This is the first of a two part transcript of a podcast interview with Keith farnish.
R.K.: And welcome to the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360 AM out of Washington Township reaching Metro Philly and South Jersey; sponsored by opednews.com. My guest tonight is Keith Farnish. Now, Keith is a very interesting guy, he is a writer, a volunteer, an activist, who in a former life was economically viable he says. He is the author of several books including Time's Up and Undermining. He lives in Southern Scotland with his wife and two children making, growing, organizing, listening, talking, and being. Welcome to the show.
K.F.: Hi there, Rob. How are you doing?
R.K.: Just great and I have to say I have really enjoyed your writing, I have really enjoyed your postings, both on your sites and on opednews and it's great to have you here.
K.F.: Thanks very much.
R.K.: I think you have a really interesting approach to our world that we live in today. So, let's start with Time's Up . Your book, Time's Up . Now I got that book and I had every intention of interviewing you and I never got around to it and so let's start by talking about it and what it's about.
K.F.: Okay. Well, it originally came from an idea. I was on a road protest camp and I was having all of these chats with various people and it was quite an unconventional road protest camp, it was in the middle of a town, there wasn't a road being built at the time, it was in the planning stage and it was a community which was really nice.
So what happened is I got into discussions with various people and at the same time as this was happening I was having the same kinds of discussions with people at the job that I had, which was as an IT systems administrator security guy. Things were going through my head and I had this idea which came about while I was having a shower after going to the gym and this phrase popped into my head, what matters is what matters to us.
And I wasn't completely sure what it meant but I wanted to explore that further and it sort of came from this idea that you need some way of trying to convince people unequivocally that what they're doing to the planet as a society is ultimately going to be to their deficit.
And how do you convince someone that there is this link, direct link between what we do and how it effects us? And what came to mind was this idea that you have really got this, you have got to look at it from a human centered point of view. There are people who say oh well I care about all life, I care about the whole minutiae of existence but let's be honest, if you die there is nothing else.
As far as you're concerned you're gone, you can't perceive anything else so what, it comes round to this idea that all the time your perception is there then you can care. Once you're not able to perceive anything then how can you care about anything? So that's where this idea, this what matters is what matters to us came about.
Then going back to this road protest camp we had these discussions about how to try to explain what we were doing in a way that would be entertaining and interesting and someone talked to me about bees and they're small things but they have a vital niche to play and then I realized that we can look at this on all different scales. We can take it right from the very very smallest scale and go to the very largest scale and that would be quite an interesting way of breaking it down.
So I started studying all of these different things and at the same time was writing so while I was writing this book which originally was called a Matter of Scale, then I was learning constantly so I learned about viruses and I learned about bacteria and nematodes, and then bees.
And cod and spruce trees and all these different things that were on different scales and it was fascinating to me and I mean to be honest it seems to be the bit of the book that most people enjoy and then it starts getting a bit serious and then people go oh actually where are we going on this?
But it's a journey and the book tries to take people on a journey from something that is comfortable although giving a few home truths that may be uncomfortable into areas that they might not have considered before and eventually coming out the other side with some kind of solution which doesn't present everything. I mean there's no way I would want to tell people how to live their lives, but at least gives ideas as to where we could perhaps be going.