Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hyperobjects in the New York Times

I thought the author had read it, because of how he sounded on the radio. He said we've been framing global warming as rising sea levels and of course, it's everywhere because we are inside of it. Then my friend Jeremy Braddock of Cornell told me about this editorial:

We build our view of the universe outward from our own experience, a reflexive tendency that surely shapes our ability to comprehend genuinely existential threats to the species. We have a tendency to wait for others to act, rather than acting ourselves; a preference for the present situation; a disinclination to change things; and an excess of confidence that we can change things easily, should we need to, no matter the scale. We can’t see anything but through cataracts of self-deception.

The sum total of these biases is what makes climate change something the ecological theorist Timothy Morton calls a “hyperobject” — a conceptual fact so large and complex that it can never be properly comprehended.

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