How to change the world

I’ve just re-read this insightful essay, written by Bob Rich before the turn of the last millennium. As he himself says: “… although some of the examples are dated, it is more relevant today than it was then.”

Here’s a sample:

Life is a road, not a destination. We are at a crossroad, but the great and powerful are unlikely to choose the path of survival. For if they do, they risk being great and powerful no more, but β€˜has-beens,’ relegated to obscurity.


The illimitable ocean consists of drops of water. Each drop of water counts. When a myriad drops of water move in the same direction, there is the irresistible tide that destroyed Hitler, stopped the Vietnam war, saved the Franklin river in Tasmania from damming, and on a local scale, time and again confounded the powerful.

Please follow the link to Bob’s complete essay: How to change the world.
I can’t recommend it highly enough.


About pendantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
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28 Responses to How to change the world

  1. That is very true…. May we wake up to the fact our strength lies in unity as we follow our hearts instead of our heads that line pockets..

    Blessings your way for a good week πŸ™‚ and good to see you posting again Pendantry. xxx

  2. Hariod Brawn says:

    As with Sue, good to see you posting again – bit late with that, I know.

    • pendantry says:

      ‘Late’? ‘Late’? O.o… don’t you start. I have enough trouble from my Mother with comments like “I just sent you an email, did you get it?”

      • Hariod Brawn says:

        No, my remark about it being good to see you back here again – you posted yesterday and I commented but failed to say the same then.

        • pendantry says:

          Well, just don’t let it happen again, ok? πŸ˜‰

        • Hariod Brawn says:

          Or am I talking phylarological ordure?

          • pendantry says:

            Well, maybe. I know I am, but there’s nothing unusual about that. The real question is: what’s your view on Bob Rich’s article? (I know it’s a bit long but I can’t recommend it highly enough). Come on, get with the program!

          • Hariod Brawn says:

            I’m not reading all that!

          • pendantry says:

            Ok, fair enough πŸ™‚

          • Hariod Brawn says:

            Just kidding – be back later.

          • Hariod Brawn says:

            Read it. All good stuff. I’m Left Libertarian on the political compass, so you won’t be surprised I agreed with Bob, especially as I’ve been a lifelong Buddhist too. Take the test:
            My results:
            Economic: –8.75
            Social: –6.41

          • pendantry says:

            Can’t thank you highly enough for that link to the Political Compass site. Fascinating stuff, and right on topic for ‘changing the world’! Good fodder for another blog article… in the meantime, you’ve shown me yours so I’ll show you mine:
            Economic Left/Right: -8.63
            Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.95

            (Nice touch that you get to download a PDF certificate after completing the test!)

          • Hariod Brawn says:

            Can one thank ‘highly’ Pedantry? πŸ˜‰

            So, we’re both at Ghandi’s elbow, right? Or rather, bottom left.

          • pendantry says:

            Thanking ‘highly‘? I think so. And I’ll thank you to remember that I like to think I’m a pendant, not a pedant πŸ˜›

            Hugging Ghandi’s bottom, eh? I think John Crapper (see below) might have something to say about that.

          • Hariod Brawn says:

            One can praise ‘highly’, but not thank so in my opinion. To thank, is to act in displaying one quality and in one degree of sincerity only – that being one of true gratitude. If one were to thank ‘lowly’, would it constitute true gratitude? That said, then the degree to which one may thank is indeed variable, though in quantity rather than height. Please correct me if I am wrong.

            Apologies for the typo, which betrays at once both clumsiness of attention and poor memory as regards your good self Pendantry.

          • pendantry says:

            First off, no worries about the typo — I’m not offended, and certainly didn’t mean to suggest any clumsiness or other failings on your part; my comment was meant purely in fun.

            On the ‘highly thanking’ thing: were it not for the fact that you’re prompting me to come back, I’d let it slide. It’s certainly of far less than earth-shattering import. I will point out, though, that the Wiktionary* entry I linked to earlier says that some synonyms of ‘highly’ would include ‘Extremely; greatly; very much.’ So I don’t see a problem, myself.

            * not authoritative; but then neither are any dictionaries these days, it seems. I happened recently upon a debate about the use of the word ‘fetocide’; arguments — backed up by dictionary references — to the effect that this was a misspelling of ‘feticide’, were being dismissed on the grounds that the ‘misspelling’ was used by (some people). Quite bizarre; perhaps I’ll begin to randomly misspell words and then attempt to refute any accusations of being wrong on the grounds that (some people) use the wrong spelling. Hmmm… I think I’ll start with ‘phlyarologist‘ πŸ™‚

          • Hariod Brawn says:

            I shall stand corrected due to the rigour, acuity and solidity of your argument Pendantry, and for which I offer high thanks.

            Standing humbly at Ghandi’s elbow alongside you, I remain, your friend,


  3. Great post from you, Mr. W. Delighted to be reading your essays again!

    • pendantry says:

      Thanks, Paul. I know from your email earlier that you were pushed for time today. If you haven’t already, I do hope that you’ll be able to find the time to read Bob’s essay ‘How to change the world‘ at some point. I really do think that it deserves a larger audience.

  4. I read the entire article. Lots of ground covered. It is instructive to go back and read something with hindsight. As we enter the beginning of 2016 I was enlightened, encouraged and frightened all at the same time.

    Having written myself about much that was covered in this article in varying degrees,I would like to offer my own thoughts as to the “why” of it all. It centers on our perceptions of ourselves and our failure to truly accept our nature. My ten thoughts on human nature which I’ve written about extensively on my blog

    Man is:
    (Not a complete list nor am I claiming to be right – just my thoughts)

    not peace loving
    tending to inflate self-importance
    pleasure seeker
    each thinks they are special
    tend to think we can control nature
    tend to deny our animal connections

    I’ve not been posting much on my blog as of late too as I’m concentrating on finishing the draft of a novel revolving around these issues and more. About 90% complete.

    Happy New Year!

    • pendantry says:

      Good to hear from you, Your Excremence. I regret my absence from virtual church meetings of late. I have paid due penance at the porcelain altar on a daily basis, I trust that suffices…

      ‘…enlightened, encouraged and frightened’… yes.

      And I thoroughly agree with your list of ten descriptors of homo fatuus brutus. Taken together, I think they go far to explain why we’re mired deep in this slippery muck.

      You’re working on a novel, you say? I’d love to read it. And if you should need an extra pair of eyes to check it for typos before publication, I do hope you’ll think of me and my incurable typospotting fixation. When I myself resurfaced recently it was to the discovery that Paul Handover has published a book… and you’ll probably have spotted that Bob Rich has a number of book offerings too (hmm… everyone’s at it but me, it seems!)

      PS Speaking of my affliction, thank you for so kindly leaving a typo on your domain name (you’d put it as singular) so I could fix it (and add a link so that others can more readily find your Holy Poopness’s eminently inexecrable offerings).

      • Woke up this morning after a late night, saw you had a new post up, read it and decided to look here for a reply to my comment. What a wonderful offer! You obviously have never served in the military or, if you have, didn’t learn your lesson of “never volunteering for anything”.

        Spelling is not my forte and spotting them even less. I’ll be more than happy to send you a copy when finished but no need to take on the typospotting Herculean task but I’d love to get your reactions and suggestions to my crap. I currently estimate it’s about 400 pages long with at least 3 chapters to go. I’m new to this writing shit but I’m enjoying having crap flow out of both ends these days!

        This is actually the 2nd one (not published yet either). The first is my Church of the Holy Shitters catechism but I call it cateshitum. It’s the textbook used in cateshitum class in the Holy Shitters Brains for Shit school students attend in my 2nd novel that I’m currently working on. Second book entitled: Shit Down and Crap Up. Yes, you guessed it. The doctor dropped me on my head shortly after birth.

        You might be under the impressions there is copious amounts of humor but in actuality there is very little. When writing about climate change it’s difficult to inject much of that.

        Thanks again! Love the way you play with words btw. Truly a gift!
        I’ll keep you posted. Back to work!

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