Saturday, June 23, 2018

the world is a mess? it's true. stop whining

this is our natural processual mess (with all of us in it)

aLfreDo tRifF

The world is a mess (or so they make us think). They means the whole business of getting us entrapped in the supposed mess of the world.

I have news: If the world was a mess, it is clearly a necessary mess.  Dutch rationalist Baruch Spinoza can help here with his Principle of Sufficient Reason. It states that every fact in the universe has a sufficient reason for obtaining. Therefore, what's actual is necessary.

This mess (of the world) is perfect. 

("perfect" is not a moral evaluation of mine. I use it because its etymology leaves no doubt, as to its completion).

Let's entertain the most stressful concept in our encyclopedia of contemporary miseries: Global Warming. What causes Global Warming? The best consensus points to us, humans, which promptly brings forth the unpalatable choice that we become the cause of our own demise. 

How is this even possible?

We never intended it that way. Global Warming is a recipe of human fallibility and unintended consequences. If we go back in time to the explosion of Modernity we see faith in human science and technology and entrepreneurship and development and commerce. The world is a tool of progress and enlightenment. If you & I were living in the Eighteenth Century, chances are we'd gladly -though ignorantly- contribute to this actual Global Warming.

So, if this is our doing, then we become automatically responsible for it.  Not so fast.

Our responsibility gets canceled once we factor in Global Warming's actual inevitability, since every step of the process leading to this critical moment is the effect of a previous event, caused by  a previous one and so on. In the end, this Global Warming becomes just another natural process, like the Siberian Traps Eruption or the Influenza Pandemic of 1914.

Are we not in the world?
Are we not part of this supervening system called NATURE?
Is this Global Warming less of a natural process than, say, the last warming cycle, 10,000 years ago?

And the expert climatologist retorts: "... the difference is that this one is human-made."

So what?

Are humans outside of natural processes? Unless the climatologist believes we are somehow a breed out of the system, she has to agree with me that we are all as "natural" as petroleum.

That our Global Warming is perfect, doesn't mean I don't wish for a different world with less trash and clean air and pristine oceans. Unfortunately, that's is not the actual world I live in. And isn't a bizarre paradox of Global Warming that so many unrelated ideas and discoveries and unwitting actors long gone from earth become as responsible for it as we are? 

I leave you with my lemma for these warming days: Amor Fati.

3 comments:

Unknown said...

As someone born into the digital age, I always imagine the anxieties and tranquility that there must have been prior to the widespread usage of mobile devices. My friends tell me stories about their childhoods, growing up disconnected and its made me want that type of blissful ignorance to things outside of my immediate physical zone. You are correct Links between social media and anxiety seem obvious but are a serious abrasion that we just are not focusing too much on. I myself correlate having a good time with how little I feel the need to entertain myself with the endless stream of entertainment on my phone.
When it comes to being affected by the news, I either see myself reading it with no emotion or in other cases it sticks to me for hours. The latter is especially true with things pertaining to the possibility of them being able to indict/ impeach that dude in office. When politics and entertainment merge as they have its difficult not to tune in. There is this hope I have that after that stuff wraps up that there will be easing of that particular anxiety.

The questions I have for the future are if the constant connection anxiety that exists on society will ever change positively. Surely the creators of the stressors know that that shocking the public is not healthy but as long that there is money and fame as an incentive where is the incentive to slow down. I truly do not think that audiences will be about to break the current status of the news cycle unless there is an education reform that aims to equip future people with the ability to see through sensationalism and how to better manage the anxiety that comes from all this. Maybe one day there is a tremendous change in the digital landscape that allows for this change. Maybe the continued conglomeration of our media brings an opportunity for a cultural change in media that has an interest in not keeping people on the edge of their seats. Maybe one day the media tiger will decide that he is done with killing to eat and will choose to go about it in a more peaceful way.

-Ever

Alfredo Triff said...

Unknown, thanks for your honest and thoughtful comment. Couple of points I take with me:

My friends tell me stories about their childhood ... growing up disconnected and its made me want that type of blissful ignorance. Links between social media and anxiety seem obvious but are a serious abrasion that we just are not focusing too much on

The six degrees of separation btw "blissful ignorance" and self-avowed "certainty" are tenuous at best. As per anxiety, what's the use?

The questions I have for the future are if the constant connection anxiety that exists on society will ever change positively.

"Positive" (in my book) is whatever the future brings into actuality. Think how deep that actually is. Hartman spent his life proving that only one thing prevents the possible into the actual. In the actual, all possibilities become coagulated. Embrace it!

Alfredo Triff said...

Sorry, here's Hartmann's work on possibility and actuality. A true gem. Have a nice day.