Hello from Minnesota.
My name is Bob Walser and thanks to Farmer Kate (workhorse1569) I encountered the Crash Course just after New Years.
Trained as an ethnomusicolgist (SOAS, University of London) and folklorist I’ve been involved in music professionally since the days I ran the music program at Mystic Seaport Museum – in Mystic CT where Chris used to live (and where my profile photo was taken).
Nearly a year ago a fellow parent at my sons’ school suggested I learn about what was going on with the economy and pointed me to the Asia Times. From there it was a short hop to the Mugambo Guru and Agora Financial, IOUSA and the Concord Coalition. I was astonished to find lots of resources in print and on the web and read like a madman for months. I was in the process of writing my own connect-the-dots piece when Kate pointed me to the Crash Course.
Now I’m going through it again with a group of friends and neighbors. As a performer and teacher (K-12 to postgrad), I’d like to develop my own way of presenting the CC using the DVD but also activities and handouts.
Foodways are a particular interest as well and I’ve been networking with Sustainable Farming groups locally. While the massive problems we all face are staggering and even overwhelming, there are loads of good folks working on particular issues and that gives me hope. The alternative currencies such as Berkshares and the Lewes Pound, the Concord Coalition’s deficit work, the universe of foodies Michael Pollan has touched all make important contributions. In my view what the Crash Course offers, and by extension all of us, is a framework for connecting all those pieces.
The phrase ‘connect the dots’ seems to recur in these fora. Chris has done it in one way, a way that speaks to us. Folks who gather here may be, like me, big picture people who want to understand these issues in the largest sense. That viewpoint has a lot to offer and we have real contributions to make including developing ways of communicating these issues to folks who think and learn in different ways. I’d like to connect with others who are actively teaching/presenting this material to share ideas and materials.
Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy and Wendell Berry’s In the Presence of Fear remind me that community is our greatest hope. As a musician, as a parent and as a citizen I believe that building community is my calling. I look forward to participating in and perhaps helping to build this community.
My name is Kerry. I live in Australia. I work for myelf part-time as a graphic artist/web developer and I have a strong commitment (8 yrs) to volunteer work in emergency services where part of my role has been to study (5 yrs) and deliver educational info and support to other emergency volunteers on the theme “understanding the chemistry of stress and managing its effects”. Other interests are playing music, amateur film and painting.
I have 3 children, the youngest about to ship off to uni. He hasn’t seen the Crash Course yet although he wants to but … "I’m just off to a party now". Still he asked me recently, "mum do you honestly think it’s worth getting a debt for a degree that I might never be able to use?" To be quite honest I struggled to answer that question because an honest answer means hopping off the pointy fence and making a stand again. Again? So I went back to the CC website.
I’ve been involved in a few different activist groups before. It tests your reserves. I just felt that the CC message is worth promoting but I couldn’t help wondering how existing members were faring with the task. I contacted Lucas, a bit hesitant – and he was interested in my background experience – namely “the stress and burn-out of volunteers in activist organisations” coupled with my later experience in the educational role I perform to help emergency workers mitigate the effects of stress.
I read posts in the topic "What has happened
to the Martenson Brigade?" Yeah – there are high and low points on the road. Maybe it would be useful to share some of my
experiences and I’d be happy to answer any questions. But I really know nothing yet about how this brigade functions – so I need
to learn that first.
"Connect the dots" … Snowshoe
Bob, I use that phrase quite a bit and I’m passionate about community too.
My name is Gary. 53 years young. My online name is gtazman. I’m kinda like a tazmanian devil at heart. Actually, I visited Tazmania in the late 70’s with the US navy and earned my "Shellback" status on that cruise (not just a job but an adventure). I live in SE Wisconsin by West Bend. My interests include running/staying in shape, camping, fishing, and woodworking. I work as a welding engineer with robotics to manufacture construction equipment.
I really enjoy engaging in the topics that CM has brought to out attention through the the 3Es. I have had to retrain my economic view points as I took advanced courses in traditional econ. Now I am more Austrian school than old school, but it will take time. Dr. Ron Paul and Peter Schief are my heros.
I’m peparing for the near term, but also have my eyes on the future posibilities. I think the work you all are doing is making a difference.
I’m Jason, a 33-year old middle school teacher. I live in South Central Pennsylvania with my wife and two kids. I learned about the Crash Course after I discovered peak oil when I was researching the rise in gas prices last spring. When I started watching the course there were few chapters yet to be posted, so I visited the site daily until all of the videos were posted. Now I still visit the site daily to at least read Davos’s daily blog.
I’ve gone from anger to frustation to confusion to acceptance of our situation, and am now trying to figure out the best course of action for me and my family.
I help out with the YouTube channel, though I’m only minimally gifted in this area.
I appreciate community and quality info I’ve found at this site. I also appreciate how Chris tends to put a positive spin on the info that he shares with the masses.
I also gave away some CC DVD’s as Chritmas gifts and seed the ISO on BitTorrent so others can enjoy it, too!
Hello, my name is Steve and I have been furthering the cause by giving speeches in and around my local area. I also setup a skype forum last sunday night for fellow CM members to come together and have a candid conversation. Jason Kibbe was there and would probably agree the inaugural forum was a mild success, albiet for the few times a particular individual hi-jacked the conversation, all in all it was great to have seven very informed people come together.
If you are interested in joining us next time we do this please send me your skype information, send it to stephen9134 using the skype software.i also like to have random conversations with people so drop me a line.
Great to see all the video/audio/web/animation specialists here! Very interesting! My name is Brandon (duh!) and I’m 27. I work across the motion graphics and web development departments of an employee owned creative/technology firm near Kalamazoo, Michigan. I’ve lived and worked in southwest Michigan my entire life and recieved my degree in video production/design here as well.
I believe that I ended up here from a link at Ron Paul’s website, while trying to delve into all the lesser-known candidates in the Presidential race. I’ve always had a tendency towards simplification, and a less-is-more (of sorts) attitude I suppose. I am also a musician (great to find others here), and grew up working on vehicles, taking apart engines and putting them back together…that sort of thing…a skill that has served me well.
I’ve recently re-ignited my interest in hunting, which was dormant for many years through college and beyond. I joined a gardening class a couple weeks ago, and (time and money allowing) I want to move into learning about implementing personal energy conservation and production (solar, bio, etc) over the next couple years. Along with that, I hope to start an online network for my local community to share skills, resources, time, etc….so much to be done!
I’ve spent some of my time volunteering here designing the CC DVD artwork, and other materials and media, as well as setting up a place to host/share files; all have been a pleasure and a learning experience. It’s not uncommon for me to be at work from 7am to 7pm, but I do what I can with the time I have. Seeing all of the little (but some not-so-little) actions and contributions by the members of this site really got me to feel like even an hour or two a week could help out…so thanks to everyone in that regard.
Good to see everyone here…and I look forward to working with you all.
Jason Kibbe was there and would probably agree the inaugural forum was
a mild success, albiet for the few times a particular individual
hi-jacked the conversation, all in all it was great to have seven very
informed people come together. [/quote]
Steve, I totally agree the inaugural forum was a success. It’s just the kind of things many of us need so we don’t feel alone out here as we view the world through ‘reality glasses’. I think a little more structure is in order to prevent tangents, rabbit trails, and hijackings, but regardless live chat is definitely one other medium that can be used to disseminate and discuss Crash Course-related topics.
Thanks for setting it up!
Great work on this. Where did you originally anounce it because I never saw anything about it.
Let me know if you have any more plans to continue coorinating such forums.
- where in the world they reside—Sonora, CA (gold rush country)
- age—62. Spouse (much) younger!
- family –married w/ two kids 26 and 22
- educational background— Bach of Architecture from Cal Poly State Univ at San Luis Obispo
- occupation—Architect and builder specializing in solar and environ. sustainable projects. Self employed.
- How did you find the Crash Course? From a friend who I happened to be discussing a greenhouse project with.
- How extreme do you think this economic downturn will be?
Very extreme to the point of being permanent.I have understood Peak Oil
and environmental impacts for a long time and have lectured on the
subjects. I had not connected the economic dots until the CC.
- What have you done to prepare if you believe it is going to be severe?
—Personally I (and spouse) have completed the financial steps of
getting out of all debt and all 401s, IRAs, and stocks are eliminated
in favor of the CM plan for PMs etc.plus short term cash on hand for
TSHTF. We live rurally, have established orchard, solar heated home
with attached garage and shop space where I do R&D on a drainback
solar heating system that has a woodburning stove built into the tank
for backup space heating. We have large water storage tank and are
adding a windmill and a solar powered water pump to supply it and
eliminate the electric submersible pump. We raise goats (Boer) to
control the noxious Star Thistle weed but I plan to confront the idea
of having a meat source as well. We have to move from the pets concept
to the livestock concept which has issues for some! Garden space is
underway and we are beginning the learning curve on food growing,
harvesting and storing, Permaculture design and implementation and all
of the back to the land concepts we are ignorant of ! I have organic
garden seeds ordered and on the way. We hope to have our food storage
plan completed this month.
both consider that our community is the most important aspect of where
the future is headed and how we need to prepare for it. We have run our
Mom and Pop business togrether for 29 yrs and all staff
have recently done the CC. We are brainstorming how to develop a new
financial business model to provide goods and services that will be
needed in the coming scenario. Our office is a new energy efficient
building ( http://www.architectsbuilder.com
) which we had the good sense to build over several years without the
aid of a mortgage so the design firm and construction company and
equipment are debt free which may well be the only way we will survive.
If we did not have employees I think we would retire but alas, we are
married to it.
- Several properties have
been acquired over the years and not all are debt free. Some are very
positive cash flow and we are going to sell what we can (there will no
doubt be a big markdown) to eliminate all debt. Several acreage
parcels are ideal for solar homes and permaculture development so we
hope to persue that for interested persons.
is a Rotarian and I serve on local commissions etc. We are using our
contacts to distribute CC DVDs and we have a new state of the art
conference room we hold meetings and seminars in to spread the word. I
will be attending the Transition Town meeting that Chris Kresser is
organizing in May at Oakland CA. and I hope to connect up with other
regional Crash Course devotees at some point.
My name is Christopher Peters. Like Cooper, I will post my summary from six months ago on the Reader Survey thread in the general forums:
I am 48 years old, a thoracic (chest) and vascular surgeon, currently living in Iowa. I grew up in Kansas, where I went to the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks!) for college and medical school. I started out studying architecture (my father is a retired architect), switched over to psychology, ended up graduating with degrees in psychology and biology, and then went to medical school. I spent 9 years in the Army, to include 5 years as a general surgery resident in Hawaii. I met my future wife, Julie, who was originally from Iowa, during my last year of training. After completing my Army time at Fort Stewart, Georgia, I completed a second residency in thoracic surgery at the University of Oklahoma. Since finishing, we spent two years in Indiana, two years in Colorado, and then returned to the upper midwest. Julie and I have three sons, currently ages 11, 9 and 7. I own and run my own practice, consisting of me, my wife as nurse and office manager, a physician assistant, an ultrasound technologist, and a receptionist.
Until just recently (read 9 months, or so), I was completely unaware of the dangers ahead. Then, the physician assistant with whom I worked in Colorado sent my a link to the Crash Course in one of the many emails we continue to share. I watched the course, was shocked and amazed, but could not find any point of disagreement with Chris Martenson’s arguments (a tribute to his ability to make complicated topics easy to understand). As some have alluded to in other threads, I literally felt like I was falling down a rabbit hole, or having the wool drawn from my eyes! In a last ditch effort to maintain my comfortable frame of reference, I shared the Crash Course with my father, who is not only a retired architect, but also was a very successful businessman and investor, and tends to be staunchly right-wing and pro-business, secretly hoping he would say this was all hogwash, allowing me to go ahead with my comfortably ignorant life. In the end, and I was actually not surprised, knowing my father, that he agreed with every aspect of the Crash Course. What did surprise me somewhat, however, is that he had reached similar conclusions on his own, but had never seen the arguments made so clearly and eloquently as Chris Martenson has managed.
What have I done since to prepare? Well, first, I decided not to proceed with plans to build my own professional office building. Simply stated, investing in something that seemed likely to decrease in value did not make sense. From a somewhat less selfish standpoint, Julie and I decided we would stay in Iowa, partly to ensure that our employees would have employment, and because most of Julie’s family lives nearby, and we think it possible that some may need assistance in the years to come. We have decided to build our "dream house", but those plans (which I am now designing myself, damn architecture upbringing) have become more utilitarian and less "dreamy". Our home will be on a 5 acre plot on a nearby lake, incorporating a greenhouse, an outdoor garden, plenty of storage, wind energy generation, sustainable building technology, etc.
I have taken control of my investments, previously in the hands of a couple of money managers. One of my investment counselors has watched the Crash Course, and foresees a similar future, so we have great conversations. I have invested some of my "wealth" in precious metals, but continue to "speculate" in the current volatile market, which I only advise to those who are willing to keep informed and take risks. I have spent an enormous amount of time educating myself, reading books (I finished "Deep Economy" by Bill McKibben a few weeks ago, which I strongly recommend), articles, blogs, etc.
I haven’t yet made efforts to "arm" myself for a violent confrontation, but that may change. Personally, I don’t envision a "Mad Max" scenario, at least not in Iowa, for the foreseeable future. I suspect that things will continue to deteriorate, but on a course similar to already experienced, in gradual, but worsening, stages. Things will be much worse, and deteriorate more quickly, in large, urban environments, but I suspect things will proceed more gradually in areas like those in which I currently live.
One of my ongoing concerns, perhaps obviously, given my profession, is the changes we may expect to see with regard to health and health care. I am assimilating my thoughts, and hope to post those in the near future. This is an area not really touched upon in the Crash Course, and perhaps might be considered for future updates. I will keep working on this, and post it when ready.
Thank you all for your contributions! It has truly been a joy getting acquainted with you.