Friday, October 19, 2007


CG and Madcap Mum have taken up a meme, to list ten things that are non-negotiable for you. I have been mulling it over, but like MCM, I'm not coming up with much. I think that might have something to do with the couple of non-negotiables that I did come up with.

1. Never give up on anyone.

I think I might be able to shorten this one to "Never give up," which is good too, but it might miss the point. If somebody else has as one of their non-negotiables something like "the American way of life," well, I disagree, but I still can't give up on that person. And that makes it difficult for me to say that anything is non-negotiable, because I want to leave myself room to negotiate.

2. Reality.

You know, things like gravity and friction and weather. I won't plan my life on the assumption that there's some fabulous breakthrough energy source to be found, if only I will just be a good consumer and stimulate our energy-guzzling economy to race even faster to fill the R&D coffers to bring on that breakthrough before there's nothing left to consume. I won't daydream about climate change expanding agriculture northward onto thin forest soils, peatland, and bare rock. It doesn't matter what I declare to be non-negotiable in my life, if reality won't negotiate either. Reality wins.


Madcap said...

Reality wins! That's great! I think that'll be my non-negotiable, the one I couldn't think of. As Chive says, "That's what is."

CG said...

I like that too. Although "reality" is only good in "reality" not in "spirituality" which I might be getting way too esoteric but I just think there are different planes of existence (or something) and one can't limit other planes with the one we know as "reality" (which is of course far from the only reality).

I also like always having room to negotiate. But a friend once observed of me that I spoke as though I knew everything but that after knowing me a few years, he realized that I was willing to change what I knew.

Tim Hodgens said...


I came across something which may also be a non-negotiable.

It fits in with your book: Six Degrees, which isn't due out, by the way, till January.

Check out:

It's a bit long, but is a must read. I don't know who else to send it to, so you're it.


Tim Hodgens said...


corrected address:


Tim Hodgens said...

Damn, I'll get it right yet:


arcolaura said...

Thanks all. Daylight and seasons and clock-bound appointments are refusing to negotiate right now, so responses to your thoughts and links will have to wait.

arcolaura said...

Tim - I believe there is another printing coming out, or something like that, but the book is out. There is a summary on Mark Lynas's blog. I've ordered a copy from the library. More gloomy reading! I got about halfway through the arctic meltdown article you suggested, before the present reality became too clamorous. I really will try to respond soon.

arcolaura said...

Madcap - thank you!

CG - That's what I like about you - you'll say the things that make me uncomfortable, that keep me prodded, but I know from some conversations with you, there is plenty of listening and caring there too.

I totally agree that our knowledge of reality is just a narrow chink, or a dim mirror image, or something like that. But it seems to me that the more I settle down to face what I do know of reality, the more I can see through to something more.