Maurizio – Omnologos

Where no subject is left unturned

The Plus Side of Anthropocene

with 2 comments

A group of British scientists has proposed to rename the current geological era as the “Anthropocene“, to register the fact that human activities are transforming the world.

The proponents, and many pessim-environmentalists all too happy to jump on the Anthropocene bandwagon imply no doubt that the aforementioned human activities are negatively transforming the world. But that is by no means a given.

If humans are transforming the world it may be the absolutely obvious, and thus ethically neutral if not positive, consequence of the fact that we have evolved brains: and it would look silly to feel cold in winter and hot in summer. Cue the discovery of fire, and the invention of air conditioning. Analogously regarding teeth: who would want to have them pulled without anaesthetic? Cue the history of medicine and dentistry, including metallurgy. And so on and so forth.

Or alternatively: could the Anthropocene be just one of the signs that the Technological Singularity is really going to happen, thereby possibly transporting humanity to a completely new way of living?

Those are only thoughts, of course: perhaps the doomers and gloomers are right. Still, it’s important to remember that seldom a word contains negative connotations per se. Those are more often than not, in the mind of the beholder…

Written by omnologos

2008/Jan/30 at 23:00:19

2 Responses

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  1. Your comments on the Anthropocene indicate that you measure meaning in terms of convenience to human comforts. If so, the Anthropocene is a disaster because drought and pollution and all its attendant environmental disasters will cause untold misery once oil supplies run out and there is insufficient energy to maintain this artificial bubble of comfort (which does not even benefit the majority of human beings at the moment!)

    Paul York

    2008/Feb/15 at 15:04:02

  2. How can it _be_ a disaster if it _will_ “cause untold misery”?

    omnologos

    2008/Feb/15 at 15:11:21


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