Monday, April 3, 2017


Notes here


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. “When it comes to global warming, find a good reason for tacking it may be one of the greatest factors inhibiting actually doing anything about it…super wicked problem:..time is running out, no central authority, where those seeking the solution to it are also creating it, and where policies discount the future irrationally” (135).

    Relates to the stories about saving children - thinking about it too much - then it’s too late.

    How do you solve a problem without thinking about it?
    “Hyperobjects are messages in bottles form the future: they do not quite exist in a present, since they scoop the standard reference points from the idea of present time” (138).

    Main point repeated throughout the chapter.

    “Hyperobjects force us into an intimacy with our own death (because they are toxic), with others (because everyone is affected by them), and with the future (because they are massively distributed in time)” (139).

    “On what scale am I engaging the zone? Why do I put out the cigarette? Is it because I am concerned about the environment in general? Or this tree in particular? This forest? Is it because I understand global warming, and I see the cigarette as an indexical a sign of human ignorance, a small piece of a gigantic puzzle?” (144).
    “The hyperobject must also emit zones that gather us in the like the tractor beam that locks onto the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars. I shall use the term zone rather than level from now on, since to my ear zone eliminates a sense of flatness and structure. In this notion of the mergence of time and space from an object we can begin to understand term zone. Zone can mean belt, something that winds around something else. We talk of temperate zones and war zones. A zone is a place where events are happening: the zone winds around, it radiates heat, bullets fly, armies are defeated..A zone is not entirely a matter of ‘free will.’ Objects are far more threateningly autonomous, and sensually autonomous, than the Kantian version of autonomy” (141-2).

    Moral autonomy, usually traced back to Kant, is the capacity to deliberate and to give oneself the moral law, rather than merely heeding the injunctions of others. -

    “Kantian beauty is a nonconceptual object-like entity that seems to float ‘between’ me and the object. Kant reads it as a reflection of my a priori synthetic judgement. But in order for this aesthetic experience to arise, there must be a zone” (145).
    “Zones are real but they are not objectively ‘there’, since that would mean that they were metaphysically present, and the hyperobject poses a serious and physical challenge to the metaphysics of present. There are problems with thinking this non objectification. How is it possible to imagine entities that flicker and shimmer rather than remain obdurately ‘there’?” (145).
    “The feeling of being inside a hyperobject contains a necessary element of unreality - yet this is a symptom of its reality!” (146).
    “The play of illusion and concealment is a symptom of reality” (153).
    “Beautiful soul syndrome...the beautiful soul sees reality ‘over yonder,’ separated from her by a thin pane of aestheticizing glass...The gaze that sees evil ‘over yonder’ is evil. So to get over beautiful soul syndrome is to realize that you are a hypocrite” (154).

  3. What I gather from this chapter is just further addressing the hyperobject of global warming. I can understand the concern. This quote really struck me - the quote from Parfit on page 138...

    "Is the truth [of no-self] depressing? Some may find it so. But I find it liberating, and consoling. When I believed that my existence was [a "deep" further fact, distinct from physical and psychological continuity, and a fact that must be all-or-nothing"], I seemed imprisoned in myself. My life seemed like a glass tunnel, through which I was moving faster every year, and at the end of which there was darkness. When I changed my view, the walls of my glass tunnel disappeared. I now live in the open air. There is still a difference between my life and the lives of other people. But that difference is less. Other people are closer. I am less concerned about the rest of my own life, and more concerned about the lives of others."

    This view is very parallel to a Biblical worldview in my opinion... In Philippians 2:3-4, the Apostle Paul writes, "Do nothing or of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."

    In the end most of what I gather is from this chapter is very interesting to me because it appears to be very parallel to a Biblical worldview in many ways. I think what I get from this chapter is that we are to be understanding the world outside of ourselves and just try to be considerate of it. Sounds good to me. I think God commanded us in the beginning to be good stewards of the land and to rule over it. But rule over it meant to be mindful of it and considerate. Yes... use the land and the Earth to sustain us, but also take care of it. I would say that it is my intention to live in this manner... Which seems very much in line with what Morton is saying. However, the problem that comes in is that... additionally since the beginning of time we have noticed traumatic shifts in the way we as humans live. We have gone from living in tents and caves to houses and mansions. This began in like early civilization of humanity.

    So... what are we to do? Why am I writing this on my computer right now? It is using energy that is coming from some resource that we have taken from the environment. This is inevitable. Lest we all go back to living in tents, the problem of "global warming" as a hyperobject and as Morton defines it will not go away. Basically, I think it just goes to show that the world as are we in a state of entropy. Does that mean I quit and do not care. NO.

    I think if we were each to have the perspective that Pafti and Paul had... think of others above ourselves, we would all recycle more and be more considerate of one another. Which then brings up another problem.

    Can humans be unselfish? I think we would all want to say sure... I am a good person and I love everyone, but as we begin to look deep within ourselves, I see selfishness. I see it in myself no doubt. What am I to do about this. What am I to do when I want to do good and know that I ought to do good, but man, I sure do want a milkshake right now and it is being served in a Styrofoam cup. YIKES.

    I think that we all face many hypocrisies in this world. SO WHAT ARE WE TO DO?

    I think Blaise Pascal sums it up perfectly in this quote from his Pensees...
    "Is it not clear as day that man's condition is dual? [...] But unhappy as we are (and should be less so if there were no element of greatness in our condition) we have an idea of happiness but we cannot attain it. We perceive an image of the truth and possess nothing but falsehood, being unequally incapable of absolute ignorance and certain knowledge; so obvious is it that we once enjoyed a degree of perfection from which we have unhappily fallen” (Pascal 35).