How The Light Gets In
G.K. Chesterton said that "when people stop believing in orthodox religion, rather than believe in nothing, they will believe in anything". One of the ersatz religions which fills the void in recent years is belief in catastrophic man-made global warming. It claims to be based on science. But it has all the characteristics of an eschatological cult.
Do we need a new story to give us the determination to influence our political masters and mistresses into taking action? Do we need a new story to change our own beliefs and habits into something resembling more closely the ways of our ancestors?
Technical advances alone cannot dictate our future. We must decide whether we are a part of, or apart from, Mother Nature, the natural systems that provide us with life-giving services. Our discussions on climate change should impel us to ask whether we care enough to leave our future relatives with a world worth inheriting.
The Vietnam War is, of course, in retrospect seen as a PR disaster for US power: the spectacle that eventually emerged of the world's greatest military force applying its full weight and technological prowess against peasants and the very land on which they lived was an ugly one.
I welcome the Club of Rome's ValuesQuest agenda, because it challenges this deficit of aspiration. And because I'd like to see more 'becoming' and less 'being'; more people putting themselves on the line and less shoulder-shrugging.
Plans are afoot to build private cities in Honduras, complete with their own tax-systems, immigration policies, and alternative
Maybe there are racist bridges. The claim sounds as bizarre now as it did the first time I heard it some years ago. But it's what came to mind when asked to take part in a panel discussion about technology at HowTheLightGetsIn, the philosophy and music festival in Hay-on-Wye.
Having been asked to participate in a panel discussion at HowTheLightGetsIn 2013 entitled "Of Wonder and Terror" I have been reflecting on the use of the term 'sublime' in relation to my own work, and the roles of art and science in creating what might be termed 'a sublime experience'.
I climbed down once into a corrugated iron tunnel the size of a dog kennel in the slums of Freetown, and came out the other side into a ballroom among the stars, with strobe lights and glitter-ball, an escapist disco full of stoned revellers.
It is painful enough for a woman to know how to think about her body. Here's culture, screaming at us on the one hand to be sexy, and on the other not to be sluts. And here's nature, permeating social interaction with both desire and revulsion.