Nirvana. An Awakening. Philosophy on the Edge. Last October, in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives — a tiny nation made up of more than one thousand low-lying islets in the Indian Ocean — called an urgent and highly unusual meeting of his cabinet.
Government officials donned scuba gear and headed into the sea, convening on the ocean floor five meters below the surface where they signed a document calling for global cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. The half-hour meeting, observed by snorkeling journalists and captured on video by waterproof camera was, to use a phrase coined by political theorist Stephen Duncombe, an “ethical spectacle”: a theatrical attempt to call attention to a very real threat and moral predicament. The Maldives aren’t submerged yet, but they will be soon enough if the world doesn’t take action to prevent such a fate. mercy or murder thinking like a convict RAND researchers developed the prisoner’s dilemma during the Cold War. Ecology of the Mind. For thousands of generations we humans grew up in nature.
Our teachers were flora and fauna and our textbooks thunderstorms and stars in the night sky. Our minds were like the forests, oases and deltas around which our cultures germinated: chaotic, wild, fecund. But in the last couple generations, we have largely abandoned the natural world, immersing ourselves in virtual realms. Today the synthetic environment rivals nature as a driving force in our lives, and the mental environment has become the terrain where our fate as humans will be decided. By emigrating from nature we’ve done something more than just move domiciles – we have fundamentally altered the context in which we live our lives. We Are an Army of Zombies. I arrive home from work, drained and empty.
Too tired for human interaction, I press the buttons on the remote and stare blankly into the big TV box. It’s not long before the commercials and endless parade of product placements overwhelm my defenses and penetrate my mind. Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters. Dead or alive. , 15 Apr 2011 Courtesy of Maleonn / Galerie Paris-Beijing T he US Environmental Protection Agency has calculated the value of a human life at $9.1 million, up from $6.8 million during the Bush era. The Food and Drug Administration's current estimate is $7.9 million, up from $2.9 million since 2008.
Meanwhile, the transportation Department is sticking with its $6 million figure. Cocaine Culture. Who the F**k Do You Think You Are. You blame China.
You blame India. You blame America. You blame the CEOs, the oil companies, the vague and incoherent 'system,' the international regulatory regimes, the hypocrisy of the left, the righteous of the right, the educators, the economy, your parents, your childhood, your job, your bank account, your mental health, your government, everyone and everything but yourself.
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In all revolutions, the agents of change – usually a small core of fired-up individuals – reach a personal point of reckoning where to do nothing becomes harder than to step forward. People Are Waking Up. People are waking up.
They’re saying, Not another day! This is where I mark the line. They’re hungry to get involved and they’re getting involved. The Eternal Idea of Revolutionary Justice. Resurgence is in the wind.
The cynicism that has dogged every gesture of our resistance is giving way as the disappointment of 20th century communism is eclipsed by the rebellious will to try again. The Activist's Dilemma. It’s late, maybe 2, or 3 a.m.
I’m scanning my email inbox for anything important I might have missed. I notice a message that lists the names of two famous activists – Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein – in its subject header. It’s a call to action, soliciting support for Tim DeChristopher, a climate change activist who faces ten years in jail after disrupting an auction of oil and gas leases in Utah. The Second Great Global Uprising. G20 Jam. Buy Nothing Day + Buy Nothing Christmas. “Today, humanity faces a stark choice: save the planet and ditch capitalism, or save capitalism and ditch the planet.” – Fawzi Ibrahim Until we challenge the entrenched values of capitalism – that the economy must always keep growing, that consumer wants must always be satisfied, that immediate gratification is imperative – we’re not going able to fix the gigantic psycho-financial-eco crisis of our times.
The journey toward a sane sustainable future begins with a single step. It could all start with a personal challenge, such as this: make a vow to yourself to participate in Buy Nothing Day this year. This November 29th, go cold turkey on consumption for 24 hours … see what happens … you just might have an unexpected, emancipatory epiphany! Buy Nothing Day is legendary for instigating this type of personal transformation … as you suddenly remember what real living is all about … you sense an upsurge of radical empowerment and feel a strange magic creeping back into your life. Consumable Youth Rebellion.