Its intersting how all this effects us mentally i think - we were all already all going to die after all, now it just looks like we might all do it together So whats the moral import of tge apocalypse?
When i was a kid we all thought we were probably all going to die together in a nuclear Armageddon, then, despite not much really changing (we are probably more at risk of that happening now than we were then) that feeling evaporated from the zietgeist and we had a decade maybe of feeling like things might just be ok- then it became growingly apperant that we were heading for a climate apocalypse, and that old familiar feeling of living in the end times returned.
Recently in my personal life, with the viscitudes of middle age, I have had a newer feeling to get used to, that I might in fact miss the apocalypse and die in a much more mundane and unremarkable way while everyone else runs around panicking about the more global catastrophy. Its an interesting feeling.
I think from memory that a few thousand million years ago there was an event whereby organic procesess radically altered the atmosphere, introducing oxygen in vast quantites that completely changed the planet. Maybe this is simply the inevitable and logical end point of this process and this is what happens to all planets like ours, “the great filter” i think its called. Bacteria make oxygen, oxygen allows complex multicellular life, complex multicellulor life allows intelligence, intelligence makes carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide kills intelligent life and then something else happens, or nothing does.
This is not to say we should give up in despair, it seems to me that while it looks hopeless right now it could absolutely be the case that tomorrow someone invents a much more efficient and scalable green enrgy source and we quickly transition and then mitigate the impacts of history with whatever means we have, and despite crisis, survive.
Once upon a time someone worked out that with the then current population growth and the then current farming yeild that Europe was going to have a mass staarvation event within a short space of time. The science was irrefutable. Then someone invented crop rotation.
For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In [those] days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be [also] at the coming of the Son of Man.
The fact that the apocalypse is coming soon is playing a big part in my plans for ordination. Gotta work for travel money and find a suitable monastery first, though. The non-monastic part in me also wants to wait until next fall and finish my degree, but that‘s of course at odds with the apocalypse angle…
Ahh, to die in peace. Then the whole process of what’s next. Then waking up, bawling, and the slow realization, oh no not this again …
Indeed. Sad to say, but adaptability will be the greatest quality. But nomadism only works so long as you have somewhere to nomad to. The movement of people is the tip of the spear: the world is not going to get friendlier to strangers.
I dunno, do what you think is valuable. If that means a degree, then go for it. It’s not nothing!
Apparently, however, not getting a degree is the Gen Z trend. As in so many things, I was waaaay ahead of the pack!
It’s going to be hard for monastics. We exist on the surplus of workers, and when that surplus disappears …
I don‘t think it‘s very valuable, actually. Not going to go into it here, but my takeaway is that SoSci as a field is at least a century (not joking) away from any ability to deal with the world‘s complexity, and academics are largely trying to hide that fact from themselves and the unwashed masses with vain sophistry. I‘m just finishing the degree out of a sense of obligation, particularly to my mum. Oh well, I probably won‘t find the right place before next fall anyway, these things take time.
Materially, yes. But that‘s bound to happen to laypeople sooner or later as well. And when the sorrow, wailing, lamenting, beating of breasts and falling into confusion well and truly begins as people play a game of musical chairs for dwindling resources, I hope to be better equipped to face the inevitable with equanimity than I could be as a layperson, and provide comfort for the community.
Seems optimistic! Arguably, the first actual social “scientist” will be Hari Seldon.
I am more and more coming to think that it was a mistake to imagine that “scientific method” is a universal approach to discovering knowledge, rather than a method that works in physics, chemistry, and similar fields. In fact I wonder whether the great intellectual contribution of the 20th century will, in time, be seen as proving that “science” only works in limited contexts. A negative finding to be sure, but still a finding!
When Big Data first made an appearance a few years ago, I was impressed with Asimov’s prescience in inventing Psychohistory, decades before anyone had any inkling of the same!
I dunno if you’ve read the later books in the Foundation series which were written by various authors under Asimov’s guidance and came out a few years ago. Interesting plot twist …
Hari Seldon’s invention of Psychohistory turns out to have been facilitated by AI… the same robotic intelligence (R Daneel Olivaw) is found to have been nurturing humanity’s progress since the early Spacer days. R Daneel realizes that Humankind will self destruct if left to themselves, hence compelled by the First law he has to find a way out… which can only come about through a human, as robots are handicapped by their lack of inherent creativity. R. Dors Venabili is assigned to serve variously as his childhood friend, his tutor in college and then his wife… each robot avatar being a fresh positronic brain imprint from the recovered robot brain OS records of the previous (does that count as Rebirth? ).
All in all, I firmly believe that if there is one thing that can be said of Humans it is that when push comes to shove, their unparalleled creativity will find a solution. Its not for nothing that they have been the dominant planetary species for 500,000 years.
The Buddha of course has assured us that…
There comes a time, bhikkhus, when this world dissolves. When the world is dissolving, beings for the most part migrate to the devas of streaming radiance. There they exist mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the skies, living in glory, and they remain thus for a very long time. When the world is dissolving, the devas of streaming radiance rank as the foremost. But even for these devas there is alteration; there is change. Seeing this thus, the instructed noble disciple becomes disenchanted with it; being disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate toward the foremost, not to speak of what is inferior.
Only at a time when nuclear-powered spaceships didn‘t raise eyebrows would it have seemed like a sensible thing to imagine the future of psychology as quasi-mythic clairvoyance powered by mathematics. The 50s‘ techno-optimism knew no bounds.
I‘m not so sure about that. While criticisms of the empirical (quantitative) approach to social science are usually correct in pointing out its blind spots born from overdependence on reification of made-up concepts, all of these points might very well be addressed if there was the time and social cohesion. Poststructuralist scholars have been very good at pointing out faults of the status quo (nevermind the fact that, academically, poststructuralism has been the status quo of the humanities for some time and has made a quick advance toward hegemony in the more prominent parts of the social sciences lately), but in their normative fervor they tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and I haven‘t seen them present anything approaching a viable alternative. It seems to me that, while poststructuralist qualitative methods are good tools for critique (though wide open for an author to include their own preconceived notions), they‘re only made for opposition. Beyond that, these approaches either become a dead end (although he wasn‘t a poststructuralist himself, Adorno‘s progress from social philosophy to aesthetics is a tragic example for critique hitting a wall) or lead to new ideologies of reification.
But now I‘m quickly approaching some very sensitive territory, so let‘s better get back to catastrophic climate change
When push comes to shove, unfortunately, history does rather suggest that human civilizations fairly regularly fail to adapt when needed, leading to local civilizational and/or ecological collapse. Now we have a global society, and are proving no more adept at changing when needed.
Checking back in with Jessica Wildfire, she has a cool article on the infuriating ways that dangers that seem so obvious to some are just ignored by most, who, worse, spend more time attacking the carrier of bad news than they do addressing the problem.
the Trojan War is really about a bunch of dudes who don’t listen to a woman, and it leads straight to the collapse of their civilization.
She gets to the heart of the difference between those who genuinely warn of their future and their false friend, the conspiracy theorist.
Research in psychology has associated sentinel intelligence with higher levels of empathy, compassion, and overall intelligence. Sentinels care about people and want to keep them safe, even strangers. They’re naturally inclined to think about the greater good, and they’re more willing to put up with inconveniences for the sake of protecting their group. They’re also more willing to risk the alienation and sometimes embarrassment of being wrong. They would rather be wrong than risk someone else’s life. It’s why we talk about precaution so much.
Conspiracy theorists do the opposite.
If sentinels display more compassion, conspiracy theorists show higher levels of narcissism and psychopathy. They place a great deal of importance on their own personal rights and freedoms. They usually elevate themselves or give themselves a special role in revealing the truth. While they portray themselves as highly-informed and rational, they tend to string together random facts and observations into narratives that aren’t even internally consistent. These narratives often arrive at violence toward institutions and marginalized groups.
Compound climate challenges with loss of biodiversity and failing Earth systems, we have quite the concoction! Personally, I can’t wait until modern life collapses on itself! I can then spend 100% of my waking hours in my garden and ditch the day job!
So bad that they not only ignored their own science, but spent millions persuading people that the science is inaccurate. Basic greenhouse effect predictions have been on track since the 70s, yet people still don’t accept the reality.
And here we are.
We can only hope someone takes some of that money away.