Lost Worlds

synthetic zerØ

A (non)credo for post-nihilist praxis from WOODBINE (excerpts):

Every vision of the future is one of catastrophe, of climate apocalypse or zombie hordes, of the digitalization of all life or the total breakdown of the self. These fantasies obsess us because they are not phenomenon to come, the great awaiting of melancholia; they are part and parcel of the devastation that we already inhabit, that muffled catastrophe we already feel, that already touches us so intimately…

We are living through a catastrophe unprecedented in human history in which what we’ve lost is the world. We have to face that, but we have to face up to the reality that we have also been set free by this devastation that, with a thousand voices, declares itself an expired way of life, “the abandoned ruin of a dead civilization.” There is nothing to cry for anymore. There is no use clinging to…

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Journal of a Cosmic Anthropologist

The following essay was originally serialised on The State from May 20, 2013.

genesis and forking timelines

doktor sleepless doktor sleepless

It’s the early 90s. In the form of an Australian teenager finishing high school, with a head full of Heinlein, I tried to join the Army. That future never eventuated—in this timeline, anyway. I entered university still full of techno-optimism, studying computer science & software engineering. Top of my class in AI, I was offered a summer research position, the first step to a career in the lab, building better machine minds. That future exists only in a parallel universe.

Instead, a year later I was in the middle of an inter-corporate war on the other side of the planet. I was sat in a trailer, trying to help usher in the home internet age for a very minimum wage. This is the story of that reality: my journey through the…

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Say Goodbye to the Holocene Epoch

Collapse of Industrial Civilization


Mankind’s exothermic machine of industrial civilization recently blew past the 400ppm CO2 mile post, causing a few passengers to exclaim, “Homo sapiens have never existed at these levels of heat-trapping gases!” Hundreds and even thousands of years will pass before the full aftermath from our fossil fuel orgy plays out, but we’ll see plenty of nasty surprises in feedback loops and tipping points this century, perhaps most notably sea level rise. Another area of glaciers once thought to be stable has fallen to the human CO2 spike which is occurring 14,000 faster than natural processes and 10-200 times faster than the PETM extinction event. Every so often I feel the need to try to wrap my mind around these horrific statistics and re-examine our place in time as we continue whistling past the graveyard. Keeping in mind that we have yet to take our foot off the gas pedal of economic growth, I’ll try to make sense of what we…

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The Glint of the Sword: Sikhism’s Spiritual Justice


Ours in an age where the triumph of the material over the spiritual now faces a crisis. The inheritance and legacy of Western Enlightenment – specifically the forces of science, technology and capitalist economics – has rendered human life hollow. We find ourselves reduced to parts plugged into a merciless machine that generates wealth for the few, while destroying the Earth that has sustained our life for eons.

The pain of post-modern life spills into our streets, into our computer screens and into our souls. In this matrix of disillusion, many turn to “traditional” narratives for hope. Contemporary consumer capitalism doesn’t have much of a story to tell. Sure, we have made important and indispensable social and cultural progress on some fronts. Yet for the alleged progressive political parties, progress means that anyone, regardless of race, gender or religion can become CEO, or give orders to bomb foreign peoples.


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