Interviews are funny things: you have to think on the spot, but later realize how deeply and profoundly imperfect (!) was your choice of words.
The Imperfect Buddha Podcast has an interview with me in which host Matthew O’Connor (of Post-Traditional Buddhism) and I talk at length about Buddhism, process-relational metaphysics, panpsychism, social constructionism, cognitive science, meditation (including process-relational analytic meditation, but much later than when he asks me about it), emptiness, subjectivity, Dzogchen, enlightenment, and ecological crisis, plus a host of thinkers from Whitehead and Peirce to Naess, Guattari, Harman, Zizek, Lacan, and meditation teacher Shinzen Young.
Writing, on the other hand, allows for the kind of reflective consideration of one’s words that I’m more accustomed to. The Pomegranate, a peer-reviewed journal of Pagan studies, has published a special issue incorporating autobiographies of some scholarly leaders within that field, and it turns out that I qualify among them. (I’ve been on the editorial board of the journal for many years.)
While I’ve done no formal surveys, my best guess is that about half my students here at the U of Vermont (at least those in Environmental Studies) would fit into the category of “religiously unaffiliated,” the so-called “religious Nones” — a category that now makes up almost 1 in 4 Americans and over a third of those under 25.
I’ll be giving this talk at the University of Kansas on Thursday. It’ll be exactly two days after the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. And 16 days before the 30th anniversary of Mikhail Gorbachev’s speech about the accident. Pravda (Truth) first reported in any detail on the accident on May 6 and 7.
The future of the Soviet Union hinged on that 18 day period between the accident and the Politburo’s admissions about it. If there was a single event that precipitated the USSR’s unraveling, it was the Chernobyl accident. Without the accident, its aftermath — Continue Reading »
I’ve been using the metaphor of the Sustainability Bottleneck in my teaching, but another one that is more immediately graspable is The Bubble.
Two things landed in my in-box this morning that testify to this (but that’s a pretty daily occurrence, e.g., see this, this, this, this, this, this, and this, all from the past week). One of these is a New York Times op-ed by a meteoreological business guy, called “A New Dark Age Looms.” The second is an interesting piece by Australian eco-anarchist farmer Glenn Albrecht called “Exiting the Anthropocene and Entering the Symbiocene” (which originally appeared on his blog in December).
Where they concur is that, as scientists have been increasingly predicting, we can expect a Coming Unraveling — an unraveling of the “established patterns and regularity of Holocene phenology” of the past 12,000 years, followed by a “new abnormal” in which
This mammoth anthology features some of the leading theorists of our cinematic/media moment including Lev Manovich, Steven Shaviro, Richard Grusin, Vivian Sobchack, Francesco Casetti, Patricia Pisters, Mark Hansen, and many others. It includes an entire section on “Ecologies of Post-Cinema” (which includes my chapter on cinema “in & beyond the Capitalocene”), as well as several rich dialogues on digital and post-cinematic politics.
Some books I’ve recently received and/or am currently reading… If you’d like to review any of them for this blog, let me know. And if there are others published in the last year that should be on this list, let me know that too (in the comments).
The project also provides a cluster map of these texts, which is probably less interesting (and more confusing) in its large form than when one pokes into it from a given text — to find, for instance, that The Communist Manifesto (at #3) is assigned most commonly with Capital, The Social Contract, and Leviathan; Thoreau’s Walden (#31) with texts by Emerson; and Barbara Bush’s The White House (at #69?!) with William Rehnquist’s The Supreme Court, Time, Inc.’s World War Two, andHitler’s Mein Kampf (interesting…).
(Meanwhile, The Guardianrecently polled booksellers, librarians, publishers, and the public to create a list of the 20 most influential academic books of all time. The overlap between the two lists is interesting, even if the Guardian‘s methodology leaves a great deal of room for improvement. Darwin’s On the Origin of Speciestopped that list, followed by The Communist Manifesto, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Plato’s Republic, and Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.)
Here are a few quick observations about the Open Syllabus Project mega-list.
I shared my previous post on the Peirce-L discussion forum and received about 16 responses in five days. The following is an edited version of the summary response I sent to the forum regarding the main comments presented there. I’ve eliminated names or substituted them with single initials where that seemed warranted.