CDC says wear two masks. Is anyone surprised?

It is almost inconceivable that it has taken this long for common sense about masks to reach the mainstream. Of course we should be wearing masks! We’ve been doing it since the 13th century! (says the article)

Yes, it’s nice to have a “study” which “proves” that wearing more cloth in front of your face will reduce the expulsion and inhalation of particles. But did you not know that already? What else could it do?

One helpful detail is the number “90%.” People who wear two masks “can increase their own protection from aerosol droplets by 90% or more.” How can you fail to be impressed by that? I want 90% protection!

There are various caveats, including for men with beards, of whom I am one. They didn’t test two cotton masks on top of each other, which is what I wear. But I think we can accept those limitations and still be grateful that common sense is finally becoming policy.


Singing in the Rain (Video)


In this first video for David B. – Live, I’m providing “proof of concept” for a technique I want to develop going forward: using photographs with a voice-over as a way of telling a story.

I cheerfully admit two things: 1) This is definitely a #FirstWorldProblem, and 2) I’m totally cheating, because I include the gorgeous singing of The Spectacles, which is so satisfying and beautiful that it makes up for all my deficiencies.

My real intention is to use other people’s photographs while they tell me what we’re looking at and what it means. Kind of a cross between an interview and a TED Talk, with pictures. I’m thinking “social media length” rather than “podcast length,” so 10 minutes or less. (But there could be many segments, aggregated over time!)

If you are engaged with collapse and adaptation, and you have a project or a topic that could lend itself to photos, please drop me a line.

I’ve got nothing to say but “It’s okay!”

I tried to make this site into a blog, but it turns out written words are not my medium at this time. So I’m going back to doing interviews, talking to thoughtful people about collapse and adaptation.

For now, you can listen to some of the past interviews I did, from December 2019 to March 2020. The later ones were made just as the pandemic was hitting, and reflect my consternation and uncertainty about the threat. Otherwise, the interviews are largely about collapse and related issues, framed by the Deep Adaptation philosophy of Jem Bendell.

Soon, I’ll be adding new interviews, with people from many walks of life, to deliver a kaleidoscopic view of our turbulent times. Please stay tuned!

Andrew Constantino: At home with the pandemic, in a homeless village. (Audio)

As the site manager for the Georgetown Tiny-House Village in Seattle, Andrew Constantino is responsible for the welfare of 65 homeless people – a tough job in normal times. Now, the pandemic has shut down many of the services that homeless people rely on for their survival.

Visitors are not allowed into the village, for fear that they will bring the COVID disease into a population of vulnerable people. Housing placements have stopped. Villagers who had jobs have been laid off. People who were building momentum in their lives have had the rug pulled out from under them.

Georgetown Tiny-House Village

Andrew is not discouraged. The agency that manages the village – the Low Income Housing Institute, or LIHI – is stepping up to the challenge, he says:  “I’m encouraged that people at the villages are not forgotten about. There is actual attention and concern for their wellbeing.” The surrounding neighborhood is overwhelmingly encouraging, as well, bringing food, propane for cooking, and other resources.

Andrew thinks the pandemic has a lesson for everyone in society:

“You’re only going to be as protected as the people who are most vulnerable. If you just allow something like a pandemic to fester and to run through the poorest members of society, eventually the tide will rise and reach you, too. We should look at a lot of social issues the same way: It affects us all!”

You can hear my previous interview with Andrew – “How To Live in the Rubble of Empire”here.