FRAW site updates (in reverse chronological order)
‘A Book in Five Minutes’, no.7, 19th January 2022:
‘The Deep Ecology Movement’ (1980)
Forty-two years on from its publication, Bill Devall’s paper and its clear critique – now realised in the predicted failure of the movement to make change – deserves a much greater audience.
Banburyshire Rambles Journal, 1th January 2022:
‘Winter Solstice Plus One’
Wednesday 22nd December 2021: I saw the sunrise yesterday morning, but was detained by events later that day and couldn’t go out to greet it. Out well before dawn this morning, the scene was immeasurably better as I was greeted with clear skies and a good frost.
Ramblinactivist’s video, 1st January 2022:
‘Winter Solstice Plus One’
Another dawn, another frost, and hence cause for another walk. Except this time there’s an added impetus: The Winter Solstice. The landscape, now asleep, will wake in the coming weeks to give a new Spring, another Summer, and the promise of an Autumn with a harvest of roots, fruits, and seeds. Our ancient ancestors knew that, and marked its significance.
Banburyshire Rambles Journal, 19th December 2021:
‘To See the Sunrise, First Walk in the Dark’
Can't sleep. It's 6am. It's frosty outside. Only one thing to do: Go for a walk. I pound through the town centre and head east towards Nethercote and Overthorpe, to catch the frosty sunrise across Warkworth and Astrop.
WEIRD, Thinking Beyond Technology:
Issue No.6: ‘The Ecological 'Lie of the Land'’, Yule 2021
An edition for the long dark nights on why a radical change to property rights in Britain is essential to changing our global impact, looking at UK 'land rights' in the context of the ecological crisis, not simple land ownership.
Banburyshire Rambles Journal, 8th December 2021:
‘Walking into the Wintry Sunset’
This is what I like to call ‘a quick around the block’ walk. I realised that being near Solstice, the sun would set roughly down the line of Canal Lane between Warkworth and Bodicote. I headed out not expecting much, but the gathering cloud provided quite a spectacular scene illiminated by the sunset and dusk.
Ramblinactivist’s video, 29th November 2021:
‘To See the Sunrise First Walk in the Dark’
Out to greet the first hard frost of the Winter, I wander east to see the frozen sunrise.
Banburyshire Rambles Journal –
Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites, November 2021:
The remains of a large, ancient enclosure sit above a large groups of springs in a local hidden valley. Though not well preserved, it’s a lovely location to pause and take-in the surrounding landscape.
Ramblinactivist’s video, 17th November 2021:
‘From Banbury White Cross to a Misty Sunset’
It started out as just a walk 'around the block' to view the slowly fading colours of Autumn. It ended up as something a little more out of the ordinary as the temperature fell and the mist rose. Earlier that day I'd been listening to a lovely piece of free improvisation by Daniel Triunfo, ‘Mental Break’. As I walked into the dusk, spotting planets and stars, somehow the music just seemed to fit with the mood.
‘A Book in Five Minutes’, no.6, 7th November 2021:
‘This Land is Our Land’ (1987)
A book which traces an arc of how the shift from Feudalism into Capitalism, via the reciprocal Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, not only changed the landscape, but also created many of the social ills that still afflict society today.
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.18, 25th October 2021:
‘Forgotten, but not gone’ – How governments have deliberately ignored the safety of contaminated sites in England, and why climate change makes this worse
This is an over thirty-year long story about my involvement with contaminated sites, and helping communities to get action to clean them up. This tale is innately connected to my home town, Banbury. It’s an average small town; a backwater on the border between the Midlands and the South East. Yet in the 1980s, this place taught me about the issues of waste and land contamination. Not because it was exceptional, but because these issues affect communities across Britain.
Ramblinactivist’s video, 7th October 2021:
2021/22: ‘Enjoy it whilst it lasts’
Walking the ancient Roman Salt Road east from Banbury – a diminutive relic of its status to the west of the town – I consider how property rights and land access continue to define our relationship to “the land”, and hence “this Land”.
‘A Book in Five Minutes’, no.5, 4th October 2021:
‘Post-Scarcity Anarchism’ (1971/2004)
Murray Bookchin foresaw the rise of consumerism, and the changing dialogue in society towards a politics of ‘post-scarcity’. ‘Post-Scarcity Anarchism’ is an anthology of Bookchin’s essays around this theme.
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.17, 2nd October 2021:
‘Weaponising Space Debris’ – Britain, DARC, and the military’s control of space
Britain is to become part of a US network to ‘dominate space’. The UK government are promoting this as a way to create greater ‘security’ for our technological lifestyle. The reality about what this system is for, and the US military’s strategy behind it, is somewhat different to that public message of greater security.
Ramblinactivist’s video, 23rd September 2021:
2021/19: ‘Mabon Sunset’
Walking into the twilight of an Autumn Equinox, I forage for blackberries, and try to see just how far I can push my video camera into low-light conditions.
WEIRD, Thinking Beyond Technology:
Issue No.5: “Research for the End of Your 'Normal' Everyday Existence”, Mabon 2021
A special edition on the white-heat of eco-research about British consumption 'on-the-never-Neverland'. In summary: We are not in a situation of having ‘problems’ with ‘possible solutions’; we are in a ‘predicament’ with only a few, mostly unwelcome ‘outcomes’ to choose from.
‘A Book in Five Minutes’, no.4, 20th September 2021:
‘Diet for a Small Planet’ (1971)
I think there are very few books that you can truthfully say, ‘this book changed my life’. When I first came across it almost forty years ago, this one changed mine. It explained clearly to me what it was I needed to know to eat well.
‘A Book (or report) in 5 Minutes’, no.3, 15th Sept. 2021:
‘Ecological Economics For Humanity’s Plague Phase’ (2020)
Each morning the Sun comes up. We instinctively know this. The problem is that in the modern world, people sometimes find it difficult to tell the difference between: Natural phenomena – like the Sun rising; and the grandiose myths we tell ourselves – like the functioning of the economy.
‘A Book in Five Minutes’, no.2, 8th September 2021:
‘The Technology of Political Control’ (1977)
The most effective books are able to transcend time; by applying a relatively broad, well-observed analysis of the roots of complex issues in the past, that continue to have relevance today. This is such a book.
‘An Anarchist’s Cookbook’, Part 4:
‘The Autumn Raspberry Harvest’
Preserving food is not just 'cooking'; preserving food requires that you think about the future. Hence why growing and preserving food can be a window into planning a new future.
‘A Book in Five Minutes’, no.1, 1st September 2021:
‘The Limits to Growth’ (1972)
Published in 1972, and shrouded in controversy since that date, ‘The Limits to Growth’ is the most successful econometric projection ever made, and a groundbreaking ecological book that the environment movement itself has a deep-seated fear of discussing in public.
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.16, 28th August 2021:
Lithium-ion batteries versus potatoes in the battle for energy storage
Did you know that, weight-for-weight, potatoes can store more energy than lithium-ion batteries?
Ramblinactivist’s video, 22nd August 2021:
2021/12: ‘Boris Johnson – "One Lie Beyond" (aka., 'The Mung Beans')’
This track has been brewing for some time; ever since I saw Boris' presentation to the world – representing us! – where in setting the stage for how we are going to tackle climate change he attacked 'mung bean munchers'.
Ramblinactivist’s video, 19th August 2021:
2021/11: ‘Groove No.1’
Some days you wake up with a bass riff in your head and it just won’t go away. It has to be exorcised…
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.15, 12th August 2021:
‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a drone’ – Are you selling your soul to whack the YouTube algorithm?
YouTube has become a warped subliminal marketplace; a confidence trick of misdirection. Digitally disembodied people pretend to be your best friend, while the platform they use fleeces your computer of as much information as possible in order to commodify your soul.
‘Radical References’ No.2, Lammas 2021:
Written three-hundred and seventy-two years ago, this prologue outlines some of Gerrard Winstanley’s key phrases and ideas. It’s about the importance of action to create change rather than ‘just talking about it’, and the unwelcome reality that too many people talking about change delays the achievement of it through direct action.
WEIRD, Thinking Beyond Technology:
Issue No.4: “Thank you for calling UNTECH SUPPORT… we value your dependency!”, Midsummer 2021
This tortuous pathway of disengagement, ‘untechnical support’, is a process of liberation through basic re-skilling. That’s not just about learning practical skills again; it is about building confidence in a person’s own power to discern what is right for them.
Long Walks & A/P, Part 4, Flower Moon 2021:
I have no mobile phone; I have no watch; but I have time. Many have questioned how I dare wander abroad without the technologies of time measurement and mobile communication. In this post I explain, in reply, my querying of their ‘necessity’.
‘djnz’s hackblog’, 12th May 2021:
‘Battling YouTube Bloat’: How watching videos on-line has become an exercise in affluent entitlement, and surveillance analytics, which I prefer to avoid
These days I routinely download YouTube videos rather than watching on-line. It’s to avoid the inherent bloat that’s taken over the YouTube world, and is clogging the Internet with people screaming into their webcams at full 4K. Additionally, it moderates the built-in surveillance that tracks your viewing habits.
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.14, 7th May 2021:
‘Bright Green Lies’: A brief review of the film and its ‘deep green’ message
It’s been a year since ‘Planet of the Humans’ caused the leaders of climate campaigns to go into heated meltdown; by comparison, this film throws them an even greater challenge to try and respond to.
Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Beltane 2021:
In one sense this is a collection of memories. Of walks which produced some of my favourite photos. As I look through the images in my collection though, I realised it described something more. A skeleton; a super-structure of places on which the essence of the local landscape sits. Its collection of ancient sites.
Click here for the ‘Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites’ collection.
‘Radical References’ No.1, Beltane 2021:
Revisiting the story of the local Leveller revolt from 372 years ago, to see how the problematic patterns of history laid down then, persist into the modern-day.
‘An Anarchist’s Cookbook’, Part 3, Sap Moon 2021:
‘The Anti-Consumerist DIY (vegan) Chocolate Cake’
An imminent birthday means I need a cake for the obligatory celebration. Do I: (a) Buy; or, (b) Bake – a cake? For me, though, there is no choice!
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.13, 25th March 2021:
Why is there no ‘right to food’, or to grow food in Britain?
Covid has exposed Britain’s endemic poverty, and the chaotic state of poverty-relief systems; is a possible solution, ‘food sovereignty’, being deliberately ignored?
Long Walks & A/P, Part 3, Mabon 2021:
‘Wild tea making and the revolt against the machine’
Walking, camping, and foraging, are the last ‘natural’ refuges outside technological society – the last ‘commons’ open to all irrespective of wealth; albeit one that’s always under threat.
I know I’m not alone in that position. More importantly, I know there are many more who want to ‘downshift’ into “something else” – other than where they are now – but have not the first clue how.
‘An Anarchist’s Cookbook’, Part 2, Imbolic 2021:
‘Lembas Scones, my (vegan) wayfaring snack’
In this video I show how to make a cheap and simple snack food that’s ideal for keeping well fed when travelling or working: “Lembas Scones”.
As I show, “Do-It-Yourself” is a far better option to help you live a simple, cheap and low impact lifestyle.
Long Walks & A/P, Part 2, Imbolic 2020:
My Day-Pack ‘Unpacked’; what do I carry in the big bag on my back?
So many times people passing have said to me, “what have you got in that big rucksack?” In this blog post I’ll outline what it is I carry in ‘my big pack’, and a little about why I take it.
Long Walks & A/P, Part 1, Yule 2020:
‘An Introduction, with Musical Trees’
An introduction to my new blog – and the importance of change as a process where you are open to chance discoveries rather than just dogmatic advance planning.
‘An Anarchist’s Cookbook’, Part 1, Imbolic 2021:
My Stone Age Food Processor – making meal with ancient simplicity
What are the most important tools in your kitchen? My most important ‘tool’ is a pestle and mortar.
In this post and accompanying video: I focus a little on the issue of the costs of food; the theory behind vegan protein sources; and I prepare a meal for the family and explain the economics of that – but mostly I show the simple brilliance of using a pestle and mortar.
‘An Anarchist’s Cookbook’, Part 0, Imbolic 2021:
‘About the Blog’ – An introduction to ‘An Anarchist’s Cookbook’
For the first post of the new blog, I present the ‘About the Blog’ page:
I’m writing this rather long and detailed theoretical splurge of consciousness precisely because I don’t want to have to endlessly repeat this as part of my blog posts. Hence, unless I want to examine a small aspect in more detail, I’ll simply refer people back to paragraphs within this page.
Ramblinactivist's videos 2021/2, 17th January 2021:
Ramblinactivist 2021/2: ‘The President’s Parting Shot’: A Reflection on Threats and Resilience
Exactly sixty years ago, President Eisenhower give his ‘farewell address’ to the American nation; known today for popularising the term “military-industrial complex” . Today though this has arguably morphed into the “military-industrial-entertainment complex”, so intermeshed have those arms of modern society become.
Ramblinactivist's videos 2021/1, 17th January 2021:
Ramblinactivist 2021/1: ‘A review of the last 30 years, and a look ahead’
In 1991 I quit my join in engineering and become a full-time eco-freak. I thought I’d last six months; a year tops till the money ran out. Well, the money’s been running out for thirty years this year, and I’m still (barely!) keepin’ on keepin’ on.
In this short review I look at some of what has been. More importantly I drop a few ideas about where I’ll be going next. Most of all, I just want to share with you the fact that we’re still here (barely!) and we have all to play for – if you’re willing to raise the lifestyle stakes *low* enough!
‘djnz’s hackblog’, 12th January 2021:
‘How did you do that’ no.1: The flaming Kelly Kettle animated GIF
I get to answer my first query with the new blog: Posted on one of my other blogs, the flaming Kelly Kettle was made in a few minutes from a small piece of video using ffmpeg – but with GIMP and pitivi you could do far more.
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.12, 9th January 2021:
‘Seven Billion Mutant Monkeys’ playing with advanced technology… what could possibly go wrong?
When daily technological interactions reach a critical performance tipping point, the only sure route to progress is marked, “Exit”
‘djnz’s hackblog’, 7th January 2021:
First problem: The Anti-Bloat Page Design
This new blog is an experiment, using a very different approach to page design in order to minimise the ecological footprint of the page. If it works here, it can slowly be adapted for the rest of the FRAW site.
‘djnz’s hackblog’, 4th January 2021:
‘About the Blog’
OK, this is literally a bit of a hack… I need to solve a few multiple problems with as little effort as possible, and the easiest way is to create this blog. In this page I’ll explain a little as to why.
As the inaugural post to the blog I direct you to the ‘About’ page, as (in its admittedly long prose) it sums up what I’d like to achieve here.
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.11, 30th December 2020:
What was your ‘2020 Vision’?’
In the endless picking-over of the events of 2020, now and in the future, how many will care to inspect their past tendency to always project a rosy future irrespective of its demonstrable flaws?
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.10, 3rd December 2020:
Retail & services are collapsing; well, it would have happened soon anyway
People are mourning the loss of their ‘normal’ life – the truth is that ‘consumerism’ is no longer a viable lifestyle, and never really was.
The ‘Meta-Blog’, no.9, 1st December 2020:
‘My Resignation’; or, ‘Long Walks & Anarcho-Primitivism’
“I am writing to inform you that as of the end of 2020, I am resigning my position with the environmental movement”