fruits of the morning’s beachcombing

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Stuff keeps washing up along my personal tidelines, some of it simple flotsam or jetsam, some of it elements in evolving sculpture and macramé, some of it of indeterminate utility. It All Counts, as my mentor Allen Smith said of the work of the Reference Librarian.

Two cases in point, the first an enduring puzzlement reeled in and partly digested a few months ago, the second a new discovery this morning, via a posting to The WELL’s State of the World (Paulina Borsook) which seems to make sense of the first:

  1. Timothy Morton’s
    Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World

    “…Global warming is perhaps the most dramatic example of what Timothy Morton calls ‘hyperobjects’—entities of such vast temporal and spatial dimensions that they defeat traditional ideas about what a thing is in the first place… concepts such as world, nature, and even environment are no longer a meaningful horizon against which human events take place. Instead of inhabiting a world, we find ourselves inside a number of hyperobjects, such as climate, nuclear weapons, evolution, or relativity. Such objects put unbearable strains on our normal ways of reasoning.Insisting that we have to reinvent how we think to even begin to comprehend the world we now live in, Hyperobjects takes the first steps, outlining a genuinely postmodern ecological approach to thought and action…”

  2. Force Majeure at UC Santa Cruz


    Five Understandings

    First understanding

    Nature’s economic system stores the energy that it does not immediately need
    mostly in carbon formations

    Second understanding

    Nature does not charge a profit as do culture’s economic systems

    Third understanding

    All natural systems are dissipative structures with individuals that form them living,
    reproducing then dying with indeterminacy as a norm

    Fourth understanding

    All natural systems have learned to nest within each other, and, within a context of
    symbiosis contribute to collective systems survival, sometimes with abundance

    Fifth understanding

    Human constructed artifacts particularly legal, political, economic as well as
    production and consumption systems seek constancy but are often in violation of the
    laws of conservation of energy pointing toward systems entropy

Working out the implications, awaiting the next tide…

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