Timothy Morton wants humanity to give up some of its core beliefs, from the fantasy that we can control the planet to the notion that we are ‘above’ other beings.
[Morton’s terminology is “slowly infecting all the humanities”, says his friend and fellow thinker Graham Harman. Though many academics have a reputation for writing exclusively for their colleagues down the hall, Morton’s peculiar conceptual vocabulary – “dark ecology”, “the strange stranger”, “the mesh” – has been picked up by writers in a cornucopia of fields, from literature and epistemology to legal theory and religion. Last year, he was included in a much-discussed list of the 50 most influential living philosophers. His ideas have also percolated into traditional media outlets such as Newsweek, the New Yorker and the New York Times….
Morton’s theories might sound bizarre, but they are in tune with the most earth-shaking idea to emerge in the 21st century: that we are entering a new phase in the history of the planet – a phase that Morton and many others now call the “Anthropocene”.]
[As Donna Isaacs works toward her master’s degree in construction management at the University of Florida, an important focus of her studies has been the revitalization of communities through historic preservation. It requires an in-depth understanding of a place’s history in order to use its past successes as a compass for working toward a prosperous future. During her research, she uncovered a spirit of resilience and a deep entrepreneurial drive in Campti residents throughout the town’s history.
“These people are survivors,” she said. “Their ethos is all about self-sufficiency.”]
In her recent interview with Naomi Klein, Leanne Simpson hints at what such an alternative or alternatives might entail for Indigenous nations: “People within the Idle No More movement who are talking about Indigenous nationhood are talking about a massive transformation, a massive decolonization”; they are calling for a “resurgence of Indigenous political thought” that is “land-based and very much tied to that intimate and close relationship to the land, which to me means a revitalization of sustainable local Indigenous economies.”
Of the thousands of “Avatar” screenings held during the film’s record global release wave, none tethered the animated allegory to reality like a rainy day matinee in Quito, Ecuador.
It was late January 2010 when a non-governmental organization bused Indian chiefs from the Ecuadorean Amazon to a multiplex in the capital. The surprise decampment of the tribal congress triggered a smattering of cheers, but mostly drew stares of apprehension from urban Ecuadoreans who attribute a legendary savagery to their indigenous compatriots, whose violent land disputes in the jungle are as alien as events on “Avatar’s” Pandora.
Of the several different sub-groups of Ayoreo, the most isolated are the Totobiegosode (‘people from the place of the wild pigs’).
Since 1969 many have been forced out of the forest, but some still avoid all contact with outsiders.
Their first sustained contact with white people came in the 1940s and 1950s, when Mennonite farmers established colonies on their land.
The Ayoreo resisted this invasion, and there were killings on both sides.
In 1979 and 1986 the American fundamentalist New Tribes Mission helped organize ‘manhunts’ in which large groups of Totobiegosode were forcibly brought out of the forest.