Monday, August 8, 2011

A question in a tangentially related context

As we enjoy the leisurely day off from work The Baronette has been granted in celebration of horrible screaming mass death, I'm also pondering this:

Which is more decadent: to be decadent and unaware of being so, or to be decadent and aware of it?


Randal Graves said...

Now I bet you feel really silly for being against the bomb.

The latter would be my choice. I can be a jerk and not know it, but if I do know it, the jerky is much more succulent. Though to be sure, you should probably ask the truly decadent, our fearless leaders.

ergo said...

What Randal said. I Vote(TM) Aware. One should always implicate oneself first, in order to short-circuit the charge of projection. Then you can go about determining who has the power, which ain't us.

Justin said...

Ethan, I give you this.

Make sure to read the comments. My favorite, In the future that the authors envision, what exactly are we saving the planet for? It’s not for human civilization, obviously, since humans have been mostly eliminated and those who are left live at something close to subsistance level. So we’re saving it for, what, the rest of the biosphere? And if that’s the case, then, you know, why?

If humans fuck up this planet to the point that it’s no longer habitable by us or, say, the vast majority of the species currently living, then that would obviously be very, very bad. But something would survive, and then thrive, and its descendants would eventually re-colonize the planet. By “saving” the planet by going back to some vision of pre-industrial human civilization, all we’re saving is a moment in time in this planet’s existence. And why, exactly, is that moment so special?

If we’re not saving the planet for actual, real-life human civilization, the type that lives and thrives and creates, then I really don’t see why we would bother.

I don't mean this to be totally snarky, I wanted to bring this to your attention given your recent post about the Russian, you could probably find a lot to write about in this thing.

Ethan said...

Oops, I didn't respond to these. So consensus is to take the higher guilt. Done.

Justin, arrgh, you gotta stop linking me to these horrible comment threads (just kidding, keep it coming). Blows my mind that even saving the planet for non-civilized humans isn't good enough for that writer. It's civilization or nothing. Chilling.

Richard said...

Here's a quote from Robert Solow, who won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1987: "The world can, in effect, get along without natural resources, so exhaustion is just an event, not a catastrophe."

Ahem. Quoted in Vandana Shiva's Staying Alive.

Justin said...

Ethan, just don't get sucked in, be horrified, then fortified. This is what we are up against. To try and talk to them, you may as well as speak to them in gibberish.

adfasdf asdfasd] asdf] asdfasdf afda.

would make more sense than, "Brawndo is not what plants crave."