constant escape

winter withered, warm
"In a crisis the true facts are whatever other people say they are. No one's knowledge is less secure than your own."
Could we argue this is generally the case, even in non-crisis times? Perhaps the crisis just strips away the pretenses.

I mean, if we look at the individual person as a psychic system within an psychic, social environment, where else are you going to pull truth from, if not from other psychic systems? The best we can do is evaluate the signals we receive from these other psyches, but ultimately the signals propagate from psyche to psyche, each psyche a psychic system.
 
"I talked to them one day about war. Iraq is a whisper, I told them. These nuclear flirtations we've been having with this or that government. Little whispers," he said. "I'm telling you this will change. Something's coming. But isn't this what we want? Isn't this the burden of consciousness? We're all played out. Matter wants to lose its self-consciousness. We're the mind and heart that matter has become. Time to close it all down. This is what drives us now."

He refilled his glass and passed me the bottle. I was enjoying this.

"We want to be the dead matter we used to be. We're the last billionth of a second in the evolution of matter. When I was a student I looked for radical ideas. Scientists, theologians, I read the work of mystics through the centuries, I was a hungry mind, a pure mind. I filled notebooks with my versions of world philosophy. Look at us today. We keep inventing folk tales of the end. Animal diseases spreading, transmittable cancers. What else?"

"The climate," I said.
"The climate."
"The asteroid," I said.
"The asteroid, the meteorite. What else?"
"Famine, worldwide."
"Famine," he said. "What else?"
"Give me a minute."

"Never mind. Because this isn't interesting to me. I have no use for this. We need to think beyond this."

[...]

He said, "Matter. All the stages, subatomic level to atoms to inorganic molecules. We expand, we fly outward, that's the nature of life ever since the cell. The cell was a revolution. Think of it. Protozoa, plants, insects, what else?"

"I don't know."
"Vertebrates."
"Vertebrates," I said.

"And the eventual shapings. The slither, crawl, biped crouch, the conscious being, the self-conscious being. Brute matter becomes analytical human thought. Our beautiful complexity of mind."

He paused and drank and paused again.

"What are we?"
"I don't know."

"We're a crowd. A swarm. We think in groups, travel in armies. Armies carry the gene for self-destruction. One bomb is never enough. The blur of technology, this is where the oracles plot their wars. Because now comes the introversion. Father Teilhard knew this, the omega point. A leap out of our biology. Ask yourself this question. Do we have to be human forever? Consciousness is exhausted. Back now to inorganic matter. This is what we want. We want to be stones in a field."
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
One is able to reach a state of mind wherein the scope of humanity is properly contextualized with this vastly larger scope. And yet, such a sensibility is liable to be considered against a sort of materialist humanism, in a way, because it does not limit itself to the concerns and struggles of humanity. We can prioritize these more visceral and fundamental problems, but I get the sense that any meaningful answers will only arise from approaches of breadth and scope that extend beyond humanity.

Otherwise, we're stuck with the same problems, but in a much more parochial and naive way. It does require that one ultimately have faith in what science is trying to do, though. You can take scientific findings with a grain of salt, integrating them into the larger map in a manner that does not assume their permanence, but the gist has to be gotten.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
In a way it is a map to be revealed, but revealed in an almost fractal manner. A map partitioned out into sectors, each sector divided further, each subsector divided further, ad infinitum. One "discovers" a whole sector in a low resolution, coarse-grain manner, and then must discover the subsectors in finer resolutions, and the subsubsectors in even finer resolutions, ad infinitum.
 
That quote's from a DeLillo thing called Point Omega. It's about a retired war adviser living in the desert who worked on Iraq. This younger guy goes out there to persuade him to do an Errol Morris-type film and they end up just sat staring into the desert, shooting the shit until the war adviser's daughter shows up and some other stuff happens.

It starts with a man watching Douglas Gordon's 24 Hour Psycho in a gallery in New York and his thoughts on time. He watches the film obsessively and talks about how slowing it down forces him to see everything, every movement, the number of curtain rings spinning on the rail as Janet Leigh falls into the shower. The desert's presented the same way. One of the characters keeps talking about getting outside of time as though death's a product of measuring time. He says he doesn't age in the desert.

“It's all embedded, the hours and minutes, words and numbers everywhere, he said, train stations, bus routes, taxi meters, surveillance cameras. It's all about time, dimwit time, inferior time, people checking watches and other devices, other reminders. This is time draining out of our lives. Cities were built to measure time, to remove time from nature. There's an endless counting down, he said. When you strip away all the surfaces, when you see into it, what's left is terror.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
“Since 2001, we’ve had a series of big catastrophes,” Adam Curtis, the genius says. “But instead of saying, okay, we’ve got climate change, or, okay, we’ve got inequality, these are really bad, but we should do something about it, we can try this, the progressives retreated into ‘Oh, my God, the world is going to die. And I was just puzzled by that.’”

He wanted to know why the progressive ideas of our time seem to manifest in doom mongering and inaction. What was wrong with these people?
 

TomaJo

Member
Climate change is a big question. They have not even come to understand what it really is until now. Many observations are underway. Both from Earth and from space. Satellite technologies are being adapted to track sea level, oil spills, plastic waste, and so on. In this article, they simply and beautifully described what satellites can now monitor: https://www.skyrora.com/post/satellite-technology-for-ocean-observation.
I recently chatted at the climate-debate forum and there I met people who think that the problem of climate change is a fictitious problem.
I think the biggest problem is that people often cannot agree.
 
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