Monday, December 03, 2007

Orson Scott Card: Three Essays

Now I'm sure that I don't agree with every word Orson Scott Card has ever written, but then again I'm not always sure I agree with every word I've ever written. As somebody once wrote, "I don't know anybody smart enough to be 100% wrong or dumb enough to be 100% right." I do know for sure that I don't have all the answers and that's one of the reasons I try to read at least some stuff that I don't agree with. And along the way I find things that may make me go "Yeah, right on!" or "Jeez, what a moron" or in my favorite cases "Jeez, maybe I've been a moron on this." I still am pretty sure that Mr. Card and I have some disagreements on certain policies, politics and personalities, but the man does think about things and he's one of those writers who makes his readers think about things as well. So I spent a bit of time this past weekend reading through this site:

http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/index.html

I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine where Mr. Card and I differ, but I will tell you that these three essays:

Life Without Cars: http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2007-04-08-1.html

Walking Neighborhoods: http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2007-04-15-1.html

and

Oil -- Past the Peak: http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2007-05-06-1.html

are some of the ones that had me saying "Yeah, right on!"

7 comments:

Chad said...

thanks for the link, Kent. Card's writing is along the lines of Jim Kunstler's, but he is not so bombastic or profane.

Chad said...

I just read a couple of his other essays. My first comment relates only to the 3 specific articles that you linked. I have no constructive comment on his other essays.

soundless said...

I am in agreement with Chad here. Those essays are wonderful, but a few of the others had me biting my tongue. Thank you for rounding out a part of my boring day :)

http://www.bunnyhawk.com

alex wetmore said...

Great essays. I really liked "Walking Neighborhoods".

Here in Seattle it's good to see that there is demand for the older walkable neighborhoods. The bad thing is that there is so much demand that most of my friends can't afford to live in them. I know as many people who live in the drive-only suburbs due to need (housing is cheaper there) as due to desire.

Oddly the banks seem to only fund the types of development which require driving. There is almost no new development in this area that allows people to get around by foot.

Hopefully this changes soon. This is one of the biggest issues for me, far bigger than the huge amount that we waste on a nonsense war or the demand for cars that produce less CO2 (although both are areas that I'm also passionate about).

alex

Todd Sahl said...

Great topics, with which you and your readers are certainly quite familiar.

But the choice of O. S. Card as a spokesman for these issues? Has me scratching my head.

Gems from the first article listed (paraphrased):
"Global warming = nicer weather"
"Raising the issue of peak oil makes you an alarmist, unless your name is O. S. Card, in which case you are being perfectly reasonable" ;-)

And yeah, what Alex said. I currently live on Big Finn Hill north of Juanita, and despise the life that this creates for my family. Solving this problem on an individual level is a lot different that solving it for everyone. I may be able to aford to move to a more walkable/livable neighborhood, but not everyone can.

Gene said...

Kent writes:
"I do know for sure that I don't have all the answers and that's one of the reasons I try to read at least some stuff that I don't agree with."

Your comment above made me think of a quote I like from Alan Alda:

"Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you."

Gene in Tacoma

nollij said...

Orson has been one of my favorite fiction writers for years, but this is the first time I've read any of his articles. I can't comment on the other articles he wrote as I didn't have time to read them. Good stuff that I read though...