The worst

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Lecture given in Bled (Slovenia) on March 3 2011, at a conference organised by UNESCO "imagining the worst" inspired by Jean Pierre Dupuy philosophy : le catastrophisme éclairé.

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  • Dans les années 70, les démographes parlaient d’explosion de la population. Le club de Rome écrivait « halte à la croissance ». Pendant les années 80, la fécondité a baissé dans tous les pays, y compris dans le tiers monde, et les démographes des Nations Unies pronostiquaient une stabilisation de la population mondiale aux environs de dix milliards d’habitants en 2100. Pendant les années 90, la fécondité a encore baissé. Elle semble se maintenir au dessous du seuil de renouvellement (2,1 enfants par femme) dans les pays développés, lesquels seraient progressivement rejoints par tous les autres, à mesure que le développement économique se diffuse dans le monde entier. D’où un scénario probable, comme le montre le graphique, avec un maximum, puis une décroissance à partir de 2060 environ. Pendant la première moitié du XXIe siècle, on assisterait à une inversion de la pyramide des âges, phénomène rare dans l’histoire de l’humanité, la classe d’âge de 60 à 65 ans devenant plus nombreuse que la classe d’âge de 0 à 5 ans.
  • En passant sa vie active dans une tour de bureau climatisée, on oublie le chant du rossignol, l’odeur du foin coupé, la couleur des feuilles d’automne. Retrouver l’équilibre, ce n’est pas un vœu théorique, c’est le temps et l’énergie de tous les jours. La voie qui s’impose est la désurbanisation. Elle est d’ailleurs commencée dans nos pays d’Europe depuis les années 80.
  • Apparition de l’Homo coca-colensis
  • Derrière le masque d’une information toujours plus abondante et accessible, se cache une société de désinformation, dont les acteurs cherchent à occuper le mental du public par des messages conformes à leurs intérêts. Le spam n’est pas une « bavure ». Il est au contraire un des aspects essentiels (heureusement pas le seul) du système qui se construit actuellement. Par voie de conséquence, la désorientation, qui autrefois concernait surtout les personnes âgées ou les malades mentaux, devient un phénomène général touchant toutes sortes de personnes en difficulté.
  • The worst

    1. 1. Bled, March 3 2011 Imagining the worst Elightened catastrophism Can we even look at it ? Apocalypse by modernity Is the worst already there ?
    2. 2. World demography
    3. 3. World population
    4. 4. European middle age evolution <ul><li>Combining biological S curves </li></ul>Expansion Saturation Decline Creation stabilization (renaissance) 1100 1300 1500
    5. 5. Demography : simulation 1.8 children/woman limit Inversion of the age pyramid maximum then decline
    6. 6. World population Men Women
    7. 7. Europe Men Women
    8. 8. Africa Men Women
    9. 9. Russian Federation Men Women
    10. 10. Asia Men Women
    11. 11. Northern America Men Women
    12. 12. Latin America Men Women
    13. 13. Global urbanization and demography United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
    14. 14. Shrinking cities Detroit Glasgow Leipzig… Collapse : Jared Diamond
    15. 15. Planetary garden To take care fo nature Humans have to live close To nature
    16. 16. The evolution of human species is worrying A challenge to reason
    17. 17. What happened ?
    18. 18. In 1953, Martin Heidegger, in an engineering school, talks « Die frage der teknik » : 1- the essence of technology is nothing technical 2- the essence of technology is the being itself 3- the essence of « modern » technology is the ge-stell In the most extreme danger also grows salvation Inhabit earth as a poet (Hölderlin)
    19. 19. <ul><li>Materials </li></ul>Energy Time scale Man-biosphere relations Since 12th century
    20. 20. <ul><li>Iron </li></ul>mills belfries Selection of seeds Middle age 12-13th century AD
    21. 21. Industrial revolution 1750-1980 in Europe <ul><li>Steel, cement </li></ul>Combustion Taylorism Microbiology
    22. 22. Cognitive revolution 1980-2180 <ul><li>Polymers </li></ul>Electricity Optronics Bio-ecology Converging
    23. 23. Towards a new « essence of technology »
    24. 24. Internet penetration 2010 world 28,7% Au 74,8 Fr 68,9 Sp 62,6 It 51,7 Fi 85,3 D 79,1 UK 82,5 Port 48,1 Swe 92,5 Isl 97,6 Nl 88,6 Be 77,8 Ir 65,8 Dk 86,1 India 6,9 Pakistan 10,4 Kazakhstan 34,3 Indonesia 12,3 Thaïland 26,3 China 31,6 Vietnam 27,1 Singapour 77,8 Malaisia 64,6 Taiwan 70,1 Japan 78,2 Hong-Kong 68,8 Korea 81,1 Venezuela 34,2 Mexico 27,2 Brazil 37,8 Peru 27,0 Argentina 64,4 Chile 50,0 Canada 77,7 USA 77,3 Algeria 13,6 Egypt 21,2 South Africa 10,8 Tunisia 34,0 Morocco 33,0 Source : internetworldstats.com In 2025, more than 75% on the whole planet. Polycultural Internet. Telecom operators challenging banks… Se 55,9 Sk 74,3 Sv 64,8 Bo 31,2 Ro 35,5 Po 58,4 Cz 65,5 Ru 42,8 Gr 43,2 Hu 61,8 Cr 50 Mn 44,1 Ma 51 Li 59,3 Es 75,1 La 67,8 Al 43,5
    25. 25. Cyberspace declaration of independance (Barlow, 1996) Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather. We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear. Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Libertarians and Tea party…
    26. 26. The time barrier We are not living in an information society, but in a « disinformation society » Classical economics assumed that actors were perfectly informed lucid and watchful. The basic assumption being false, the theory is not valid any more Desorientation is everywhere : Hyperchoice (Toffler), cognitive overload…
    27. 27. Vulnerability of the human brain TV : less than 1h/day TV : more than 3h/day
    28. 28. Instability of the 90-2010: 176 crisis during the last 25 years (Stiglitz) Mexico Indonesia Thaïland Korea and even Japan Russia Argentina… New tech Subprime… What is the merchant ruling class doing, since it has unshared power : Bubbles ! Will the next bubble Be a green one?
    29. 29. A new « essence of technology » ? : Hannah Arendt (1958) : Persuasion -> Ge-stell of the consumer’s motivations, storytelling Web 2.0 (2005) and great software companies (google) ->Ge-stell of the user’s logic Money overflow : towards world hyperinflation ? Control of money on politics through media (Murdoch) -> From democracy to lobbycracy
    30. 30. A large and growing number of products consist of many different components that are manufactured in various parts of the world… The strawberry yogurt… by wuppertal Trade in intermediates accounts for the largest part of overall trade Larger supply chains Long supply chains are more vulnerable
    31. 31.
    32. 32. From hyper capitalism to mafia capitalism ?
    33. 33. Natural resources looting continue
    34. 34. Global resources scarcity US Materials Intensity of Use Ausubel and Langford eds.National Academy, 1997
    35. 36.
    36. 37. Temperature increase 1990-2050 Business as usual IPCC scenario
    37. 38. Rains and droughts Business as usual IPCC scenario 2050 How many climate refugees ? 200M ?
    38. 39. Hurricanes
    39. 40. Who will stop it ? Pollutions
    40. 41. Forest destruction between 2002 and 2006 Who will protect nature ? Amazonia, Mato grosso
    41. 42. Epidemias Other type of rescue and population control
    42. 44. Source : rebuilding america’s defence report By « new american century » (2000) (Donald Kagan, Gary Schmitt, Paul Wolfowitz…) Will nature protection become the n°1 military concern ?
    43. 45. 2 missions in the scealed dome . From 26  september  1991 to 26   september   1993 . From march to september 1994 Biosphere 2 : Noah’s arch of the third millenium
    44. 46. How many different species for a stable ecosystem?
    45. 47. <ul><li>Whenever you </li></ul><ul><li>study or not, </li></ul><ul><li>there is no future </li></ul><ul><li>for you… </li></ul><ul><li>Educated unemployed </li></ul><ul><li>And hunger riots </li></ul>The critical times are coming Rich and poor people at 100m on the whole planet
    46. 48. Thich Quang Duc, 73 years old 11 june 1963… End of Viet Nam war : 1975 It takes a longtime to understand !
    47. 49. <ul><li>1980-2020 : </li></ul><ul><li>Disarray of the show business society </li></ul>21st century foresight Ended by a systemic crisis 2010-2020
    48. 50. <ul><li>2020-2060 : Education and public works </li></ul>21st century foresight
    49. 51. <ul><li>2060-2100 : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planetary (and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interplanetary?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li> gardens </li></ul>21st century foresight O’Neill’s artificial planets
    50. 52. Declining : Rising : From heteronomia to autonomia : the values De Waal Simondon Cyrulnik Domination Conquest Performance Empathy Individuation Resilience Authors :
    51. 53. To Homo Sapiens Foresight for 21st century From Homo Coca-colensis
    52. 54. 21st century: A challenge to reason Thanks for your attention

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