Queequeg’s Coffin

Navigating the Tangible

Atlantic Right

I was fifteen when I first read Moby Dick in a 48 hour long marathon sick in bed with a bad cold in a hotel in the Northeast of Portugal, reading, sleeping, then reading some more. It deeply affected my world view. I’m still finding out what it means….

Queequeg’s Coffin is a thought experiment. It is an intriguing image around which we might connect a conceptual stance with a pragmatic call to action. It does not presuppose what that action might be. Queequeg’s Coffin is a container transcending the motivation behind its origins.

Queequeg was Ishmael‘s bunk-mate aboard Moby Dick. As the juggernaut of Ahab‘s obsession takes Pequod’s crew further and further into imbalance and dis-ease, Queequeg becomes convinced he is dying. He commissions the ship’s carpenter to build him a coffin. Chips protests at this waste of his specialized talents; but relents and builds the…

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Deep Adaptation – An Introduction

synthetic zerø

This is intended to provide a summary on “The Deep Adaptation Agenda”, as proposed and coined by Jem Bendell in his paper ‘Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy(July 2018).
Included below is material from Dr. Bendell’s website as well as a Rupert Read lecture.
From Bendell’s paper:
“…recent research suggests that human societies will experience disruptions to their basic functioning within less than ten years due to climate stress.  Such disruptions include increased levels of malnutrition, starvation, disease, civil conflict and war – and will not avoid affluent nations. This situation makes redundant the reformist approach to sustainable development and related fields of corporate sustainability. Instead, a new approach which explores how to reduce harm and not make matters worse is important to develop. In support of that challenging, and ultimately personal process, understanding a ‘deep adaptation agenda’ may be useful.”
The essence of The Deep Adaptation Agenda is…

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Hope and Vision in the Face of Collapse – The 4th R of Deep Adaptation

Professor Jem Bendell

“People need hope, Jem.”
“It’s really important to have a vision of a better future, Jem”

As someone who worked in environmental campaigning and then organizational change, I learned about the role of hope and vision in helping to align and motivate people. As someone who worked at the heart of political communications during the 2017 UK General Election campaign, I’m also aware of the power of a positive narrative when told well, consistently and authentically. In my professional world of leadership and its development, hope and vision are recognized as key. I still teach such skills to senior executives in business, politics and civil society and am proud of the way they feel empowered in their purpose as a result.

But, but, but…

Since my return to analysing climate science last year led me to conclude we face inevitable near-term societal collapse, where might we find any hope or…

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Deeply Adaptive Patchworking vs. Fully Automated Fantasy

synthetic zerø

Interest in patchwork is moving out beyond its capture in the Landian gravity-well and as it does attention is moving from the system to the object level. The people I’m most aware of in this effort have been Justin Murphy and Michael James, as they reorient the conversation from theoretical concern with the patchwork network towards more concrete speculations on given patches. In my own thinking about patchwork I’ve stressed the need to maintain a focus on exit and the Outside rather than being tempted into the oil spills of identity and interiority.
While I’ve moved away from the principle of renunciation and thus home-leaving, I nonetheless think we should be very cautious whenever we get implicated in questions of belonging and community, even if, when we step outside a field strictly delimited as conceptual, we must ultimately confront these questions in practice. As I’ve deepened my own spiritual practice…

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The Invisible Committee | The Coming Insurrection

BLACKOUT ((poetry & politics))

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From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out. This is not the least of its virtues. From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground. Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately. Everyone agrees that things can only get worse. “The future has no future” is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks.

The sphere of political representation has come to a close. From left to right, it’s the same nothingness striking the pose of an emperor or a savior, the same sales assistants adjusting their discourse according to the findings of the latest surveys. Those who still vote seem to have no other intention than to desecrate the ballot box by voting as a pure act of protest. We’re beginning to suspect…

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Capitalism, climate change, and the death of worlds

keep it in the ground

Do you remember those childhood TV series where machines come and chew up the earth and the forest creatures run terrified and looking back it all seems cheesy and obvious? This blog is about why we can’t forget those narratives as adults, and what it means to be attuned precisely to the kinds of violence meted out by those machines.

181126_r33282 The 2018 California ‘Camp Fire’ was the largest wildfire the state has ever known.

Bear with me here. In this blog i’m going to try to exorcise something. To get this out is to vent, and I don’t blame you for turning away. Actually, I don’t allow myself to go full throttle anti-capitalist very often. I think there is a kind of weary emptiness that repeatedly stating crisis brings,; the brittle and barren hoarseness of shouting FIRE to people who are too bored or don’t have the attention spans to…

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