The One-Body Problem

by John Holbo on May 3, 2017

From a Laurie Penny piece last month for The Baffler, “The Slow Confiscation of Everything: How To Think About Climate Apocalypse”: “As David Graeber notes in Debt: The First 5,000 Years, the ideal psychological culture for the current form of calamity capitalism is an apprehension of coming collapse mated bluntly with the possibility of individual escape.”

That’s a Cory Doctorow thought. More specifically, how can humanity defeat the distinctive sorts of bullshit moral self-delusion that are the bastard progeny of that blunt mating? Evil snowcrash of snowflakes, melting, each trying to be The One. Cory credits Graeber (among others) right there on his acknowledgement page. And I might add: Penny immediately mentions Annalee Newitz’ new book, Scatter, Adapt, And Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction – which bears an effusive Doctorow blurb: “… balanced on the knife-edge of disaster and delirious hope.”

Call it the one-body problem. I’ve only got the one, you see …

Meanwhile, what matters is: you know, humanity. [click to continue…]