World Changing?

I’ve been reading pieces over at the WorldChanging website for a while, and there is this piece on there called “Night, Hoover Dam” about going to Hoover Dam and visiting one of these landscape-changing artifacts of human society. The Southwest as we know it wouldn’t exist without Hoover and its sister dams.

The essay itself, or memoir, was all right. But one of the comments blew me away. Paul, on October 16, 2004, wrote: Right. Fucking. On.

I hope the f-word isn’t too worldlychanging. 🙂 Looking forward to the rest of the book.

I think the Cold War did a number on a lot of us in the US. Especially Reagan-era teens like myself, who always knew the looming threat of instant death from above. I also think that’s an important discussion to have.. To somehow circle around and exorcise that alienation.

I think I… and perhaps many of my contemporaries… face exactly this demon. WE lived with the threat of global extinction for so long, under four presidents (Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I), during our critical formative years, that it is difficult to imagine ourselves free of the threat. I wonder if this is a productive conversation to have — imagining ways in which we can work free of the fear of nuclear annihilation, in search of a new and productive way to live in the world.

This other article by Jeremy Faludi titled “Design for 10,000 years excites me in the same way. What would it be like to design a world with the next 600 generations in mind? As the story goes in the article itself, when researchers at the Hanford nuclear plant held a discussion on how to design signage for the plant that would warn future inhabitants of the warning of radioactive poisons, some local Native Americans laughed and told them, “don’t worry. We’ll tell them where it is.” The local culture was already reimagining the songlines for the region to account for this nuclear reactor on the land, which would need to be part of the history of the place for a good, long while.

This isn’t a fully-formed thought, yet, but I see this interesting discussion-potential, and I wonder if anyone else has thoughts along these lines.

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6 comments

  1. an internet support group, maybe. An occasion to sit down ‘as pagans’, perhaps, and talk about the pagan awareness of time as cyclical but never-ending, vs. Christian apocalypticism. I don’t know what the solution is, either.

  2. I think the Cold War did a number on a lot of us in the US. Especially Reagan-era teens like myself, who always knew the looming threat of instant death from above. I also think that’s an important discussion to have.. To somehow circle around and exorcise that alienation.

    I agree, and reached the same conclusion on my own. I don’t experience it as a constant threat of attack, more like an expectation that we’re doomed. The golden age is over, and we’re inevitably headed toward some self-inflicted cataclysmic event. The nature of the nebulous doom changes with the news. Nuclear war, biological war, terrorism, economic collapse, environmental collapse, runaway nanotech… I wonder if this is what powers some of the End Times/Rapture wingnuts.

    I know it’s not rational, and that people have expected immanent doom at other times in history. If nothing else, we always think the important parts of history will happen in our lifetime. Despite the reality check, I occasionally wonder what I’ll do to survive after all the computers are gone and there’s no electricity.

    I’ve been chewing on this since you posted a week ago. I have no ideas for solutions.

  3. I think the Cold War did a number on a lot of us in the US. Especially Reagan-era teens like myself, who always knew the looming threat of instant death from above. I also think that’s an important discussion to have.. To somehow circle around and exorcise that alienation.

    I agree, and reached the same conclusion on my own. I don’t experience it as a constant threat of attack, more like an expectation that we’re doomed. The golden age is over, and we’re inevitably headed toward some self-inflicted cataclysmic event. The nature of the nebulous doom changes with the news. Nuclear war, biological war, terrorism, economic collapse, environmental collapse, runaway nanotech… I wonder if this is what powers some of the End Times/Rapture wingnuts.

    I know it’s not rational, and that people have expected immanent doom at other times in history. If nothing else, we always think the important parts of history will happen in our lifetime. Despite the reality check, I occasionally wonder what I’ll do to survive after all the computers are gone and there’s no electricity.

    I’ve been chewing on this since you posted a week ago. I have no ideas for solutions.

    • an internet support group, maybe. An occasion to sit down ‘as pagans’, perhaps, and talk about the pagan awareness of time as cyclical but never-ending, vs. Christian apocalypticism. I don’t know what the solution is, either.

  4. It’s interesting, too, to think of post-Cold War kids, like myself. I don’t feel that way — that we’re constantly under the threat of attack — and haven’t really – certainly not in the same way. I think this dictates a lot of the complete lack of regard for our actions at home and abroad…

  5. It’s interesting, too, to think of post-Cold War kids, like myself. I don’t feel that way — that we’re constantly under the threat of attack — and haven’t really – certainly not in the same way. I think this dictates a lot of the complete lack of regard for our actions at home and abroad…

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