Saturday, 4 January 2014


Newsweek has a clever and alluring review of the new work by Timothy Morton, entitled Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World, which sounds like a very interesting, if not important and disabusing read. Invoking the apocalypse itself, by hook or crook, is a tautologism, because it is very human-centred and is a good invitation to consider the author's school of metaphysics, called object oriented ontology—which is a way of thinking about the universe that unseats the reigning ideas of an anthropomorphic universe and that things, even the named-nightmares that can be expressed in awful statistics, like traffic-deaths and the loss of rain-forests, have real consequences and existence independent of human perception and opinion.

We can name such things as climate-change and dystopian cults but nomenclature or Ivory Tower philosophizing does not change the impact that what can be abstracted through raw numbers and kept at arms' length have on the well-being of individual conceivers and the continuation of the world as they know it. That's one view, at least—and promises to be a very sobering and interesting exploration into the realm of these hyperobjects, things of doom and gloom—like H.P. Lovecraft's Elder Gods that are unknowable despite be very ripe for opinion and shifting, malleable attitudes. But there's surely still the classic counter-balance, which far from solely justifying our chauvinistic deportment, rather is the capacity to also recognize opportunities in those misunderstood monsters and is most likely the only camp able to remedy our problems of ego and oversight—having contributed to it to a high degree. Though man's beliefs and position are not privileged and are not a divine-right to impinge on others, resigning ones selves to the perspective of chemical valence and accident is not a hopeful nor up-building way approach—by itself—either.