One of my favorite jokes about the art of advertising copywriting is a matchbook cover reading, “Save the world from home in your spare time!” I don’t know if anyone still advertises on matchbook covers. I don’t even know if anyone still makes matchbooks. Presumably, by now, smokers can light their cigarettes with the fire of indignation in other peoples’ eyes.
Even so, I’ve always believed that ordinary people should be able to save the world from going to hell on a hand-truck. Our real problem is not a Hitler or a Mao or the Eric-Cartman-of-the-moment. The only real problem humanity has ever had is thoughtlessness — the mindless accession to the absurd demands of greater and lesser demagogues.
So: I’ve written a book about that one issue: The high cost of thoughtlessness — and how to stop paying it. The title is Man alive! A survival manual for the human mind, and it weighs in at a slim 30,000 words. I’m nobody’s matchbook copywriter, and I would have made it even shorter if I could have. But the book covers everything I know about the nature of human life on Earth — what we’ve gotten wrong, until now, and how we can do better going forward.
If you have paid attention to my writing over the years, you will have seen me cover some of these ideas on Usenet or at PresenceOfMind, BloodhoundBlog or SplendorQuest. I actually can summarize my thinking very briefly. Take your pick: “Ontologically-consonant teleology” or “Love your self.” That’s the same ethical creed expressed two different ways, and everything I have ever written develops and defends that philosophy. The proud fact of my life is that it took me thirty-three years to write a short book in eight days. You can get a taste of it, if you like, in this short extract: Stop cursing the darkness by turning on your mind!
Here’s what I need: Readers. The book itself will be free. I wrote it to save the world — no kidding. But I need for people to read it in “galleys” to let me know if I have made any bone-headed mistakes — simple typographical errors or grievous errors of logic. And I need for those early-adopters to become sneezers — to promote the book to everyone they know, if they think it is worthy of greater attention.
This is an opt-in process, and everything will happen very quickly — less than a week. If you want to be involved, email me.
How do you save the world from home in your spare time? My answer: One mind at a time.