There were a staggering variety of cultures in prehispanic America and we don’t really know enough about most of them to, say, tell them apart. Going to many Museums in 2009, one of the things was that every single time i came across a sculpture that blew my mind it was Condorhuasi. Of course every culture has it’s value and all, but one of those sculptures made today would still be awesome. Keep that in mind.
Now i don’t believe in Eco-matters. Sustainability, climate change, i got so distanced to the whole shebang i don’t even know the current “in” name for it. A friend sent me a link to his blog about the stuff, but i couldn’t bring myself to care, no matter how i tried.
The reason being the following: It is a solved problem. Done deal.
Of course the weather is changing, of course biodiversity is dwindling, but:
- no amount of “awareness” changes the rules of the game
- the awareness thing can’t help but be moralizing, to render ecology into morality
- so-called human ravaging will necessarily stop as fossil fuels run out
And, you know, fossil fuels are running out. Fast. Makes-difference-to-my-life fast, and if you adopt a civilization-perspective, absurdly fast. Say 100 years.
Which basically means that everything that we hold important and meaningful, everything we believe our civilization to be better than anything else before, that will be impossible. Going to the Moon? Impossible without oil. Navigating the seven seas? Impossible. Being “masters over nature”? Don’t make me laugh.
Of course, none of this means the end of humanity itself. And if it does, there will always be cockroaches. But in all certainty, human apes are the species that has evolved not only to maximize a given environment, but to be elastic to environmental change, so basically it means that an ecosystem going havoc is basically good for us, survival-wise. Sure we might end up not having warm water to take a bath, but survive? Yeah, we will survive.
All of which means: Yes, eco-issues are real, but there isn’t anything you can do about them.
There is no point in even discussing it, because the first thing is to avoid moralizing the issue, and post-morality seems “boring philosophy” to design-oriented folks who care about ecology.
To give a dramatic example of how all of that bothers me: Almost all of the peace-and-love ideology of 60’s hippie culture has by now permeated into the mainstream, to a point that we are all basically hippies in the sense that what would be a sensible acceptable set of beliefs to hold dear and present to others is very similar to hippie beliefs. Except we all behave as if we were owners of our partner’s genitals. We are all jealous. And jealousy is still seen as proof of love. Despite we being green and clean and vegan.
So comes Thackara and tells us that “we will not succeed without making systems-thinking as natural as breathing to a large part of the world”. That is so beautiful. But: Really? Not only can one believe such to be possible, but also, can one believe that anything that happens exclusively inside brains to be that impactful in the general state of the world?
I would love to have everyone around learning cybernetics. That does not change the fact that i used school to free myself while 97.37% of the people who went to the same schools as me did not. Which means, if everyone learned “systems thinking” they would not use it to free themselves. And consequently not change how our society goes about.
So you see, our world does not make any sense. And it is about to change and become different into another state that makes no sense. And that how things go, and have gone, for longer than you think. Nothing new under the sun style.
And then there is the Condorhuasi.
And all of the other Ceramics and it is better that we have them all than it would be to just have the good ones, and of course the good ones are probably not even possible without the not-so-good. Etc. But.
But when i saw the Condorhuasi Ceramics it was meaningful, it was stimulating, it was powerful.
Even if now we know next to nothing about the living-breathing people that built those statues, something about them was enough to produce in me that sense of meaning, of this unspeakable transcendence-pertinence thing whatever it is, of that which makes it important even if we all die and go to hell and stuff.
So what i ask is: Between a Condorhuasi pot and a Coca-Cola bottle, what is the difference? And what is this meaning that could make some things important no matter what? And how do we make our own, direct, real lives full of it? And how do we make our own, direct, real world full of it?