Category Archives: Humanity

The more technological power grows, the smaller we become

Audrey Borowski writes: For [the philosopher Günther] Anders, the disasters of the 20th century were simply the logical outcome of a pernicious process that had already been underway for many years, involving the gradual exclusion of mankind from all production processes – and, ultimately, from the world created by those processes. The real catastrophe in… Read More »

How long can humans survive?

Tom Chivers writes: In the deep ocean, occasionally, a whale carcass falls to the bottom of the sea. Most of the time, in the state of nature, creatures have just about enough to survive. But the first creatures to find the whale have more food than they could ever eat. These scavengers live lives of… Read More »

Waste is central, not peripheral, to everything we design, make and do

Justin McGuirk writes: The opposition between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ is problematic for many reasons, but there’s one that we rarely discuss. The ‘nature vs culture’ dualism leaves out an entire domain that properly belongs to neither: the world of waste. The mountains of waste that we produce every year, the torrents of polluting effluent, the… Read More »

Capitalism is killing the planet – it’s time to stop buying into our own destruction

George Monbiot writes: There is a myth about human beings that withstands all evidence. It’s that we always put our survival first. This is true of other species. When confronted by an impending threat, such as winter, they invest great resources into avoiding or withstanding it: migrating or hibernating, for example. Humans are a different… Read More »

Is music what makes us human?

Kevin Berger writes: In the past two years, the debate over whether music is universal, or even whether that debate has merit, has raged like a battle of the bands among scientists. The stage has expanded from musicology to evolutionary biology to cultural anthropology. This summer, in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, more than… Read More »