The Anthropocene Reviewed –– John Green

  • Author: John Green

  • Date Started: [[September 15th, 2021]]

  • Date Finished: [[December 27th, 2021]]

  • Type: Kindle

  • I don't know whether the feeling is universal, but I have some way down vibrating part of my subconscious that needs to self-destruct, at-least a little bit.

  • We have large brains but they might not be large enough to survive effectively in the world we find ourselves. Our eyes still believe what we see, long after visual information stops being reliable.

  • The animals that once terrorized us, and that we long terrorized, are now often viewed as weak and vulnerable. The mighty bear has become, like so many creatures on Earth, dependent on us. Their survival is contingent upon our wisdom and compassion.

  • "I was repulsed by the idea that they were giving money to corporation in order to escape their horrible, miserable lives that were horrible and miserable in part because our corporate overlords have controlled all the means of production"

  • But we cannot do the hard work of imagining a better world into existence unless we reckon honestly with what governments and corporations want us to believe, and why they want us to believe it.

  • For humans, there is ultimately no way out of the obligations and limitations of nature.

  • The definitions of "room temperature" has historically been established by analyzing the temperature preferences of 40 year old, 154 pound mean wearing business suits. Studies have consistently found that on average women prefer warmer indoor temperatures.

  • For me, finding hope is not some philosophical exercise or sentimental notion; it is a prerequisite for survival.

    • Hope is the correct response to the strange, often terrifying miserable of consciousness.
    • The truth is far more complicated than mere hopelessness
  • Knowing something abstractly is different from knowing it experientially. [[The More We Know, The Less We Know]], #knowledge

  • The body is always deciding what the brain will think about, and the brain is all the time deciding what the body will do and feel. #mind-body

  • "Don't just do something, stand there."

  • I'm not sure whether it's even possible to talk about the suffering of others without exploiting that suffering, whether you can write about pain without glorifying or enabling or degrading it. [[pain]]

    • I would have been grateful if, in the midst of the pain, it had suddenly disappeared. Maybe we forget so that we can go on. [[Mortality - Christopher Hitchens]]
    • But we are hardwired to look for patterns, to make constellations from the starts. There must be some logic to the narrative, some reason for the misery.
    • I know they were trying to tell me (and themselves) a tightly plotted, thematically consistent story, but there's little comfort to be found in such stories when you damn well they aren't true.
  • Hiroyuki Doi: "I have to keep on working, otherwise nothing will be brought into existence." But sometimes, I feel like the paper is better before we get ahold of it, when it's still wood. Other times, I love the marks we leave. They feel like gifts and signs, like trail markers in the wilderness.

  • Diseases only treat humans equally when our social orders treat humans equally. [[Homo Deus - Yuval Harari]]

  • Ruskin wrote, "The love of nature is more or less associated with their weakness." He would go on to claim that endowing nature with emotion "is always a sign of a morbid state of mind, and comparatively a weak one."

  • Manguso: "The ward was the only true community of equals I have ever lived in. What I mean is that we all knew we had already lived through hell, that our lives were already over, snd all we had was the final descent. The only thing to do on the way down was to radiate mercy."

  • "As a child, just as I imagined technological advances were driven primarily by the brilliant insights of heroic individuals laboring in isolation, I saw art as a story of individual geniuses."

    • genius as a continuum rather than a simple trait
  • We are so small, and so frail, so gloriously and terrifyingly temporary.