Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
peter445's picture
peter445
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 15 2008
Posts: 8
Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

Hi Everyone, 

What is the best way to breach the CC topic with people who have no interest in economics?  My wife is so busy with work and babies, that sitting down for the CC seems like ANOTHER chore she has to do.  She's interested, but I feel like a nag!  I have a couple of friends who watched and are with me (my mini-community!), but other friends and family members don't have the time or inclination to even consider thinking about economics.

Specifically, what is a good way to start the conversation?  I showed the 30 minute IOUSA to my brother and law, and he watched it with interest, only to remark "That's crazy!" and return to his video game musings.

If I bring up an idea from say, chapter 12, because it's on my mind, the person with no context thinks I'm a nut!  Bottom line is I'm having a hard time talking about this with people!  How do I start?

Thanks,

Peter

yoshhash's picture
yoshhash
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2008
Posts: 271
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

I hear ya!  I also find it awkward, and to a lot of people, there just is no easy introduction.  Personally, I let the dvd do the talking, I am a pretty good speaker/conversationalist, but really the CC is its own best selling point.  I tell people, "If this were a standard movie, I would call it amongst the top ten most riveting stories I have ever been told"- and for me it is no exaggeration.  Being an information junkie, I appreciated the easy learning package of something that I struggled my whole life to understand- bells and sirens went off in my head!

Your really can't force it on anyone- the harder you try, the more of a disservice you do to it.  Lead them to the water- hopefully they take a sip.

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

I have posted interminably on my problems but, with normal people, I would, as we say in the mental health area, meet the patient (person) where they are. I think that the Kubler-Ross material, so well presented by Becca at Rowe, is in accord with that, though that is more about defensive processes. I would go with content...do you know if the person you're approaching has any interests/concerns in specific aspects of energy, economy, or environment? Did you experience any power shortages or have similar "system" problems that could be a "real" issue with which they could resonate?

Good luck.

SG

sully's picture
sully
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 20 2008
Posts: 1
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

I think this is an excellent question.  I've been wrestling with this
issue lately, as well.  I have a mix of people in my life, each in
their own stage of awareness regarding the topics in the course.  The
people who have a basic connection with at least one of the concerns
presented in the course seem to be much more open to dialoge.  Whether
their concern is financial, social, environmental, peak
energy/resources, or just a nagging sense that life has felt as though
it's been speeding up (through exponential means), if there is an "in"
to conversation, it's easy to converse about the other ideas that they
may not have considered yet.  There's a crack, a way in.    

The trouble for me is when I would like to approach someone who's
blissfully ignorant.  There are many people in my life who I care a
great deal about, who I would very much like help protect from being
blindsided as events continue to unravel, who are completely clueless
about what's coming down the pike.  People for who, say, American Idol
or the latest Iphone is of more importance than creeping food
shortages, or dwindling energy supplies.  Granted, I frequently have
trouble relating to them, but being that they are aunts and uncles,
cousins and inlaws, college buddies and work friends, just because I
don't relate doesn't mean I don't still care about their long term well
being.  The trouble comes in trying to find ways to broach the ideas in
the course, or passing on the course itself, when there is no point of
reference for them to depart from.  It has taken me many years to come
to grips with the reality behind the curtain, and I still find myself
moving back and forth between the stages of grief, as has been
discussed here.  I can only imagine what goes on in a person's head who
is getting a harsh dose of reality, head on for the first time.  It
must be quite offputting, and in fact I've had people tell me "thanks,
but I'd rather not think about these things right now.  THEY will fix
it"...in not so many words. 

I certainly don't want to come off as a crank, or push these people
away.  To be sure, for a person who's lived a life watching the
mainstream news and is now expecting hydrogen or biofuels, or whatever
the next fix is, to fix things...telling them that the world as they
know it is closing up shop can make one look a bit loopy.  But events
that I've known to be "bound to happen in the future" are finally
starting to pass, on an almost daily basis now.  If things start to get
really rough, and faster action and quicker responses begin to be
necessary, I fear for the people in my life who have yet to start
coming to grips with reality.  It's been a long and hard process, and
I'm glad I've had the luxury of years to get there.  I don't envy the
people who will show up to reality late, who are out a chair when the
music stops. 

 If you find any good answers to your question, I'd love to hear them.

ashtonw's picture
ashtonw
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 7 2008
Posts: 23
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

You know whats the worst?  When you are talking around a table or something with some of your friends, plus someone who you definitely haven't talked about the crash course to.  The conversation moves to the economy, or energy, or global warming, or some conspiracy theory.  You sit there, grinning as your friends gripe about when the government is going to solve this mess, but you dont want to bring up the crash course because it is too long and too complicated for a casual conversation.  But your friend who knows that you read PeakProsperity.com or theoildrum.com pipes up and says to the group, "hey, tim here (you are tim) is obsessed with peak oil"  And you're thinking, "aww shit todd why did you have to bring that up?"  And then you get a little annoyed because the way he said it made it sound as though you "like" peak oil.  Then people all stare at you for some explaination and you politely try and say that you dont have time to give them the full picture and that telling them a little bit will just make them confused.  Nobody ever asks you about the three E's ever again.  Your life is all for nothing.   

 

Another thing that happens to me a lot, is people get to talking with you about alternative energy, and you find yourself shooting them down as they excitedly talk about the latest technology or something.  For example

Bob - I just heard about this sweet new hydrogen tech that honda is making.  300 miles per fill up!

you - that will never work

bob - it does work.  i saw a video of it driving around.

you - no no no.  the car may work, but the problem is that the energy created by the hydrogen in the fuel cell is less than the amount of energy used to get the hydrogen into the fuel cell in the first place. Thus, the whole system is a sink, and we will starve ourselves to death making hydrogen.  very bad idea.

bob - yeah but with new technology surely that snafu can be fixed.  scientists can solve any problem given enough money and will power!

you - no, you dont get it.  This is a problem of net energy.  science cannot make hydrogen have positive net energy because it is an energy carrier, not a source.  it is the same principle as storing water uphill to release it later and make power.  you will always lose some energy in the process.  it may work, but we cannot run the whole system like that.

bob - you are such a pessimist, you know that!

you - have fun starving to death!

peter445's picture
peter445
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 15 2008
Posts: 8
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

Dude, I'm pretty picky when it comes to comedy, especially the written variety.  You just KILLED me.

Pete

Woodman's picture
Woodman
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

If I sense a spark of interest in current events talking to someone I eventually offer the Crash Course DVD.  I don't try to say things like "you should watch this"  I do say things like "I found this really great source of info and have been taking these actions based on it...".   Relating to them in some way may also help, like "hey remember when we were talking last summer about why it seems harder to save any money than ever - well I found something that explains why....".  It's a bit like psychotherapy though, no one can help themselves unless they want to be helped.  

cedar's picture
cedar
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 7 2008
Posts: 96
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?
ashtonw wrote:

Nobody ever asks you about the three E's ever again.  Your life is all for nothing.   

Really great post!!

My brother is a typical investor that listens to a typical investment advisor who says "buy diversified and hold". Last week I called my brother to suggest he sell his mutual funds and move to cash. He got mad at me for causing him "stress". I apologized and said that I was only trying to help him save half of his net worth.

I guess it was naive of me to think I might have got a sincere "thank you for thinking of me".

Think I'll be more cautious about offering advice to anyone in the future.

 

yoshhash's picture
yoshhash
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2008
Posts: 271
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?
ashtonw wrote:

bob - yeah but with new technology surely that snafu can be fixed.  scientists can solve any problem given enough money and will power!

yes, this drives me crazy too.  Sorry to go off topic, but I am writing a thesis on the impediments to intelligent change, and this is one of them- our societal belief that technofixes are somehow superior common sense, low tech solutions within our grasp.  Personally, I think things like Moore's Law, (in which processors have been doubling in capacity and speed every 18 months) have made a lot of people let their guard down, confident in their faith that "someone else" will solve all our problems.

I am having trouble finding peer reviewed articles or proof/statistics to back this up, though.  If anyone can point me towards any material on this I would appreciate it.

Craigmandu's picture
Craigmandu
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 10 2009
Posts: 24
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

So far, and I'm very new to the CC and to talking to other people about it.

Alot of folks can't wrap their heads around the idea that population levels constanly on the rise has massive ramifications to other things.  It's not all "fine" like alot of people think.  The population will quickly double from todays levels, and that DEMANDS more goods and services to provide for that increase in population.  The fact that most of our goods are produced with some sort of petroleum based method makes the issue much much worse than people can wrap their heads around.

 I have a hard time understanding the sheer amount of petroleum products on the market and the fossil fuel requirements needed to meet those product demands.

People are very quick to "assume" that we are on top of this, or our scientists, governments, etc... are actively working on fixing the issue.  I don't believe it's that simple.  If the perpetual motion machine actually worked, or if energy were able to be commoditized that was free in nature it would have happened by now in my opinion.  There are many very smart people in the world, and the best we got right now is petroleum processing for our goods/services....that should clue everyone in to the problem.

Craigmandu's picture
Craigmandu
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 10 2009
Posts: 24
Re: Uh, how do I instigate the CC conversation?

To put it even in another light.

The internal combustion engine started its debut as a common use item after 1905, and today 104 years later, it is still the most prevalent form of propulsion in the world.  There have been many thousands or even millions of people that are/were considered a genius in that timeframe that haven't been able to radically alter the method to prevent, or even lessen very much the consumption that these engines use on our fossil fuels.

As far as I'm concerned, that doesn't paint a rosy picture of the times to come.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments