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Archive for the ‘AnthropoScene’ Category

I have many friends who are despairing that, with Bernie Sanders’s exit from the presidential race, the United States has lost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to elect a leader who is honest, reliable, and completely untethered to the vested interests that keep our whole system careening towards catastrophe (climate change, ecological collapse, mass extinction, out-of-control AI, […]

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There’s a lot of interesting thinking going on in response to the coronavirus pandemic and how it will “change everything.” Here’s the beginning of a curated sampling. It takes for granted that there will be suffering, a lot of it, unequally distributed and with a preponderance of it coming down on first responders and low-wage, […]

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The following is a short essay I wrote for the Peder Sather/Reassembling Democracy workshop on “Environmental Change and Ritualized Relationships with the Other-than-Human World,” held at UC Berkeley this past December. There are physical boundaries between humans and specific nonhumans—fences, walls, windows (of homes, gardens, kennels, zoos, abbatoirs, safari vehicles, camera lenses, guns); and there […]

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Wow, what a reaction the article described here has gotten… This version includes a follow-up comment below. Jonathan Franzen’s “What If We Stopped Pretending?” articulates an important point about hope and hopelessness in the face of climate change. Franzen suggests that an “all-out war on climate change” no longer makes sense because the scenario for […]

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Peter Brannen’s Atlantic article “The Anthropocene is a Joke” provides a helpful cold shower for those who’ve gotten a little too drunk on the concept of the Anthropocene. The entire article is worth reading. Here are a few snippets:

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It’s nice to see archdruid John Michael Greer’s proposal for a “Pleistocene-Neocene transition” get a little traction in the science press — specifically, in a Science Alert article by psychologist Matthew Adams. Greer, whose writings on religion and ecology are respectably out-of-the-box, advocates against the Anthropocene label on the basis that a geological epoch — […]

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Peircian thinker Gary Fuhrman has posted an interesting piece on the naming of the Anthropocene, entitled Holocenoscopy. Noting that the word Holocene means nothing more than “entirely recent,” as opposed to the Pleistocene, which means “most recent,” so there’s really nowhere left to go with naming geological periods after their recentness, Fuhrman suggests we look to another […]

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Inspired by the daily litany of depressing news (and by reading Latour’s Down to Earth), I’ve succumbed to the temptation of writing a manifesto. Manifestos are cheap, I know, but we have to start somewhere. (And so many questions arise as you write one: about the proper balance between critique and vision, between generality and […]

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Here’s the “reader’s guide” I promised for Shadowing the Anthropocene. It begins with a quick summary of the book’s main contribution — a kind of “master key” to what it tries to do. It then lays out a set of paths one can take through the book, which would be useful for readers with an […]

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Shadowing the Anthropocene: Eco-Realism for Turbulent Times arrived in the mail today. It’s published by punctum books, an open-access academic and para-academic publisher I’ve found to be a real delight to work with. Eileen Joy deserves a medal for her leadership of punctum, and Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei’s cover and book design is beautiful. The book […]

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Geology watchers were more than a little surprised last month to learn that we are living in a new age called the Meghalayan, which apparently began about 4200 years ago. After all the excitement over the Anthropocene, it seems that a rival group of geological stratigraphers — one tasked with naming the sub-parts of the Holocene — has […]

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(Or twice the video below.) Immanence passed its tenth anniversary last month and somehow failed to celebrate it. (The actual anniversary, May 11, marks the posting of this two-line fragment. Regular posts took another seven months to appear, or at least to take on a permanent form.) To celebrate, I recently re-did the Primer page, which collects […]

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