Sale Question: 

Sell says that modern society, or first world population, suffers from a "comfortable disease". How can we verify that all of society suffers when others may already be diagnosed of some illness despite technology? Nicole Conklin

After reading Five Facets of a Myth and Mr. Sale's interview with the Post and Courier, I am curious as to whether social progress is seen as always corresponding with technological progress in Mr. Sale's eyes and therefore always as being as unsuccessful. I found Mr. Sale's example of human rights for african americans particularly troublesome and pessimistic because I believe, as many others would, that progress has been made for african americans in the United States. Sara Rausch

Mr. Sale, although I have agreed with your views about the foolishness of unchecked progress, the needless destruction of wilderness for replacement by strip malls and parking lots, the crippling dependence of many industries upon petroleum etc. for as long as I can remember, the older I get, and the more I learn about the world, the more unlikely it seems that we will be able to convince those in charge of progress that their way does not have everyone's best interest at heart. You have talked extensively about the idea of secession from the union in order to preserve what is left of the natural world, but I cannot conceive of how such a thing would be possible, when the nations of the world do not hesitate to take what they need by force. I was hoping you could elucidate how you envision the process and preservation of a seceded state would take place, and what you feel like that state would look like. Matthew Shefield

The idea of "progress" is a big aspect in your life philosophies.  It seems as though our nation's fulfillment of a progressive society stems from the release of new technologies that make our lives easier in forms of speed and convenience.  However, most of these technologies--within agricultural, pharmaceutical, and other industrial spectrums specifically--have only caused an increased rate of poverty, disease, and "drudgery" as you proclaimed.  What do you believe to be the best way our nation can come to a unified consciousness where, rather than speed and convenience, our concerns lie in humanitarianism and celebration of community? Darby Wagner

Today, I feel like more and more people are becoming aware of the malice that technology causes the planet, economy, and society. But unfortunately we live in a system where we are dependent on machines. How do you feel about using new forms of ecologically beneficial technology to pull us out of the mess we've made? Hudson

My question to Mr. Sale would be whether or not secession would be feasible for any region within my lifetime? Let's say by 50 years from now? Who might be the most likely actually secede? Jordan Wolff

I'm not sure I understand the benefits of bioregionalism. Wouldn't this just create more diversity and controversy throughout the country? Also, how would you divide such diverse areas like Washington D.C. or L.A.? Jacqueline Andriano

I see that you foresaw that overpopulation would be a problem in your reading "human scale." Today overpopulation is major problem in society. What actions would you take to start on a process that would begin to make it better? Matthew Turner

In the article “Five Facets of a Myth” you state the progress within the industrial world has led to “comfortable diseases”. Could you explain further how the connection between technological advancements result in diseases such as stress, family dysfunction, alcoholism, etc… are these conditions not just an offshoot of human nature? Does not every economic level in societies experience these diseases or just the “first world populations”? Lyall Plumb

Do you believe there is a way for our economy to sustain itself with out growth or is there an adequate equilibrium between production and mitigation that will keep our economy from complete collapse, how do we control this "progress"? If 1/6 of humanity are the only ones enjoying some level of comfort is it morally right to stop progress and have the entire percentage suffering? Yes there could have been a better way to begin with but should we ride it out or stop now and give up our comforts for people that do not even exist yet? Do still believe you will win your 1,000 dollar bet?  John Robbie

As a modern-day Luddite, you are for the most part against technological progressions. What kind of technological advances do you find most difficult to avoid living in today’s society (other than computers) and how do you react when faced with this technology? Kelsey Redfern

You share that a little over 3million millionaires/billionaires have more net worth than nearly 50% of the worlds population. Do you feel that uncontrollable technological advancements are helping centralize the world's resources, and if so how? Austin Mishoe

Do you honestly believe that there could have been an alternate route we could have taken in human history that would have left us in a better state. Or is the rise of technology an inevitable result of human progress and our need to continue to refine and evolve our techniques in order to optimize our lives ( or at least do what we thought would optimize them ).  I believe that the rise of technology is inevitable and technology is merely something to place blame on when the people who develop/ use them / the rich are the problem.  Also his notion of bioregions is extremely intriguing and makes a lot of sense.  Although I never see that happening Brendan Cole

In what way can we as individuals magnify he secessionist movement in our own states? I am a devout supporter of the 10th amendment and the nullification movement which seems more feasible? by what directive of the constitution or government are we actually allowed to actually remove ourselves from the USA? Peter Arguimbau

How do you think that social media profiles will affect the new generations social relationships?  Such as how important ones online persona will affect their real life personal relationships and group membership. Patrick Collis

After reading Kirkpatrick Sale's Five Facets of a Myth a couple of times, I am having trouble coming up with a question to ask him. This is not because I am struggling to understand his argument but because I am unsettled by my realization that this guy is probably right. I guess I feel somewhat like his 15 year old self, unable to come up with a solid defense for progress and its by-products. I don't agree with everything he says or believes but his criticism of progress is completely valid in my opinion. Here is a list of questions I came up with while reading Five Facets of a Myth: Do you find any technological invention created in modern times to have been beneficial to human kind?, What do you suggest as the solution the the problem of progress?, What are your views on technologies that provide sustainable energy such as Wind turbines and solar panels?. Ryan Prodhomme

Since you believe the collapse of our current system is impending, is it worth it to do anything about it besides out of moral obligations? For example, should we try to slow down our use of oil and transition to more renewable sources or would we be better off expediting the process to reach this new society quicker? -I wrote this because based off of his predictions and attitude it seems he is at a point where he feels his efforts were/are futile. He said in the interview that his efforts as an activist where fruitless. Did he at least promote awareness. As a secondary question, I was curious as to his views of Occupy Wall street, as well as the loss of momentum behind the movement. John Brooker

I agree with your ideas and opinions about having stronger communities and communities sustaining themselves, especially through buying local food. Though I'm wondering if that would possibly compromise some of the natural ecosystems that have been preserved or untouched in many places, because our food comes has come from else where? For example, the College of Charleston has created a little sustainability garden out on an old plantation donated to the school, but they had to cut down many of the trees and clear a large area to do this--and only produce a small yield of vegetables-- if we were really going to try and provide produce for the students at CofC we'd need even more space, which would then compromise even more of the nature out there. Of course they are practicing ecologically friendly farming, but it is still cutting down trees and disrupting nature. Cara Lauria

Do you think that overpopulation has hindered the effect of technology on progress? Would there be more equal progress across the world than there is now if there were less people on the planet? Alex Baker

 "Do you still think the world could end in 2020 like you believed it would in 1995? Would it still be due to war between the rich and poor, global currency collapse, and environmental disasters, or would it be due to other reasons?" Laurel M. Fay

I would like to ask mr. sale his opinion on the point in history in which humans had the richest quality of life. Would it be before the industrial revolution, agriculture, age of computers, etc? Sara Monroe

In "Five Facets of a Myth, you state that 'progress does not have a great deal going for it'. Is progress in renewable energy included in this considering the fact that progress in renewable energy is meant to have a lesser impact on the earth?  Audrey Rittenhouse

Mr. Sale, you have spoken often about your belief in small government, specifically a government based on the community. When you were in Ghana, was most of your time spent in cities or in tribal villages and how did your experience there impact those political beliefs? Kate O'Dell

I would be interested in asking Mr. Sale more about the secession and bioregions he spoke about in his interview with the Post and Courier, most specifically, if the United States were to secede into various bioregions, would he suggest one unifying government to remain as it does today or something else? If he were to propose the removal of one unifying government system, how would he handle potential disagreements between the various bioregions or does he suggest this would not be an issue?  Thanks, Emily Soyka  

After reading the comment by Mr. Mcneil about your book The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy, I am curious what your thoughts on his claims are? And what is your proof that Columbus was a greedy imperialist? Will Vesely

What is your prediction for the depletion of oil on the planet? Do you think that when it runs out it will force the Human race to abandon our current way of life? If so, do you think it will be for better or worse? Robert Jones

I like what you have said about bioregions in the Eastern part of the country, but what are you ideas toward bioregions and where they would occur when moving West across the nation? Zachary Zalarick

In the 14 years since you wrote the article "Five Facets of a Myth" technology and environmental hazards have only continued to progress. If there is one thing that the average citizen should do to curb their reliance on environmentally destructive corporations, what would it be? Alarie Latham

What is the foundation or starting point of your philosophy? Sara Kok

Two of Sale's main points are the disastrous consequences of technological progress, and the importance of secession into bioregions to decentralize and slow this progress. My question is, does he have a viable, realistic plan for this? The United States' military has certainly not been left out of the rapid development of new technologies he discusses; a war over secession today would be much different than the Civil War due to the major advancements in weaponry between now and then. If, for example, South Carolina were to secede again to form mountain and coastal regions as he discusses, would we even stand a chance? I agree on many aspects that the costs of technology outweigh the benefits, but I also worry the costs on people, the poor, other species and the environment would be great if a huge war over secession broke out. Rachel Fowler