Plastic Oceans

Context: In the Ocean, It’s Snowing Microplastics

It is worth considering that the distributed material waste we can detect must only ever represent the most diminutive hyper-slice of a much vaster and more intricately complex dynamical system. It is a general problem of measurement as much as of the conceptual languages and normative grammars we (all) inhabit to gain traction by abstracting to bite-sized terminologies and relatively well-ordered interdiction as action plans those things that are actually non-linearly stochastic, whale-sized problems.

With all the serious warnings on climate and pollution, we seem to be trapped as though deer in the headlights of a catastrophe that we know is on its way but that our minds and common languages are quite simply just not sophisticated enough to fully understand or define. Having long benefited from the amplifying complexity that abstraction brings, we remain quite inadvertently powerless to negotiate the thermodynamic and distributed material consequences of this, our collaborative technological cleverness.

Paradigm shift is generally an autonomous (as emergent) process but I do wonder if the coming change in language, perception and remediative action might arrive just a little bit too late. Change is inevitable, success is not.

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