australia.

The CC is not far from mind, even as i struggle home at 2.26am from the local, smelling of cigarette smoke. 

Tonight, at a 30yr school reunion where the first question was, 'what are you doing with yourself?' i was answering, with pride, "Preparing!  My belief is that the next 20 years will be totally different from the last 20, and i have checked out of the old system and i am preparing for the new one."

Once i had briefly and suscinctly mapped out my understandings, as per the CC, more often than not i was greeted with warm tones of acceptance.  Permaculture, local food, gold and silver, resiliance, they all struck a chord.

Thanks for the course, it above all the other books and blogs and movies has given me the most effective framework to hang together all the apparantly different observations and learnings i have made, as a coherent whole.  your sacrafice has been my gain.  thank you very much.

Stewart, Brisbane.

 

 

 

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saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4163
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris

Great job on putting the information together for Crashcourse in such a way that it can be easily understood.

Friends and family who have watched it have already taken action, so you have changed the course of our lives

in a very positive way (we were buying gold in the mid $600s).

Thanks for making me a part of this community. It's always interesting to go through the news and see

how those hockey stick graphs influence current events.

 

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VeganDB12
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 18 2008
Posts: 741
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris

I came to the CC by way of the chapter on bubbles posted on Andrew Tobias' website.  I have been hooked ever since!

Many thanks to you and your family, for sharing so much of your selves and providing enormous insight and guidance during these very difficult times.  Thanks also to Davos and the Brigade and the community.  It will be an interesting year.

Smile

Take care

Denise

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scbissler
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 9 2008
Posts: 39
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!
cmartenson wrote:

 

If you know someone who can't/won't watch the whole CC, or who might be swayed by the fact that a lot of people seem to be in audience, then we hope this version is useful. 

 

Already had success!  I have been trying to get folks to watch the CC but get the usual excuses - "too long", "too complicated", etc.  Passed on the info about the 45 minute version to my mother.  Lo and behold, she watched it!  And she loved it!  Now she is halfway through the entire CC.

 

 

 

John99's picture
John99
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 27 2009
Posts: 490
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Congrats, Chris!

You mention a new movement and also a new monetary system, which I feel must be the heart of any sustainable system. Suggestions? Or perhaps a dedicated page established to share ideas?

nncita's picture
nncita
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 8
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Dear Chris,

Thank you for your fabulous work which is helping so many people gain a better understanding of what is going on in the world and start working towards a future of True Prosperity.

Thanks to your teaching, we now understand the power of the exponential function, a concept which can also be applied to spread positive change and the world wide web is certainly one of the most powerful tools in this regard.

By making the Crash Course available for free on the internet you have therefore made a very important contribution to the education of the masses which will - I'm sure - with exponential speed - lead to the social movement needed to bring about positive change. In fact, I think we will all be surprised of how fast it can happen :)

I will therefore continue to help spreading your work in my part of the world.

Finally, I would also like to thank your family for their understanding and dedication to the cause by supporting you in the work that you are doing.

nncita

cat233's picture
cat233
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2008
Posts: 575
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris, Becca, admin, moderators, tech, and the behind the scenes team...

Happy birthday!

Thank you for your time, work and the effort that has gone and continues to go into the CM site. My life certainly has changed since landing here more than a year ago. So many new experiences... From a small successful garden, participating in a food storage day, and handing out CC business cards and DVDs to spread the word.  It has been wonderful watching my community grow and help each other...

Attending a CC seminar and meeting Chris, Becca, and other participants in person was a tremendous growing experience. The opportunity to meet with many familiar names on the site and make new friendships has been a blessing. I have learned so much form many blog contributors, and I now have a fabulous German friend, all because of the forum. I am not frightened about the future, I have prepared the best to my ability. I don't think I would be able to say that if it weren't for this site.

Becca, Erica, Simon and Gracie, thank you for sharing Chris with us. Chris, I thank you for the endless hours of your time. What I have learned from you is priceless, and I am most appreciative for your shared knowledge and wise insights. Most of all what you have brought me is... Peace.

A most grateful,

Cat

okubow's picture
okubow
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2009
Posts: 67
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris,

Congratulations! Your success is well deserved! I can't even imagine the patience and attention to detail that it must take to wade through so many facts and numbers on a regular basis. I hope that you're very proud of your work. I also hope that you'll find good people to help you with the crash course so that you can have more time with your family and more time to exercise and relax.

I've shared your work with many family friends and even students here in Warsaw, Poland. You're definitely welcome to dinner on me, any time you're in Polska!

Orion

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Congratulations Chris and Becca,

The CC has probably influenced more folks than you know. I continue to plod along, more aware, even if only somewhat more prepared.

Taking care of self needs to be numero uno for you guys.

Regards,

 

SG

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

  While I appreciate all your work and vision , even after the year of trying to share the CC vision  I was  having challenges getting people to see the need to  make changes  but then I realized all my friends make less than 100 K  . They do what they can to get by .Stuck in 401k's and not much extra to go out and buy gold .  And if you do not have much  invested you do not have much to protect .   Yep I'd say this is why we are just Plugging along planting our gardens and learning more hunting skills .  As we still have no  great answers on how to change the situation we find ourselves in . Feeling very manipulated , deceived   and like we are just bending over to those that are in control .     Anyway this is why I check in here every few days to see if you all came up with anything wise and wonderful . 

  Oh and the realization that Colleges could be  one of the next  things to crash is not going over well here in our area at all .  It is like their Savior  ,it  is what everyone puts their hope in a better life for their kids .     I personally  never  understood paying so much for Bowling 101.

  The warnings are nice, even if we find ourselves powerless to change  ......  Still looking for answers .   Fearing it is because of moral decay  and for this change .... well you know .

toori2l5l's picture
toori2l5l
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 29 2009
Posts: 1
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Take care Chris,

       with best wishes

Muhammad from Pakistan (Karachi)

Golden Age's picture
Golden Age
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 2 2008
Posts: 61
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chis I cannot thank you enough for this web site.  Your insight and ability to explain economics in terms anyone can explain is extraordinary.  Your efforts are a labor of love and a gift to everyone who takes the time to watch the videos.  My only regret is that so few of my family and friends have taken advantage of the wealth of information available here for only the time it takes to observe.  Well done, Chris.

Amanda Witman's picture
Amanda Witman
Status: Peak Prosperity Team (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 409
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!
Full Moon wrote:

  While I appreciate all your work and vision , even after the year of trying to share the CC vision  I was  having challenges getting people to see the need to  make changes  but then I realized all my friends make less than 100 K  . They do what they can to get by .Stuck in 401k's and not much extra to go out and buy gold .  And if you do not have much  invested you do not have much to protect .   Yep I'd say this is why we are just Plugging along planting our gardens and learning more hunting skills .  As we still have no  great answers on how to change the situation we find ourselves in .

(snip)

  The warnings are nice, even if we find ourselves powerless to change  ...... 

I just want to offer encouragement and say that not everyone who gains value from this site has investments and income to spare.  Yes, Chris speaks about protecting investments and other financial assets, but there is a whole other piece here that is about changing your expectations and your definition of prosperity to fit what life brings.  There are many things you can do for free that will help your family and community weather the storm.  Make personal connections, offer emotional support, share resources that you already have (tools and know-how and information).  Feel good about living within your means and recognize that this is actually quite a radical choice in our culture in its current incarnation.  Encourage each other to live simply and generously within the limits of your situation, whatever it might be.

Read the Six Stages of Awareness (on this site) and think about progressing through them to a place of acceptance.  Take care of your health in the simplest and most effective ways - drink plenty of water, exercise, get fresh air and sufficient sleep, avoid harmful chemicals as much as possible.  Slow down and learn to manage stress well.  Develop cheap hobbies that build community and do not rely much on oil or electricity.

Use your library or local book swap to learn to garden, forage, cook from scratch, build useful things with recycled materials, repair things.  Network for things you need or would find useful through freecycle, craigslist, your local swap shop (if there is one - ours is run by the American Legion), your neighbors and friends.  Develop frugal living strategies that push you beyond what you already do.  Change your expectations and your standards.  Value homemade and secondhand gifts.  Cultivate optimism.  Find a way that you personally can contribute to the betterment of your community - free for the cost of your time and effort.

Even people with a lot of gold or "stuff" will feel crunched by the change that lies ahead.  The people who are rich in knowledge, experience, and the confidence to be self-reliant are the ones who will be the most well-off in the end.

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

  Amanda , 

     Thank you , I do  find myself   checking here only for the news updates and all the Homesteading / frugal living advise from the folk that are so like minded .   I realize that these posts are fewer because everyone is so busy out "doing "  instead of talking  but I cling to every idea with hope and glean so much from the wisdom of these same people. 

 Thank you again for the encouraging words ..  I get down and overwhelmed by the enormous task and accountability   set before us.

May we be found faithful .

presentmoment's picture
presentmoment
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2008
Posts: 57
Re: Happy Birthday, Crash Course!

Chris,

I've appreciated your work very much and I can't thank you enough for restoring some sanity to my understanding of this world.  Hope you achieve balance in your priorities.

presentmoment

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