Of Two Minds: An Interview with Charles Hugh Smith


18 Responses to “Of Two Minds: An Interview with Charles Hugh Smith”

  1. bademailname says:

    I found the interview and collected links to be of enormous use for thought and discourse; and to that, I thank you, Mr. Metzger.

    [thnkng ld]
    Th qstn s bggng t b skd n my smrmy frntl lb: s ll f b0ngb0ng bng rdcd t n r tw slf-ggrndzng, slf-prmtng nd ffsv prts?

    I’ve been a long-time reader and admirer of bb, and I love reading almost everything the joyous mutant blog has to offer. I’m just not sure it’s not insidious. I’m honestly curious what you and other readers think.

    Maybe I’m merely starting to disagree with some of the items posted. Perhaps I’m beginning to close my mind a little more each day (we all supposedly do). But even as I agree with many of the posted thoughts, cn’t hlp bt vmt lttl t th shmlss lck f hmlty.
    [/thnkng ld]

  2. wegerje says:

    Wait a minute.

    Both health care and caring for the aged are not necessarily resource expensive. Preventative medicine is both cheaper and more effective. Old people mostly need someone around.

    Simpler lives are not less full. So in the end government, which is at base nothing but friends and neighbors getting together to help each other, can certainly meet “entitlement” “obligations”. (n.b. I quote them both.)

    Can does not mean will, of course.

    Debt can (another can) be creatively destroyed. Economics is a bunch of agreements, and agreements can change. Sometimes on a dime.

    Probably the only health care that will, in the end, be affordable will be single payer ala Canada or Cuba. Social Security in the mean while never promised a rose garden anyway. It’s main purpose is to keep starving seniors from wrecking eras of good feeling.

    The problem of the moment is wresting the economy away from the class of people who are playing with it for personal gain. You know, the investor lay-about types in finance. Like getting the family car back from the teenager after a long weekend of joy riding during prom week so the parents can use it to get back to work at their jobs.

    There is a lot of slack in our current state. A lot of wasted effort and resource. Now if we can just avoid war and dictators during the changes we’ll do just fine.

  3. pahool says:


  4. mellon says:

    In response to #4, I’m sorry if you find my response unhelpful. But what’s the point of writing a supposedly good essay if nobody can read it? I went to the site to read the essay – doesn’t that at least speak somewhat well for my intentions? And when I got there, I couldn’t make the site navigation work, and thus couldn’t read the essay. So whether it’s insightful or silly doesn’t matter – effectively, it doesn’t exist.

    Usability matters.

  5. BC2 says:

    May I humbly ask BoingBoing not to disemvowel.

    Read the Moderation Policy. Also, that comment was dv’ed for dickery, not the brilliance of its ideas.

    I guess I’m too much of a fan of free-speech. I think even dickery should be protected. Obviously, BoingBoing (or any company) is not required to display every comment, and are fully within their legal rights to have limit speech in ways that the government is not allowed to do, but I think moderators should be a little more loose with the disemvoweling. If a comment is sufficiently stupid, I think the commenter discredits himself and everyone will recognize that fact. (And, as I’ve done in the past, I’d recommend a different strategy for dealing with nasty comments. For example: community moderation similar to joystiq.com)

    • Antinous says:


      The dickery was aimed at the Boingers. They don’t want to hear it. Imagine getting a hundred e-mails every day telling you why you’re unacceptable, inadequate and ugly. It would get old fast. Also, future comments on this subject can go in the Mod thread.

  6. chopp3r says:

    With Antinous, it’s all about the dickery.

  7. chakradiva says:

    I gotta go with #3 on this one – The build up was so much better than the experience – that’s one bad website – I’m hungry for content, but all I got was some recipes for lentils, a bit of ordinary prose and some economic analysis that was jargon heavy and not very Thoreau at all

  8. Bloo says:

    Since the chart in the Boing-Boing article is not “live”, I’d like to know which of his articles contains it, please?

  9. BC2 says:

    May I humbly ask BoingBoing not to disemvowel. In the meanwhile, I (and anyone else wanting to read disemvowled comments) will find this tool useful: http://www.disemvowelment.com/reemvowel.html

    Re: #10 bademailname
    I sort of agree. I’ve actually found that I disagree with virtually every ‘expert’ boingboing promotes or praises. I like the ‘pithy’ posts about stuff, but when it comes to complex ideas, I’ve just accepted the fact that I am (apparently) the inverse-BoingBoing. It surprises me a bit, because I’m liberal, BoingBoing is liberal, and I wouldn’t expect to disagree with so much that another liberal has to say.

  10. Antinous says:

    May I humbly ask BoingBoing not to disemvowel.

    Read the Moderation Policy. Also, that comment was dv’ed for dickery, not the brilliance of its ideas.

  11. moioci says:

    Re: “why Social Security will probably never get fixed (or be around much longer)…”, there’s good reason to believe that Social Security as it now stands is not fundamentally broken and with minor tweaks will remain solvent for decades. Sorry I don’t have a link at hand for this. (Medicare, however, is a completely different story.)

  12. Jonathan Badger says:

    The “Henry David Thoreau of our era”? Do you mean that as an insult? Thoreau was a hypocrite who babbled about self-reliance while being the kept quasi-pet jester of the wealthy Ralph Waldo Emerson. The shack he lived on? On Emerson’s land. And who did his laundry? Mrs. Emerson.

  13. mellon says:

    I’m glad he’s able to be a good resource for you, but have you actually visited his web site? It’s completely unusable – it’s like he specifically set it up to be impossible to use. If we still had a Worst of the Web award, this site would be a shoo-in. I mean, it even made it so that when I hit the back button to go back to BoingBoing, BoingBoing was gone from my browser history! You have to really *work* to make a web site this broken.

  14. The Unusual Suspect says:

    There is a lot of FUD over national health care, not a small amount of it resulting from AMA propaganda.

    To judge for yourself the viability of “medicare”, look at the countries who have had it for years: Britain, Canada, Australia, the Scandinavian nations and yes, several socialist countries.

    It’s no coincidence that these countries have higher live birth rates, longer life expectancies and about 1/3 the medical costs per capita than Americans.

  15. wolfiesma says:

    See, this is exactly why I quit teaching. You go out of your way to present some educational material for people, and inevitably you get back a bunch of bickering and complaints. Geeesh.

    We all better get smart about what is going on. I am way way behind in my understanding of the economy. ChrisMartenson.com has done a series of short videos that attempt to break down some of this stuff. I’ve been working my way through that material. I’ve been bookmarking the blogs Richard has posted. Lots to study and learn.

  16. srp010 says:

    I find it interesting that the “entitlements” bankrupting our country only refer to those supporting the aged, sick and young. I would be interested to see data on entitlements for Oil, Pharma, Weaponry, etc.

    Its easiest to blame those who have no leverage for the ills caused by those who do.

  17. axoplasm says:

    I just finished reading the “Art of Survival” essay and its spot-on. Moreover it’s borne out by history and anthropology.

    Hunter-gatherer groups that survive lean times are those that have many social ties to groups in better situations. “There’s nothing to eat in our valley? Well, I have some cousins over on the coast, I bet they could share. They owe us anyway after we gave them all those camas bulbs when the salmon didn’t run five years ago.”

    And think on Paul Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda … he survived Mad Max grade social chaos and saved hundreds of others as well. Not by having lots of guns (he claimed not to own a single gun, in fact) but by having lots of friends.

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