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environment

Anthropocene Environmental Disassembly

Context: Oceans are facing a mass extinction event comparable to the ‘Great Dying’

The oceans are dying and yes, friends, this is the kind of vast and unremitting catastrophe that, unlike global wars invoked by the pathological ideological autocratic states that are just not clever enough to understand how stupid and self-persecutory their actions are, this is a problem that now rests quite concretely beyond our ability to entirely mitigate or neutralise. Wheels have been set in motion that utterly invalidate the selfish games human beings play on this diminutive stage of political power and selfish narcissism. It is a sad and ironic fact that the compound distractions and diverse misdirections into conflict and fear that envelop us all may not be the final fact of our own collective existential bankruptcy, but the theatre of ideological and geopolitical absurdity might just be enough to ensure that we barely even begin to adapt to what we have done to the environment before a wave of calamity and catastrophe potentially sweeps us all away.

It will not be something that occurs immediately or in the shortest of time scales but the momentum is in place and the oceans are, in effect, beginning to die. The magnitude of the event only perhaps being reciprocated in significance by the extent to which it exists outside a common symbolic, cognitive and behavioural vocabulary; it is at least partially unintelligible in extent. How then, and in essence, are we to successfully engage such vast and consequential complexity when the logical foundations of subjectivity, identity, participatory tribalism and sociotechnical reality are grounded in so many ways upon a difference and downstream dissonance that itself inadvertently invokes geological-scale change?

Our reflex is to represent the context as being contained by the integrated epistemological and technical systems that describe or define it, but the context exists beyond our analysis and quite autonomously as a self-assembling a-teleological control system that we are as a civilisation hardly mature enough to negotiate the matrix that sustains us.

I see it as a philosophical problem but even then must acknowledge that every organisational interdiction generates more unbounded entropy and dissipative material as thermodynamic and information complexity. Entropy is likely both the problem and the solution here and all analyses suggest that, notwithstanding the absurd theatre of conflict and politics that distracts us from (yes) much bigger issues, understanding time is the key.

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