Found 56 posts tagged 'consumerism'
September 22, 2018
Martin Demant Frederiksen discusses nothing.
(Stream / download audio at bottom of page)
Why is there something rather than nothing? Wouldn’t nothing have been much simpler than something? But can nothing actually exist? Has there, in fact, always been something? Although answers to the vast, unfathomable mysteries of existence seem as distant as ever, we remain as compelled to seek them as countless generations before us. Indeed, as a species, we seem unable to truly thrive without some overarching purpose.
However, in a challenge to this eternal existential quest, Frederiksen pauses to ask ‘What goes missing when we look for meaning?’ In seeking some ultimate purpose to life, the Universe, and everything, do we devalue or even deny the present moment, the instant immediacy of where we are right now? Furthermore, given the strife and conflict caused by competing world-views – religious, secular, spiritual, scientific, and more – is there something to be said for an acceptance of futility, an embrace of meaninglessness, or even the active negation of any and all notions of cosmic teleology? After all, denial of meaning needn’t necessarily mean nihilism.
Like so many civilizations of the past, we live in a time of crisis. Contemporary culture is caught in a corpse-strewn cul de sac, a war zone of competing cosmologies, ideologies, and dogma. There are two ways out of this destructive dead end – turn back or break through – but no guarantee of either. One thing however is certain; what we affirm or deny in thought or in deed – individually and collectively – has an affect. Even if we choose not to decide, we still have made a choice.
Martin’s latest book is An Anthropology of Nothing in Particular.
Atheism, collapse of society, consciousness, consumerism, evolution, Existentialism, materialism, metaphysics, Natural teleology, nihilism, philosophy, popular culture, psychology, quantum physics, symbolism
September 17, 2018
Chris Nineham discusses his book ‘How the Establishment Lost Control’ and the political, economic, and social turmoil of our time. From the Scottish independence referendum to the Brexit debacle, and the shock election of Jeremy Corbyn as UK Labour leader and Donald Trump as US President, the post-war consensus is breaking up. This turmoil testifies to an insurgent mood amongst great swathes of the population both at home and abroad. ‘How the Establishment Lost Control’ attempts to explain these dramatic developments and to show how they question received notions about politics, history, and how change happens. Above all they challenge widespread assumptions about the resilience of elite hegemony, the influence of conventional structures of thought, and the ability of the mass of the population to think autonomously in a post-ideological age.
March 15, 2018
James Howard Kunstler discusses his book ‘The Geography of Nowhere – The Rise and Decline of America’s Man-Made Landscape’. First published in 1994 but sadly more relevant than ever, ‘The Geography of Nowhere’ traces America’s evolution from a nation of Main Streets and coherent communities to a land where every place is like no place in particular, where the cities are dead zones, and the countryside is a wasteland of cartoon architecture and parking lots. In elegant and often hilarious prose, Kunstler depicts America’s evolution from the Pilgrim settlements to the modern car-centric suburb in all its ghastliness, adding up the huge economic, social, and spiritual costs that the U.S. is paying for its gas-guzzling lifestyle.
architecture, collapse of society, consumerism, corporate control, depopulation, Dmitry Orlov, Donald Trump, economics, energy crisis, James Howard Kunstler, John Michael Greer, peak oil, sustainability, transition movement, utopia
February 18, 2018
John Michael Greer discusses his book ‘The Retro Future – Looking to the Past to Reinvent the Future’. To most people paying attention to the collision between industrial society and the hard limits of a finite planet, it’s clear that things are going very, very wrong. We no longer have unlimited time and resources to deal with the economic and environmental crises that define our future, and the options are limited to the tools we have on hand right now. ‘The Retro Future’ is about one very powerful idea: deliberate technological regression. Technological regression isn’t about ‘going back’ – it’s about using the past as a resource to meet the needs of the present, and maybe the future too. It starts from the recognition that older technologies generally use fewer resources and cost less than modern equivalents, and it embraces the heresy of technological choice – our ability to choose or refuse the technologies pushed by corporate interests. People are already ditching smartphones and going back to so-called ‘dumb phones’ and land lines, and e-book sales are declining while printed books rebound. Clear signs among many that blind faith in progress is faltering and opening up the possibility that the best way forward may well involve looking back.
climate change, collapse of society, consumerism, depopulation, Elon Musk, energy crisis, Indigenous societies, John Michael Greer, peak oil, renewable energy, sustainability, technology, transition movement
January 6, 2018
Thomas Lombardo discusses his book ‘Future Consciousness – The Path to Purposeful Evolution’. We stand at what many consider to be a pivotal juncture in human history. Just as technological advancements race ahead with digitization and automation changing the face of society at breathtaking speed, so too we face unprecedented economic, political, social, and environmental crises. In response, many of us attempt to ignore these pressing problems by simply shutting down, lost in the past or the future, the good old days or daydreams of better times to come. Meanwhile, practitioners in the burgeoning field of pop psychology urge us to live in the present moment, the only thing that apparently exists. Both mindsets, however, may prove to be psychological dead-ends.
apocalypse, artificial intelligence, collapse of society, consciousness, consumerism, cyborgs, Eckhart Tolle, evolution, futurism, mainstream media manipulation, psychology, Science Fiction, sustainability, technology, Thomas Lombardo, transhumanism, transition movement, utopia, Zeitgeist Movement
December 12, 2017
Ivelin Sardamov discusses his book ‘Mental Penguins – The Neverending Education Crisis and the False Promise of the Information Age’. Sardamov draws on key findings in neuroscience to explain decreasing attention spans, a crisis of curiosity, and waning interest in and knowledge of complex social issues in the United States and around the world. Attributing this trend primarily to the effects of information overload, ubiquitous screens, and constant access to the Internet, he argues that chronic over-stimulation generated by the current socio-technological environment fosters addictive tendencies in today’s young people, many of whom will graduate from profit-driven universities both mired in debt and unprepared for life in the outside world.
November 2, 2017
Joanna Demers discusses her books ‘Drone and Apocalypse’ and ‘Anatomy of Thought Fiction’. The idea of apocalypse is truly ancient. Although the word essentially translates as a revelation of knowledge, today the term is commonly used in reference to end-time scenarios or to the end of the world in general. Almost every culture and civilization has or has had its own apocalyptic tradition, often believing the end-time already begun and the end itself imminent. Whether self-inflicted or supernatural, cosmic or divine, apocalyptic thinking infuses all corners of culture. From the mysteries and meanings of religion and art, to our beliefs about the past, present and future, and the values which guide how we see ourselves, others, and the world at large, the dread of impending doom never seems far away.
September 19, 2017
“Have you ever thought that there must be a better way to live your life?” In his 2014 book ‘The Handbook Of Urban Druidry – Modern Drudiry For All’ and its 2016 follow-up ‘The Urban Ovate – The Handbook Of Psychological Druidry’, Brendan Howlin holds up a lens through which you and I, if we so choose, may reconsider the path that we are on. Distracted by rampant consumerism, browbeaten by scientific materialism, and fearful of a hostile world apparently plunging into chaos, a corrosive malaise is upon us in this still-new millennium, our lives stripped of meaning and purpose by superficial societies which deny the significance of either.
May 24, 2017
Jay Dyer discusses his book Esoteric Hollywood – Sex, Cults and Symbols in Film. Delving into the deep, dark and mysterious undertones hidden in blockbusters and cult classics alike, Esoteric Hollywood explores philosophy, religion, symbolism and geopolitics, and their connections to film. We probe the prevalence of cinematic propaganda and predictive programming in promoting an ignorant, apathetic, dumbed-down generation of compliant consumers concerned only with instant gratification, unable and unwilling to challenge authority or subvert the status quo. We break down some of our own personal film favourites and ask whether, in an era dominated by gaming and social media, movies are less influential on the youth of today than they were in the past.
1984, artificial intelligence, Brave New World, collapse of society, consumerism, corporate control, corporate state, depopulation, dystopia, Freemasonry, Gnosticism, Illuminati, Individual Freedom, Jay Dyer, mainstream media manipulation, philosophy, police state, popular culture, psychology, Science Fiction, symbolism, The Matrix, transhumanism, utopia, virtual reality, World Government, Zeitgeist Movement
May 10, 2017
Doug Lain discusses some of the ideas in Mark Fisher’s book Capitalist Realism – Is There No Alternative? It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system, a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. Fisher’s book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as the lived experience of our everyday lives. Using examples from politics, film, literature, work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience, is anything but realistic, and asks how capitalism and its inconsistencies can be challenged. For Fisher, spiralling rates of poverty, inequality, depression, and disenchantment are warning signs that the system as we know it is in deep trouble.
Anarcho-Capitalism, Austrian Economics, consumerism, corporate control, corporate state, Doug Lain, dystopia, economics, Individual Freedom, Marxism, politics, popular culture, Socialism, steady state economy, sustainability