Metastatic Modernity Launch

I am excited to announce a new effort that will attempt to provide a crucial set of perspectives on modernity. It is to be a series of video shorts (5–10 minutes is my target) called Metastatic Modernity.

The name conjures a grave cancer diagnosis—terminal, in fact. This intentional association captures my sense that modernity is fated to self-terminate, like any cancer, on account of its complete reliability on non-renewable materials, accumulating ecological damage, and failure to exist as a part of an ecological whole in reciprocity with nature.  It has no long-term place on this planet.

But, because modernity is just one of many possible ways for humans to arrange their lives, a failure of modernity does not translate to a failure of humanity. The introductory video is here:

The series description reads as follows:

This series of 17 short videos aims to put modernity (another word for civilization) in perspective. In terms of cosmology, evolution, biology, ecology, and time, modernity is highly unusual and inherently self-terminating (i.e., fated to collapse). Eventually, a cancer metaphor is used to describe the tumor we witness growing out of control, spreading to all parts of the globe (metastasizing) and initiating a sixth mass extinction. Humans are not the cancer, but the infected organ within the community of life where the cancer took root.

As indicated, the present outline has 17 episodes, subject to modest expansion. I’m coming up on a solid year of weekly Do the Math posts, so I’ll probably take my foot off the pedal on that front while I concentrate on the video series. I will, however, plan to post each new release on Do the Math, along with a complementary written version of the content, sometimes with additional material (not a transcript, but a parallel and better-crafted companion). I will strive to maintain a cadence of at least one video release per week.

For now, I’ll share a bit more about the motivation and goals for this effort, followed by a written expression of what the first video covers.

Continue reading

Views: 1735