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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Hope, on the Balance of Probabilities

Hope, on the Balance of Probabilities

my now-slightly-outdated map of worldviews about collapse; right-click and open in a new tab to see it full-sized

It’s interesting to listen to social philosopher Daniel Schmachtenberger try to reconcile his assessment of the state of the world with his vehement insistence that we have to try as hard we possibly can to avert the ‘metacrisis’ that threatens to bring about the collapse of human civilization and the extinction of most or all life on earth, including humans.

In a recent video, he said:

How can evolutionarily nasty chimpanzees with a high orientation for conflict and irrationality, with nuclear weapons and AI and synthetic biology, with a history of using technology in conflict-oriented and harm-externalizing ways, how can 8 billion of us with exponential tech [increasingly available to all] do a good job of governing that much power? It doesn’t actually look that promising.

Yet he insists that “we cannot know for certain” that we are fucked (or that we are not), so we each have a responsibility to do what we can, working with others, to pull us back from the brink.

His argument reveals a curious quirk about humans and our relationship to complexity, uncertainty, and hope. We seem completely preoccupied with what John Gray calls “the needs of the moment”, and it is clear that this preoccupation has directly produced the metacrisis (a combination of many, unintended, crises and system collapses — economic, ecological, political, social, health, educational, resource, technological, and, for some, spiritual/religious) in which we find ourselves. Yet we continue to cling to hope for our future when all logic says it’s unfounded.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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