23 October 2012

ELEVATE THE APOCALYPSE? My Q&A for the Elevate Festival 2012, Graz, Austria

     I'm excited to be taking part in this year's Elevate Festival, whose theme 'Elevate the Apocalypse' is all about asking the hard question of whether we need systemic failure and breakdown before we're capable of making the big changes we need for the 21st century. I'll be on a panel this Thursday 25th with some cool scientist types, including the renowned climate expert Stefan Rahmstorf, a lead IPCC author and advisor to the German govt. Ahead of the Festival, guests have been asked to answer some penetrating questions about our current civilizational predicament. My answers will be published on the Elevate Festival website this Thursday to coincide with our panel; but you gorgeous people get to see them now. So here you go...

1)      What's your take on the current multiple crisis (economic, ecological, social, political) and the (anti)crisis politics?

We are currently facing an unprecedented convergence of global climate, energy, food, water, economic, social, psychological and political crises. Unfortunately, our conventional epistemological approaches, which are reductionist and fragmentary, tend to view these crises in isolation, failing to comprehend their inherent systemic interconnections. But these are not separate crises. They are interconnected symptoms of a global Crisis of Civilization.

5 October 2012

On the extraordinary extradition ruling on Babar Ahmad


FBI says 'jump' 
The Met says 'how high' 
The Home Office bends over backwards
The Attorney General does a jig 
And the High Court trips over its own behind 
While the US deep state sits back and enjoys the show

Meanwhile, habeas corpus is sacrificed on the altar of Big Brother 
Welcome to the Brave New World 
Where Orwell spins in a grave 
Dug for him by Men in Black

This is the terror of a freedom defined by fighting terror

3 October 2012

My new big writing project: The Zero Point

Hot on the heels of the wonderful success of The Crisis of Civilization (2011) and the book on which it's based, A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (2010), I'm involved in a number of endeavours to build on what we achieved, including some exciting new initiatives under the umbrella of the Institute for Policy Research & Development.

However, the thing I'm going to introduce now is my current writing project: The Zero Point.

A Novel!?

Yes. The Zero Point is my first novel. It's a political science fiction thriller, and what I envisage to be the first in a trilogy.

The Zero Point has been in the making for almost four years - I started writing it while I was also working on Crisis. When I first started, it was a bit of fun when I had some time on my hands (oh the good ol' days...). But working with Dean Puckett to make The Crisis of Civilization opened my eyes to a whole new arena of creative communication and expression. The process of making the film increased my ability to engage as both a speaker and a writer, and helped me to learn how to make complex ideas accessible to a wide audience. And that created a whole new world of possibility for me to consider.
While I will always seek to ground myself in rigorous scholarship, my Crisis experience made me even more interested in exploring new ways of communicating. One medium I decided to experiment with is fiction.

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