3. Late-Modernity (6) To limit the size of my postings the total content of this section about Late-Modernity is given in 4 or 5 installments.
3.5.4. A painful transition The future is unpredictable. We know that we don't have the capability to create it.
It is probabilistic many paths are indeed present at the different junctures of societal transformation but only one of those paths is being selected as the outcome at any particular juncture. This leaves open the possibility for humanity to act at each bifurcation point and eventually to weigh on the scale of change by favoring one of the possible paths. We know that our weight on the scale of change is insignificant for the good reason that we are such minuscule particles in the cosmic dance. But our insignificance does not mean that we are powerless. Reason and rationality have nevertheless no place here. What counts is our dream about the future. Our ideals and our visions are what substantiates our human nature which eventually is given a ticket at the cosmic dance. Think about it in term of the "butterfly effect" in chaos theory. A simple flapping of the wings of a butterfly can set off a tornado on the other side of the world. So now we come to understand that the dreams and ideals that substantiate our human nature, while weighing so little, have nevertheless the power to influence the scales of change at all bifurcation points along our societal path.
The butterfly effect takes place in the real world so we have to be conscious about the state of affairs or the general context in which a bifurcation point is taking place. In other words our human nature has always to be in sync with the realities of our times. The intellectual illusions, resulting from the arrogance and pomposity of postmodern thought, have no place in the determinant realities of our times. We are concerned here about the societal evolution along Late-Modernity. What we already know for a fact is that it will conclude as the outcome of the convergence between the following determinant factors:
the rebalancing of our globalized economy-world
the deleveraging of "state, corporate-individual" balance sheets
the peak of energy and of all other resources
a human induced climate change
a human provoked mass extinction of many life forms on earth
the pollution and poisoning of air water and land
the destabilization of the biology of life by chemically tainted industrial food sources and environmental pollution
the loss of a common worldview that results in very low levels of societal cohesion
the soon to be peaking human population and its next free fall
the hyperchaos of Modernity and the emergence of the first signs of a new societal paradigm or worldview
The convergence of those determinant factors is unmistakably threatening human survival. Such a convergence is a process unfolding over time. If I had to make a reasoned guess as to the timespan this process is going to conclude, with the emergence of the historical era that I call After-Modernity, I would put the turning point around 2050. I'm not implying to say that Modernity will have passed by that time. What I mean to say is that the convergence of the determinant factors I mentioned here above will have forced the whole of humanity to internalize the immensity of what is at work and our perception will have turned sour on Modernity by then while new values and ideas about the working of reality will have pervaded the minds of the citizens around the world which, in turn, will force societies to adapt to the newly forming paradigm.
As I see it, to ensure human survival, by necessity, humanity shall gradually discourage competition while encouraging cooperation in localized settings. Being perceived as completely corrupt representative democracy will be superseded by participatory decision making in localized institutions and the citizens of localized groups will be sharing a common understanding of reality that gradually, over the decades and centuries, will unify around the same basic premises all around the world. The more Late-Modernity goes forward the more signs of After-Modernity are going to sprout in human behavior. As already stated the passage from Late-Modernity to Early-After-Modernity is a process of maturation that spreads over many decades. Only once After-Modernity, or whatever it is called by then, has reached its high point will we eventually have reached sufficient distance to pinpoint when Modernity actually receded from societal reality.
This post is kind of a conclusion on the content of my last 5 posts on Late-Modernity. Its content is about the general lines, or general trends, that I feel will shape the path towards humanity's future.
126.96.36.199. the redistribution of economic might in the “economy-world”
The relative importance of Northern countries' is fast decreasing while Southern countries' are increasing their share of the "economy-world". The world is indeed slowly shedding all vestiges of the US short moment of unipolarity and world institutions are going to be redesigned as a consequence of the multi-polarization of economic might. Since this is the natural way of societal evolution whatever attempts to resist it can only end in tears. I'm afraid this is what could possibly happen as a development of the Ukrainian conflict. That trend can't be stopped any longer because, while the manipulation of people's opinions is at historical highs, communications between individuals around the world through the World Wide Web have reduced the size of the world to a mere village. Any trial at forcing the status quo and thus limiting the conversation with propaganda will be resisted. Communication is also going to appear soon as the most precious tool at the hands of humanity in its fight for survival. Under necessity to avoid the collapse of civilization societal evolution is going to favor cooperation over competition, propaganda will falter, and continental multi-polarity is unmistakably going to ensue. How exactly and over what kind of timespan this process is going to unfold is out of the realm of any valid prognostication.
Modernity has largely been a Western affair and the big losers in the future rebalancing of the economy-world will be the citizens of Western countries. Having lived largely above the internal capabilities of their nations by appropriating, along centuries on the cheap, the resources of the countries from the South, while lately confiscating the resources to be produced by their future generations for the present satisfaction of their baby-boomer generation, the populations of those countries will be faced with fast falling life styles. The climate, energy, resources unsustainability and the numerous side-effects of industrialization will weigh ever more on its production and consumption model that are already destabilized by the rebalancing of the economy-world. Having been uprooted from their agricultural past Western populations will have to relearn very fast how to live with nature through garden and craft. For many this will be a painful process and the relearning will span over generations. We are going to assist at a radical slowing of the rhythm of human activities and rediscover the pleasure residing in the production of quality goods which will focus our observation on the mastery of technical execution.
The citizens of Southern countries will largely be spared the relearning process of living in autarky; most still did not quit this lifestyle or if they did it was only recently. Industrial productions will be radically curtailed under energy and resource rarefaction, long haul transportation will mostly cease to exist, and under the push of necessity people will be forced to recourse to locally harnessed renewable sources of energy and materials. Being forced by the economic realities to stay-put locally people will soon re-establish communal bonds that will give way to cooperation and the sharing of common values and ideas.
The preservation of the World Wide Web will most certainly be prioritized, under one form or another, and exchanges of practical and technical informations will thus most probably continue to flow under the banner of the “Open Model”. Technology is not going to disappear. By necessity it is rather going to be curtailed and adapted to the new lifestyle in autarky. Printing components locally based on open-source software should preserve the means to assemble energy generation equipment, low consumption lightning, communication, water heating, house heating, cooking equipments and so on.
188.8.131.52. a radical reshaping of the economic working of societies
The collapse of our very complex societal systems as a consequence of the great convergence will impose their reshaping and re-building. Instead of our present top-down systems we'll build newer ones from down to top. In other words necessity will impose us to start building from scratch local autonomous systems (political, economic and cultural) that will be interacting among themselves at the level of larger centralized institutions. Local systems will federate in regional structures in order to keep in existence the best and most useful technologies developed under modernity. These federations will then further federate in continental structures that themselves will federate in loose world institutions. In other words the necessity to cooperate is going to re-impose the supremacy of the societal over the individual. In this model the institution that counts will be the locality while larger federations should only be in charge of the coordination of local activities around some specific matters like WWW communications, technology, the instruments of exchange at the federal level and so on.
This is certainly promising us epic fights coming from residual vested interests in the modern status quo but the societal necessity of survival has always the last word over individual opinions. The European unification dynamic of these last 50 years is going to serve, not as a template, more as an example of what we should avoid doing in reshaping the institutions of societies from local to regional to continental. Economic necessity shall then impose to the continental poles to manage and share the burden to maintain:
the brain of humanity or the World Wide Web that is the communication and collaboration engine of the citizens of the world.
the human eyes in the sky, observation systems from space, to inform the brain of humanity of future dangers so
that decisions can be taken locally and regionally in order to protect the population.
184.108.40.206. Peak population.
While still increasing presently the world population will peak in the coming decades and assaulted by famine, resource wars, pandemics, fall in fertility, aging, etc... it will dwindle and stabilize along the coming centuries at a small percentage of what it is today (1). Past trends in industrialized societies and the prospect of industrialization reaching the 4 corners of the world within the next decades indicate to demographers that the world population is going to stabilize before the end of this century at a level of 10 to 16 billions individuals. But this does not take into account the impact of the Great Convergence which will break the trends imagined in these demographic models.
What is already a mathematical certainty is that lifestyles comparable to the present lifestyles of Westerners can't be adopted by the whole world population. The available energy, in whatever its forms, is simply not existing that is necessary to power the systems that would supply such a lifestyle to so many people and the same is true for many other resources that are scarce: agricultural and materials.
The fact is that humanity is not yet ready to recognize that bitter truth and it will fight till exhaustion to try to prove the contrary to itself. But in the end the principle of reality will impose itself and humanity will come back to its senses. Unfortunately when it will come to its senses there will be no time left to counteract and the result, that already makes no doubt today, will be the melting of its numbers as a consequence of the Great Convergence. (2)
220.127.116.11. the emergence of the building blocks of the future worldview of After-Modernity.
The emergence of a new societal paradigm, or worldview, unfolds as a slow process combining the slow dissolution of the modern worldview and the simultaneous slow emergence of an After-Modern worldview. This process that promises to follow tortuous paths with many ups and downs is going to span over decades and perhaps centuries before it stabilizes and reaches its High phase of maturation. Two things appear certain already:
After-Modernity shall have a fully fledged worldview that will displace all past worldviews in all surviving societies around the world. The reason for this is that the cost inflicted upon humanity by the non fully-fledged worldview of Modernity will appear evident to all soon enough and to avoid a repeat of the ensuing hecatomb our species will naturally, as in a natural process, come back to the mean historical trend within civilizations that saw the axioms of civilizations as the foundations of the civilizational house on which were layered the bricks of the walls and the roofs of societal worldviews that were then covered with the outer finishing materials of daily culture. Because the walls of modernity were made out of the thin air of financialization their structure was sustained solely by the finishing materials of daily culture. This worked for a short time but now that Modern culture is exhausted it is inevitable that the walls of modernity will come down and in the process will crash the populations of human societies. That lesson from Modernity humanity will not forget so soon in After-Modernity and the hubris of Modernity will be made one of the cornerstones of the knowledge transmitted from generation to generation.
The fully-fledged worldview of After-Modernity shall be shared locally around the whole world. This is perhaps the biggest departure from past practice under civilizations that After-Modernity will unleash. This departure from the practice of civilization will bring humanity back to many of the features of pre-civilization or of animism. That worldview shared by tribes along the span of tens of thousands of years was identical around the world for the good reason that daily observation of the elements over such long time spans conveyed naturally the same conclusions anywhere you were living. So in sharing the worldwide worldview of After-Modernity humanity will find itself marching on a path that had been traced a very long time ago. But this time around local life will be interconnected with the life in all the other local spots around the world. All local communities will be interconnected and collaborating. Such a communication and collaboration has been rendered possible in Late Modernity by the World Wide Web and such an unbridled communication is giving a mind of its own to humanity as a whole. Now that something societally so promising has emerged it is simply inconceivable that societies would tolerate losing it (3). As I see it the worldview of After-Modernity will borrow much of animism while spicing it with some ingredients of Modernity.
The return to an animistic like worldview will be accelerated due to what already appears as China's near future overwhelming economic dominance which points to its ever increasing cultural impact. Chinese Traditional Culture (CTC) should thus be shared by an ever increasing number of people. China's civilization is animistic and its civilizational axioms are rooted in animism. The more the world comes under the assault of the great convergence the more China's pragmatic answers will be seen as adapted to the times and so its culture shall reverberate throughout the entire world and influence the behaviors and local decisions of people around the world.
18.104.22.168. the elimination of those societies that can't adapt to the coming changes
When the oceans rise 5-10 meters during the coming decades and more over the following centuries, due to the melting of the poles, Greenland and the glaciers, the low laying lands will be under water and that means large swaths of territory where the most advanced infrastructure of modernity was invested will be lost (4). The power of nature being what it is not much can be done to save those investments and whole countries are going to be swept from the future maps!
Droughts and soil erosion are going to render other areas inhospitable for agriculture and gardening but as agriculture establishes its centrality for the survival of societies along the coming decades and centuries we can expect that those societies whose territories come under the impact of such drought and soil erosion are going to collapse and their population will be obliged to migrate to better horizons to survive. The future is thus fraught with vast movements of human migration and the exacerbation of problems in the relations between communities that such migrations entail.
22.214.171.124. An Artistic Renaissance
The sketch of our future reality is gradually becoming darker. This has nothing to do with a personal inclination for doom scenarios. The facts on the ground are indeed irrefutable and humanity will not escape the consequences of the great convergence. The transition to what comes after Modernity promises to be extremely traumatic and world-changing. This is the general context Late-Modernity is slowly evolving into and such a context is going to revolutionize people's behaviors and activities. Nothing, nor anyone, will be immune from its impact and least of all the arts. Resisting the nature of the great convergence is futile we better prepare ourselves to survive the coming maelstrom.
Already people feel overwhelmed in Late-Modernity consuming financialized pre-packaged cultural and artistic products that don't resonate with their deepest fibers, and calls for a shake up of artistic activities are reverberating from the walls of one room on the web to the next. There is like a vague malaise floating around, particularly in the fine arts. Many fundamental questions are being asked that are paradoxically reminiscent of the questions that bogged down the Avant-Garde around 1900:
What is art?
What is the function of art in society?
What kind of narrative works of art should strive to develop and in what form?
With the benefit of hindsight it is now evident that the Avant-Garde did not answer those questions in any satisfying way. Their premise was certainly correct even if it was not formulated in such an analytical way that could have answered their questions. They basically declared that the old ways had to be discarded. They despised past visions of reality and rejected realism as the first degree image that projects on the retina. They wanted to discover a deeper reality than what the eyes can see. But in the end they did not really understand what it was that they rejected nor what it was they were searching for.
I have the firm conviction that the pair of 'concept trilogies': "axioms of civilization - worldviews - culture" and "mind - consciousness - wisdom" are at the root of societal being and contain most of the answers to the questions I just enumerated. But a theory about those concepts and how they relate to the arts was not available to the avant-garde and, I have to add, is still not available today. This is why I spend so much time thinking and writing with the hope to clarify those questions in my own mind. I'm not really writing for others. Writing, for me, is the best tool I know of to put order in the material my mind meanders through during meditation painting. Since this exercise results in a text, I thought, why not sharing it for the benefit of others interested in the same matters. After terminating the historical approach of this present series of posts I plan a second series that will focus on theory and more particularly on the pair of 'concept trilogies' I just mentioned.
Among the Avant-Garde Marcel Duchamp was certainly one of those who attained the deepest understanding of what art is all about; at least in his old days. “In fact until the last hundred years all painting had been literary or religious. It had been at the service of the mind. This characteristic was lost little by little during the last century. ... Dada was very serviceable as a purgative but there was no thought of anything beyond the physical side of painting. No notion of freedom was taught. No philosophical outlook was introduced. I thought of art on a broader scale. There were discussions at the time about the fourth dimension and of non-Euclidean geometry. But most views of it were amateurish. This is the direction in which art should turn: to an intellectual expression, rather than to an animal expression. I'm sick of the expression 'bête comme un peintre' or 'stupid as a painter'.” (5)
Duchamp was nevertheless not aware of what it was that the literary aspect of painting was after. “This is the direction in which art should turn: to an intellectual expression, rather than to an animal expression.” Yes but an intellectual expression of what exactly?
This is the question I tried to answer in “Artsense” and it is the same question that I try to put in a larger societal perspective in “From Modernity to After- Modernity”. Going forward it is essential, in my view, that artists understand what art is all about in order to be able to project meaning in the content of their works. The failure to understand, what is art and its function in societies, is the reason why the Avant-Garde erred and finally landed in the wasteland that artists got stuck in during the second part of the 20th century promoting the idea that whatever the artist says is art is really art.
As I have laid out in earlier pages once we make clear what art is all about and what function it serves in societies the scope of the artistic search radically narrows and art can then refocus on matters essential to the mind as it had been doing since the dawn of times. Such an understanding should encourage artists to search, among all the signs of a crumbling modernity, for those first signs of the worldview of After-Modernity that are sprouting here and there in front of our eyes but mostly without us being able to see them. It is indeed as if this whole transition process is happening outside of our consciousness. But the fact remains that the input of such an essential meaning for the mind in the content of artworks has the potential to reinvigorate the presence of art in our societies and thus shaping a new area of artistic and societal sense that could attract observers' eyeballs. This is why I feel that the consciousness about the unfolding of this transition process leading from Modernity to After-Modernity is so urgently needed.
I'm well aware that this is still not a fully satisfactory answer to the quest of the Avant-Garde for “a deeper reality than what the eye can see”. The worldview of After-Modernity and the first signs of it that are emerging in front of our eyes nowadays are merely abstractions of something that we know is tangible for sure but that is still momentarily escaping our comprehension.
Out of the ideological trappings of religious and early modern works the Avant-Garde also rejected traditional realism that was chasing the reproduction of images that the eyes can see. A kind of first degree visual representation that originates in the fact that our human primary sensor is vision. Along the path of human evolution vision became our primary sensor in order to ensure our survival. The mechanism works something like this: the eyes observe what is in our nearby environment and transmit this info to the brain for synthesis and eventual orders to act when an action is required to ensure our protection from some outside danger. Vision thus evolved as a tool for individual protection that is indispensable for societal reproduction.
Traditional realism is a first degree visual representation in that it takes images that the eyes see and reproduces these images on a support for others to see. Immediately a question jumps at us "what's the sense of reproducing what everyone can see?". There is a good reason for that. Because our brains accustomed to register images they have developed, over the long haul, an automatism of "inner understanding" about what those images entail for us. By extension that automatism was put to use by the brain in order to extract meaning from all drafted images reaching the eyes of an observer. The substance of the "inner understanding" of the brain about what those images entail for us transferred to the mind of the individual as his perception. That means that when an individual saw a given image in nature it was automatically associated with his perception of it which procured him with a pragmatic meaning about that image. In this early perception by the mind pragmatic meaning related to the conservation of the individual's life. The development of societal life expanded the realm of pragmatic meaning to ever more far reaching matters which participated in the push for further biological evolution of the human brain.
Societies jumped at that mechanism, supplying pragmatic meaning to the individual, as an opportunity to strengthen societal cohesion and thus their own reproducibility. Shared images convey their meaning to the brains of all and if all the members of a society watch the same kinds of images then all will be sharing a same meaning about the story of "us". In other words art in its first degree representation of what the eye can see has been put at the service of society in order to glue the minds behind a common story about reality. Such images that the eye sees are indeed always reproduced within a given narrative. It is the narrative that gives their particular historical meaning to those first degree images. During religious times the narrative was the religious creed. During Early Modernity it was the new paradigm of Modernity consecrating individualism, private property and so on. Now we should not conclude from this that the realism of first degree images is necessarily the exclusive form of artworks. Abstractions that are images about deeper dimensions of reality were widely used under animism and there is a good reason for that. Abstractions allow to convey meaning about matters more complex than what the eye is given to see as first degree images.
I concede that it is extremely difficult, for art lovers breathing the air of extreme individualism of late-Modernity, to accept this idea that art, in its first degree representation of what the eyes can see, was at the service of society in order to glue the minds behind a common story about reality.
Art as an instrument of the propaganda of power; now that surely can't be!
But the fact is that art has been no more than this for thousands of years during the Christian religious phase of Western societal development and then during its early phase of modernity (the 3 obliged subjects of landscapes, portraits and stills relating to the mansions of the new rich merchants to substantiate the validity of their new values of individualism and private property...). But before empires and religions the transmission of meaning through images was not an exercise in propaganda. It was the answer to the natural demand for sense of the community. Propaganda relates to power which wants to impose a given meaning on all. Animism was not about propaganda it was about a natural demand for answers by the community.
What the Avant-Garde rejected, at the turn of the 20th century, was first degree images that served ideologies that they abhorred: Christianity and the reason of capital in its early modern understanding (before its philosophic operationalization with rationalism that the Avant-Garde idolized). Unfortunately while the Avant-Garde was attracted by animistic art (arts premiers) it did not understand the qualitative difference between animistic art and art under power societies and as a result it never succeeded to find:
a deeper meaning of reality than what was offered by the Christian or early modern worldviews
a valid imaging that went further or deeper than the first degree of what the eyes can see. The members of the Avant-Garde vaguely sensed that “primitive imaging”, as practiced before the religious area during animism, was onto another plane than the despised first dimension of what the eye can see but they never really understood how that was. To make sense of their intuition we'll have to wait the advent of visualization.
The images resulting from "Visualization" techniques, generally derived from science, are not first degree representations of what the eye can see. They are representations at the Nth degree in that:
it is what the brain thinks about reality that is now being imaged for the eyes to see. Such visualizations are derived from human extensions such as microscope-cameras, telescopes and or software programs.
the resulting image after being seen by the eyes is reprojected to the brain for synthesis and that synthesis is then further integrated into the brain's network of synaptic connections to finally reach the mind.
such a synthesis and its further integration, in the brain's network of synaptic connections and ultimately in the mind, give way to a conscious perception of the phenomenon that was first observed in 1. Scientists recourse to such images to benefit from the "inner understanding automatism" developed by the brain over the long history in order to get a better grasp of the meaning of the abstractions it generates. Scientific knowledge is indeed highly abstract and visualization helps getting at the deep meaning of the abstractions. That's how visualization established itself as one specific field of knowledge.
While visualization was used since times immemorial it only developed into a specialized branch of knowledge in the 1990th and it is thus unknown how artists are going to incorporate the superior level of consciousness attained by scientists in step 3 of the visualization process in their own works during After-Modernity. A detour to the “First Arts” could perhaps foreshadow some of the characteristics of After-Modern art.
The same 1,2,3 stepping kind of mechanism was at work under the forging of the animistic conscious perception:
the brain of the shaman was inducing images out of his observations of reality largely under the spell of magic plants and he reproduced his memory of such images for all tribesmen to share.
the resulting images, at the hands of the shaman, after being seen by the eyes of his fellow tribesmen were being transferred to their brains. The multiplication of those images and their association with a given meaning strengthened that meaning in the brains of all. The same images were then further reproduced by the tribesmen as decorations on their tools and all their other productions. Seeing his own images and seeing how they were adopted by his tribesmen was pushing for further synthesis in the shaman's brain and such a synthesis was then integrated in his brain's network of synaptic connections to reach his mind as more refined conscious or subconscious perceptions.
such a synthesis and its further integration in the shaman's mind gave him ultimately access to a superior level of conscious understanding about the phenomenon that he first observed in 1. Seeing that same phenomenon again under the spell of magic plants its image was reprojected to the brain for further synthesis with the initial synthesis in 2. Synthesis after synthesis the shaman gained higher levels of consciousness that were passed for sharing to his fellow tribesmen.
The repetition of this 1,2,3 stepping kind of mechanism, in short, explains how the legendary wisdom of “primitive man” formed. Superior levels of consciousness have been passed over around the world by the shaman to their tribesmen. But what is stunning is the level of similarity in the shamanic stories everywhere around the world and not only in the stories but also in the imagings and abstract symbols crafted all around the world during animism. They did not have the web to exchange ideas and coordinate the unification of the animistic worldview around the world. So how did this unification come about?
To start to understand the similarities in ideas, values and imagings from tribe to tribe the whole world over we have to trace the originating moment of the build-up of their consciousness. In one word observation. The observation of a common given:
the rhythms and patterns of the earth (nature in their natural environment)
the rhythms and patterns of the cycles of time (moon, sun: day-night and seasonal, moon, etc.)
the rhythms and patterns of the sky (astrology)
That the observations of shaman from North to South and East to West were largely similar is nothing strange. They were observing the same phenomena, over tens of thousands of years without wearing ideologically tainted glasses and so their conclusions were logically similar. This also explains how the animistic worldview was really a global worldview.
Could artists eventually switch to one form or another of such a multi-level imaging and the superior level of consciousness that comes with it?
That's the real question and the answer to that question, after we find it, should finally lay to rest the quest initiated by the Avant-Garde at the turn of the twentieth century. It seems to me that the search for such an answer is what is going to power the history of art all along of Late-Modernity and Early-After-Modernity. But we have to remain humble. Artists , as the Chinese saying goes, are only starting now to try "feeling with their toes the stones in the river" hoping to find a path to the bank of higher consciousness. We are indeed in a period of historical transition from Late-Modernity to Early-After-Modernity. In such a transition there is no certainty that we'll find ourselves on the historical path in the forming or stuck in an illusion and this can be quite unsettling I admit. ___________
1. "Scorched Earth, 2200AD. Climate change has done its worst, and now just 500 million humans remain on lifeboats in the north. How do they survive?" by Linda Marsa in Aeon. "Climate models predict temperatures could rise by four degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) or more by the end of this century, a level that Kevin Anderson of the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research described as ‘incompatible with any reasonable characterization of an organized, equitable and civilized global community’."
2. The scientific community is divided between those who think that humanity is doomed and others who think the overpopulation is a dire reality that still can be acted upon. Among those who forecast human extinction see: 2.1. Articles: - "Frank Fenner sees no hope for humans" by Cheryl Jones in 'The Australian' - "Is Humanity Destined to Self-Destruct?" Part 5 by Lynton Keith Caldwell. Indiana University - "Human population overshoot–what went wrong?" by Gail Tverberg in 'Our Finite World ' - "Nature bats last" blog of Dr. Guy R. McPherson. Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona, Biological Sciences East, Tucson, Arizona. Dr, McPherson forecasts rapid collapse within the next 2 decades... 2.2. Books: - W.R. Catton Jr., "Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change" Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980. - James E. Lovelock, "Gaia: A New Look at Life On Earth" Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979. - Roderick Seidenberg, "Posthistoric Man: An Inquiry" by . Chapel Hill" University of North Carolina Press - Guy McPherson and Carolyn Baker, "Extinctions Dialogs: How to live with death in mind". Tayen Lane Publishing
3. People are not waiting for disaster to strike. Hackers are already at work preparing a 'fallback' infrastructure in case of natural or economic collapse. - "Hackerspace Global Grid". Vision: The hacker community needs a fallback infrastructure in case of natural and economic disaster to stay connected. - "Life in Cultural Smog" - On the Value of Junk, Leaks, Spills, and Noise. by Josephine Bosma