Saturday, September 20, 2008

TechnoSanity #11: Normalthink, the way "everybody" behaves

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I'm attending the yearly gathering of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and my method of traveling to the conference gave me a word to ponder. Normalthink is the accepted normal pattern of behavior that "everybody" follows without really thinking.

In this case normalthink says "everybody drives" and that is the normalthink way I would have traveled to the conference. It's held in a city 150 miles from my home, the kind of trip where normalthink says "lets hop in the car and go". But it's this kind of normalthink which is making our peak oil situation the danger it is.

When normalthink leads everybody to continue using oil then as population increases the demand for oil increases. But there are a lot of choices which are being made from normalthink, namely the choice that since "everybody drives" that the only way to travel is by car, and that since normalthink says all cars are driven with gasoline that therefore "everybody drives" leads to "everybody uses oil". There are several unexamined questions in this which could be made differently and if made differently would change the situation regarding oil and the peak oil scenario would not be playing out as it is.

Normalthink, the way "everybody" behaves

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