Archive | October 2018

The Anthropos of the Anthropocene

It has been quite some time since I read Dante’s Inferno, and my recollection of the book is somewhat hazy. But I may not be too amiss in suggesting it as a map and metaphor for our own journey through the Anthropocene. It does have some of the same structural components and elements as the Anthropocene. The “Inferno” was, as it were, the Anthropocene of Dante’s day — the hypersubject of the medieval world, or the Anthropos considered as “soul“. 

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“Cultural Creatives” in the Anthropocene

It’s quite interesting to follow the online musings of some of the architects of the Global Brain. Having suddenly realised that in their expectations for the global genius brain they have, instead, built an Idiot Brain and a Frankenstein’s monster, they are now attempting to de-Frankenstein the Global Brain. Utopian expectations have given way to dystopian nightmares, and no one, it seems, knows now quite what to do about it.

But here it’s a matter of a “tale of two cities”, as it were when it comes to the Anthropocene. One, we have addressed in the previous post — the Anthropocene and the Culture of Narcissism. That is one “city”, as it were — one discourse about the Anthropocene. And the other “city” is not about the Culture of Narcissism but a discourse and narrative about “Cultural Creatives”. And this is the other side of the Anthropocene we want to examine today.

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The Culture of Narcissism and the Anthropocene

If you look into the backstory for this term “Anthropocene”, you’ll find that it was coined coincident also with Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism (1979). An Italian geologist named Antonio Stoppani even proposed an “Anthropozoic Era” as early as 1873, (so around the time Nietzsche was formulating his new philosophy, too). So, the Anthropocene has been a while in process of consolidation and in coming to our attention as the Era in which we are, and have been, living.

Culture of Narcissism and Anthropocene are conjoined themes, and if anything the chief symptom of the Kali Yuga — or spiritual Dark Age — is human narcissism. But do we really understand the meaning of narcissism at all?

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