2020-05-28 | Journal | Heart of Earth
I noticed that Guy McPherson republished Pauline Schneider's Going Dark Documentary. My own personal involvment in related concerns maps to Pauline's in some ways. My basic technological optimist point of view is clear in this interview with Medicine Bear that I did in 2006. I didn't fully understand what he was saying. I got involved with a transitions group in 2011 and learned about the complicated relation between oil, climate, and global supply chains. I have refined and explored my understanding about those relations ever since.
One quote from this documentary that always gets me, particularly the way Pauline says it is,"They will tear out the heart of Earth for a single day of power." I also enjoy how Pauline shows her love for Guy looking at one of his talks:
And one of my favorite Guy McPherson references:
As I was watching this, I saw a link to this Noam Chomsky documentary. It is long. I made a batch of popcorn halfway through. Until today I had assumed that there was a direct correlation between linguistics and his political activism. This documentary is mostly pre-internet in scope, certainly pre-blog. I find it interesting that we have so much power to facilitate the kinds of information interchange he discusses in this documentary, but, instead, it seems like media is even more controlled than before, and people are less able to think critically. I also watched this talk, and he references a past age free from ads. He is doing this at a Google talk to a bunch of Google engineers and ad folks, which is an interesting dynamic in the talk that both he and the interviewer are aware of. Again, though, we could do so much more with the WWW, but we don't. The free, independent efforts are dwarfed by the giant engines of social media attention.
I read a bit about what happened in East Timor, and what has gone on since. As with Guy McPherson, I don't find the specifics of their stances fit what I see as I read about the issues. As an example, while I can see the aerosol effect as quite likely, when I review the NASA numbers for global surface temperature for March and April, I don't see that they are as dire as Guy McPherson says. Likewise, from what I read about East Timor vs. Cambodia, it seems that the horrors in Cambodia were more extreme by a large factor. With both McPherson and Chomsky I am still attracted by their direction and general understanding of how things work. It reminds me a bit about the "seeing a dog" via Google's AI in Dylan Beattie's talk. The brain sees dogs. What is interesting, too, is Chomsky's professional focus is on linguistics and cognition. It is something to remember. An AI to find dogs will find dogs in any image. This doesn't mean that the dog-finding algorithm is in error. It doesn't say anything about dogs existing. It does mean that somebody with a cognitive tendency, rules, and skill to find dogs will find dogs anywhere. We all have this blind spot. It goes back to cognition, and, quite likely, is a problem with language as well, as language itself is a model. To go further, Chomsky thinks that humans are wired for language. Language itself is a model, so we have layers upon layers here. This is where science comes in, true, but science has its own issues; for instance, if I test for a wave, that is what I find, and this is an interplay between my cognition, my intelligence, what I'm looking for, and the nature of reality.
Comments are key for ratcheting forward. I am happy with feature-complete as far as MCJ.