the extension of controlled fire

Controlled fire equals cooking, light after darkness, heat where it’s cold and mobility via wood (steam), coal (steam), oil, gas and nuclear. This is the extension of controlled fire. What is before us today began via controlled use of fire. It is the most significant event and it is so overwhelmingly under the radar. The wood for the trees!

David Watts

Watts-Montana Snippets #4

With acerbic wit…let me entertain you!

Keep a friendly banter kind of tone (in mind) while reading this response.

Briefly, Fred Pearce writes from a pro-civ perspective. His take on species movement focuses almost post ice-age. Having said that, his book is interesting and often he remains inconclusive. He does question the evidence on both sides. Remember he is looking from domestication to the current day and that’s why he doesn’t consider pristine to have ever existed! Thus, he concludes that biodiversity is trying its best in the face of human pollution including agriculture. I would argue he is anthropocentric in his perspective. He believes rewilding to be a waste of time as movement of species is way too overwhelming to be ‘corrected.’ Fred’s book is, in some ways, the story after “Man The Hunted.” I enjoyed the latter because of the authors’ depiction of biodiversity before human sedentism and before controlled use of fire etc.

I haven’t looked for any critiques of “An Unnatural Order.” It was while listening to Roger Yates (vegan of long standing) that I became of Mason’s book. He said it was one of the most influential books he had ever read.

E-friends/E-community is popular because people can walk away. The dynamics in online community are different to those in face-to-face relationships. People like the choice, accessibility and freedom of e-community regardless of any negatives. Where e-relationships hit a wall is with physicality and the deprivation of human senses such as touch.

What I mean by dropping-out is to drop out of, for example, conspicuous consumerism: materialism by way of making a start. It is this that feeds so much of all else, particularly in western-style economies. Learn to do without. Without is not a sacrifice. It is freeing in my experience. Do without deodorant, hairspray, household cleaning chemicals etc, the list is a very long list. I would add the car and plane trips too. Existence is now based on conspicuous consumption… Dropping-out wouldn’t happen instantaneously, it would be gradual if at all. Humans don’t need the distractions created by the current way of being. Arguably, we are over-stimulated by pointless creations which are being created to fill the created need of feeling that ‘progress’ is necessary and that it is happening due to human ingenuity.

Mutuality is such a big player in less ‘advanced’ economies where people scratch each other’s’ back because they have to! Yes, people need to remember that community can be just as suffocating. Anti-civ speaks of community as always a positive, I don’t agree. If you got the money, you don’t need to depend on community, just the services which can be purchased. Relationships in less advanced economies are not so commodified. There is freedom in having money, some would say, most would say.

Yep, read books on A.S. Neill and Summerhill. Good stuff but still part of the civilised way. Summerhill didn’t challenge civilisation, nothing like it or am I just being facetious? In fact, what did Summerhill actually change? Fuck all.

Karen Shragg believes nothing substantially positive will happen with an expanding human population. Expanding in the numbers-sense and in the consumerist-sense: that one person can consume way more than one person needs, so that one person may count as two, three, four people. Also think about how many people (how much energy) are in a gallon of fuel. Let’s say a gallon will move a car 30 miles at 50mph, how many people would be needed for that? Nothing happens without the input of energy.

You wrote, “Where do you stand on the whole native/nonnative question? On restoring wilderness ecosystems to their pre-European human past versus letting the human introduced species fight it out?” Why stop at pre-European? Where is line to be drawn, if at all? Indeedy, if it is a case of each of us choosing where that line is, then this has to be, surely, some form of egoism as egoism is about choosing how one would like things to be? Pristine is over…for now…only for now! When the sun cools, it’s all over anyway is how some people view it, so why worry!? It is what it is, right? Until, you’ve got cancer! Or until, you get THAT phone call? Until the bad news! Does it matter or doesn’t it matter? Fuck it, where’s my distraction? Phew, here it is.

You wrote, “In my opinion, she let too many folks off the hook in her Which Side interview in her underlying view that humans should not be limited by habitat with their superior ability to flex & adapt.” So, now what? What does this mean: what are the consequences of not being limited? Is Layla still an anti-civ thinker?

In regards to Peter Bauer being hypocritical, paradoxical or inconsistent, you wrote, “imo – it’s impossible for all modern humans to not be these 3 to some extent. we only have room to judge it as an extent, not as black or white, yes or no.” OK, then, Ria my darling, stop having a dig at people. Leave the likes of Jensen alone. Simple! Instead, empathise with their hypocrisy, parodoxy and inconsistency. Not so fuckin’ easy is it. Instead, your ego basically says to others, “You’re wrong pal.” Ha ha.

Continue reading “Watts-Montana Snippets #4”