I just received (from R. for xmas) and am looking forward to reading Craig Child’s Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth, which I imagine will fit nicely w/ this Wikipedia entry on the far future. The number of catastrophic things that have happened and will happen to the earth really dwarfs most anthropic notions of time, disaster, and crisis.
And on the other side of this spectrum, check out The Long Now Foundation.
In honor of the end of the world that (yet again) failed to occur today (here’s assuming I’m not jumping the gun on this one), a few disaster-related stuff that is real.
Talking Points Memo reports on the link b/t the Newton, Connecticut shooting and doomsday preppers. (And oh yeah, even though I’ve failed to watch it yet, there’s a whole show on the National Geographic channel devoted to this type of doomsday prepping.)
In Guernica, Joel Kovel and Quincy Saul talk about ecosocialism in “Apocalypse and Revelation Are the Same Word.”
And Steven Shaviro has a new essay, “Melancholia, or The Romantic Anti-Sublime,” in the new (free) online journal Sequence.
Enjoy the continuation of the world.
My good friend and former student, Dean Matthews, just started a blog: alloyalloyoxygen. His first post, on surveillance archives and other such things, is titled “The Sound Was Overwhelming: The Archival Nature of Criminal Technology.”
Quite the fail safe. io9 reports that “according to recently declassified documents made available by the U.S. National Security Archive, the United States had a contingency plan in effect where, in the event that the President went missing or was killed during an attack on the country, the military was instructed to launch an automatic and simultaneous ‘full nuclear response’ against both the Soviet Union and China. And it wasn’t until 1968 that the government under Lyndon Johnson repealed the directive.”
And, in other news, “Scientists Plan to Test to See if the Entire Universe is a Simulation.”
The most recent issue of Hot Metal Bridge, Pitt’s graduate-run literary journal, just went live. HMB is currently being edited by my good friend Jennifer Howard.
Kim Stanley Robinson, a master of imagining different geoengineering and terraforming projects in his novels, talks about the future in a short but poignant essay, “Earth: Under Repair, Forever.”
(The above is from The Atlantic‘s pretty astounding “2012: The Year in Photos.”)