Saturday, August 31, 2013

Homeland Earth 1 - the Planetary Era

This is the second essay about Edgar Morin’s brief “Homeland Earth” book and part of a series of essays on The Predicament and Hope of Mankind.

The Planetary Era began when humanity started to discover our round planet, a tiny part of the solar system and the rest of the cosmos; and simultaneously, when disperse civilizations began to communicate with each other on a global basis. This chapter of the book describes in 25 pages this seven centuries adventure until 1992 - an adventure framed by colonialism, independence, wars, industrialism, the birth of the nation state...;  and also framed by the gradual emergence of a planetary consciousness as humanity’s history oscillates between integration and autonomy of people and societies. I add some notes to update this history until 2013.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Homeland Earth 0 - The history of History

Terre-Patrie 0 - Tierra-Patria 0 - la historia de la Historia

This is the first of a series of essays on Edgar Morin’s “Homeland Earth” [1], and part of my series on The Predicament - and hope- of Mankind.

The title of the prologue of the book - “The history of History” is a recursive play of words so common in Morin’s writing. The chapter condenses in three and a half pages the history of humanity from hunter-gatherer times until “the birth of History”* (Mesopotamia) and on until the start of “the Planetary Era”, when humans began to realize that they live in a finite planet. Morin also follows the development of the science of History from its birth to present time - thus the history of History.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The predicament -and hope- of Mankind

Welcome back my faithful readers =) Bienvenidos de regreso mis cuatro lectores =).

Over the summer I happened to read a series of books that nicely complement each other into an either tragic or hopeful sequence.

In 1972, it was published the famous report: “The limits to growth: a report to the Club of Rome project on The Predicament of Mankind”. It described World3, the name of a [Systems Dynamics] model of the planet and humanity. The authors used the model to analyze several possible future scenarios for the Earth and its inhabitants up to 2100. Some of these scenarios ended in a planetary collapse due to pretended infinite growth in a finite planet;  some were hopeful but required difficult changes to world politics and institutions. I borrow part of the sub-title of that book for a series of essays that partly deal with this topic: the predicament of Mankind, including some dashes of hope...