The Great Pant Rip Episode of 2012
4 years ago
As it melded into our social relations, decontextualized and disembodied, clock time facilitates an acute present orientation and a sense of distance, disconnection, independence even from the physical world and external influences. When machine-time, which has no consequences, no cause and effect, no accumulation, no irreversibile change, no memory and no purpose, is employed as a synchronizing and organizational tool, an illusionary set of temporal relations are set in motion that become real in their lived consequences. In factories, people become synchronized to the clock-time rhythm to be treated as appendages of the machine. The machine time gets elevated as the norm to which they are expected to perform. Children are educated in accordance with its mechanistic beat. Public life is regulated to its invariable rhythm....
All times are equal under the clock. Time created to human design irrevocably changed the human-time relation. The ultimate transcendent and recalcitrant became malleable and manageable. It yielded to human control. With its aid, moreover, unprecedented rationalization and undreamed of levels of efficiency in productivity and social organization were achieved.
"appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent value) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great."How does this relate to the self and its dilemma? Our problem as moderns is that we are unmoored. Science has shown us the grand scale of the Cosmos and then, supposedly, told us that we don't matter for dog poo in it. Most traditional religions have been trotting behind science trying to understand where traditional scriptural-based beliefs can fit into the intricately woven natural world science uncovered. The self, each of us, falls between the cracks. We are desperate for meaning but denied recourse. Deep ecology tells us that life in its context has inherent value. Without debating the merits of this proposal (which I think we all intuitively feel) you can see how the self might find its proper home with the Universe this world-view recovers. Each one of us is not a master of the Cosmos given the world to do with as we wish (be fruitful and multiply, etc etc). Instead we are of-the-world. Embodied in salt-water tears and the sweet fragrance of our young children's' kisses. No different, no better, no worse than the rest of life.
As soon as the self becomes self-conscious - that is aware of its own unique unformulability in its world of signs - from that moment forward it can not escape the predicament of its own placement in the world.
The self in a world is rich or poor accordingly as it succeeds in identifying its otherwise unspeakable self, e.g., mythicaly, by identifying its otherwise unspeakable self with a world-sign, such as a totem; religiously, by identifying yourself as a creature of God.
But totemism doesn't work in a scientific age because no one believes, no matter how hard he tries, that he can become a tiger or a parakeet.
In a post-religious age the only resources of the self are self as transcendent and self as immanent.
When Einstein came to Bern patent office in 1902 he entered an institution in which the triumph of the electrical over the mechanical was already wired to reams of modernity. Here clock coordination was a practical problem (trains, troops, telegraphs) demanding workable, patentable solutions in exactly his area of greatest professional expertise: precision electromechanical instrumentation. The patent office was anything but the lonely deep-sea lightboat that the no-longer young Einstein had longed for as he spoke to the Albert Hall audience in the dark days of 1933. Reviewing one patent after another in the Bern Office, Einstein had a grandstand seat for the great march of modern technologies. And as coordinated clocks were paraded by they were not traveling alone. The network of electrical chrono-coordination provided political, cultural, and technical unity all at once. Einstein seized on this new, conventional, world-spanning simultaneity machine and installed it at the principled beginning of his new physics.
Staring through the metaphorical we can find the literal, through the literal we can see the metaphorical.I think this is not just true of the emergence of relativity but of all our grand discoveries. Our highest abstractions are woven through with the concrete of breath drawn upon breath and the clash of humans in the sweat and mire of daily life. This is the sacred as profane, the transformation of embodied life into distilled essence and back again. This is our wondrous gift in being human.
The social context, the necessary matrix for the development of technological innovations during the increasing engagement with the material world is dependent upon social relationships that in many cases are based on cognitive advances.Changing social relationships change "mind" which change technology which changes social relationships etc. In the process our relation to the world changes. It seems this process never stopped. In the last century or so I would argue something has changed, something has shifted Our machines and the culture they generate (think facebook and twitter), now rely on abstractions made concrete in the form of circut boards and composite materials. In the "developed world" the engagement with the material relies on an electrical engineers sense of the word. This has to be different from a world made of rope and timbers.
The St. James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium was held in May 2009 at St. James's Palace and The Royal Society in theI post this because I recently had the misfortune of picking up the late Micheal Crichton's State of Fear in the airport and finding out it was a ridiculous climate skeptic screed in novel form. I read thinking "this guy has millions of readers who will believe this". It made me very, very depressed. Maybe a long list of Nobel Prize winners can help convince people. It can't hurt.
. The Symposium provided a unique opportunity for Nobel Laureates from across the disciplines to gather with world experts in climate change and a small number of policy makers and global business leaders. Together they contributed their ideas and authority to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The focus of the Symposium was the climate crisis and its implications, particularly in the context of the economic and development challenges facing the world. United Kingdom
"Sometimes I think we are alone, sometimes I don't. Either way the the thought is staggering"
No present observations suggest a technologically advanced extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) has spread through the galaxy. However, under commonplace assumptions about galactic civilization formation and expansion, this absence of observation is highly unlikely. This improbability is the heart of the Fermi Paradox. The Fermi Paradox leads some to conclude that humans have the only advanced civilization in this galaxy, either because civilization formation is very rare or because intelligent civilizations inevitably destroy themselves. In this paper, we argue that this conclusion is premature by introducing the “Sustainability Solution” to the Fermi Paradox, which questions the Paradox’s assumption of faster (e.g. exponential) civilization growth. Drawing on insights from the sustainability of human civilization on Earth, we propose that faster-growth may not be sustainable on the galactic scale. If this is the case, then there may exist ETI that have not expanded throughout the galaxy or have done so but collapsed. These possibilities have implications for both searches for ETI and for human civilization managementI will let you read the rest for yourself and see what you think.