Owww! Cognitive Dissonance. Where’s the Wayback Machine, Mr. Peabody?!
My RSS feed reader showed that quietly, on Sunday, did No Impact Man revisit two of his posts that gave links to where donations could be made to him, and parenthetically added that he had rethunk the notion of donations, but thank you anyway. Was a post on this decision forthcoming?
Come forth it did. A post without much meat on its bones in which NIM states:
Before we get to the body of today’s post, I wanted to let you know that I’ve decided to remove the appeal for contributions to the running of the blog. My reasons for trying it were best summed up by a commenter calling herself Tiny Inkling who wrote: “I like to imagine he’s using [the contributions] to free himself from projects that don’t completely support his values so that he can reach larger groups of people with the “you can do it!” message.”
Nevertheless, this blog is all about the exchange of ideas and enough of you didn’t like the contributions thing that I’m nixing it. I really appreciate the well thought out responses on all sides of the discussion. Those of you who find yourself tempted to be—shall we say—“forceful” in your arguments, may I remind you please to read the guidelines for discussion on this blog, the underlying principles of which are courtesy and respect.
Which brings me to an apology I would like to make to Sharon of Casaubon’s Book and Liz of Pocket Farm. Last week, I responded to their comments in a way that I intended to be lighthearted and joking but which came across as rude and unkind. It wasn’t my intention at all. I really apologize to both of them. Now, onward…
Let’s briefly revisit those lighthearted, joking comments…
OK. Now that we have revisited NIM’s comment on how he hadn’t time to “putter around” like Liz of Pocket Farm, and had to earn a living, thus the call for donations…
Let’s look at this comment made on June 15th, after Colin’s lighthearted remarks to Sharon of Casaubon’s Book and Liz of Pocket Farm…
Didn’t there used to be a link to Casaubon’s Book (Sharon Astyk) on the NIM website? I could have sworn I had seen one over on the left-hand side under the blogroll.
Posted by: Margarita | June 15, 2007 at 07:08 PM
When Margarita mentioned it, I checked the blogroll and indeed Casaubon’s Book was no longer there. Or so my eyes thought! Maybe Margarita is just a marvelous magician and she hypnotized me into thinking the link to Casaubon’s Book was no longer on Colin’s blogroll, which had been there up until Colin made his lighthearted retort to Sharon and Liz.
But a couple of other people noticed the removal of the link as well, and commented on it (including Liz of Pocket Farm):
…Also, it’s a shame you took down Sharon’s link. She is one of the few spokeswomen for the Peak Oil movement, and not only is her work serious and important, but she also lives in accordance with her values (and when she doesn’t she lays it out there… red popsicles for her son come to mind). It’s not easy being green (as you may be discovering) and it’s important to hold each other up to a form of “peer review”: checking our inconsistencies so that we may better our messages…
Posted by: Liz | June 16, 2007 at 07:41 AM
…I too am sad to see Casaubon’s Book, which I first found here, mysteriously deleted. Wouldn’t it be great if someone created a blog clearinghouse that included all of these people and nonprofits in an unedited way that wasn’t driven by self-promotion?
Personally, although I don’t feel a connection or commonality with Colin, I do with many people who respond. That is why I return to this blog, which is basically one long infomercial for Colin’s book and film. I like the blog connections that Colin has posted and unfortunately deleted. Remember the Gawker links he deleted? They were so funny! Anyway, of all the amazing people’s blogs (linked on this one), I haven’t seen one panhandling. I’m just saying….
Posted by: critic-naysayer | June 16, 2007 at 10:07 AM
I can’t find a Google cache of Colin’s blog from the time when the link was removed. But I can show you a Google cache of that particular Begin with Kant Then Move To Soliciting Donations posting before Sharon of Casaubon’s Book asked why the call for donations, and before Colin’s “light-hearted” response.
And I can show you, below, side by side, Sharon’s before position on Colin’s blogroll compared with how it is placed today, which does indicate it had indeed been removed and was reintroduced.
You’re probably asking, “Why go to this trouble, Idyllopus??!!”
The thing is that Colin had his chance to admit, “Hey, I was a real jerk about this!” But instead he pleads he was just joking and that we don’t get his sense of humor! Bad us, good Colin!
But, if Colin was just joking, why then did he remove the link to Casaubon’s Book?
“Yes, Idyllopus, but why the interest in the cognitive dissonance foisted upon us all by Colin?”
Because…and this isn’t promo, I’m just explaining…I spent years writing “Unending Wonders”, which has several plots running in it, one of those being what happens when Low Impact Chance is virtually kidnapped by ex-friend Faith into participating in a several month long spending spree with money that was perhaps not legitimately gotten. A big point of that plot line was taking a look at consumerism and showing the collision of the value systems of High and Low Impact. I didn’t do it in a way in which one is painted wholly negative and the other painted wholly positive, because both characters needed their views aired, and as far as Faith was concerned her way of living was gobs of spectacular. So I needed to air her views on why WAY MORE STUFF THAN YOU NEED is giddy, gorgeous fun, and the crisis of Chance’s temptation, which was as much a crisis as it was (and, no, not her only crisis, she had others ongoing) because the way Faith operated was really all about creating cognitive dissonance.
Because I had spent years writing a book covering some of the same philosophical territory as No Impact Man, thus my interest–but not because of what he was doing. Instead, I was interested in how he was presenting what he was doing. Had he come online and said, “I’m doing this and hope to sell this, and this is fabulous promo and a great publicity stunt, but I’m also interested in seeing how we make it through the year” that would have been one thing. Fine and good. And I would have looked forward to what I hoped would be a fun read with fairly equal doses of comedy, good information and points to learning more. But from the outset No Impact Man created cognitive dissonance by way of what he said he was doing as opposed to what he was actually doing but not saying about it, and what he actually hoped to gain, creating cognitive dissonance with everything he glossed over or refused to answer. Or so I felt he was doing, and it got under my skin. Especially when he started asking for freebies, like a freebie personal assistant. Because he didn’t have money to spend. Then said he did have money to spend because living green means money in the bank (tell that to the Lesser Impact People Who Are Not Haves). Then said he didn’t have money to spend and needed donations.
Now, you want to know something that may sound odd? I don’t exactly enjoy harping about Colin. Not at all, really. I would much prefer to trust a “No Impact Man” who admits to a publicity stunt and career motivations and thus absolves conflict by laying out all his cards. I would much prefer to have read Colin’s blog under those circumstances, rather than being drawn back to it repeatedly because of my curiosity over the cognitive dissonance of it glossed with the finest of best intentions.
If Colin addresses the removal of Casaubon’s Book from his blog roll, which I doubt he will do, considering his history, he will perhaps say that it was with the finest of best intentions he thought it prudent to remove Casaubon’s Book if she seemed critical of his work, out of deference to his believing she may no longer have wanted him to link to her, despite the fact his seemingly rude comment was only a lighthearted banter made with the best intentions. This may seem a very minor point, but to me it’s significant because her removal is instead a signal that Colin is flat-out lying when he insists his comments to Sharon and Liz were made in a joking manner. Which is no laughing matter.
As for me. I’m officially flat-out disgusted.