Paul Wheaton and Jocelyn Campbell host the podcast on the beach (while being laughed at by passerbys for being geeks on their phones) to talk about different fiction books and magazines that are relevant to the permaculture community.
Paul explains he isn’t sure why anyone would want to listen to a podcast with him listing off books he recommends, but because it was asked for time and time again, they made a point of putting together the podcasts (with Jocelyn’s helpful nagging).
They start by talking about Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach, and Paul confirms he read it when he was about 17, and doesn’t remember too much from it. Paul describes the keynotes of the plot – (An American journalist enters for the first time into a new nation that has separated itself from the rest of America and hasn’t let anyone in since, which is comprised of Washington Oregon, Idaho and Northern California). Paul recalls the things that stuck out to him about the book are that the community in the story did not use paint on any of the buildings they created. Paul also admits a lot of what’s in the book is the foundation of how he manages permies being that when you get enough people collectively embracing certain ideas then you can grow beyond those ideas.
They move on to talk about Gap Creek by Robert Morgan, which Paul thinks is an excellent book. Paul describes the plot briefly (a story of a young girl who is coming of age and goes through terrible losses and her story of survival.) Since it is describes an older way of life there are many examples in the story of homesteading and wildcrafting.
Next, they bring up the controversial Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Jocelyn sums up what Paul feels about the book which is that he enjoys the integrity or idea that people can push through and do the things they love to do even though they have a lot of detractors. Paul describes how he’s met both permaculture people who are really passionate about the ideals in the book and those who hate it. Paul expresses how he feels that this book celebrates innovators.
Jocelyn brings up Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, the non-fiction book based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man who lived in the wild for approx 119 days. They reflect on the perceptions people can have about what it really takes to live in the wild in isolation.
Since Paul hasn’t read Into the Wild, they move on to talk about Drop City by T. Coraghessan Boyle and Alas Babylon by Pat Frank. Paul describes Drop city to be about a comparison between a commune in California and another alternative community in Alaska which eventually through a twist in the plot end up interacting. Paul remarks on the interesting dynamics of community as well as living in the wild.
Paul then describes Alas Babylon which he read in high school, which is a fictional book about a family in Florida dealing with a catastrophic event and the difficulties they withstand. Jocelyn brings up theprepper community and its real life connection with this kind of a story. They finish off the podcast with the aim of speaking about magazines in the next podcast.
Credit: Vida Norris