Alien Anthropology

Ignoring Global Catastrophic Risk

Context: Why do we ignore catastrophic risk?

It may just be that some entities, artefacts, events or (other) possibilities are so vast and so horrifying that they all but entirely invalidate the limited linguistic or cognitive referential frame(s) of this comforting little semiotic cocoon of complex tautologies and half-mirrored surfaces within which we (all) live.

Global catastrophic risks are for this reason metaphysical, lying outside the relatively well-defined boundaries of stable systems of meaning and comprehension – they are rendered unintelligible to the common or median consciousness and experience of the world that we all share and experience as self, or culture and everyday reality.

The profound messages of modern scientific cosmology and (special or general) relativistic spacetime have barely made it past the contemporary pulp (narrative) fictions of Hollywood or sitcom throwaway references. Try explaining the concept of Kardashev Level 3 civilisation to someone for whom Kim Kardashian is the pinnacle of culture and civilisation.

We have grown a civilisation upon information processing but that information which is in ascendance is utterly superficial and narcissistic. Little wonder that we find ourselves staring like deer into the headlights of climate change.

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