John Hopkins on Fri, 10 Dec 2021 02:24:56 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> The Dawn of Everything (very short review)

Felix, I haven't read the book, but I would posit that the analysis would be seriously flawed if it did not take into account that whatever the architecture of the human system, it was fully embedded in the wider ecosystem of energy flows. Because of that embeddedness, all forms of human relation would definitely be affected by environmental variables: availability of energy being the most obvious. A hierarchic system, for example (speaking very generally), relies on a consistent flow/accumulation of energy sources from the periphery to the center. A militaristic autocracy, the same ... The structure of the human system is predicated on the particular flows of energy that are available, and, in the case of very early social forms, the most proximal flows (ultimately driven by solar flux to supply local autotrophic and heterotrophic energy sources).

Energy factors were/are always far more than a concern, they *drove/drive* the most formative characteristics of the entire human/organismic eco-system. Without exception and across time.

I find these intellectual/academic forays of very limited usefulness when they make no consideration of these most fundamental factors...


On 2021/12/06 04:28, Felix Stalder wrote:
While the book is great, it has a glaring hole in it. What is almost entirely missing is the discussion of how this "carnival parade" of social forms structured the relation to the environment, or, more generally, how they were embedded in, and impacted on, the metabolic system. While for much of the historical period they cover, this might not have been too much of a concern, it is clearly one for us now and if we are to remake our social relations, then this will be a key dimension to transform. But it would probably be too much to ask from one single book, already long enough, to cover everything, even with this title.

Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
subscribe to the neoscenes blog::
#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact:
#  @nettime_bot tweets mail w/ sender unless #ANON is in Subject: