John Hopkins on Wed, 16 Mar 2016 02:39:07 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Fwd: Re: Shoshana Zuboff > The Secrets of Surveillance

On 15/Mar/16 09:07, Felix Stalder wrote:

The fact that nobody knows how to put all of these things together
into a coherent whole, a new techno-economic paradigm, means that
these technologies and their associated potential are still open
to interpretation and configurations based on particular social
experiences .

You know, Felix, as one anecdotal example, here on the ground, doing curriculum dev and renewal at The Ecosa Institute ( -- a Paolo Soleri-inspired spin-off founded by a British architect, Tony Brown -- I run into quite some naivete and lack of a sense of urgency. Even in the face of the absurd socio-political developments that are happening all around (all the more noticeable here in a bright RED state, Arizona, the source of Barry Goldwater). People supposedly trying to do interesting sustainable-oriented things seem to be slacking around all the time -- listless "trustafarian" students at the local 'alternative' college ( just wanting their identity to be cushioned from any shocks. I get little sense of urgency or intensity directed at the problems. There is the passle of grey-headed ecosophs who enjoy their back-country walks (I certainly fall partly under that rubric), but many are too romantically involved with this to, for example, even ponder what's going on in cities, that's why they live out here to begin with. Considering the most holistic systems view, it is impossible to not come to the conclusion that there are too many humans on the planet.

I was recently at a packed talk (200 people or so) by the writer Terry Tempest-Williams, revered by many alternative folks (at least out here in the US West), but when she began relating a story of flying to Jackson Hole, and driving around Yellowstone (any drive can't be less than 300km!) in her rental Prius and ending up at a friends 'cabin' drinking French wine on the terrace talking about how great and precious life was ... she lost me ...

And monkey-wrenching to deter development in the US West will get you taken out by a drone or F-16 anyway, these days. There are no quadrants in the so-called wilderness of North Amurika that cannot be rapidly gotten to by a well-trained and equipped desert military presence.

Not only that, practically every single person I know of, working in the non-profit 'eco' sector lives something of an upper-middle-class life, driving those damn Prius' again, installing PV panels on the roof of a typically large house (with hot-tub), etc etc etc... It seems impossible to overcome -- although guidelines like:

Odum, H.T. & Odum, E.C., 2001. A Prosperous Way Down: Principles and Policies, Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

point a certain direction for understanding and living ... (I do have a pdf copy if anyone is interested, contact me off-list)...

Perhaps it is a failure of general education system-wide, and that too few people have the intellectual tools to be able to suss out sustainable *wide-scale* solutions. Personally, I wonder if the angstlich search for identity in US college-age kids is a convenient ruse (often) to avoid simply do-ing something, engaging in practices that are life-changing in the surrounding 'real' world.

Granted in a country the size of the US there are always multiple exceptions to such pessimistic observations, and in the end, change comes at the microscopic level of daily lived experience, but somehow, the (psychic, psycho-spiritual, and real!) energy to have this occur society-wide just doesn't seem available.

Maybe it will take a round of massive violence -- perhaps precipitated by a contested Repub Convention when Trump calls out his 'brown shirts' who are already armed, and the US 'left' will respond in like manner, violence in the streets -- for a trajectory change, or not. But as you see, I'm not optimistic.


Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
grounded on a granite batholith
twitter: @neoscenes

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