Categories for World

George Monbiot – “I love not man the less, but Nature more.”

George Monbiot

Published on March 4, 2021 at 6:00 by

Under the spell of technology

Monday morning i watched this video from De Nieuwe Wereld (The New World). While i watched this my mind did wander a bit. Fantasies about me being in a talkshow and asking a politician what he had learned the past year 2020. But i tried to keep myself focused on this video.

Halfway i decided to make a post about this video. I posted several other videos from this channel before. I do enjoy the tone and content of these people most of the time.

This video does center on Heidegger and his view on technology most of the time. I just did a search about this and found this Wikipedia page on his article titled The Question Concerning Technology.

I must confess, Heidegger is difficult to read, for me anyway. I never was able to really understand his work. I actually bought his book in the Dutch translation Sein und Zeit and was never able to get a grip on this content. But i persevere!

The text posted under this video, translated into English by me:

Marlies Dekkers in gesprek met filosoof Ad Verbrugge over zijn werk en de coronacrisis. “We dreigen voorbij te gaan aan allerlei facetten van het leven.”

In dit gesprek bespreekt Verbrugge op filosofische wijze het discours waar we ons momenteel in bevinden, en dan met name in relatie tot de coronacrisis. Hij schetst het moderne mensbegrip dat vanaf de 16e en 17e-eeuw opkomt. “Daar speelt techniek een belangrijke rol in, ook samen met wetenschap.” In de moderniteit heerst een bepaalde mentaliteit en een manier van leven. In navolging van Descartes en anderen beschouwen we de werkelijkheid primair als mechanische uitgebreidheid dat we naar onze hand kunnen zetten. Verbrugge: “Je ziet een homogenisering optreden in de manier waarop wij kijken. Alles wordt eigenlijk berekenbare materie.”

Verbrugge vertelt dat dit volgens Heidegger een voorbode is van wat hij ‘het gestel’ noemt, “een benadering waarin de sturing en beheersing van de werkelijkheid als bestand leidend wordt.” In de geest van Jünger spreekt Verbrugge over een ‘technisch collectief’ “waarin je ziet dat de werkelijkheid in dat collectief proberen te sturen [..] dat wij daarin de neiging hebben daarin te automatiseren.” Ieder tekort moet worden opgelost, een drang naar perfectie. “Ook het lichaam wordt onderdeel van die machinerie.”

De moderniteit heeft ons veel gebracht, maar heeft een keerzijde. Verbrugge: “We worden geconfronteerd met onze eigen eenzijdigheid op het moment dat die perfectie [..] niet goed kan toelaten dat de dingen gaan naar hun eigen aard.” Dat zien we nu bij de coronacrisis: iets breekt in. Dat proberen we met maatregelen en vaccins, het technisch collectief, weer beheersbaar te maken. Refererend aan complotdenkers en ook de rellende jongeren stelt Verbrugge: “Ik denk dat er een groeiend wantrouwen is ten aanzien van dit technisch collectief.” We dienen de eenzijdigheid te erkennen, anders leidt ‘het gestel’ tot destructie. Verbrugge: “Het gaat er niet om dat je techniek vaarwel zegt, maar wel dat je onderkent in welke mate we voorbij dreigen te gaan aan allerlei facetten van het leven”

Marlies Dekkers has a conversation with philosopher Ad Verbrugge about his work and the corona crisis.”We threaten to go past several facets of life.”

In this conversation Verbrugge discusses philosophically the discourse we are in at the moment, especially in relation to the corona crisis. He sketches the modern human understanding emerging from the 16th and 17th century. “Technology plays an important part in this, together with science.” In modernity a certain mentality and a way of live reigns. After Descartes and others we consider reality primary as a mechanical expanse we can shape with our own hands. Verbrugge: “You are able to see a homogenization in the way we look. Everything becomes computable matter.”

Verbrugge tells that according to Heidegger this is a harbinger of what he calls the Gestell, “an approach in which the steering and control of reality as file becomes leading.” In Jünger’s mind Verbrugge speaks of a ‘technical collective’ “in which you see that reality in the collective tries to control. [..] that we have a tendency to automation.” Every shortage needs to be resolved, an urge to perfection. “Even the body becomes part of this machinery.”

Modernity has brought us much, but it does have a downside. Verbrugge: “We are confronted with our own one-sidedness the moment this prefection [..] can not allow things to follow there own nature.” We see that now with the corona crisis: something breaks in. We try to control this with regulations and vaccins and the technical collective. Referring to conspiracy thinkers and also the rioting youth in the Netherlands Verbrugge claims: “I think there is a growing distrust with regards to this technical collective.” We do need to acknowledge the one-sidedness, else the Gestell will lead to destruction. Verbrugge: “It is not about saying farewell to technic, but to recognize in which degree we threaten to go past several facets of life.”

Published on February 2, 2021 at 6:00 by

Curfew

I am not sure why the boys and young men – very few girls amongst them – are rioting in the Dutch cities. I don’t even know if the people participating in these riots know it themselves. Some might be joining because of the excitement, the fun of it. Some might be joining because they are spoiled little kids. Some might be joining because they do not feel heard.

It is easy to judge these people. I hope we will be able to hear them one day.

Published on January 28, 2021 at 6:00 by

Pandemic

I am not afraid to catch corona myself. I live alone, i do not see that many people. Only when i am outside in the garden. Outside the contamination is minimal.

I try to keep my head straight. It is difficult to decide who to trust and who not. Not sure i make the right decisions. I hope i do. I read some online newspapers. It does take a lot of time.

I do think this pandemic is actually not that severe. It is contagious, yes. But the percentage of people dying from it is rather low. To me, it is comparable to influenza. The main difference is that COVID (Coronavirus Disease) is a new disease and humans are not immune to it.

On the other hand, corona until now (january 19 2021) has taken around 2,040,000 people’s lives. From the Dutch figures i have learned 91% from all deaths in the Netherlands are over 70. The older you are, the higher chance you have more vulnerability factors.

I am worried about this pandemic though. The various mutations have different characteristics. So far the main difference is in infectivity.

Like i said at the top of this post, i am not afraid to catch corona. If i do, i hope it will be a mild version. I i die, it is simply the way it can go. Of course i hope i will stay healthy.

[…] The anthropogenic destruction of biodiversity is paving the way to the pandemic era and could result in as many as 850,000 viruses being transmitted from animals – in particular birds and mammals – to humans. The “exponential rise” in consumption and trade of commodities such as meat, palm oil, and metals, largely facilitated by developed nations, and a growing human population, are the primary drivers of this destruction.

In a press conference on 28 December 2020 Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO Emergencies Program and other officials said the current COVID-19 pandemic is “not necessarily the big one” and “the next pandemic may be more severe.” They called for preparation.

All quotes from this article are from Wikipedia: Pandemic.

Published on January 20, 2021 at 6:00 by

Complicated

Last Friday the Dutch cabinet fell.

I have thought about this. I have watched Dutch talk shows: Op1, WNL, Buitenhof.

I noticed the clear condemnation of the Dutch politicians: verschrikkelijk, terrible was the general used word. This never should have happened. Rather easy to say after a devastating report called Ongekend Onrecht (Unknown Injustice). I did watch all the talk shows and the press conference of the cabinet in which they announced their resignation. It was a month since the report came out, and the pressure had not died down.

I do not follow Dutch politics each and every day. I do not know all the names of Dutch governors. But the past few days i watched as much as i could, read a couple of articles on reliable sources. But not nearly enough.

And it is not only Dutch politics in which things like this are happening. The whole Brexit thing, the Trump government with the storming of the Capitol on January 5 this year, only a week and a half ago.

People are fooled easily. Including me. There is hardly any truth around, only falsehoods, things skimmed over, things not told, things not seen.

Complicated.

Het geheugen van de Tweede Kamer is kort, zodat het verband tussen de problemen van vandaag en de oplossingen van gisteren zelden wordt opgemerkt.

The memory of the House of Representatives is short, therefore the connection between problems of today and solutions of yesterday is seldom noticed.

Source: de Correspondent: Tienduizenden gedupeerden, maar geen daders: zo ontstond de tragedie achter de toeslagenaffaire

Published on January 19, 2021 at 6:00 by

Mark Rutte

Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister, 2010 - ...
Mark Rutte called the Dutch toeslagenaffaire een verschrikkelijk ongeluk, a terrible accident. An accident is an unplanned event that sometimes has inconvenient or undesirable consequences. The toeslagenaffaire, the childcare allowance affair is one of the most shocking affairs in Dutch politics over the past years.
Published on November 30, 2020 at 6:00 by

The Now

In my teens years i read a lot of science fiction. Frank Herbert’s Dune, books written by Robert Heinlein, Jack Vance, Ursula Le Guin. Tolkien of course. Scifi and fantasy books.

Time travel was a popular topic. It is an easy way to play with time and the world and the rules of the universe. You can move back and forth. You can clean up a room, make it all neat once again. You can go back to school and imagine you are young once more.

But you are not. You never do go back. Not in reality.

We all, we all who live on this world, this earth, this planet, this universe, we all move forward with each other. And each now fades away, each now is impossible to catch, each now is nothing in your hands.

This morning we talked about this for a short time on the market. I talked about those moments we all remember, those moments something significant changed. Those moments the airplanes flew into the World Trade Centers. Those moments the Berlin Wall fell down. Those moments Princes Diana died. Those moments seared into your mind. Those moments most of us were all focused on these events taking place, all living in the same time, occupied with the same thing happening. Those moment the now ticks away the seconds and moves on and on and on.

Tick tick tick …

Most of the time each person lives in his or her own world. But there are times when something significant happens in the world. When all people talk about the same thing. Currently COVID-19 is that thing. Not for me personally i have to say. I am not scared, not worried.

I do think about these moments when most people are looking a certain way, talking about a certain thing. I wonder if i would like to be in the center of such an attention span. Hmm, i think i say that wrong. Not would like to be, but if i could handle it, keep inside me, not forget about what i want in life. Which to me is so important.

On the market i actually sang along. …Baby one more time from Britney Spears. Happy to do so.

Yay!

Published on November 16, 2020 at 6:00 by

Incredibly beautiful and terribly ugly

The street, the buildings, the houses, the shops, the garbage bags, the benches, the cars, the bicycles, the signs, the stones, the sidewalks, the flowers, the green, the plants, the little grass areas, the sitting areas, the do not walk closer than 1,5 meter signs, the people, the people, the people, the shops, the grey, the blues, the reds, the whites, the blacks, the bags, the junk, the sky, the clouds, the sun, the sun, the sun, the sun, the air, the wind, the wind, the wind, the water, the fountains, the squares, the traffic, the noise, the children, the man standing on the sidewalk staring down at this phone, the grey, the straight lines, the little plants peeping up, the man, the women, the boys, the girls, the little children, the people, the people, the people.

twee oren om te horen
twee ogen om te zien
twee handen in het lege
en verre vingers tien

Source: Polonaise – Paul van Ostayen

Published on October 20, 2020 at 6:00 by