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tsuomela : pessimism   60

A worrying truth | TLS
"Francis O’Gorman WORRYING A literary and cultural history 192pp. Bloomsbury Academic. £14 (US $20). 978 1 4411 5129 2 Stuart Sim A PHILOSOPHY OF PESSIMISM 208pp. Reaktion. Paperback, £14.95 (US $24.95). 978 1 78023 505 9"
books  review  pessimism  worry  psychology  literature 
december 2015 by tsuomela
The Dark Mountain Project
"The Dark Mountain Project is a network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself. We see that the world is entering an age of ecological collapse, material contraction and social and political unravelling, and we want our cultural responses to reflect this reality rather than denying it. The Project grew out of a feeling that contemporary literature and art were failing to respond honestly or adequately to the scale of our entwined ecological, economic and social crises. We believe that writing and art have a crucial role to play in coming to terms with this reality, and in questioning the foundations of the world in which we find ourselves."
writing  art  humanities  future  pessimism  civilization  crisis 
july 2014 by tsuomela
Strange Horizons Columns: Me and Science Fiction: Hope for the Future, by Eleanor Arnason
"Brian Aldiss has said that the dominant tone of science is bracing despair. Much of it is cautionary: “If this goes on,” rather than “What if.” There are more good stories about what might go wrong than good stories about what might go right. But right now there's a need for stories that imagine a decent future—not because it is escapist, but because we need to be jolted out of There Is No Alternative. We need to think of ways to fix this mess; and we need to think about politics and economics."
sf  fiction  alternative  politics  ethics  optimism  pessimism  despair  future  literature  imagination  there-is-no-alternative 
march 2013 by tsuomela
Technopolis: Why so few utopias in science fiction cinema?
"By: Langdon Winner (This is a talk I gave at a panel on science fiction at the conference of the Society for Social Studies of Science, Copenhagen, October 19, 2012.)"
sf  fiction  film  cinema  movies  optimism  utopia  dystopia  pessimism  imagination  future 
january 2013 by tsuomela
Strange Horizons Columns: Scores, by John Clute
"We know this is a couple of gerunds short of a full verdict. We know that the author died in the heaven he could not quite bring his novel to inhabit. We know lots and lots. And we learn here, in the charnel-house lunges of the writing of this 85-year-old novel, something we may have already known, but which it is good to know again: that the engine of the twentieth century was not about to obey the bit; that we were never going to ride those years to victory; that the seismic gerundival of the world shook off all the Worlds of Tomorrow like foam off a heaving stallion. That we never had a ticket to ride."
books  review  sf  fiction  literature  future  vision  optimism  pessimism 
october 2012 by tsuomela
James Howard Kunstler on Why Technology Won't Save Us | Jeff Goodell | Politics News | Rolling Stone
"In his latest book, Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation, Kunstler zeroes in on the central narrative of our time: that we are a highly evolved and technologically sophisticated civilization that will use our ingenuity and engineering expertise to come up with a solution to all the problems we face, from the end of cheap oil to the arrival of extreme climate change.  In other words, we're not going to collapse into the dust bin of history like the Mayans or the Easter Islanders, because we have iPads and antibiotics."
future  technology  optimism  pessimism  technology-cycles  environment  failure 
august 2012 by tsuomela
What is the Future of Network Culture? | varnelis.net
"Its only with the collapse of the housing bubble, the onset of the prolonged recession and the proliferation of that last promised technology, the tablet, that network culture has entered more fully into a condition of not only a suspended past but also a suspneded future. The housing bubble itself was a crisis of the future. As history had ended, so now the future ended. Ezra Pound's old cry "Make it new!" could now only be uttered by tired characters in a thought bubble in a New Yorker cartoon. And just as the days after 9/11 gave us a war without end, we are now given a recession without end. The new stationary economy seems punctuated by mini-booms that will buoy markets and epochal crises (like the impending collapse of the Eurozone, the second leg of the Great Recession, and of course everyone's great terror, the collapse of the massive Chinese property bubble). But the Great Recession is itself no longer even something that finance fears. The canny will make billions as before. Everyone else will be poorer, their futures more exhausted, less full of promise than ever. "
economics  future  poverty  wealth  network  culture  time  temporal  pessimism 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Underpaid Genius · Three Scenarios: Umair's Way, Stowe's Way, and The Fall Of The West
"I hate to say it, but I am afraid I put the greatest stake in the last scenario, the Fall Of The West. The greed and stupidity of our ruling class — theoretically run by elected officials with our consent, but in fact run by powerful interest blocs with little or no regard for our needs — is the abiding fact of the current economic crisis, which has been going on for decades. We cannot expect them to take actions that are harmful to their own interests, even if it means running the whole world off the cliff."
future  economics  system  failure  pessimism  collapse 
august 2011 by tsuomela
The Second Denial « how to save the world
"Only when a significant proportion of our species moves past the Second Denial can we start working on mitigating and resilience actions that will actually help those facing the crises of civilization’s collapse. Only when we give up our “we can control this” mentality, and our magical thinking dreams and schemes — belief in and wasted effort on global consciousness raising, spontaneous voluntary massive change, technological cures, gentle transition programs, wishful incremental-change-is-enough (if we all do it) thinking, individual preparedness plans, social/economic reinvention and “innovating our way forward” projects — will we be able to face the stark reality of what our children and grandchildren are going to face because of our stupidity, and get to work on actions to mitigate its worst effects and develop the capacities we and they will need to cope with cascading crises as they unfold."
environment  catastrophe  denial  tragedy  pessimism  global-warming 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Taking Barack To The Movies: Why we are all Lord Voldemorts now
By a process of assimilation that someone, some day, should write a book about, these attitudes have now been wholly subsumed within the pop culture they once sought to oppose. These days it is mass culture that harbors the anti-mass aesthetic. Avante-garde values have become the buzz-words of advertisers, corporate management gurus and high tech entrepreneurs. As Jim Jarmusch has recently said, “I reach for my revolver when I hear the word quirky. Or edgy. These words are now becoming labels that are slapped on products to sell them.” Superheroes boast dark sides that would put a Conrad antihero to shame. A trip to the latest David Fincher film involves more radical alienation than a season of Brecht. Darren Aronofsky has more contempt for the minnows of the mainstream (“to find Paris Hilton's partying interesting, is beyond nauseating”) than Pound's Cantos.
art  darkness  pessimism 
december 2010 by tsuomela
normblog: Gray future
I mean how, then, does one get out of bed in the morning? Not John Gray himself, since, as promised, I am not going after him personally and, for all I know, he may have the most cheerful of temperaments and fill his day with individually rewarding projects. But taking the view he favours as representative of a category of terminal pessimism about the possibilities of making life better for the species to which one belongs, how keep a smile on one's face and in one's voice?
optimism  pessimism  future  hope  despair 
july 2010 by tsuomela
The Archdruid Report: Daydreams of Destruction
Thus I think it’s crucial to come back to the hard fact that we are not heading toward a happier future in any sense that matters. We are moving into a troubled, difficult, dangerous age in which most of us stand to lose a great many of the things that matter to us. Those troubles may encourage some of us to pursue a relationship with the sources of meaning in our lives, granted, but they are at least as likely to keep others too busy scrambling for survival or grieving over their losses to find time for that challenging process. When we project our fantasies of a better life onto the inkblot patterns of catastrophe, then, we’re kidding ourselves, and the sooner we grasp that – the sooner we come to terms with the bleak predicament facing us, and turn our attention to figuring out what might still be saved and then trying to save it – the more likely we are to make a positive difference in a bitter time.
environment  future  imagination  images  optimism  pessimism  politics  lifestyle  climate  global-warming  peak-oil  spirituality 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » Dreaming a Life
In order for a majority of the world’s rich people (and here I mean rich by world standards) to choose less, to actually recognize that giving their children better means choosing a life of less, there has to be a vision of what the life constitutes - and it has to be immediately accessible. It cannot require vast creative energies, because honestly, most people don’t have them. It cannot require that everyone go against the grain, because, quite honestly, most of us go with the grain. It cannot require that we build an imagine entirely internally - you have to be able to go look at it.
environment  future  imagination  images  optimism  pessimism  politics  lifestyle  climate  global-warming  peak-oil 
september 2009 by tsuomela
How Long Does Experience Keep a Dear School, Anyway? § Unqualified Offerings
I’ve become a pessimist. I think our future is Argentinian: a nation’s elites can have very nice lives for themselves if the commonality is financially secure and healthy, but history shows that a nation’s elites can have very nice lives for themselves even if most people live crabbed, fretful existences. You just need more security guards or, if necessary, paramilitaries.
gloom-and-doom  pessimism  about(BarackObama)  america  future  politics  elites  regulatory-capture  rent  class 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Paul Hawken's 2009 Commencement Address | Commencement | University of Portland
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.
future  graduation-speech  optimism  pessimism 
july 2009 by tsuomela
THE PEAK OF WORLD OIL PRODUCTION and the Road to Olduvai Gorge
World energy production per capita from 1945 to 1973 grew at a breakneck speed of 3.45 %/year. Next from 1973 to the all-time peak in 1979, it slowed to a sluggish 0.64 %/year. Then suddenly —and for the first time in history — energy production per capita took a long-term decline of 0.33 %/year from 1979 to 1999. The Olduvai theory explains the 1979 peak and the subsequent decline. More to the point, it says that energy production per capita will fall to its 1930 value by 2030, thus giving Industrial Civilization a lifetime of less than or equal to 100 years.
peak-oil  energy  die-off  pessimism  environment 
july 2009 by tsuomela
How to Save the World - A Paean to Activists
But if you believe that the sum of a million local efforts is somehow more than the sum of a million local efforts, I must beg to differ. For every local success there are many local failures, dozens of errors of stupidity and unimaginativeness and greed and ignorance and disinformation, that will need us to act to educate and persuade and mobilize and connect and reframe and intervene and subvert, next week and next year, to undo the damage that grows everywhere and every day. The battle of the local activist is always a heroic but rear-guard action, a minimizing of cumulative losses.
activism  politics  future  optimism  pessimism  local 
december 2008 by tsuomela

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