I read this free 75-page ebook in the space of a few hours Sunday before last and knew immediately that I wanted to feature it here. It's one of the most interesting and unique liberty, individualist, egoist, anti-autharitorian (of all kinds) books I've ever read—and I've read a lot of them.
It's not only about thinking for yourself, but for yourself. ...As in, something the author, Greg Swann, terms Self Adoration, which is the name of his blog that serves as companion to the book.
I think you'll find the writing style clever and unique. Greg has a really delightful method of describing complex philosophical ideas and logical fallacies—and Latin too—in a single phrase, so as to never bog the reader down in minutiae, unbridled deconstruction, or just filling space either to impress you, or to come in where you need to be in the economies of scale for a traditional book.
I'm quickly coming to see and agree with Seth Godin that the future of publishing is in short ebooks, and that if you can't get what needs to be said in under 100 pages, then maybe you ought to write two books—or maybe none at all. Look at it this way: The Communist Manifesto was only about 80 pages, as I recall, and look what influence it had on the entire planet. So here's the introduction from the book and why you want to consider reading this and spreading it around.
Save the world from home – in your spare time!
That headline is my favorite advertising joke, a send-up of all those hokey old matchbook covers. 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.
But I have always believed that ordinary people should be able to save the world from going to hell on a hand-truck. Our problem is not the tyrant-of-the-moment. The only real problem humanity has ever had is thoughtlessness – the mindless acquiescence to the absurd demands of demagogues.
That’s the subject of this little book: The high cost of thoughtlessness – and how to stop paying it. It weighs in at around 75 pages. I’m nobody’s matchbook copywriter, and I would have made it even shorter if I could have. But it 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.
Why did I bother? Because the world we grew up in is crashing down around our ears. Nothing has collapsed yet, and there is no blood in the streets – so far. But as the economists say, “If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.” My bet is that you have been watching the news and wondering what you will do, if things get ugly.
Doesn’t that seem like a fate worth avoiding? And yet: What can one person do? My answer: Read – and propagate – these ideas. The book itself is offered at no cost – and it always will be. Even so, the price I ask is very high: You have to pay attention.
If you find that you like this book, I encourage you to share it freely, far and wide, in any form, with anyone you choose. Print it, photo-copy it, email it – shout it from the rooftops if you like. You can read it at SelfAdoration.com (back-up), or you can download an easy-to-share PDF version (back-up). If you post to public forums or you have your own web site or weblog, download the propagation kit (back-up).
Why should you bother? Because if anything is going to save civilization from tyranny, it will be ordinary people like us. And there are at least 2.5 billion of us on the internet. Think what a big difference some new ideas could make in that many human lives.
How do you save the world from home in your spare time? One mind at a time...
So as you may suspect, professional philosophers, journalists, ivory tower professors and the elite in general are pretty much going to hate this book. Actually, they'll just ignore it. The only way they won't be able to ignore it is if everyday regular people don't let them, and for that it needs to spread. But of course, you're in this all alone (which happens to be the title of chapter 1) and for that fact alone, you get to judge, you get to decide.
I got on Skype the other day to chat with Greg about himself and the book, for those interested in digging deeper.
Greg also does a lot of videos on his own site, and he uses a guitar as a prop which I find quite endearing. I liked this one in particular.