Tribulations of the Civilized

Somebody asked me recently if I had plans for the fall. It took me several moments to realize that she meant springtime, not the collapse of global industrial civlization.

‘Canary’s dead’ is a collection of essays on how most humans live today, and how they were meant to live. The blog explores the various aspects of tribal and civilized existence, social phenomena and their place in the larger picture. It is my pleasure to therewith dismantle the myths which uphold our culture. Personal observations occasionally round off the picture.

Enjoy the fall — and keep your hand baskets ready.

Monthly Quote

For anybody who studies history seriously, it is a major puzzle how we, today, can live with what, to the people of all previous times and places, would have been considered unfeeling brutality and absolute nonsense.

— Ivan Illich

How to use this blog

This blog is not about standing by hoping, it is about getting involved personally. While I am not expecting that you adopt my view, you may regard me as a guide showing you around, pointing at important places worth being discovered by you. I have stories to tell about those places but, well, like all stories they are subject to interpretation.

Please feel free to comment on any of the essays, even if they are old, and share them with your friends (no matter how old they are ;).

As this is a philosophical blog, I merely ask you to understand its line of argument before adding your thoughts – which I am really looking forward to hear. In honour of your serious aspiration, I promise to reply to any substantial contribution of yours.

In case there is something you’re not quite able to follow, e.g. due to mental leaps of mine, kindly ask for clarification.

If you haven’t read my blog regularly, or even if so, it might be helpful for you to know where I am coming from. Therefore I am referring to the sources that have inspired my essays. Those sources do not necessarily represent my view, of course, but each of them contributed to it one way or another. I found it extremely useful to first try to comprehend them completely, then compare them to my personal experience and other sources, and only then begin to muse on and evaluate them. I invite you to follow the same procedure when picking one of those sources or one of my essays. Please appreciate the hard work, thought processes, and time put into producing them.

You may freely copy articles or parts of them for non-commercial use, as long as you make clear they are not your works, and refer to their original web addresses here on the blog. (Licenced under Creative Commons,  by-nc-sa (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International)

Oh, and, thank you for reading 🙂


Medical Nemesis: Compulsory survival in a planned and engineered Hell

Ivan Illich‘s central theme of his 1970‘s writing revolved around the counter-intuitive development of modern societies based on the Western industrial model: The fact that the more effort and energy get invested in making things more efficient, the more they tend to become ineffective. Beyond a certain threshold, applying more of the same has destructive …