Friday, January 26, 2007

Environmentalism Future

Environmentalism Future:
"Looking Backwards" toward Policy Instruments through Eutopian Thought
T.H. Culhane

Introduction

"Our thesis is this: the environmental community's narrow definition of its self-interest leads to a kind of policy literalism that undermines its power…It was … at the height of the movement's success, that the seeds of failure were planted. The environmental community's success created a strong confidence -- and in some cases bald arrogance -- that the environmental protection frame was enough to succeed at a policy level. The environmental community's belief that their power derives from defining themselves as defenders of "the environment" has prevented us from winning major legislation on global warming at the national level… We believe that the environmental movement's foundational concepts, its method for framing legislative proposals, and its very institutions are outmoded. Today environmentalism is just another special interest. Evidence for this can be found in its concepts, its proposals, and its reasoning. What stands out is how arbitrary environmental leaders are about what gets counted and what doesn't as "environmental." Most of the movement's leading thinkers, funders and advocates do not question their most basic assumptions about who we are, what we stand for, and what it is that we should be doing…Environmentalism is today more about protecting a supposed "thing" -- "the environment" -- than advancing the worldview articulated by Sierra Club founder John Muir, who nearly a century ago observed, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."" -- quote from The Death of Environmentalism: Global warming politics in a post-environmental world by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus 13 Jan 2005[1]

In the last two chapters I reflected on Nietzsche's late nineteenth century declaration of the death of God and Merchants' and McKibben's late twentieth century declarations of the death of Nature. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, Shellenberger and Nordhaus, two prominent members of the "environmental community," have declared the death of environmentalism. They invite us to consider life in a post-environmental world.

As far as I am concerned the death of environmentalism couldn't come soon enough. Through the lens of post-modern deconstructivism it seems to me that the very existence of an "environmental community" predicated its own demise. By definition it set itself up as "just another special interest". The Environmental "community" became an unbearably "othered" phenomenon that would have to be assimilated or obliterated. How could a community that defines as its boundaries the un-bounded spaces that environ every community remain relevant? The same post-Enlightenment atomization, objectification and dissection that Merchant (1990) blamed as foretelling our eventual conception of nature as inert has neutralized and rendered environmentalism lifeless; how could its "leaders" be anything but arbitrary about what gets counted and what doesn't as "environmental?" If they did spend all of their time advancing Muir's worldview of total connection instead of trying to protect a supposed "thing", what claim could they make to a cogent agenda? Would they not face the same uncomfortable dilemma that all modelers of reality face when trying to describe "the all"? Would they not end up back to the need for reductionism that led Bacon and Descartes' and others to advance the scientific method, now held responsible by Merchant for killing the organismic conception of mother earth? Without fragmenting "the environment" as a whole into easily handled parts there could be no environmental action[2]. But by doing so the arbitrariness of the reduction becomes obvious. So environmentalism contains the seeds of its own undoing. Therefore we must ask, what is environmentalism future?

Whatever the merits of their arguments, we think it all to the good that Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, and Adam Werbach (henceforth known as "the reapers," to save on syllables and to amuse ourselves) are attempting to spark an open, public debate over the future of environmentalism -- if it has one, that is.[3]

Will the master narrative of Environmentalism Future continually re-cast it as a special interest political movement, continuing to offer technical solutions to tactical issues using the three L's of lobbying, legislating, and litigating? Will it be re-cast as a revolutionary resistance movement, perpetually championing the rights of the downtrodden and marginalized? Or will it be, as Luke predicts, "environmentalism as the highest form of capitalism", representing the environing power of the astropanopticon? Will it continue the enlightenment project beyond the darkness of political nihilism and into the light of "genuine Nihilism", liberating humanity and other life forms from power politics by creating a life-affirming sociobiological valuation system that protects bioregional autonomy and local self-governance and merely needs maintenance to help life forms respond to environmental change (a hybrid of the ideas of Rene Dubos in "Man Adapting" and Lenin's Marxist dream as described by Weiner 1992[4]) Will it plunge us into the horror of some political nihilism where the only recognized value is that of the "winner" in local struggles for power? Or will it simply vanish as a maladaptive concept; too nebulous to do much more than confuse and defuse?

Murray Bookchin (1988) asked a set of similar hard questions in his classic essay "The Crisis in the Ecology Movement"[5]. The answers he derived, however, were overwhelmingly positive: embrace them all!

These sharply conflicting alternatives are very real. And to openly state them is not "divisive" or "confrontational." Accusations like "divisiveness" and "confrontation" are being used with outrageous cynicism to blur significant differences in outlook and prevent a careful exploration of serious problems. The phony cry of "Unity!" has often been used to silence one viewpoint in the interests of another. We can certainly have unity -- and discussion, if you please -- despite major differences. "New Age" rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding, this what democracy is all about. (p. 1)

In environmental future, if it is to be a democratic future, we will have to learn to avoid dualistic thinking and embrace post-modernism's "both-and-also" (Soja, 1996), because environmental attitudes will always be as different as the individuals espousing them and the environments surrounding them in which they find meaning. A recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times by Thomas L. Friedman ("The New Red, White and Blue", Friday, January 6, 2006) demonstrates the shape-shifting nature of environmental discourse and how easily environmentalism can be morphed to fit one or another agenda. He says,

"What’s so disturbing about President Bush and Dick Cheney is that they talk tough about the necessity of invading Iraq, torturing terror suspects and engaging in domestic spying - all to defend our way of life and promote democracy around the globe…But when it comes to what is actually the most important issue in U.S. foreign and domestic policy today - making ourselves energy efficient and independent, and environmentally green - they ridicule it as something only liberals, tree-huggers and sissies believe is possible or necessary…Sorry, but being green, focusing the nation on greater energy efficiency and conservation, is not some girlie-man issue. It is actually the most tough-minded, geostrategic, pro-growth and patriotic thing we can do. Living green is not for sissies. Sticking with oil, and basically saying that a country that can double the speed of microchips every 18 months is somehow incapable of innovating its way to energy independence - that is for sissies, defeatists and people who are ready to see American values eroded at home and abroad….Living green is not just a “personal virtue,” as Mr. Cheney says. It’s a national security imperative.[6]
I don't disagree with Friedman about the dangers of "Petrolism", nor do I feel that living "green" is not a national security imperative[7]. I applaud his attempt to snatch the terms of reference away from the disparaging nonsense used by the right wing. But calling "the most important issue"? That rings false to me because I don't think anybody can claim the most important anything. We must determine our priorities by consensus, and clearly there is no consensus here. I don't think that environmentalism future cannot survive both the essentializing tendencies of its own discourse and the Newspeak transmogrifications of recently converted Greens if the exercise simply turns into a search for a new definition of the movement. If the future is to be democratic, environmentalism should be locally definite but globally indefinite. It should add up to the equivalent of anthropologist Robert Redfield's area studies dictum that our books should all be biased but our libraries neutral. This is time honored wisdom:

Wendell C. Bennett of Yale University cited John Stuart Mill’s advice about the imperial British needing to destroy their own provincial attitudes by "‘frequently using the differently colored glasses of other people’" and asked: "Is not there a similarity in our own position today? Do we [not] need ‘those differently colored glasses’ to live wisely in our new ‘one world’?"[8]

This should be just as true in an era of global environmental problems that require international coordination. We can't be fooled into embracing totalizing discourses just because we are dealing with global issues that "affect everybody". The Russians may actually claim that global warming may have some positive benefits for them (aren't they part of everybody?) while the residents of the Maldives worry about being "the first modern nation to be drowned" (New York Times Op-Ed Sunday, January 8th, 2006, p. 15). We have to take all these viewpoints into consideration. We must be honest about openly stating our conflicting alternative visions, as Bookchin suggests, and stop treating the environment as a sacred cow. Otherwise, we will get caught in the cross-hairs of our own totalizing beliefs. When we see that the foundations for environmental policy can have their signs so quickly flipped back and forth, environmentalism starts to seem as funny as the joke about the Jewish immigrant who is amazed at how easy it was for him to be converted to Catholicism and then justifies eating chicken on a Friday by simply repeating three times over "once a chicken, now a fish". A more nuanced read of Friedman and others like him doesn't tell us anything about how we should relate to our environment as evolving beings in a interconnected biosphere, it merely gives us a new controlling narrative, telling us that if we are patriotic and we value national security, and if analysis shows that, as Friedman concludes, "green is the new red, white and blue", why then we should go "green". If we next learn that we are best served by being "brown" we will assumedly switch to that strategy. There is no grounding – no philosophical underpinnings (like those attempted by the "Deep Ecology" of Bill Devall, Arne Naess or George Sessions or the "Strong Sustainability" of Daly and Cobb) to hold it all together. Such an Environmentalism Future is likely to be as mercurial as the financial markets became after they were liberated from the gold standard. Today we can peg it to homeland security, tomorrow to another issue du jour. The movement stays partisan and utilitarian and then becomes the property of those who control our utilities. Fascism – red, white, blue, green or brown, rears its ugly head (Bookchin 1987)[9]. Democracy fades.

The notion of a coherent environmental movement depended on an agreed upon concept of what "the environment" was. This depended on a universalism that was only possible for a brief period in human history, beginning with the Gutenberg printing press and the imperial expansion of Europe and culminating in the worldwide hegemony of information broadcasting at the end of the 20th century. Some might even argue that the use of the term "the environment" was part of a hegemonic totalizing discourse that served to abstract and distance environmental concerns from direct action. L.L. Bernard (1930)[10] was one of the early theorists who commented on how our linguistic descriptions of "environment" enabled social control. After developing a theory of how the bio-social environment developed into successive forms of thepsycho-social environment, which have become humanity's chief concern, Bernard tells us:

In my classification of social and cultural environments I have included a fourth phase of artificial environment, which I have called the derivative control environment. It is in the main institutional in character and is a composite of the other three artificial environments, and even of as much of the natural environments as may survive untransformed to the stage of institutionalization and as can at the same time be integrated into a social control system. This environment is primarily conceptual in character and its function is to serve as a system of norms, expressed primarily through its psychosocial or symbolical content for the standardization and regulation or control of the coadaptive or social adjustment behavior of individuals in the presence of their environment. The physico-social and bio-social phases of his environment, in so far as they are included in the institution which directs his adjustment, serve as means to the adjustment. (p. 332)

The Environmental Handbook, published to coincide with the first Earth Day in April of 1970, more often used the collective term "our environment" than the general term "the environment", and used the terms in specific contexts:

The forward to the book starts by quoting Rene Dubos' scientific claim that

"the health of the environment is no mere convention… it has real biological meaning because the surface of the earth is truly a living organism" (page i, italics mine)

It then asks the political question,

"Is our environment to be dealt with in these terms or is it to be handed over to ceaseless, unthinking development by those who think only of what it could yield to them today?" (Ibid, italics mine)

From a reading of early environmental works it appears as if the definite article is useful when dealing with environment in the abstract, as a scientifically generalizable phenomenon, whereas "our environment" is useful when galvanizing action.

In the Handbook the excerpted remarks of John W. Gardner delivered to the National Press Club, December 9, 1969 have him quoted as saying

"we see the brooding threat of nuclear warfare. We know our lakes are dying, our rivers growing filthier daily, our atmosphere increasingly polluted… [one] thing the citizen can do is to throw the weight of public opinion against those in the private sector who are unwilling to work toward the solution of our common problems… our system of checks and balances dilutes the thrust of positive action. The competition of interests inherent in pluralism acts as a brake on concerted action." (p.5).

Use of the impersonal term "the environment" (where "environment" is defined by its definite article as a separate space) essentialized ecology and "othered it" (see Edward Said (1979)[11] for notions of how semantics marginalizes concerns and renders them powerless, see Escobar (1999)[12] for "steps to an anti-essentialist ecology"). Once we were no longer dealing with "an environment", (whose indefinite article implied locality and invited consideration of "which" environment or "whose" environment, and could be answered by "mine, yours or ours") we were left with a semantically owned space subject to the logics of commodification and hegemonic power. Thus "the environment" became defined as "that place out there" – the "wilderness", the "no man's land" "the commons", the "Edenic Paradise" – anything but our own toxic homes, invaded by pesticides and offgassing synthetics, our barren monocultural back yards, invaded by herbicides and Kentucky Blue Grass, our sterile neighborhoods, homogenized to resemble English manor meadowlands, our polluted and degraded poor communities, sited for the illegal dumping of hazardous wastes (the "residuals" of industries who don't want to pay the costs of proper disposal or recycling). For many people saving "the environment" became a matter of placing checks in envelopes with pictures of baby harp seals to buy a piece of some peace of mind. Activism on behalf of "the environment" would be better left to "the experts". In this way the radical populist roots of Environmentalism Past, with its focus on "rights", were cut and the movement passed into the professional accounting discourse of Environmentalism Present. But in the unwritten landscape of environmentalism future, the DARPA inspired logic of the decentralized internet and the proliferation of multiple channels of information through cable and satellite television and desktop and localpublishing are threatening information hegemony and giving local actors agency and voice. If nothing else this should kill environmentalism as a global special interest movement led by Western strands of romanticism and professionalism and force consideration of plurivocality in development[13] .

Well intentioned "environmentalists" have wanted to frame environmentalism as a general interest movement (Boynton 2004[14]) -- one world, one earth, one environment, ultimately what? One government? Granted authority by whom? One God? -- and to be fair, they may have believed that a supposedly neutral term such as "the environment" would help us overcome our partisan differences. But the post-modern, post-colonial turn in history cannot accommodate such generalities or simplifications.

The formerly unitary and controlling discourse on the environment has been broken up into questions of whose environment. It no longer makes sense to talk about "the environment" as though it was some place, some never never land, that could be destroyed, or degraded or improved or conserved, or preserved, or saved. The lessons of environmentalism past and environmentalism present are that each environment dialectically (trialectically?) affects every other. Of course the idea that there are basic cultural differences in conceptualizing environments is something that anthropologists have been saying for generations (Frake 1974[15], Levi-Strauss 1962[16]). But trends in globalization tended to collapse all of these and enfold them into the master narrative of the master environment, too easily dominated by power interests. It takes the turn of post-modernism to return environments to their specific and local constructions.

My environment, part social construction, part personal construction, part physical reality, shares features with, but is different from, your environment, and his and hers and theirs. The environment I am interested in protecting might include Bambi (Cartmill 1993)[17] but it might just as well include Aibo[18]. Nature for me might include Yosemite but it might also include Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. Both are managed enframing spaces, commodified picture postcard landscapes (Spirn 1996 [19], Steigerwald 2000[20]). To achieve political consensus for a given environmental impact we can speak collectively about "our environment." This would appear to be a return to the rhetoric of the late sixties and early seventies when environmentalism tried to involve us all in a feeling of interdependency and shared responsibility for our biosphere (much as the civil rights movement employed the term "brother" to emphasize biological unity within our species). But today our greater sophistication and our resistance to essentialist and universalist tendencies impel us to make explicit our awareness that there is (and should be?) environmental diversity, and each of our environments, while interconnected, have different characteristics and management needs. We no longer respond favorably to the hegemonic notion of "one size fits all" proposals. We are deeply suspicious of development schemes from the "outside" (Scott 1998). And to pick a fight we can still talk about what "they" are doing to "our" environments (including, along with our favorite fishing holes and hiking paths, our local union hall, and our treasured ball fields), and what we may not like about "their environments" (with their manicured lawns, their water-intensive biocide-heavy golf courses, with their characterless, energy intensive sprawl, with their toxic industrial parks and landfills, with their deadly power plants and shoebox shopping malls or, on the other side, with their bio-diesel VW vans and trailer-homes, or their insipid child-safe nature centers where hunting and snowmobiles are prohibited).

There is no such place as "the environment".

What this realization will do to "environmentalism" is hard to predict. At the very least it makes it harder for totalizing discourses and the plans they inspire to take hold over our consciousness. And this makes utopian visions, as authored by any individual or party of individuals, harder to achieve global realization. The modernist project, a product of the utopian visions of a few philosophers, statesmen, architects, scientists, artists and other so-called (and often self-avowed) "visionaries", is crumbling as if infected by the fungal incursions of post-modern insight.

What I will try to do in this paper is to discuss what life in Schellenberger and Nordhaus' post environmental world might look like by taking us into the world of environmental modeling as it was conceived before the first and second waves of environmentalism. I will draw most of my arguments from popular utopian literature, making the claim that speculative fiction, corrected for individual and historical bias, may offer better models of the future than even the more mathematically and scientifically rigorous system models being used by planning professionals and policy makers to predict the future state of the world. I do not ague that we should use one instead of the other, because, as in the fable about blind men describing and elephant, each contributes a needed dimension to our understanding of possible future realities. I argue, along with Lyman Tower Sargent (1982)[21] and contra Karl Popper and Ralf Dahrendorf, that we must not leave out utopian fantasies from our planning arsenal. Because artistic representations of the future tend to include the human dimension left out of hard science maps of the future, I feel they often have more heuristic value than supposedly value-free maps whose assumptions are often obscured by our implicit faith in positivist science, a faith that even in the post-Kuhnian world, still permeates professional planning. My view echoes the thoughts of the turn of the century German economist Theodore Hertzka (1889) who wrote the following justification for putting aside his academic work to create his utopian fiction "Freeland":

It happened to me as it may have happened to Bacon of Verulam when his studies for the 'Novum Organon' were interrupted by the vision of his 'Nova Atlantis'--with this difference, however, that his prophetic glance saw the land of social freedom and justice when centuries of bondage still separated him from it, whilst I see it when mankind is already actually equipped ready to step over its threshold. Like him, I felt an irresistible impulse vividly to depict what agitated my mind. Thus, putting aside for awhile the abstract and systematic treatise which I had begun, I wrote this book, which can justly be called 'a political romance,' though it differs from all its predecessors of that category in introducing no unknown and mysterious human powers and characteristics, but throughout keeps to the firm ground of the soberest reality. As this book professes to offer, in narrative form, a picture of the actual social life of the future, it follows as a matter of course that it will be exposed, in all its essential features, to the severest professional criticism. To this criticism I submit it, with this observation, that, if my work is to be regarded as a failure, or as the offspring of frivolous fancy, it must be demonstrated that men gifted with a normal average understanding would in any material point arrive at results other than those described by me if they were organized according to the principles which I have expounded; or that those principles contain anything which a sound understanding would not accept as a self-evident postulate of justice as well as of an enlightened self-interest. I do not imagine that the establishment of the future social order must necessarily be effected exactly in the way described in the following pages. But I certainly think that this would be the best and the simplest way, because it would most speedily and easily lead to the desired result…

Hertzka, not given to fancy, was careful to set his utopia in real places and among real peoples on the continent of Africa so as to ensure the plausibility of his model. Because he believed that the future must be created by informed free men and women he deliberately chose create his model in a narrative form that would invite the largest possible readership.

Just a few words in conclusion, in justification of the romantic accessories introduced into the exposition of so serious a subject. I might appeal to the example of my illustrious predecessors, of whom I have already mentioned Bacon, the clearest, the acutest, the soberest thinker of all times. But I feel bound to confess that I had a double purpose. In the
first place, I hoped by means of vivid and striking pictures to make the difficult questions which form the essential theme of the book acceptable to a wider circle of readers than I could have expected to reach by a dry systematic treatment. In the second place, I wished, by means of the concrete form thus given to a part of my abstractions, to refute by anticipation the criticism that those abstractions, though correct in thesis, were nevertheless inapplicable in praxis. Whether I have succeeded in these two objects remains to be proved.

This is not an unfamiliar technique for many thinkers who believe in the value of participatory planning. Revolutionary thinkers such as the reformation's Martin Luther (1483-1546), who insisted the Bible be available in the language of the common people, and the German scientist and physician Theophrastus Paracelsus (1493–1541), who insisted that science and medicine must be taught in the local language, believed that the language of thinking and planning should be accessible. The utopian fiction is a very accessible medium for playing out "what if" scenarios that almost anyone can participate in. Rich in details about the environments surrounding and sustaining its protagonists, I contend that utopian fiction should be read as a form of virtual environmental modeling in which authors and readers get to play out the drama of human-nature relations before they decide on a course of action. In Schellenberger and Nordhaus' post-environment future, without an explicit environmentalism or community of environmentalists to oppose, it is my hope that future history, occurring when population pressures and distributional inefficiencies are often taxing environmental subsidies beyond their capacities to sustain lives, will come to resemble what the pro-utopia philosopher Ernst Bloch saw as the essence of past history:

"… a struggle against those conditions which prevent the human being from attaining self-realization in non-alienating, non-alienated relationships with itself, nature and other people. Bloch constantly argues that Marxist theory ought not to forget its telos, which is, as Marx puts it in the 1844 Economic-Philosophic Manuscripts: 'the naturalization of man and the humanization of nature.'" (Kellner and O'Hara 1976: 14-15)

Without the essentializing and opposing tendencies of diverse and confused environmentalisms it is hoped that we can recognize the utopian tendencies of all movements and initiatives whereby people struggle to make sense of the world and work towards what Bloch calls "the development of the wealth of human nature… its enrichment and fulfillment" (Ibid). To complete the thoughts developed in Chapters 1 and 2, which environmentalism per se is unnecessary and redundant, I make the claim that environmentalism is a form of utopianism and back that claim up with Lyman Tower Sargent's assertion that "any developed political theory implies a utopia…" (Ibid: 566)

"Utopia is at the root of all radicalism and even much of what we call liberalism. It is the archetype and harbinger of social change – good, bad, and indifferent. Perhaps if we had better utopias, we would be able to produce a better world, say the utopians. The antiutopians answer that if it were not for utopias, we would not have the present mess. Antiutopians are not simply conservatives, and utopians are not all radicals or even liberals. There have been conservative utopias, and much of the attack on utopianism comes from liberals, or even radicals, who fear that detailed plans for the future cannot be implemented without resort to force." (Ibid: 567)

Sargen't argument applies to supposed environmentalists and supposed anti-environmentalists, to moderns and anti-moderns, to those who fear industrial or state fascism and those who fear eco-fascism. If we embrace utopianism, environmentalism becomes redundant.

Returning to the insights of our ecosystem model, we might conclude that all organisms who strive to adapt to their environments and who simultaneously strive to adapt their environments to their own intrinsic nature (what I referred to in Chapter I as "niche constructivism" per Lewontin 1983, Odling-Smee, Laland and Feldman 2003) are eutopian. The failure of any of us to achieve the desired Eugenic or Euphenic stasis of perfect phenotypic adaptability or our failure to Euthenically engineer the Edenic stasis of a perfect world to match our genotypic needs doesn't and shouldn't ever stop us from trying. The ecosystem model merely tells us that such attempts to improve our fitness in the face of Sisyphean change is what evolution, and thus life, is all about.

III. Whither we are Tending

…it is certainly the fate of all Utopias to be more or less misread… H.G. Wells, A Modern Utopia, p. 43

“. . The fantasies of utopian existence promoted by proponents of the technological, industrial mode of life for the last one hundred years are now demonstrably false. That's not what we got. What we got was alienation, disorientation, destruction of the planet, destruction of natural systems, destruction of diversity, homogenization of cultures and regions, crime, homelessness, disease, environmental breakdown, and tremendous inequality. We have a mess on our hands. This system has not lived up to its advertising; in developing a strategy for telling people what to do next, we first have to make that point. Life really is better when you get off the technological/industrial wheel and conceive of some other way. It makes people happier. It may not make them more money, but getting more money hasn't worked out. Filling life with commodities doesn't turn out to be satisfying, and most people know that. (Jerry Mander, 1991)”

“It is a characteristic of scientists in general that they have no flair for predicting the future. That is better done by the H.G. Wellses and Aldous Huxleys. The scientist may have ‘future in his bones’, as Sir Charles Snow puts it, but alas not at the tip of his tongue. Science may be the engine of social, economic, military, industrial and intellectual change, but the scientist is not in the drivers seat.” Professor I.I. Rabi “An American View: The Scientist in Public Affairs” from “The World in 1984” Volume I, The complete New Sceintist series, Edited by Nigel Calder, Penguin Books, 1964.

The philosopher Ernest Bloch and his contemporaries Georg Lukacs, Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, used the optic of cultural criticism between 1930 and 1973 to expose the arts as mirrors of social realities and human dreams, believing that genres such as theater, film, opera, poetry, painting and even pulp fictions and fairy tales helped us strive for something better, for a more humane "Heimat" (homeland). In his book "The Utopian Function of Art and Literature" Bloch (1988) took on a wealth of popular forms, mining them for models of the good life and he discovered that "the content of the utopian changes according to the social situation." (p. 5). Each age seems to have its own competing visions of utopia, all grounded in the particular environmental perceptions, technologies (and the social conditions that shape technological manifestation) and mapping/modeling capacities of their time. From the political utopias of past centuries to the consumer oriented fantasy based utopias of our own centuries, Warren tells us,

Utopian discourse, thus, is both myth and concrete description; it draws its power from its ability to function as hegemonic dialogue through which contemporary social conditions are negotiated, distorted, and transformed (Levitas 1984).
But the ability of individuals and groups to create new maps or models of alternative futures, through whatever technologies may be at hand – narrative styles, comic art forms, independent film, and lately the graphing and databasing power of new Geographical Information Systems – give plurivocality an ever greater chance to throw its visions into the ring and disrupt power driven distortions. Warren offers the following hope:
A more nuanced understanding of the utopian…leads us to a much more intriguing set of possibilities. As Harvey (2000, 193) has noted, it is the same conditions of which dystopian observers despair that also offer seeds of hope: "Those internal contradictions provide the raw materials for growing an alternative." Technologies like gis embody those contradictions and can also be used to expose and change them. Utopian activities involving gis may not much resemble the language of formal nineteenth-century utopias; they may instead exist as fragmentary and sometimes disconnected elements within the "hidden utopianism" to which Harvey refers. Nonetheless, in those individual utopian moments, gis technology can offer an excellent strategy to "interfere" in the broader industrial capitalist fabric from which it comes and to bring about change, although in small steps at a time. Public participation gis and feminist critiques of gis hint at these possibilities (Warren 2004)[22]
All predictions, even those made with the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension which "bridges the gap between a simple map on a computer and real world analysis for deriving solutions to complex problems"[23], are speculative fictions. Policy makers and planners by their very nature are engaged daily in speculation and nowhere is planning more a curious hybrid of imagination and applied empiricism than in the field of environmental policy planning, where the ill understood dynamics of human and non-human interdependencies creates non-determinative outcomes. By its very nature, straddling the borderlands between scientific analyses of past events and (theoretically informed by these analyses) predictions of future events, environmental planning is of necessity a form of "science fiction".

Speculative fiction, science fiction and scientific speculation literature (i.e. "futurology") are all more than useful reference sources for planners, but have frequently been ignored by university policy planning and engineering programs. The question is, from where, then, do environmental planners get their ideas for how their policies and projects will pan out? Who is informing the planner as she lays out a design for what society should look like at the end of the rainbow she has sketched out?

Mapping and Modelling

The father of general semantics, Alford Korzybski stated, 'A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.' What this means is that our perception of reality is not reality itself but our own version of it, or our "map".[24]

Countless essentialist concepts of “nature” exist in both scientific and popular discourse; more realistic conceptualization is needed. Most important, perhaps, is the way in which Escobar raises and addresses a key question: How do we deal with the perception that the category “nature” is culturally constructed yet there is something out there that is of increasing concern? This is an application, or case, of the classic philosophical problem of how to square human perception (inevitably distorted, and sometimes downright hallucinative) with whatever is “out there” being perceived. The reality that refuses to go away is the world environmental crisis. This is where political ecology finds its great challenge. (Anderson, 2000)[25]

I make the contention in this chapter that for all organisms environmental movement and thus the "environmental movement" require a combination of genetically inscribed reference maps and experientially built cognitive maps of the environment; forethought and planning rely on imaginative projections of those cognitive maps with new variables inserted and played out in the virtual reality that is mental space-time. These maps are referred to as "models".

An article on Futures Studies in Wikipedia outlines the diverse range of forecasting methods used by Futurists:

* Anticipatory Thinking (Futures)
Causal Layered Analysis (CLA)[26]
Environmental scanning
Morphological analysis[27]
Scenario method
Delphi method and consensus building[28]
Future history
Monitoring
* Backcasting (Eco-History)
Back-view mirror analysis
Cross-impact analysis
* Futures workshops
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
Futures biographies
Futures wheel
Relevance tree
* Simulation and modelling
Social network analysis
Systems engineering
+ Thinklets[29]
+ Visioning
* Trend analysis

Modeling has occupied the attention of scientists and economists since mathematics and the scientific method became formalized (see Mahoney 1997[30], Casti1989)[31]. Indeed the strength of the so called "hard sciences" derives from their ability to be formally modeled in "cypherspace" (the abstract realm of numbers and mathematical relationships, often called "laws", that physicists and economists used to scribble in notebooks and on blackboards) and then tested in the so called "real world". Increasingly "cyberspace", the "virtual reality" of computer modeling, has emerged as a mediator between blackboard cypherspace and reality[32]. Wolfram's Mathematica is probably the most obvious and powerful of these intermediary tools today, but even CG modeling programs used by Hollywood special effects teams, such as 3D Studio Max, fill this function.[33]

Once again, employing David John Frank's ecosystem model as my own optic, and taking seriously Darwin's adage "the difference between man and the other animals is one of degree and not kind" I think we must regard all modeling as forms of thinking and all thinking as forms of modeling. Recent advances in artificial intelligence and robotics suggest that these differences in degree apply to inorganic animals ("animatronics") as well. As Samuel Butler wrote in 1871

“There is no security against the ultimate development of mechanical consciousness, in the fact of machines possessing little consciousness now. A mollusc has not much consciousness. Reflect upon the extraordinary advance which machines have made during the last few hundred years, and note how slowly the animal and vegetable kingdoms are advancing.”[34]

The recent Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge robotic vehicle race on October 8th of 2005, in which 5 autonomous vehicles successfully traveled 132 miles over torturous desert terrain in under 8 hours demonstrates how far our understanding of world modeling and mental mapping as prerequisites to thinking have come[35]; Mitsubishi's winter 2005 release onto the domestic care market of the robot servant "Wakamaru", who can self navigate around the house, charge his own batteries, recognize 10 individuals by sight and voice, detect stress in its owner, and carry on intelligible near Turing-test conversations using a vocabulary of over 10,000 words[36] also shows internal mapping and the ability to compare sensory inputs of reality to stored models as key components of thinking, common to all self-motivated animate beings (Menzel and D'Aluiso 2000)[37]. Even this holiday's popular toys, "Robo-Sapiens" and "Robo-Raptor", "Robo-Pet" and Hasbro "Bio-Bugs"[38] which many people take for granted because they are sold at stores like Best Buy and Toys R Us, are pushing the envelope for animatronic self-awareness because of the sophisticated mapping and learn-by-comparison algorithms and "nervous-net technology" they contain. Robo-Sapiens V2, for example, can distinguish colors and appropriately name them and can distinguish objects with complex color patterns (such as people) from those with simple patterns (such as walls). Unlike conventional digital computation models, these "toys" use analogous computation and genetic algorithms, just as living organisms do, to produce complex behavior from simple logiccircuits. They are the brainchild of controversial engineer Mark Tilden, the defense-designer-turned-toy-maker, whose company, BEAM Robotics, espouses the very philosophy of machine evolution that Samuel Butler warned humanity against in his utopian fiction "Erewhon":
The idea is to improve robo-genetic stock through stratified competition and have an interesting time in the process. The science behind the idea stems from current concepts in artificial intelligence (AI), artificial life (ALife), evolutionary biology, and genetic algorithms. It seems that building large complex robots hasn't worked well, so why not try to evolve them from a lesser to a greater ability as mother nature has done with biologics? The problem is that such a concept requires self-reproducing robots which won't be possible to build (if at all) for years to come. A solution, however, is to view a human being as a robot's way of making another robot, to have an annual venue where experimenters can let their creations interact in real situations, and then watch as machine evolution occurs… In other words, robogenetics through robobiologics.[39]
Butler's prophetic word's 133 years earlier were:
“Either…a great deal of action that has been called purely mechanical and unconscious must be admitted to contain more elements of consciousness than has been allowed hitherto (and in this case germs of consciousness will be found in many actions of the higher machines)--for (assuming the theory of evolution but at the same time denying the consciousness of vegetable and crystalline action) the race of man has descended from things which had no consciousness at all. In this case there is no a priori improbability in the descent of conscious (and more than conscious) machines from those which now exist, except that which is suggested by the apparent absence of anything like a reproductive system in the mechanical kingdom. This absence however is only apparent, as I shall presently show… “It is said by some with whom I have conversed upon this subject, that the machines can never be developed into animate or quasi-animate existences, inasmuch as they have no reproductive system, nor seem ever likely to possess one. If this be taken to mean that they cannot marry, and that we are never likely to see a fertile union between two vapour-engines with the young ones playing about the door of the shed, however greatly we might desire to do so, I will readily grant it. But the objection is not a very profound one. No one expects that all the features of the now existing organisations will be absolutely repeated in an entirely new class of life. The reproductive system of animals differs widely from that of plants, but both are reproductive systems. Has nature exhausted her phases of this power? Surely if a machine is able to reproduce another machine systematically, we may say that it has a reproductive system. What is a reproductive system, if it be not a system for reproduction? And how few of the machines are there which have not been produced systematically by other machines? But it is man that makes them do so. Yes; but is it not insects that make many of the plants reproductive, and would not whole families of plants die out if their fertilisation was not effected by a class of agents utterly foreign to themselves? Does anyone say that the red clover has no reproductive system because the humble bee (and the humble bee only) must aid and abet it before it can reproduce? No one. The humble bee is a part of the reproductive system of the clover. Each one of ourselves has sprung from minute animalcules whose entity was entirely distinct from our own, and which acted after their kind with no thought or heed of what we might think about it. These little creatures are part of our own reproductive system; then why not we part of that of the machines? But the machines which reproduce machinery do not reproduce machines after their own kind. A thimble may be made by machinery, but it was not made by, neither will it ever make, a thimble. Here, again, if we turn to nature we shall find abundance of analogies which will teach us that a reproductive system may be in full force without the thing produced being of the same kind as that which produced it. Very few creatures reproduce after their own kind; they reproduce something which has the potentiality of becoming that which their parents were. Thus the butterfly lays an egg, which egg can become a caterpillar, which caterpillar can become a chrysalis, which chrysalis can become a butterfly; and though I freely grant that the machines cannot be said to have more than the germ of a true reproductive system at present, have we not just seen that they have only recently obtained the germs of a mouth and stomach? And may not some stride be made in the direction of true reproduction which shall be as great as that which has been recently taken in the direction of true feeding?" [40]
Interestingly, when Butler, himself a staunch evolutionist, wrote Erewhon his book was seized upon by anti-evolutionists as such a ridiculous fantasy that it would "reduce Mr. Darwin's theories to an absurdity".[41] Today we see that Butler's attempt to think through the possibilities, and think-them-out-louder, helped humanity to ultimately "think them out loudest", i.e. actually make them real. If we take our models of nature at all seriously we must admit that non-human intelligence and even inorganic intelligence are inevitable, and must be included in all planning models of the future.

Thinking out loud, thinking out louder, thinking out loudest

An explanation of my terminology is needed here: If mapping and modeling, on an internal level, are the chief characteristics of "thinking", and we accept that almost all animate organisms continuously map, many think, and the most intelligent among them plan, it follows that one of the chief distinguishing characteristics of the Homo sapiens is our ability to share models and maps and collectively improve and reproduce them. What makes humans so special is that we alone (right now), through the magic of language, can reproduce our maps and models exobiologically. Any medium we create for sharing our maps and models would be a form of communication, a form of "thinking out loud".

I describe the tendencies of public modeling, moving from the internal maps that all animate beings make to the building of real environments in the external world, as different forms of "thinking out loud". Here I identify what I believe to be three evolving levels of communicating shared models of future environmental scenarios to enhance the possibilities for participatory planning and survival.

I. Thinking out loud: the function of animal communication

Gestural, uttered, spoken and written (or graphic) forms of communication would be the first level of thinking-out-loud. In personal, internal thinking, an observer senses the world, forms an audio-visual-tactile-olfactory map or model in the brain (often comparing it to a general environmental hard-wired "instinct" map) and then, at least among intentionalorganisms, imagines what the outcome of a movement (change of state) in the relationship between self and environment might bring about. In highly intelligent social animals, to test any hypothesis without commiting to it (and thus running the risk of loss of fitness) the observer "thinks out loud" by making an intelligible utterance that transfers his or her internal cognitive model to another mind for error checking. As the poet Khalil Gibran put it " It takes two of us to create a truth, one to utter it and one to understand it." This is an early evolutionary form of what military planners now call Delphi consensus modeling. Mitroff and Turoff (1973, 2002) remind us that the "first pioneers of the Delphi technique [wanted] to study how and under which circumstances a group of reflective minds was better than one."[42] When a group of minds share the same thought they can run simulations based on their experiences and on the applications of generalities they have confidence in. Assuming a culture with checks and balances on power (Bello 2002)[43], these minds can then reach consensus about the possibilities for a desirable outcome to an actual environmental movement. Anthropologists have been telling us for a long time that all human cultures, from the most "primitive" to the most "advanced" have always done this.

People come up with their categories (political, cultural, personal) through interacting with the actual entities and events
they categorize. People literally construct concepts just as they build houses: by working with whatever they have to build something that will serve their needs and, ideally, not fall down on them. The resulting structures are in the mind, in the social universe, and in the “real” world… We have since learned that even the “simple” hunter-gatherer cultures had complex worldviews and complex ways of influencing and altering their environments (see, e.g., Blackburn and K. Anderson 1993). Above all, we have learned more about the old Boasian point that traditional peoples were not caught in some timeless “ethnographic present” but changed their exploitation strategies (and presumably their perceptions) over time, often dramatically (see, e.g., Kirch 1994, 1997). (Anderson, Ibid)

Allowing all people to participate in modeling the future and in trying out their own eutopian experiments (forward thinking "Delphic consensual" participatory development as opposed to merely allowing people to "vote" on somebody else's plan) is crucial to truly sustainable development (In Social Choice theory, Kenneth Arrow showed that all voting rules will conflict with democratic norms, whether majority vote, two-thirds vote or status quo. His impossibility theorem demonstrated that no social welfare function could satisfy all conditions at once). We must stop believing that "the masses", particularly "the poor" and those modern society perceives as "backwards" are somehow incapable or unqualified to plan their own futures. We have to stop assuming that they are "backwards" by choice or that their economic, social or technological stagnation are the result of any lack of desire on their part to participate in "the good life", however they or we conceive of it. Everybody should have the chance to map out their own eutopia. Bello warns us,

"Only in such a global context – more fluid, less structured, more pluralistic, with multiple checks and balances – will the citizens and communities of the South and North find ways to develop based on their own unique values, rhythms, and strategies… The price of failure would be high. In the early 20th century, the revolutionary theorist Rosa Luxemburg warned that the future might belong to barbarism. Today, corporate-driven globalization is creating instability and resentments that in turn can give way to fascist, fanatical, and authoritarian populist impulses. The forces representing human solidarity and true community must step in quickly to convince the disenchanted masses that a better world is possible. The alternative is to see the vacuum filled by terrorists, demagogues of the religious and radical right, and – as in the 1930s – the purveyors of irrationality and nihilism." (Ibid p. 42)

To avoid this, and to encourage participation in constructing a "better world" (a.k.a. an "eu-topia") I believe that policy should encourage everyone to "think out loud" (through freedom of speech and right to assembly) and then to "think out louder" (through a free press, support for the arts, and subsidized training opportunities in the use of multi-media technologies) and finally to "think out loudest" (through well supported opportunities for free educations in science and engineering and encouragement of experimental prototype communities of tomorrow). We must assume that all people dream of a better life for them, and that policy should give them the chance to put their vision out there where others can experience it and where it can compete for representation in the great development debate.

Thinking out louder: The function of art

After being encouraged to "think out loud", the next step in perfecting our predictive capacity is what I call "thinking out louder". In this step a mind doesn't merely speak a hypothesis about the world, but creates an entire simulated world with various rules of interaction that can be experienced by another mind. Thinking out louder turns every individual into an "authority figure" through the magic of "authorship". It thus undermines traditional autocratic authority by the literate global elite (see Boynton 2004 "The Tyranny of Copyright" in the New York Times in which he compares the 'Copy Left' movement to create an information environment commons to the Environmental movement[44]). An "author's" position on given environmental changes and movements usually occurs in a narrative storyline (i.e. in a timeline) that allows consequences to play out in dimension t. These imaginative movements can be fixed in oral tradition, as they were for thousands of years before the development of symbolic coding schemes, but are most effective when fixed in media that allow them to transcend not only the local time limitations of immediate thought but possible disruptions due to the loss of living carriers; the thinking can then be broadcast to many minds over large spatio-temporal intervals without relying on cultural embededness as long as the appropriate codecs are preserved. In the past this kind of thinking-out-louder was done through the creation of speculative fictions – storylines of imagined realities – that were then fixed in scrolls and books. Often these text based speculations could be "unpacked" and reconstituted by living humans to add verisimilitude to the fantasy through engagement with living minds and bodies acting as "models".

Thinking out Louder: Theatres of Liberation

Brazilian playwright Agusto Boal (Theatre of the Oppressed[45]) and East German playwright Bertolt Brecht both believed in transforming the social order through dramatic performance. Boal, who was heavily influenced by Brecht, added the dimension of theatre as a pedagogy of liberation, following Paulo Freire's notions of "conscientization - developing consciousness, but consciousness that is understood to have the power to transform reality' (Taylor 1993: 52)" [46] Through "live performance" the eutopian speculations of oppressed groups could be collectively "played out louder" by actors in simulations that involved "role playing" so that both participants and observers could experience the social and emotional dimensions of proposed changes. This dialogic form of experiential learning and experimenting removes the authoritarian tendencies of both pedagogy and performance, where the "sage on the stage" delivers "wisdom" to passive audiences, something Freire called "banking", in which the educator makes one-way deposits to the mind of the educatee (Smith, 1997)[47]. Liberation theatre was often used to counter such irreversible vectors, but even in a situation with passive audiences, the "acting out loud" aspect of theatre made it a particularly good venue for presenting alternative models of reality, for encouraging people to understand their own lives better and to introduce speculations on what the good life could be. This was as true among the ancient Greeks as among moderns, and seems to have varied in political impact throughout the ages. Theatre was of course also widely used by oppressors. Though it could be used as a tool to question the status quo and to empower the masses[48] Boal and Brecht both felt that the elite used theatre to broadcast and maintain their ideas of social norms as well as to experiment with different lifestyles and win adherents. We are all trying to impose our vision of the good life, after all.

H.W. Janson and Dora Jane Janson in "The Picture History of Painting: From Cave Painting to Modern Times" [49] show that three dimensional theatrical simulations were popular among the nobles of Europe in pre-revolutionary France:

"Watteau's love of the theatre gives us a clue to the spirit of Roccoco society. It was, for the nobles at any rate, an age of play acting – of pretending that their life was as free from worry as that of Francois Boucher's shepherd and shepherdess, who live in a delightful world where the sheep never stray, so that they can devote all their time to the pursuit of love. Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France, actually had a model farm built on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, where she and her friends could play at being milkmaids and field hands when they tired of the formality of court life." P. 408

Through art and artifice the human mind and spirit (and, with theatre, body) could play at different experiments in adaptation.

Play as a form of theatrical modelling

We know that play is serious business among almost all mammals and many birds (Bekoff and Byers 1998, Bock2004)[50]; the history of phenotypic adaptive response to environmental change is written in the increasingly complex patterns of play that organisms with expanded neo-cortical function engage in. Play is a form of modeling, Brian Sutton-Smith (1998) contends. He suggests that play "might provide a model of the variability that allows for 'natural' selection." As a form of mental feedback, he believes that "play might nullify the rigidity that sets in after successful adaption, thus reinforcing animal and human variability."[51]

That play would manifest itself in coded symbolic representations of reality is not surprising; as Desmond Morris observed, most ritualized behaviors among reptiles, birds and mammals involve a form of play acting and modeling that is used to signal intention before a behavior is committed to or a relationship consummated. Much courtship behavior is the acting out of partial scripts that never complete, as if the organisms are giving each other a chance to "try out" a potential mate before buying. The similarity with the "window shopping" that occurs in the red light district of Amsterdam is obvious. But we can see that all human modeling – from runway fashion models to department store mannequins – is an extension of the "try before you buy" adaptation that evolved among most cognitively sophisticated beings. It shows up in mating rituals: in the lekking we see in birds and in the genetical mimicry we see in non-human primates; it shows up in conflict management in the chest-beating of gorillas and the playing-dead of canids. It is well described in the socio-biological and ethological literatures (see E.O. Wilson 1975 and all the works of 1973 Nobel Prize laureates Niko Tinbergen, Konrad Lorenz, and Karl von Frisch). All of these tendencies involve the creation of abstractions or simple models of reality that can be easily understood and have useful predictive properties, helping animals make decisions without large investments and possible losses of fitness. In effect, the abstractions of modeling help all animals to lower transaction costs, so they have selective advantage (Scalise, 1999)[52].

Given the long natural and social history of organisms using symbol, ritual, play and even fantasy to model reality and enhance survivability[53], it is odd that so few academics and planning professionals mine the symbolic arts for insights into how best to construct our relations to our environments.

"It's an amusing aside to wonder why self-styled practically-oriented people reserve their greatest scorn for 'useless abstractions,' when the very essence of an abstraction is to reduce the description of a system to a simpler and , presumably, more tractable form. Thus, in many ways there is nothing more useful and practical than a good abstraction. This calls to mind Hilbert's dictum that 'there is nothing more practical than a good theory.' Much of our subsequent development is focused upon tricks, techniques and subterfuges aimed at finding good abstractions." (Casti, J.L. 1992:6)[54]

When experience, knowledge, education, intelligence, common sense and intuition are not enough we need to use models. Models are meant to tease a little extra pattern out of the noise by weaving together things we already know or think we can guess into new things that expand the range of what is expected and predictable. (Couclelis and XiaoHang 2000) [55]

Since the late 19th century "full bodied" if abstracted models of reality that human beings produce to make predictions have been captured in audio-visual media that have permitted artists to ever more faithfully simulated imagined realities. We call much of this "cinema". In the last half of the 20th century the development of the computer took modeling a quantum step further, enabling "thinking out louder" to be shared with the enormous and rapid computational and modeling capacities of artificial intelligences, programmed with the laws and logic of math and science. Computer simulations of reality enable us to manipulate parameters in very complex ways so that virtual realities are being created that often appear indistinguishable from reality itself. As with thinking itself, and unlike the commitment demanded by "hard copy", the timelines of electronic text and virtual reality simulations are ever reversible. The sudden possibility to move freely in four dimensions, x, y, z and now t, is one of the quantum leaps of modern thinking out louder. Chemical and physical reactions and even biological evolution can be reversed, undone, even erased with no meaningful increase in entropy. Mistakes are corrected, failures get a second chance. And a third, and a fourth. Again, we need not commit and thus need not suffer any possible loss of fitness.

Thinking out loudest: The function of science

The ultimate stage of thinking I call "thinking out loudest". This form of thinking lets us create ever changeable realities in the real world but (in the best of all possible worlds) without any long-term consequences. This kind of thinking is the domain of science. Theoretically such reified thoughts are also reversible without penalty. In a very real way this is what scientific experimentation has always hoped to achieve. The idea of establishing controls and adjusting variables to learn about the world is an idea of modeling played out in four tangible dimensions.

No experiment ever shows you "the truth" because "truth" occurs in a world in which you cannot establish controls. In fact, one of the things that distinguishes reality from a model of reality is the fact that you cannot control reality. Every attempt at creating a control, every attempt to control, shows that we are operating in a simulated environment. By this logic, the state and all of human civilization can be seen to be mere models of reality, not realities themselves, and this may go a long way toward explaining the profound discomfort many people have with the mere slice of life that life in the "built environment" (read "modeled environment?") affords us, and the resistance we see to planned utopias translated into the real world. Any attempt to establish controls and manipulate variables puts us in an artificial world that is vulnerable to disruption when the unforeseen and unexpected intrudes. To keep the model going demands management, and management implies simplification which demands power. As Lord Acton warned, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely". So people are wary if not outright terrified.

The modernist project and all scientifically rational positivism can be seen as an attempt to create a model of reality and thenconvince everybody to believe in it. And this may be why different parties heap so much scorn and derision upon modernism and upon other "utopian" models of the future – in their pursuit of perfection the models show their falseness. Their stasis and repeatability is their disquieting undoing. The perfect world quickly turns into a dystopia. Either, as in Huxley's Island and James Hilton's Lost Horizon, or the 1993 film "Demolition Man" the perfection is spoiled by the inevitable invasion of hostile outsiders or ideas, or, as in Capek's R.U.R., Huxley's Brave New World and Zamiatan's We the perfect control necessary to maintain perfection is itself the source of the nightmare. No evolving life form can long tolerate the clockwork precision of a scientifically ordered society.

Our attempts to define and control our environments so that they conform to our models and maps, rather than progressively updating our maps to reflect our growing awareness of our environments puts these environments in the category of models themselves. This is to say that by "thinking out loudest" in creating a built environment or landscape that conforms to our sense of aesthetics and our desire for control we reveal that our attempts to adapt our surroundings to our own needs and desires are mere experiments. For example, we assume we understand how hydrologic systems work and design systems based on our models. When the climate suddenly changes or the well runs dry or political uprisings cut off water supplies we learn that our model was incomplete. We scurry to refine the model to include the missing variables and give our new model greater predictive power. But the more we try to impose our model on nature the more we see how incomplete our abstraction is. Useful for statistical survival yes, but only for that.

When a scientist cuts down a swathe of forest to see how deforestation affects watersheds, she is modeling. When a scientist tests pesticides or cosmetics on laboratory animals he is modeling. The problem is that by working on models in the real world our experiments have effects on the welfare of living beings. Each failed attempt to create a eutopia results in a dystopia for the victims.

There is one space where "thinking out loudest" is beginning to occur with no suffering and hence no moral transaction costs. This is in the realm of simulacra based on robotics. More and more dangerous activities use ever more realistic dummies in their training. In the world of audio-animatronic beings (on nascent display in theme parks and in laboratories and in the arenas of robot enthusiasts and played out fully in fiction films such as Michael Crichton's films "Westworld" (1973) and "Futureworld" (1976)) we get to experiment with the consequences of everything from sword fights and gun battles to sexual encounters[56] and different forms of social organization without causing any loss of welfare at all ('no humans or animals were harmed during the making of this simulation' the disclaimer might read). Robot warfare is a popular but bloodless sport all over the world today, with a weekly "Battlebots robot combat competition" television show broadcast globally[57]; the real military uses robotic systems for weapons testing and will be engaging in robotic warfare more and more[58]; ever more sophisticated "crash dummies" have been testing the safety of cars for several decades now; even surgeons now train on robots before commiting to real procedures.[59] Whether all of this will lead to a more bloodless future is still uncertain.

Viewed historically, civilization is a vast experiment that must still be played out with live human and animal subjects. Rarely do we invoke the precautionary principle before we leap into the application of a new experiment. The few who think out loudest (policymakers, architects, planners, inventors, captains of industry) push new models forward and often create positive benefits for humanity but they also make the many the unwitting victims of their failed hypotheses; we are not yet at the stage, for example, where we can "think out loudest" and test the simplistic mathematical models of utopian economists such as Arrow and Debreu without disrupting Pareto optimality in the real world and without diminishing somebody else's welfare. Programs such as SimCity and SimLife and Zoo Tycoon let us build worlds in virtual reality to try out various environmental and management scenarios and professional planners have even more sophisticated tools in their arsenal; the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, for example, were very faithfully modeled and reported in National Geographic a year before the actual event took place. But to get a more realistic idea of what the future holds people feel the need to model with physical entities – with "policy instruments" as well as with real liquids and gases and solids and behaving bodies. Often the behaving bodies we try our policy instruments on are citizens of third world countries or urban and rural poor communities in first and second world countries. When our experiments fail we tend to calltheir suffering "collateral damage". The feedback we get then informs policy decisions for richer communities. So cynically we can look at poor areas and "wild" areas of the world as "policy testing grounds"; they are, after all, often described as "environmental sacrifice zones" (see Schweitzer 2004[60]). For aircraft and other expensive vehicles we are not so callous. Before we put them to the test in the real world we have wind tunnels to test their resilience in; NASA routinely puts spacecraft and robots through extreme temperatures and vacuums in a controlled fashion before committing them to the rigors of outer space. The Biosphere II experiment was an attempt to think out loudest modeling a space colony, NASA and the ESA are now simulating manned Mars missions in the Arctic Circle – astronauts and space missions, after all, are expensive; EPCOT center was supposed to be a simulated multi-cultural, ever changing, technologically and ecologically integrated city – the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow". These are all places we can look to for more complete models with more predictive power upon which we can base policy, for this is where "thinking out loudest" is going on.

Perhaps in the future we will find ways to experimentally transform living matter and then reverse it back to its original condition. Nanotechnology seems poised to take us into this strange experimental realm[61]. If we achieve the ability to, say, turn a man into a newt and then back into a man, we will have achieved the kind of thinking out loudest described in our legends of sword and sorcery (or at least in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail!"[62]). The highest form of thinking-out-loudest, in which we can experiment with various changes in organisms and their environments and then take it all back, would be indistinguishable from what we today call "magic".[63] The future may hold such possibilities and the genres of science fiction and fantasy may one day re-blend, as they did in 1000 AD at the time when the Arabic Picatrix was written[64], and as they do now in many bookstores and video stores where people do not distinguish between stories in which the actions and behaviors conform to what we know of the laws of physics, chemistry and sociobiology and stories in which they do not. While the line may be very easy to see today, in environmentalism future it may begin to blur significantly. As the saying goes "today's science fiction may be the tomorrow's scientific fact". The magical, the surreal and the fantasies of witchcraft and sorcery may soon follow for all we know. Perhaps we should be planning for them.

The Science and Art of Euthenics: Utopias as Environmental Models for Planning

In common language, eugenics would denote the science and art of being well born, and euthenics the science and art of living well or wise living… we immediately recognize that practically all the sciences contribute to this subject, as in medicine, engineering, economics, psychology, physiology, sociology and education… it is [also] well recognized that… applied arts… center about this issue. The question then arises: Can the salient interests and contributions from all such sources be selected and coordinated into a specific applied science [and] art?[65] (Seashore 1941 p. 561)

According to a 1942 article in Science magazine, in 1910 Ellen H. Richards, the first woman professional chemist in the nation, who "played a major role to open scientific education and the scientific professions to women"[66] wrote a popular book called "Euthenics: The Science of Controllable Environment, A Plea for Better Conditions As a First Step Toward Higher Human Efficiency"[67], bringing the ancient Greek term "euthenics" into common parlance. The term also appears in the same magazine in 1926 in an article about heredity and environment called "Eugenothenics" in which the author calls for a movement that would combine both eugenics and euthenics. He defines euthenics as "the study of race improvement by the regulation of the environment".[68] Scientists and statesmen throughout the industrial revolution were constantly debating the best way to improve humanity and although the history of the issue has been radically whitewashed since the Nazi Holocaust, America in particular, with its complex racial and immigrant history, was obsessed with eugenics. Backed by theories of social Darwinism, eugenics was championed as the best way to improve long term welfare. Euthenics was more of a resistance alternative, inspired by the radical turn of the century theories of Ebenezer Howard and his "Garden Cities of Tomorrow" (1902)[69] that kicked off the green cities movement in England and the landscape engineering experiments of Frederick Law Olmsted in America. Champions of euthenics sought to "control" or "regulate" the environment (external nature, otherwise known as the environment of human nurture) as a humane and socially just alternative to control or regulation of human nature. At the time nature vs. nurture meant eugenics vs. euthenics. What was called "nature" was human genetics. What was called "nurture" was the place we confusedly call "Nature".

Carolyn Merchant (and many eco-feminist followers of her work) claims that those who followed the ideas espoused by Francis Bacon in his utopian fantasy "The New Atlantis", where the good society results from "controlling Nature" in order to improve welfare, were somehow responsible for our contemporary alienation from nature. She claimed that this was due to an ongoing project of rational power seeking dominance over "the wild". But this is to lose sight of the liberating intentions of euthenics. Euthenics, which saw a properly constructed bio-social environment as the way to bring out the best in human nature, without trying to alter or distort or control human nature, appeared to its proponents to be the most benign way of constructing human-environment relations. Nobody argues that New York's Central Park, which was an architects' attempt to create a theme park for salubrious living out of a filthy stockyard in an unhealthful and crowded city, was an attempt to "control" or "dominate" nature, yet every tree and rock, hill and pond in there was as deliberately placed and controlled as the ersatz jungle in Disneyland. The same is true of America's national parks and even of romantic wonders of nature such as Niagra Falls[70]. Euthenic projects generally carried with them no antagonism toward "nature" or "wilderness, rather, they prescribed various landscape features, from the wild to the manicured, as therapeutic environments, as if they were medicines for ailing hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Euthenics variably sacrificed or enhanced romantic notions of "the wild" in the external environment, depending on the prescription, to give untrammeled human wildness a chance to self-actualize and reach its highest level. It stemmed from a belief in experimenting with the ideas of Rousseau and Locke – having faith that the best in human nature could be brought out by the best possible environments.

Euthenics, when "thought out loudest", created landscape experiments whose impact on the psyche could be measured, disproving the racist theories of the supporters of eugenics. But even today, the battle goes on, as studies are still cited that intend to marvel us with obvious conclusions such as "the crime rate in ghetto housing projects went down when trees and green space were provided"; the racist suggestion is that the readers might actually believe that it wasn't some aspect of the socio-physical environment that was causing the high rates of crime among inner city dwellers but rather the fact that they were black or Hispanic! (see Holt-Jensen 2001 for positive ghetto resident perceptions of green space aesthetics[71], for a contrasting view, in which green space is seen as promoting crime, see Brunsdon et. al 1995[72])

When euthenics cannot be actually experimented with in the built environment, or "thought out loudest", we see euthenics being "thought out louder" in the created worlds of eutopian modeling, and it is to this genre that I would like to now turn my attention.

Eutopia vs. Dystopia in Planning

For the purposes of this discussion of environmentalism future I will restrict myself to the genre more respectfully called "speculative fiction", a statement that implies a level of realism accepted by today's ecosystem model of what reality is. I would like to argue that the chief characteristic distinguishing eutopian from dystopian models is that the former are generally euthenic while the latter are generally eugenic. By this I mean that the sets of assumptions guiding the storylines of eutopian novels tend toward a belief that we can design environments that will set human and non-human beings free to pursue their own happiness. Dystopian stories show us worlds in which power holders try to constrain human freedom by creating dysthenic environments that are intended to lower the genetic fitness of the majority of free agents (human or non-human) and favor those of the ruling class. If we look at literature about the future this way a lot of the misunderstandings and misclassifications of the genre melt away.[73] I believe it is vital for planners to mine the eutopian genre this way so that we can decide how to proceed given that we now have enormous power to inflict eugenic, euphenic and euthenic changes in the world.

As far back as 1964 Physiology and Medicine Nobel Laureate Joshua Lederberg wrote

“The scientific community has little special qualification to impose institutional remedies or moral criteria for the problems of human opportunity. It has the responsibility to teach these problems especially in the university, and to look for imbalances in our technical capability… meanwhile, a deeper understanding of our present knowledge of human biology must be part of the insight of literary, political, social, economic and moral teaching; in this spirit I can think of no better dedication than to the memory of the prophetic vision and artistic clarity of Aldous Huxley.” (p. 28)[74]

In particular I want to focus on just a few of the classic utopian fictions that I feel are representative of the genre in its attempt to model future reality and argue why these sorts of works are valuable for meaningful planning of our future.

Back to the Future

Those who dare to undertake the institution of a people must feel themselves capable, as it were, of changing human nature, of transforming each individual … into a part of a much greater whole … of altering the constitution of man for the purpose of strengthening it. —Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762[75]

It may be that, without any formal courses of study in "future history" (Shick, Misse and Hackett 1974)[76], environmental planners (and by this term I include all those involved in development, resource extraction and landscape modification) are mislead into forming their opinions of the possible consequences of their actions through often negligent misreadings of passé or zeitgeist ideas of the man/nature relationship[77]. Revolutionary thinkers have long felt that we must do away with the past if we want to make a better world. As Roger Kimball says in his essay "the Death of Socialism",

Human nature is a recalcitrant thing. It is embodied as much in persistent human institutions like the family and the church as in the human heart. All must be remade from the ground up if “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” are at last to be realized. Since history is little more than an accumulation of errors, history as hitherto known must be abolished. The past, a vast repository of injustice, is by definition the enemy.

But we also know that "those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it." I believe the solution is to mine the past for ideas about the future that can give us hope. Without hope for a better future, planning becomes a defeatist exercise, and without a sense of a future history, where does hope come from? As the saying goes, "the optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist fears this may be true." Certainly when a people use a positively imagined future that has stood the test of time and been long debated as their frame of reference they find ways, in their changed environment, to push through limits that held earlier generations back. Obviously models of reality that suck thinkers into the trauma vortex[78] (Ross 2004) by focusing on past defeats can paralyze action. Nostalgia for a distant "glorious past" or "golden age" can give people an inferiority complex because they tend to see their best days as behind them (this may help explain a lot of the stagnation in so called "developing" or "underdeveloped" countries).

Shick, Misse and Hackett, arguing for the urgent need for "future history", quote a correspondent in American writing home to a London magazine in 1821 marveling at America's optimism:

"Other nations boast of what they are or have been, but the true citizen of the united states exalts his head to the skies in the contemplation of what the grandeur of his country is going to be… others appeal to history, an American appeals to prophecy, and with Malthus in one hand and a map of the back country in the other he boldly defies us to a comparison with America as she is to be, and chuckles his delight over the splendors the geometrical ratio is to shed over her story. This appeal to the future is his never failing resource." (1974:221)

Even Malthus was mocked and boldly taken on by high spirited future oriented Americans, and America's rise to preeminent power in the ensuing 184 years must be partially attributable to that forward thinking tendency. Despite the supposed neo-Malthusian "doom and gloom" of The Club of Rome's "Limit's to Growth" and the other environmental warning literature of America's environmentalism past, the authors point out that such books, including Alvin Toffler's Future Shock (1970), Charle's Reich's The Greening of America (1970), John McHale's The Future of the Future (1969), Zbigniew Brzezinski's Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era (1970) Robert L. Heilbroner's The Future as History: The Historic Currents of Our Time and the Direction in Which They are Taking America (1960) and even the Ehrlich's The Population Bomb (1968) and Theodore Roszak's The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition (1969) demonstrated an incredible interest in the future and a youthful embrace of possibility that kept American culture strong even in the face of severe problems (Ibid: 222). Even the dystopian and apocalyptic visions of the future kept alive what pioneering futurist Bertrand de Jouvenel called "futuribles, that is, the possible futures which might emerge… Projections for the future, de Jouvenel asserts, are not meant to give us a quasi-divine knowledge of what is predestined to happen, but an indication of the possible outcomes of actions taken today, thus permitting more intelligent choices…" (Ibid: 223)

To make those choices, however, we need to emphasize future studies, build analyses of utopian thought into the planners curriculum and into public policy. "But as Henry Steele Commager has recently warned" say Shick et al., "most of our educational enterprise… is engaged in a kind of conspiracy to persuade the young that nothing is really relevant unless it happened yesterday… " (Ibid: 223).

Unfortunately, by not balancing the dystopian futuribles (which are often presented as cautionary tales to the young against messing with the status quo) and the eutopian futuribles (which offer liberating critiques of the status quo), the resulting loss of optimism that can accompany too much time wandering around frightening models where one must submit to alienating authority can begin to tug people into the trauma vortex. A frequency analysis of the number and type of speculative fiction novels in the standard curricula leading to professional degrees in the arts and sciences pertaining to development, planning and improvements in the human condition and the human relationship to nature unfortunately shows a preponderance of dystopian concepts. Orwell's 1984 (1948) and Huxley's Brave New World (1932)[79] represent the over-read canon of dystopian works about "excessive centralization of power"[80] passed off as utopian literature; Huxley's Island (1962) a utopian foil to his Brave New World's dystopia, his post-nuclear-holocaust Ape and Essence (1948) and his commentary about how much closer reality has moved to his model in one generation, Brave New World Revisited (1958), are practically unknown (yet I suspect Lederberg would have insisted on a closer read of these more nuanced works of that author). A few truly eutopian fictions are suggested to students: Thomas More's genre defining Utopia of 1516, Tomaso Campanella's City of the Sun (1602) and occasionally Francis Bacon's New Atlantis (1624) are often used as straw men for ridicule, said to contain venerable but impractical ideas, quaint for their age, to be burned in effigy through critical analysis. Sometimes William Morris' News from Nowhere (1890) Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward: 2000-1887 (1888) and Samuel Butler's Erewhon (1872) are added to the list with Morris often criticized ad hominem for being a socialist and Butler criticized for the supposedly rigid stasis of his utopia; Butler's Erewhon Revisited (1901), in which he details the vast changes in philosophy and technology that transpired 30 years after Mr. Higgs and Arowhena's departure in a balloon ("the apparently miraculous ascent of a remarkable stranger into the heavens with an earthly bride")[81] is completely ignored. Yet these works disprove that the author's of utopian stories conceived of their "good places" as perfect and unchanging. So why is utopian literature marginalized in planning, or treated with derision or hostility?

Lyman Tower Sargent finds the problem to be a historical legacy issue that can be partially traced back to the hostile writings of Karl Popper, who conceived of utopias as dangerous blueprints whose detailed plans cannot be implemented with resort to force. Sargent dismisses Poppers view of utopias, saying "commentators insufficiently acquainted with the vast scope of utopian writing speak ex cathedra, as if the few utopias they had read were typical of the genre (1982 op cit.:)

Nonetheless, those few utopias are the one's that make it into the curriculum. The student of planning finds few futuribles to trade in. As one webblog says, the deconstructivist turn in academia is great at tearing things down, not much good at building things up. Besides this, post-modern critiques of euthenic projects and our suspicions over Le Corbusian style attempts to make-over the environment to change human behavior make it hard for us to endorse the idiosyncratic visions of planning agencies no matter how well intentioned.

Euphenics – the necessary third between Eugenics and Euthenics

How then do we improve the human condition? Nobel Laureate Joshua Lederberg talked of “EUPHENICS” back in 1964 as opposed to Eugenics or Euthenics - centering on modification of development, influencing the character of single organisms. This contrasts heavily with the populational impact of eugenic measures. For all its Lamarckian resonances (the hope for positive macroevolution through individual striving) it may be that individual phenotypic adaptation, which is what culture has been all about anyway, is the safest way to raise general welfare. We already have evolved clothing, shoes hats and gloves and centrally heated houses so that we don't have to change the climate – global warming may be euthenic attempt at terraforming as the Charlie Sheen movie "The Arrival" (1996) suggests, but its benefits are more likely to accrue to the aliens responsible for it in the sci-fi than for human beings and their life supporting ecology. Euphenics is always safer than euthenics. Very soon we may have the capability to grow clothes on our bodies in the winter and shed them in the summer (this isn't at all far fetched; on other animals we call it "fur"). We might also fulfill Jacques Cousteau's prophecy of implanting gills in our necks; the possibility for growing wings might render the airline industry obsolete.

Lederberg, who took human evolution very seriously, was asked to participate in a think tank in the early sixties about how the world would look by the year 1984. He believed that we should seriously consider what the most imaginative thinkers had to say.

“Prophecy is just a target for irony, but planning for the next twenty to fifty years is a major responsibility of our political and intellectual leaders. The exigent time scale of evolutionary crisis still has not captured their attention... the net effect has been the relegation of many biologists’ thinking on human evolution to an area of dubious efficacy, and of many others’ to the view that there was a comfortably long time during which not to worry about it; meanwhile we could all be more happily preoccupied with the Bomb, with fall-out, with the population explosion, and with pesticides. And, rightly, our colleagues have not been deeply impressed with forebodings that molecular biology would soon give us the capability of directly altering or producing the human gene string…” (Ibid. p. 25).

The impact of Euphenics - in which the character traits of an individual “might well exceed the present bounds of genetic and developmental variation” (Ibid p.27) has been predicted by comic book writers and has fascinated children from the 1960’s through the present era when state of the art computer generated special effects has brought euphenics to mass consciousness through film versions of such comics as Spiderman, the X-men, Batman, the Hulk and the FantasticFour. With the popular fervor over the films, with their increasingly plausible scientific explanations peppering the dialogues of otherwise improbable scripts, popular science magazines such as “Science et Vie” have been running articles depicting “the truth behind Comic Book superheroes - what’s real, what’s not” while popular books have emerged explaining “the science behind comic books”.

Dr. Lederberg, who, after winning his Nobel Prize in 1958, was the director of the Kennedy Laboratory for Molecular Medicine at Stanford, concluded his essay,

“I will be accused of demonic advocacy (and have been) for discussing such matters and not pretending they are indefinitely far off. But they are insperable from the advance of medicine, especially as we turn our attention to such urgent challenges as mental retardation, the degeneration of ageing, and mental illness.” (Op. cit. p. 27)

Almost 40 years later science is showing us the truth of Lederberg's prediction. Just as Rene Dubos in Man Adapting (1968) had alluded to the idea that medicine was a form of environmentalism (i.e. a euphenic way of helping individual humans adapt to their environment as opposed to the euthenic project of adapting the entire environment to the human animal) we can now see our capabilities to improve fitness moving to the point where we can be ever more subtle in our approach to adaptation. With the ability to micro-manage individual adaptations to changing environmental conditions we may even be moving beyond the species concept. Human-animal hybrids (chimeras) already exist in the lab as oddities (so far they are limited to growing human ears on the back of mice, implanting pigs hearts into children and growing mice with human brain cells) but they might soon enable us to do things that will make us more comfortable in unmanaged environments. Robotic prostheses are already moving in that direction (Daniel Kamen's wheelchairs that can walk up and down stairs and extend so paraplegics can reach high bookshelves, and his new generation of Segway human transporters, are an example of euphenics rendering the euthenics of landscape transformations such as ramps and slow speed mass transit vehicles unnecessary). It is all part of a trend toward minimalism in environmental modification, whether that environment is the landscape or the chemistry of the body that we currently alter through drugs.

In the year 2000 an article appeared in the journal Neurosurgery (which is most definitely a euphenic field) called "Brave New World: Reaching for Utopia". The author concluded

From many aspects, the evolution of neurosurgery over the past 50 years in attitude and technology may be viewed as a march characterized by progressive minimalism in technical therapeutic approaches. The advent of new capabilities in cellular and molecular biology, when coupled with neurosurgical needs and capabilities, with an end point of cellular and molecular neurosurgery, would seem to offer us ultimate minimalism and a concept of medical utopia accompanied by a truly liberating Brave New World![82]

This "ultimate minimalism" is the sort of progress that could render the obsolete the large scale macro-engineering projects of eugenics and euthenics, so often responsible for misery when the unintended consequences of poorly applied models or the brutality of tyrants impact populations and habitats. Instead of trying to make the world fit us, or trying to shape the entire species through artificial selection, we are on the verge of allowing individuals to choose their adaptations to the world. We can work our way through the possibilities of this recent utopian endeavor through the writings of British philosopher David Pearce and his "Hedonistic Imperative" in which he talks about "paradise engineering"[83]. We can also think it through by reading Comic Books.

Comic Art as a form of Liberation Theatre for Planning

Scott Mcleod's (1994) seminal study of the phenomenon of Comic Art provided what the Chicago Sun Times called a "rosetta stone" for a medium that has had a disproportionate influence on society yet has been treated by most planning institutions with as much derision as they have treated the speculative fiction literature. Futurists, however, take Mcleod and Comic Art seriously. Stewart Brand, famous as the founder of the Whole Earth Catalouge and his book on how houses adapt to their environments (How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built (Viking-Penguin, 1994) wrote for The Global Business Network that "McCloud's Understanding Comics is a seminal work at the level of Edward Tufte's Envisioning Information..."[84] Like Tufte's (1990) work, which analyzes how different media can help us "escape flatland" (his argument is one germane to creating better models of reality; he complains that many of our mapping problems occur because "The world is complex, dynamic, multidimensional; the paper is static, flat.")[85] McLeod shows us how one can transcend the limitations of flatland using layout, color, perspective and tromp l'oeil. This has profound implications for the message encapsulated in the medium (see McLuhan 1967 The Medium is the Massage).

The most enduring examples of the comic medium share the eutopian and dystopian storylines of speculative fiction literature, but, as McLeod points out, comics can do more than text; the medium transcends the limitations of story forms constrained by the one-dimensional linearity of text that must be read left-to-right. As if in answer to Ed Soja's 1996 call for media that privilege space over time, comic art gives us the needed "third space". Furthermore, comic art, in which an artist can play with space and time and, unlike traditional paper or canvas based art, evolve both the individual characters and their environments frame by frame, grants the artist both euphenic and euthenic possibilities. Most have chosen to emphasize the euphenic aspects of human-environment relations.

The fact that a generation of kids all over the earth grew up reading and delighting in speculative euphenic fiction while society rightly eschewed eugenics and hardly anybody could agree on the right direction for euthenics shows us that environmental themes and their possible euphenic solutions have been on the minds of popular culture’s offspring for quite some time[86]. While adult culture was characterizing environmentalism as a battleground between preservationists and developers, hybrid-friendly youth culture, in lands where the cult of the individual was blossoming, tried to resolve the paradox between their simultaneous love of civilization and nature. They found solace in obsessing over individual possibilities to transcend both. Almost invariably the cause of the personal adaptive transformations of the protagonist (or the villain) in the overwhelmingly euphenic genre of super-hero comic books has been environmental decay or alteration. Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction have figured prominently into the storylines, and so have toxic waste and climate change. The solution, however, has rarely been any kind of redress of the cause of the problem euthenically, but a localized adaptation to it - “mutants” such as “the toxic avenger” or “the X-men” do fight evil corporate polluters, but the fight never ends, euthenic eutopia is never achieved. At the end of the day the message we take home is that “we must adapt to survive”, and bit by bit the world gets more populated by mutants or by technologically enhanced superbeings such as Iron Man and The Green Goblin. This adaptation is not a state project – there is no attempt at eugenics here. There is rarely a superhero army. In fact the super-heroes and super-villians are almost always marginal. The readers of these storylines (far from “comic” in the original sense of the word), marginalized by their education systems to begin with, and further alienated by their teacher’s insistence that euphenic literature is not “appropriate” to a “serious education”, are now, as adults, adjusted to their self conception of being “misfits” and apprehensively or, sometimes, gleefully, anticipate the world changing to fit them.

In this regard the Reagan idea that “man will adapt” to the changing environment suits the “mutant” generation well, and they now immerse themselves in virtual environments of mayhem and destruction through computer role playing games such as Resident Evil and other scenarios where you can mutate into a superhero and fight against mutated supervillains in an ecologically comprised landscape. One has to wonder if people who spend their leisure time in social and ecological nightmare scenarios aren’t preparing themselves for a truer reality that they sense is just over the horizon.

The Environment as Testing ground and Battleground for "Super Heroes"

Comic book stories are the fairy tales of the nuclear and space age and they continue a trend in human-environment relations that started in story telling as long ago as the Gilgamesh epic. In almost all these tales "wildernesses" (uncontrolled or uncontrollable spaces) are places where heroes test their metal and are born. William Cronon and other environmental historians have reminded us that to many Europeans, particularly the urban elite who did most of the writing and who disseminated most of the cultural propaganda that history records as the spirit of the times, "wilderness" was not only perceived as a source of "free" capital (if the peasant's and forest dwellers could be thrown off their land) but was conceived as a dangerous and forbidding place that, like its inhabitants, needed to be subdued and transformed. The Environment, as we mentioned before, has been a backdrop for various competing eco-dramas and social dramas to be played out.

The Brother's Grimm between 1806 and 1852[87], for example, assisted in the project of recording quaint folklore from a countryside mosaic of forest, stream and meadow benign enough to sustain generations of technologically simple people in houses unconcernedly built weak enough to be blown down by any big bad wolf, and transforming this bucolic peasant eutopia for the bourgeoisie into a domain for horror tales of intelligent wolves who prey on little girls and old women, of evil witches who eat children, and malevolent trees that snatch at clothing and strangle their victims. Protagonists were euphenically transformed in these stories through their encounters with the wilderness. As the Terry Gilliam's fanciful film adaptation of the Brother's Grimm life story shows, their work was used by the state in the service of Napoleanic oppression of the German peasantry under the guise of "enlightenment" and the introduction of "reason" to the barbarous (read "insurrectionist") German polity. By casting the forested German folk landscape as a forbidding and dangerous wilderness, would-be military heroes could be induced to try their valor in bringing order to the wild people and places. We see this also occurring in stories that brought adventurers to conquer the savage environments and peoples of the New World, and it goes back to Tacitus' Germania and Agricola. This notion puts a new spin on Bruno Bettleheim's "Uses of enchantment", suggesting that folk tales, many of which originated as resistance tales, have often been co-opted into the stupefying service of the state, tempting mercenaries to earn prestige by subduing these landscapes and enchanting children into dummified obedience to authority so as to warn them away from "wild spaces", i.e. away from freedom.

Maria Tatar, dean for the humanities at Harvard and the John L. Loeb professor of Germanic languages and literatures, author of The Annotated Brothers Grimm says,

In the great migration of fairy tales from the fireside to the nursery that was finally accomplished in the course of the 19th century, "Little Red Riding Hood" was twisted, pretzellike, into a cautionary tale, warning small children not only about the dangers of straying from the path but also about their own unruly desires. Charles Perrault's version of 1697 shows us a Little Red Cap who never emerges from the belly of the wolf, and her story becomes a platform for teaching children many lessons, among them the fact that "tame wolves / Are the most dangerous of all."

Tatar shows us how fairy tales were framed

…with platitudes about obedience…In popular sendups of the classic plots, the purpose is usually to mock the values found in the earlier variants, whether it is the virtue of selfless industry or a lack of vanity.…long before Bettelheim had enlightened Americans about the therapeutic power of fairy tales to strengthen young superegos…the maturational effect was a sound beating …and a lifelong engagement with stories, whose power to change us [was] not least by frightening us into imagining alternate realities[88]

It is certainly a complex topic, and it is hard to know how stories or the environments they model will fit into peoples attitudes, values and behavior. As Lois Takahashi says "norms change as people move and adapt to new circumstances".[89] But it may be that where cultures tell stories that are future-oriented rather than past oriented, and where euphenic notions give what Takahashi calls the needed "capacity for self-direction"[90] and empower individuals to rise above their environmental constraints and limitations, communities can begin to agree on truly euthenic strategies that will help the common weal. I'm inclined to believe that societies that tell eutopian stories and think ever forward find solving environmental problems easier.

Technoptomism through Eutopian Speculations of New Ways of Conceiving the Environment

In the free realm of art and imagination objects take on new uses and from this innovation and invention occur. Societies that conceive of ordinary objects in extraordinary ways are usually the first to find new utilities in nature. In the New Scientist Series edited by Nigel Calder in 1964, top scientists, policy makers and sociologists were asked to close the gap between science fiction and science fact through the imagination of alternative realities based on the principles of science. The project was to predict what the world would realistically look like in 1984, and in so doing, make provocative policy recommendations for how to get there. The very first essay in the series, under the heading “Science and Human Goals” was “A British View: Working with what we know” by Professor Lord Todd. In it he spoke of the mastery of thermonuclear fusion, still as far away in 2004 as it was in 1984, let alone 1964, and says that “only then, of course, will the reservation of coal and oil to their proper use as chemical raw materials become practicable.” (p. 11). What is remarkable here is not that policy makers haven’t been talking about fusion power all these years and throwing money at it (they have) but that so few policy makers picked up on Lord Todd’s more subtle and impactful point: that fossil fuels better serve humanity as a source of carbon and hydrocarbon molecular building blocks than as a source of combustion. Environmentalists for decades have been decrying “the use of fossil fuels” without specifying that it is really the “burning of fossil fuels” that is responsible for so many of our environmental and health problems, not the use of these minerals per se. Casting the oil companies as villains has been a popular but useless sport for generations, and we might have been better served if we had dialogued with them about proper uses for the raw material they mine. Only when art-inspired imagination transforms the uses of common objects and materials by emphasizing their unobvious properties do we find new avenues for hope. As long as we essentialize environmentalists and industrialists we miss the point that everything is environment and that all agents have been working to improve what they thought were their environmental problems.

To play devil's advocate to the totalizing claims of the mainstream environmental movement I offer the perspective that scientists involved in energy exploration perceived their ability to tap into stored solar capital, accumulated over millennia, as a great boon to humanity, freeing us from life threatening constraints of our environment. The Hobbsian idea that life was "nasty, brutish and short" didn't spring up from nowhere. For the temperate zone descendants of ice age tribes with long cultural memories of harsh environments, it often was. Exposed during the middle ages to the crop failures and plagues, to say nothing of the exposure deaths, caused by the "little ice age" (a general cooling trend between 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850)[91], the idea that the earth's providence included buried treasures of heat energy was liberating. Now we find that what many once saw as powerful allies to break the chains that bound us to the energy starved misery of seasonal environments (fossil fuels) have now imposed their own environmental constraints. So we look elsewhere for ways to break free. But the project of modern environmentalists I see as functionally similar to the project of the modernists – release from the prisons of scarcity, fear, and danger.

The ultimate triumph over the limits to growth imposed by our embeddedness in "the environment", the greatest source of hope for our earthbound species, was also the most imaginative. It was supposed to derive from the severance of our umbilical cord to mother earth and her stern discipline. Dr. Wernher von Braun wrote in 1964:

If mankind in 1984 is freer in thought and spirit, as well as politically and economically freer of the shackles of the environment, I firmly believe it will, in large measure, be thanks to the benefits of space exploration.” (p. 42)[92]

In 1964 there was a tremendous amount of optimism about space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life, and serious scientists, politicians and philosophers were actively engaged in public discussion of the needed technologies, educational initiatives and policy maneuvers we would need to achieve these goals. As von Braun stated,

“Just as the Crusades saved Europe much bloodshed by diverting the energies of its fighting men to a far-away objective, so space exploration provides a worthwhile outlet for the pent-up energies of man in the late twentieth century. Until recently, huge defense programmes had provided much of the stimulus for research and development work without which industrial progress comes to a halt. In 1984, the limitless scientific and technological challenges of the space-exploration programme [will] have taken over this vital, invigorating role. The ‘spin-off’ products of the space programme, direct or indirect, are visible everywhere. More citizens of the world than ever before are taking part in the affairs of government. Well-informed thinking men will continue to support this intriguing and profitable endeavour of space exploration. How far we go in space - and how fast - will continue to be affected by the measure of public support.” (p. 42)

Von Braun’s enthusiasm was indeed shared by the public during the space race. It is hard for us to recall a generation later just how much the race to put a man on the moon affected public policy and technological development. Space exploration was seen as the answer to so many of our social ills at a time when “wars, which had somewhat similar ‘rallying’ effects, are no longer feasible between industrialized nations nor are they a suitable yardstick for their strength - now that any military exchange with weapons of mass destruction would mean total annihilation of friend and foe alike.” (Ibid) Popular films depicted space emigration as the answer to our population explosion and other environmental catastrophes (see When World’s Collide, Lost in Space etc.) while serious space scientists saw a greater appreciation for and ability to cure the environmental woes of spaceship earth by studying “manned orbited space laboratories with closed ecological system” capable of supporting “pioneering crews comfortably in space for an uninterrupted stretch of two years.” (ibid) . Much of those dreams have indeed come true - our deep understanding of the changing earth environment owes the lions share of its debt to observations from space; from our realization of the worsening ozone hole to our appreciation of global warming and its impact on ice caps and ocean currents, our perceptions of the extent and consequences of deforestation and global monitoring for weapons of mass destruction. Spin-offs from space exploration, such as photovoltaic energy systems, fuel cells, aerodynamic and efficient wind turbines, hydroponics and drip irrigation systems and new lightweight structural materials, all well positioned in the “green development sector”, are extant thanks to the space race. And the Biosphere II experiment in Arizona certainly demonstrated the extreme difficulties with recreating a functional ecosystem, leading to a greater appreciation of our own.

But the enthusiasm for space exploration and its exigencies faded when we got to the moon and found it barren. Each probe to an area a little further out that showed no signs of life dampened further the excitement for this “final frontier”, and by 1979 Pink Floyd’s haunting lyric “Is there anybody out there?” would reverberate through the skulls of disappointed and alienated youth who would then seize the fundamental theme of the bands’ post-war nightmare into the loneliness of the consumer lifestyle, singing “we don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control… all in all we’re just another brick in the wall.”

The gains in education the space race that we realized, and (to paraphrase the Beatle's song "Help") our dreams of environmental independence, "seemed to vanish in the haze". By the 1980’s space exploration was just another military adventure and the average consumer was tired of the failed promises of the decades of reform and optimism and ready to turn inward to pointless hedonism. Though, as mentioned in chapter 1, the first mention of the word "Environment" in the New York Times index came from an article about space exploration, somehow, during this time, environmentalism divorced itself fully from the space science, and its proponents exhorted people to eschew any attention or money paid to “out there” and force people to pay attention to “right here”, ignoring the idea that only by confronting the dilemma of surviving “out there” and by getting observation posts “out there” could we begin to get a handle on the extent of the problems we were facing on our decaying biosphere, "spaceship earth" (Boulding 1965 Fuller 1973) .

It is useful to examine the literature from moments of technological change and uncertainty to see what options thinkers of the time thought they had viz a viz adapting to their environment (euphenics) or adapting their environment to them (euthenics). Many technologies emerge around the same time and society then engages in a free for all of competing interests before any given technology gets established. Many of the nightmares associated with the internal combustion engine so eloquently described by Kenneth P. Cantor’s classic “Warning: The Automobile Is Dangerous to Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Mind and Body”[93] were not inevitable, as any student of automobile history could tell you. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s utopian classic, Herland, depicts a contemporary matriarchal society in 1912 where women have eschewed the combustion engine in deference to the electric car (p.37). Both Ford and Edison had electric cars on the market in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A conversation with my own grandmother before her recent death confirmed that electric cars were popular among women in the early part of the last century; she used to ride to the beach on Lake Michigan in a friends electric motorcar in the late teens and said, “they were clean and quiet and fun”. The direction we actually go in regarding a given technology, depends on where we are trying to go. When that place is outer space, we tend to invest in solar energy fuel cells and other "soft path" light technologies. When we feel we are stuck here, we tend to turn back to fossils and radioactive rocks and other "hard path" heavy technologies.

Defeatist Environmentalism as a consequence of profound disappointment in human agency.

Nietzche declared God dead in 1882[94]. Bill McKibben declared nature dead a century later, in 1989. In between, having suffered two world wars with media coverage of global atrocities at a scale never before seen, the world was poised to give its people one last chance at eutopia - with slogans like “better living through chemistry”, “the friendly atom” and “look to the skies” giving a renewed faith and optimism. With the glory of the World War II triumph of “the good guys” and the cornucopia of goods that followed in the 1950’s, it finally began to seem that everybody could participate in the fruits of global capitalism. Minorities began to vocalize their need for rights and services and made gains. But the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the Assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy and Watergate so disillusioned America (and by extension the rest of the world, all now tied into the unfolding drama of the US empire in real time through global television and radio) that by the time it was discovered that there was “nobody out there” - not even a shred of evidence for even the simplest life, let alone intelligence in space (and this after all that preparation!) it dealt human beings a tremendous psychological blow. By 1975 the Soviet Venera landers survived the descent to the surface of Venus but found it hot enough to melt lead. On July 20, 1976 the two American Viking spacecraft touched down on the surface of Mars and seemed to prove decades of speculation about life on the red planet wrong. We were all we had --- we and what was left of “nature”, and we didn't trust ourselves anymore.

Naturally with the collapse of the church as a confidence giving institution for so many affluent suburban and urban masses, many people began to turn to nature as the antidote to human ills, and to mistrust any notion of “progress” that permitted human beings to “have their way with her”. And thus the environmental movement took on a kind of religious fervor. This was not confined to the deep ecologists – even objectivist rationality became sacred, as if by banishing our hopeful fantasies of angels and extraterrestrials we could find the Absolute in the cold light of a solipsist science.

"Modern, objectivist rationality claims a monopoly on legitimate knowledge construction, suggesting a confusion of map and territory. But to the extent that there is such a thing as an absolute truth, it will not allow itself to be encapsulated in any specific set of words. There will always be more than one way of drawing a map. Cognitive scientists are concerned not with truth but with the adequacy of representations, and the only measure of adequacy we will ever have is survival (Maturana & Varela 1992[1987])... " (Hornborg 1998: 5)[95]

Hornborg's interest privileges the local and his aim is to move us "beyond the paralysis of constructivism" through the "renewed concern with the performative dimensions of our narratives" that deep ecology offers. He feels this would give us a power to bring meaning back into the world that Foucault (1971) says we lost in classical Greece when "what words said started to become more important than what they did". Through this lens Hornborg argues for "specificity: for embeddedness, local economies, local knowledge, and local identity…

"Friedman (1997) would call such conditions decline. But then, the world system historian Fernand Braudel (1979) found that periods of decline are in fact Golden Ages in the daily life of the masses. Are the Dark Ages of the historians experienced by the majority as tax reductions? In the light of the unity that we have posited between them, such a cyclical recuperation of local communities may go hand in hand with a recuperation of nature. And just maybe, the social condition that some prefer to think of as 'decline' could give us some ideas on how to redesign money and market institutions so as to select for ecological embeddedness." (p. 5)

A. Ecology - Natural History

Bill McKibben in “The End of Nature” invites us to imagine what the planet would look like if we decided to act as if we really believed that other life forms besides humans mattered and if we started to apply “appropriate technologies” and “sustainable development” to the affluent segments of society from whence, presumably, the bulwark of environmental damage arises. No friend of either the negative Popperian view of Utopia or Bloch's positive view, he seeks a non-anthropocentric "atopia", saying,

"… conventional utopian ideas are not much help, either. Invariably they are designed to advance human happiness, which is found to be suffering as the result of crowding or stress or lack of meaningful work or not enough sex or too much sex. Machinery is therefore abolished, or cities abandoned, or families legislated against – but it's all in the name of man. Dirt under your nails will make you happier! The humbler world I am describing is just the opposite. Human happiness would be of secondary importance. Perhaps it would be best for the planet if we all lived not in kibbutzes or on Jeffersonian farms, but crammed into a few huge cities like so many ants. I doubt a humbler world would be one big happy Pennsylvania Dutch colony. Certain human sadnesses might diminish; other human sadnesses would swell. But that would be beside the point. This is not an attempt at a utopia – as I said, I'm happy now. It's a stab at something else – an "atopia," perhaps – where our desires are not the engine." (p.191).

All one can do when predicting possible futures is speculate according to trends and assign probabilities. As Francois Lyotard pointed out (A Post-Modern Fable) IF we take our most celebrated minds seriously a few things are “sure” to happen: human beings and other organisms will continue their descent with modification (i.e. they will “evolve” and “co-evolve”), the planet will continue its ceaseless rythms of change, matter will continue to decay, the earth will continue to attract extraterrestrial objects and will be struck by them, climates will change, other periods of intense cold and heat will occur on the earth, life forms and ecosystems will go extinct, life forms will tend to spread to wherever they can eke out a living (bacteria found in the lithosphere, in the atacama desert, in the arctic and Antarctic wastes, in volcanic vents and in the stratosphere all bear witness to this) while human explorations of the solar system and beyond suggest a positive trend toward life and its artifacts colonizing other spaces and objects within those spaces. The sun will extinguish its fuel and either go supernova or burn out into a red giant and then brown dwarf, in either event consuming the earth and the inner planets in the process. Stellar evolution will proceed, overall entropy will increase, the universe will either undergo heat death or the “big crunch”, starting the cycle again with another big bang. All speculative fiction that follows the ecosystem model of reality operates within the constraints of this narrative. (For discussions of the future according to the Edenic narrative one may look at the books of Revelations in the Bible, into the predictions of Nostradamus and other seers in other religious traditions. For discussions of the future according to the Deep Ecology narrative one can continue to look at Bill Mckibben's discussions of "atopia" in "The End of Nature", quoted above).

In keeping with our thematic outline the first step is to lay out an “impartial” narrative of how environmental speculation would proceed according to a “scientific” understanding of the laws of nature – a nature in which humans are as natural as trees and cognition is as likely to develop among any other species as Homo sapiens.

H.G. Wells used this kind of logic at the turn of the century in “A Modern Utopia” when he outlined how political theories develop or go extinct according to laws analogous to those operating in “non-human” Nature, and he spoke euphenically:

The State is to be progressive, it is no longer to be static, and this alters the general condition of the Utopian problem profoundly; we have to provide not only for food and clothing, for order and health, but for initiative. The factor that leads the World State on from one phase of development to the next is the interplay of individualities; to speak teleologically, the world exists for the sake of and through initiative, and individuality is the method of initiative. Each man and woman, to the extent that his or her individuality is marked, breaks the law of precedent, transgresses the general formula, and makes a new experiment for the direction of the life force. It is impossible, therefore, for the State, which represents all and is preoccupied by the average, to make effectual experiments and intelligent innovations, and so supply the essential substance of life. As against the individual the state represents the species, in the case of the Utopian World State it absolutely represents the species. The individual emerges from the species, makes his experiment, and either fails, dies, and comes to an end, or succeeds and impresses himself in offspring, in consequences and results, intellectual, material and moral, upon the world. Biologically the species is the accumulation of the experiments of all its successful individuals since the beginning, and the World State of the Modern Utopist will, in its economic aspect, be a compendium of established economic experience, about which individual enterprise will be continually experimenting, either to fail and pass, or to succeed and at last become incorporated with the undying organism of the World State. This organism is the universal rule, the common restriction, the rising level platform
on which individualities stand. P. 39

Wells' comparison of the Utopian World State with the Ecosystem, in which "The individual emerges from the species, makes his experiment, and either fails, dies, and comes to an end, or succeeds and impresses himself in offspring, in consequences and results, intellectual, material and moral, upon the world" is an euphenic idea. Coupled with Aristotle's observation and belief in humanity's ability to succeed through imitation, we get a prescription for a more anarchic model of society in which policy encourages individuals to do their best and then society evolves through other individuals imitating the best practices that emerge. Planning would not be by fiat or imposition; desirable outcomes would result as emergent properties. And as for Property itself, the source of so much conflict in Capitalist society, according to Wells, it would merely represent the resources an organism needs to secure freedom, and would only constitute a problem once it impinges on another's freedom.

Very speedily, under terrestrial conditions, the property of a man may reach such proportions that his freedom oppresses the freedom of others. Here, again, is a quantitative question, an adjustment of conflicting freedoms, a quantitative question that too many people insist on making a qualitative one…The object sought in the code of property laws that one would find in operation in Utopia would be the same object that pervades the whole Utopian organisation, namely, a universal maximum of individual freedom. Whatever far-reaching movements the State or great rich men or private corporations may make, the starvation by any complication of employment, the unwilling deportation, the destruction of alternatives to servile submissions, must not ensue. Beyond such qualifications, the object of Modern Utopian statesmanship will be to secure to a man the freedom given by all his legitimate property, that is to say, by all the values his toil or skill or foresight and courage have brought into being. (P 40)

Wells' view recalls to me the ideas of Amartya Sen, in Development as Freedom (Anchor, 1999), wherein he calls for freedom and democracy first and then has faith that individuals will use their freedom to create desirable outcomes[96]. The notion of a positive result from individual utility maximization ("freedom") does harken back to the ideas of Adam Smith[97] and David Ricardo – the idea of desirable emergent properties resulting from individual's being free to maximize their own benefits is reminiscent of the invisible hand. Some could argue that this is a narrow definition of freedom (one could be equally free to be altruistic, or self-less) but Nobel laureate George Stigler would insist that

"the concept of self-interest provides a universal explanation of human activity. 'Man is eternally a utility-maximizer,'' [Stigler] wrote, and not just in economic activity but "… in his church, in his scientific work, in short, everywhere.'' Another Nobel laureate, Gary Becker, has elaborated how self-interest could explain the most personal decisions, including marriage, child-bearing, and so on."[98]

Amartya Sen certainly wouldn't go that far; he feels that to limit rationality only to self-interested behavior "seems altogether extraordinary.'' (Sen, 1987)[99] By Stigler and Becker's logic, though, even self-sacrifice becomes a form of self-interest; presumably the good samaratin gets some kind of endorphin kick, some holier-than-thou high that is worth more than any net losses in material comfort. The biochemical rewards of masochism (production of endogenous opiods under predatory threat) have been well studied (Nell 2005[100], Solomon 1980) Nell reports,

It is incomprehensible that the infliction of pain on the self is both pleasurable and also sexually arousing. This unlikely conjunction has long puzzled moral philosophers and psychologists. In a famous passage, Freud wrote that “the existence of a masochistic trend in the instinctual life of human beings may justly be described as mysterious from an economic point of view” (1924/1985, p. 413). Yet using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Becerra, Breiter, Wise, Gonzalez, and Borsook (2001) report that a pain stimulus (a probe heated to 46NC applied to the skin) activated the brain’s reward circuitry, following a pathway similar to that of the pleasure response: protein from the cfos gene shows “that many neurons in the amygdala that are aroused by aggressive encounters are also aroused by sexual activity” (Panksepp, 1998, p. 199): the underlying motivation may be the seeking of safety. (Nell, 2005)

And Solomon reports in "The opponent-process theory of acquired motivation: The costs of pleasure and the benefits of pain" that certain pain or fear inducing behaviors can become highly pleasurable:

"…if they are derived from aversive processes they can provide a relatively enduring source of positive hedonic tone following the removal of the aversive reenforcer. Fear thus has its positive consequences."[101]

So while Freud may have had a hard time understanding masochism from an economic point of view, economists such as Stigler and Beck could argue for maximization of the utility of an individual's reward circuitry. Richard McKenzie supports this view in an introductory Economics text without resorting to biochemistry ("the 'rationality' of altruism can be saved provided the altruist wants to serve others 'just as he can want to own a new car'" he says[102]) but "wanting" still demands a neurological, thus chemical underpinning. Either way, the implications of a biochemical calculus of personal gain as a path toward a pharmacologically induced eutopia are clear (for extensive writings on this see David Pearce's "Hedonistic Imperative")

What apologists for the invisible hand leave out (and Charles Dicken's took great pains to put back in through his dystopian novel Hard Times) is the moral dimension of our preferences; as Frey points out, Smith made it seem as if the outcomes of the invisible hand were superior to those that would be achieved if we actually did some planning and intended good outcomes. He says,

Given Smith's assurances, it is no wonder that the laissez-faire authors of the nineteenth century, such as Jane Marcet, typically rationalized indifference to the plight of the economically weak as serving the best interest of society. (Ibid).

Frey points out how both extreme individualists and their detractors both thought they were serving "the common weal". Just as almost all people think theirs is the real eutopia (who really wants to create a deliberate dystopia after all?), everybody seems to think they can speak on behalf of the greater good.

Daniel Raymond rejected the extreme individualism of the classical political economy as it had developed by the 1820s. He warned that self-interest endangers the common good, baldly stating that the interests of a nation and of individuals "are often directly opposed.'' Raymond rejected individualism entirely to suggest that the government should be the main agent of the common good, that it "should be like a good shepherd, who supports and nourishes the weak and feeble ones in his flock.''
The ecosystem model eschews this kind of thinking on both sides, tossing it into the dustbin with the failed notion of Group Selection Theory. The idea that any organism should sacrifice for "the good of the species" was shown to be biologically absurd as long ago as 1859 when Charles Darwin considered the apparent paradox of sterile castes of insects in Chapter 7 of the Origin of the Species. By the 1930's J.B.S. Haldane was beginning to formulate a theory of altruism consistent with individual self interest, stating famously "I'd lay down my life for two brothers or eight cousins". By 1964, with a full understanding of Mendelian genetics and an inchoate understanding of DNA, W.D. Hamilton formalized the theories of Kin Selection and Kin Altruism.[103] Just the same, the growing environmental movement conveniently ignored this literature and continued to speak about our need to sacrifice for "the good of the species" in the same way that Marcet had invoked sacrifice (of others, always others!) for the good of society. Rather than applying Kropotkin's early insights into symbiosis and mutualism to find a natural model that explains the evolution of cooperation and altruism, both environmentalism and free-market capitalism relied on an uncertain appeal to "ethics". Biologist and game theorist John Maynard Smith (1982)[104] took great pains to develop mathematical models showing how self-restraint, self-sacrifice and other ethical forms of behavior could become an enduring part of an Evolutionarily Stable Strategy. It is likely that the natural history of Environmentalism Future will cast it as a general "eutopian" or "welfare maximizing" movement and find ways to make the invisible hand visible and show how natural selection can create "kinder gentler people" and that nature is not always "red in tooth and claw". Otherwise we run into the defeating dilemma that Frey (op cit.) talks about when he considers Stigler's characterization of all behavior as the maximization of self interest:

"To Stigler ethics are largely rules to guarantee that self-interest take the long-run view and not ignore market externalities. Ethical rules "in general prohibit behavior which is only myopically self-serving…'' in order to advance long-term interests. Stigler quickly added, however, that "some people will gain by violating the rules.'' This last observation, of course, would seem to undermine the possibility of any ethic based on self-interest. (What argument can be advanced against cheating on an ethic of self-interest if self-interest itself is the motive for cheating?)… In this view the only thing that would make crime irrational is that the expected punishment outweighed the probable gains. According to such reasoning, honest people are really motivated the same way criminals are: it is just that "honest'' people don't calculate that the net payoff to crime is worth it. The intentions of both the honest and the criminal are identical. Everyone is a criminal at heart! "

Richard Dawkin's refinements of Hamilton and Maynard Smith's kin selection theory beyond even his own selfish gene theory into wider theories of the extended phenotype and the reproduction of memes opened up possibilities for social welfare based not on maximizing individual satisfaction (a local cluster of genes) but on maximizing the future representation of discrete genes and memes and distributed clusters of these entities extended throughout phenotypes and institutions throughout space and time. Looked at this way, life becomes a shifting mosaic of genetic and memetic possibilities, gathering together in temporary alliances and assemblages, competing and cooperating forrepresentation. The notion of maximizing self-interest becomes just one of many notions of utility maximization, and the good of society or the good of the species or the good of an individual cell (a cancer cell perhaps?) become concepts we must also consider, each being just a different scale's temporal cluster of replicating information.

Said Milton Friedman (1962) the ultimate social value, freedom, "has nothing to say about what an individual does with his freedom. …''[105]

The ecosystem model, framing any natural history of the future, tells us that this insight must apply to all levels of biology, from DNA on up to the entire Gaian biosphere. Environmentalism Future and any Eutopian project must consider the possibilities and perils of conceptually setting the world free and embracing the law of unintended consequences, recognizing that despite our efforts to control the world, and declaring the death of Nature, it is, has been and always will be "wild".

B. Production – Technology and Its SocioEconomic Relations


Caveat vendor will be a sound qualification of Caveat emptor in the beautifully codified Utopian law – Wells’ Modern Utopia p. 41,

According to former Senator Paul Simon, whom I spent time with in Damascus Syria when he was there during the summer of 2001 promoting his book “Tapped Out: The Coming Water Crises”, one of the biggest problems we face in creating environmental policies is that there is a gap between scientists and policy makers that is all too often filled by people with uncertain scientific knowledge and/or partisan interests. The other problem is that most people trained in policy don't really understand the artifacts they are supposed to advise on. He said "most of the people we have advising us politicians on technology don't know much about science and engineering." We examined a unitary regenerative fuel cell that I had brought with me which I suggested could be used to provide energy and clean water at the same time. He told the crowd gathered at the Assad Center to hear him debate solutions with the Syrian Environment Minister "I know about the possibility of fuel cells in the transportation sector, but nobody has told me about their use in water purification."

What I didn't share with the former Senator is that my understanding and interest in the possibilities of fuel cells, which were invented in 1839, did not come from my university education. My fascination with fuel cells began with a read of Jules Verne's eutopian fiction "The Mysterious Island" in which Harding, in Chapter 11, talks about the disadvantages of the coal economy, predicts the exhaustion of fossil fuels and praises the benefits of a hydrogen economy based on the electrolysis of water[106]. I also learned about fuel cells from space drama science fiction's in which URFC fuel cells are used (as they are in real life on the space station) to recycle urine and sweat and waste water into potable water while providing heat and electricity. Speculative fiction readers get a chance to see various technologies tried out in the virtual worlds created by their authors; those who don't engage in such playful and imaginative constructions would find it difficult to think through the consequences or alternative uses of a given technology, and might see only the limited conventional use of a given artifact. This might explain Simon seeing the fuel cell as a transportation sector technology only.

Every object and technology has myriad possible uses and policy should train people to think outside the box. Nowhere is this truer than in the energy sector.

Given Joseph Tainter's (1998) hypothesis (cited in the first chapter) that civilizations rise and fall relative to their ability to secure energy supplies commensurate with their investments in complexity, one can see a lot of anxiety in future modeling scenarios about where the energy will come from and what civilization will look like if supplies are cut. Observance of the consequences of supposedly "environmentally friendly" trends in energy technology underscores just how complex the issues really are. While the Los Angeles MTA advertises its possession of the "world's largest fleet of clean energy buses" and Cairo, Egypt works assiduously to position itself as both a major supplier and consumer of natural gas, the shift to this low carbon fuel is not without its own dangerous domino effects. The New York Times of January 3rd, 2006 talks about tensions over a rise in interest in "clean burning" natural gas, given that the three countries with the major holdings – Russia, 1,700 trillion cubic feet (27% of the world total), Iran, 971 trillion cubic feet and Qatar, 910 trillion cubic feet) belong to politically unstable regimes. To avoid being caught in yet another quagmire of foreign control (epitomized by the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine) neighboring Finland has announced the construction of the "world's largest nuclear reactor" as "a move that would lessen its reliance on imported Russian natural gas"[107]. America, meanwhile, reeling from sticker price oil shocks in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and worries about the vulnerability of its natural gas storage facilities to natural and man-made disasters, is licensing new nuclear power plants in the southern state of Alabama[108]. At the same time, Iran, which is afloat in natural gas, is defying world opinion and pressing ahead with its own plans to build nuclear reactors, stating a need for greater energy. World opinion holds that Iran is using domestic nuclear energy as an excuse for acquiring the technology to build nuclear weapons, under the assumption that once you have active reactors you have the capacity to produce weapons grade fuel.

For reasons that cut to the heart of the skewed nature of north-south relations and post-colonial prejudice, almost nobody worries about Finland getting the bomb. Furthermore, despite the reactor meltdown at nearby Chernobyl in 1986, and the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979, there is great faith in improvements in safety in the nuclear industry. One would think that people would have taken at least those two, out of the dozens of nuclear accidents that have occurred, as sufficient warning signs to abandon a technology that has been described as "the most dangerous way of boiling water ever invented". Instead confidence is higher than ever as this quote from the December 2005 issue of Scientific American makes clear:

Despite long-standing public concern about the safety of nuclear energy, more and more people are realizing that it may be the most environmentally friendly way to generate large amounts of electricity. Several nations, including Brazil, China, Egypt, Finland, India, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam, are building or planning nuclear plants…If developed sensibly, nuclear power could be truly sustainable and essentially inexhaustible and could operate without contributing to climate change. In particular, a relatively new form of nuclear technology could overcome the principal drawbacks of current methods, namely, worries about reactor accidents, the potential for diversion of nuclear fuel into highly destructive weapons, the management of dangerous, long-lived radioactive waste, and the depletion of global reserves of economically available uranium.[109]

The way forward, according to Hannum et.al., all eminent researchers in the field of nuclear materials processing, is to retire the 438 thermal, mostly water-cooled commercial reactors in the world (103 of which are in the U.S.) and add more "advanced fast-neutron reactors" (sometimes known as "breeder reactors" when they produce more plutonium than they consume) to the 20 now operating, with preference to liquid sodium and other liquid metal cooling systems (apparently less prone to melt-downs)[110]. At the same time they urge us to leap into full scale pyrometallurgical processing ( "a high-temperature method of recycling reactor waste into fuel") wherebye little or no new uranium would need to be mined (using conventional reactors, the authors tell us, we could run out of uranium in "a few decades".) One advantage to this is that whereas a 1,000 MW thermal plant generates more than 100 tons of spent fuel a year, a similar capacity fast reactor generates just over 1 ton, plus "trace amounts of transuranie wastes" leading the authors to assert "with this approach radioactivity from generated waste could drop to safe levels in a few hundred years, therebye eliminating the need to segregate waste for tens of thousands of years."

The authors conclude "For the foreseeable future the hard truth is this: only nuclear power can satisfy humanity's long term energy needs while preserving the environment." The paradox here is how this carryover from environmentalism past is being used by the traditional foes of the movement to convince us to embrace their technology to save the very thing we claimed they were threatening. Ironically to save our environment (the one free of radionuclides that can cause us cancer and mutation) well intentioned environmentally concerned people must now be asked to sacrifice "the environment". They need to be asked if it wouldn't be better for us to deal with climate change (which the brown-lash has been trying to convince us is "natural" anyway!) or with radiation – even if the next generations production of it will only be lethal for hundreds of years at a time (we still won't have eliminated the past generations production of wastes that are poisonous for thousands of years!) Rarely do we hear fundamental questioning about the our need to consume so much energy in the first place. Amory Lovins, champion of "soft-path" energy alternatives, tells us in Winning the Oil End Game: Innovation for Jobs, Profit, Security (2005) that we can, by implementing energy efficient technologies already developed, save more energy than we currently import from Saudi Arabia. Lovins would have us ask epistemological questions that cut to the heart of energy use:

End-use/least cost analysis begins with a simple question: What are you really trying to do? If you go to the hardware store looking for a drill, chances are what you really want is not a drill but a hole. And then there's the reason you want the hole. If you ask enough layers of "Why" --as Taiichi Ohno, the inventor of the Toyota production system told us — you typically get to the root of the problem.[111]

Lovins and his team at the Rocky Mountain Institute have calculated the costs and benefits of nuclear power versus renewable energy and shown renewables to win on all counts – jobs, profit and security, to say nothing of "the environment". But this doesn't stop industry from ploughing ahead with nuclear energy, most likely because, unlike renewables, it lends itself to centralized control – something the energy industry got used to in the fossil fuel era and seems unwilling to abandon, despite its own rhetoric about the benefits of "deregulation", "decentralization" and "distributed energy". So, like it or not, we are likely to see Nuclear Energy playing a major role in the energy sector for a long time to come, and this means that any environmentalism future will be forced to deal with the growing presence of toxic radionuclides, essentially forever (i.e. relative to the lifespan of the human species).

Rachel Western points out this uncomfortable reality facing any eutopian or dystopian future in the environment that we have co-created: the threat of nuclear waste. In an article in Peace News she states:

“During the Second World War, nuclear weapons were developed and used. Obviously they have no part in a utopia, but although these weapons can be taken apart, the materials used to make them will be left behind.
There are high-tech schemes to "zap" away these wastes, but they are enormously expensive and don't actually do the job. In addition, the huge volumes of radioactive wastes left from the manufacture of the weapons will present a threat of cancer for hundreds of thousands of years…There is no solution to the problem of nuclear wastes; however, there is the possibility that facing up to the problem, in such a way that we cope with it in the best way possible, could create new patterns of care, respect and humility that would be an important part of the establishment of a utopian society.(Western, 2005)”

This chilling fact at once disturbs and throws off any utopian vision that does not consider the creation of radionuclides and their dispersal and concentration in our environment. They are there. They are life-threatening. They can be abused deliberately or accidentally. The “genie is out of the bottle” as the saying goes, and there is no way to put it back in. So any utopia must consider this issue. If the proposed solution is to implement the “high-tech schemes” that Western talks about, it has to suggest where the funding comes from and what the consequences would be. This reality has been dealt with in Dystopian fiction – the film “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” (1969) featuring Charleton Heston in a reprise role (second in the series of 5 Planet of the Apes movies with Roddy McDowell, based on the Pierre Boule utopian novel from 1963) shows that the descendents of the human race lost their ascendancy on the surface of the earth because of mutations that rendered them mute and compromised their intelligence, while other races of anthropoid primates, descended from modern gorillas, chimps and orangutans, gained in relative intelligence and capabilities and became the dominant social order. But underneath the earth, in the remnant of a nuclear silo, a race of irradiated and mutated but technological human beings persists, worshipping a left over atomic bomb as their deity. As unrealistic as modern day humans would like it to be, the vision isn’t irrational – we do worship our technology and radiation does cause mutations and there is no biological reason why other anthropoids can’t evolve to be as intelligent as we are, nor any reason why we couldn’t “devolve” to a lower state of intelligence (see Vonnegut’s Galapagos (1986) for more on this).

A quick reading of past history gives us no confidence in the hypothesis that people learn from their mistakes or can even agree what constitutes acceptable risk when it comes to technology. Mustard gas was banned after World War I by the Geneva convention of 1925, only to be revived by Iraq between 1983 and 1988 in its war with Iran[112]. DDT was banned in the U.S. but continues to be used in Africa (particularly Uganda, Zimbabwe, and South Africa) and is produced by several countries, such as Ecuador; world production was estimated at 2,800 tons in 1990, and despite data to show that most of its restriction was due to a loss of effectiveness through mosquito evolved resistance, a controversy rages today whether the ban is responsible for millions of malaria deaths. It is alleged that banning DDT represents a kind of "eco-imperialism"[113]. About the only technology that seems to have remained on the world's black list is the widespread use of hydrogen as a fuel, and this despite the fact that hydrogen is clean burning, releasing only water vapor in combustion, is easily handled and has an enormous range of industrial uses. Nonetheless, when it comes to creating a hydrogen economy the precautionary principle, rarely invoked by the mainstream media, suddenly comes out in full force. This is despite the fact that the only evidence against hydrogen, used time and again, is a cautionary tale produced from a gross misreading of the Hindenberg incident. As the Hydrogen Now! Website points out:

Of the 35 deaths from the disaster, 33 were caused by jumping or falling. Only two deaths were caused by burning, and it is likely that those two were from proximity to the burning skin of the airship, or from the stores of diesel fuel that were ignited by the covering. Whereas the hydrogen burned within one minute of ignition, the diesel fires burned for up to ten hours after the ignition.[114]

Side by side readings of statements by the energy industry defy logic. On the one hand the public is told that global warming and the greenhouse effect is a scare tactic conjured up by money-grubbing attention hungry environmentalists, on the other the public is told to support nuclear energy because it releases no greenhouse gases and is therefore environmentally friendly. Hydrogen as an alternative to gas, even when used in fuel cells (which involve no combustion at all) is considered too dangerous, while hydrogen fusion reactors are touted as the panacea to all our energy woes. Doubtless this reflects the political power of the various sectors of the energy industry.

What do models of the future have to say about the use of nuclear energy? The nice thing about the social models produced by writers and artists who include the social variables of human passion and greed is that they often have more predictive value than the idealized models of the economists or natural scientists. One thing almost all of them explore is what human folly can do when equipped with the power to utilize weapons of mass destruction. The point isn't whether the scenarios depicted in speculative fiction will come true exactly as conceived by the artist. The point is that human beings have shown their tendency to act irresponsibly in the past and show no indication of acting any better in the future.

In the films "Planet of the Apes" (1968) and "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" (1969), cited earlier, based on the speculative fiction novel "La Planete Des Singes" by Pierre Boulle (1963) Charleton Heston epitomizes the contradictory tendencies of human beings faced with gross environmental changes and the ability to destroy their environments. At the end of the first film Heston kneels in despair in front of a crumbling statue of liberty, pounding the sand and crying in rage "We finally really did it -- you maniacs, you blew it up! God damn you, God damn you all to hell" because he learns that humanity plunged the world into nuclear war and destroyed civilization, leaving the earth to our ape cousins who evolved amore peaceful if religiously intolerant and scientifically backward society. But when, at the end of the second film, Heston loses his mute female companion in a conflict between the apes and a group of telepathic mutant human survivors who thrive underground, worshipping a cobalt nuclear bomb from the late 20th century called the "doomsday device" as their God, he unilaterally decides that since life isn't worth living for him, he might as well end it for everybody. He deliberately pushes the nuclear button. The final narration in the film says, "In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe lies a medium sized star, and one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead." The orangutan scientist Dr. Zaius, says of humanity at the end of the first film "I have always known about man. From the evidence I believe his wisdom must walk hand in hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself… the forbidden zone was once a paradise… your breed made a desert of it ages ago." The moral of the movies, if anybody cares to take the prognostive propensities of popular culture as seriously as they do those of computer models, is that the only thing you can safely predict about human beings is that, given time and the availability any technologies (such as weapons of mass destruction), we will use them. It is just a matter of when.

One could argue that the 4 tropes of storytelling explicated by Hayden White - metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony – and their inhabitance in the romantic, the heroic the tragic and the farcical plot devices -- make it very difficult to write a novel or a screenplay that doesn't result in somebody using the nuclear, biological or chemical genie in some horrible way. From Pandora's Box to Genesis to A Canticle for Lebowitz, storytelling almost demands that man yield to the terrible temptation of self-annihilation. But must this be true of real life as well? Given Weiskel's and Merchant's and others' contentions that we are living out real-time ecodramas, where do we get the idea that we can have a satisfying ending without tragedy? Do we have any models at all that predict happy endings?



C. Cognition -- The Mental Realm of Ideas, Ethic, Myths and So On.

If we wish our civilization to survive we must break with the habit of deference to great men.
-- Karl Popper

Though Popper seemed hostile to Utopias in general a closer read reveals his hostility to the authority of authorship by the few and their ability to impose their endings to the drama on the rest of us. He felt that all attempts to impose a preconceived blueprint on society, no matter how well intentioned, would result in the misapplication of force. But his work could also be conceived to be utopian because he too, was seeking a happy ending to the human story. The dilemma of endings such as "and they all lived happily ever after" is that we rarely get to see how they lived happily ever after. We imagine a kind of perfection fixed in glass and justifiably feel claustrophobic. What is more, perfection, as Popper rightly saw, implies a governor, some kind of quality control, and that destroys freedom. Freedom comes from imperfection, from movement off of the straight or prescribed path. Freedom spoils the happy ending. The irony is that the happy ending, by virtue of its perfection, becomes unhappy and thus imperfect. Ultimately these become mere word games, played in the models of the mind. Thought out louder they become a collective fantasy, thought out loudest they become absurd and even dangerous. Perfection is a model, a map. And, as Korzybski said "the map is not the territory". It is merely a guide. For this reason Christianity, at its best, superseded its old Testament rage at man's fall from grace and perpetuation of sin, and created a new myth of absolution and forgiveness of sin that was supposed to help us accept the fact that we would never be able (nor should we try too hard) to be perfect. We can never create "Heaven on Earth".

There is an important sense in which religion as traditionally understood reconciles humanity to imperfection and to failure. Since the socialist sets out to abolish failure, traditional religion is worse than de trop: it is an impediment to perfection.[115]

Joshua Muravchik in Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism[116], wrote that Socialism's epitaph would be "if you build it they will leave" – if they can! Somehow in the pursuit of a lasting perfection thought out loudest, defenders of a given utopian model of reality have seemed historically inclined to try to keep the rest of us a captive audience to their three-dimensional dramatic realization of their ideas. It is as though they were angry directors of a play that has gone on far too long who lock the theatre doors and force some of the spectators to play bit parts in their absurdity without allowing any true participation. As Muravchik observes, dissent is almost always strongly discouraged. And by seizing upon the dialectics of science and "historical materialism" as the grounding for the utopia, rather than the debunked authority of mystical revelation, a pre-Kuhnian polity could be lulled into believing that a higher authority lay behind the applications of the new model thought-out-loudest – the new god of infallible reason.

However, Muravchik's observations of socialism could be equally applied to Capitalism; the latter just seems more clever in how it squashes dissent – not by elimination but simply by overwhelming it into insignificance. Interestingly the two genres of storytelling that involve happy endings – children's fantasies ("and they all lived happily ever after") and eutopian literature, are pushed into sections of the library where they can do little or no harm – the "arts". The pressure for social conformity does the rest. Neither are given much credibility at all, in fact, in the nihilism of the post-World War II era these genres have been particularly derided. "Realistic" is now associated with doom and gloom – the very word "utopian" has come to mean "hopelessly naïve and unrealistic". So we are not really allowed to look at models that predict happy endings with any sort of rigor.

The sole exceptions to this, of course, are the rosy predictions of technoptomists and economic utopianists like Julian Simon and Bjorn Lomborg – in other words, anybody who defends former president Bush Sr's notion of "staying the course". It comes down to a question of competing visions of eutopia – as if mother culture (the hegemon) were saying, like some jealous God "you must forget that I am also a mere model of reality. You must accept me as truth, justice and liberty, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Even though I have my flaws, I am the best of all possible worlds. I am the one and only good place, the only eutopia you shall worship. Do not question me too heavily, do not abuse your freedom of thought and freedom of speech. As long as you relegate your critiques to children's fantasies or obscure journals, and keep them innocuous, you can keep your other ideas alive, just as we keep smallpox alive, in case we should need it later, when things outside of our control threaten us. Until then, keep your other utopias at the margins." Examined in this light we begin to see that all instances of thinking (out loud, louder, loudest) are competing utopian visions – competing models of reality intended to improve the fitness of the thinker through euphenic and euthenic changes. But because of the inevitable individual variations (due to genotypic differences produced by sexual reproduction, mutation and environmental affects on phenotypic expression), very often (as the old adages tell us) "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and "one man's garbage is another man's gold". In other words we all see things differently and desire different things. Perhaps with the advent of cloning we will see a society emerge that is more conformist and where a single vision will find universal appeal, though even this is still unlikely due to inevitable phenotypic variations that occur even among twins. But humans do have the capacity to not only clone a given genome today, but to euthenically clone uniform environments that can bias the expression of the genes into a more uniform product (we saw this operating in industrial age schools based on the Prussian military school model imported to the US by Horace Mann, and we certainly see this in factory farms where domestic animals are grown to be almost identical copies of one another). The status quo, in such a scenario, is unlikely to be vigorously fought.

Today, defenders of the status quo are supposedly reviled in academia, which sees itself the heir of a long intellectual tradition of resistance to state power (universities are often seen, and sometimes see themselves as havens for "leftists"). But universities also reproduce power and the status quo, particularly by putting down those who offer alternative eutopian schemes or by simply using the powers of classification to marginalize them. There is a deep structural bias in the "department" system of academia that reinforces the status quo – merely by placing future studies and utopian studies in the "liberal arts" and eschewing them in the conservative "social sciences" and engineering departments they lose their ability to transform politics. In a society that operates according to Smithian economic principles of naked self interest, it seems that to be taken seriously by the power holders in society one must speak from within the parameters of a Hobbsian world-model.

This is something many Utopian authors tried to counter by looking for mass appeal instead. Whether it was the economic and social welfare ideals of Hertzka and Morris or the technological ideals of Verne and Wells, utopian authors hoped to bypass the powerholders and put their faith in democracy by appealing to the masses. The irony is that to appeal to the masses you must assume that they are a uniform mass, and they are not. Perhaps this is why Wells, for one, was very clear in his novel "A Modern Utopia" (1905) that individuals should be encouraged, through an understanding of science and environmental economics, to propose their own euthenic changes that could benefit the whole community.

"…the object of Utopian economics will be to give a man every inducement to spend his surplus money in intensifying the quality of his surroundings, either by economic adventures and experiments, which may yield either losses or large profits, or in increasing the beauty, the pleasure, the abundance and promise of life. (P. 42)

So long as anything but a quasi-savage life depended upon toil, so long was it hopeless to expect mankind to do anything but struggle to confer just as much of this blessing as possible upon one another. But now that the new conditions physical science is bringing about, not only dispense with man as a source of energy but supply the hope that all routine work may be made automatic, it is becoming conceivable that presently there may be no need for anyone to toil habitually at all; that a labouring class--that is to say, a class of workers without personal initiative--will become unnecessary to the world of men…there need now at the present moment be no appreciable toil in the world, and only the smallest fraction of the pain, the fear, and the anxiety that now makes human life so doubtful in its value. There is more than enough for everyone alive. Science stands, a too competent servant, behind her wrangling underbred masters, holding out resources, devices, and remedies they are too stupid to use. Wells, p. 44

I see utopian literature and speculative fiction in general are merely technologies for modeling outcomes of policy, seeking the maximization of net social benefit. This is an idea developed by Drass and Kiser in their 1988 article "Structural Roots of Visions of the Future: World System Crisis and Stability and the Production of Utopian Literature in the United States 1883-1975.". They also see utopian literature as a form of entrepreneurial innovation created by "ideological entrepreneurs" designed to help us get through bad times:

“The link between crisis or decline and novel ideas has been suggested by Schumpeter (1939), Toynbee (1947) and Brenner (1985). Schumpeter (1939) argued that economic contractions encourage entrepreneurial innovations. When existing methods are not producing a profit, people will be motivated to develop new ones. Both Gordon, Edwards and Reich (1982) and Brenner (1985) suggest that the creativity accompanying periods of crisis is not limited to business people. When existing social arrangements are deemed ineffective, many “ideological entrepreneurs” will be motivated to suggest new ones… Conversely, during periods of stability and prosperity, discussion of alternatives will not be considered necessary or important since the status quo will be seen as working fine. To the extent that alternatives are discussed it will be to compare them unfavorably to existing social conditions. In periods of stability and prosperity, such as economic expansion or hegemonic dominance, an attitude of “Roman provincialism” will often prevail, justifying the denigration of alternative systems and providing a market for dystopian literature. For example Solberg (1973:510) characterizes the period of U.S. hegemony as dominated by a 'nay-saying ideology' full of 'principles of anti-this and amendments of anti-that.' Dystopian literature is ideal for such a narrow and negative ideological climate.” (Drass and Kiser, p. 423).[117]

The difficulty with their argument is that for the most part both eutopian and dystopian authors are voices from the margins -- they neither represent nor agree with hegemonic perspectives. These rebels, far from trying to maintain the status quo, tend to use their literature to criticize the status quo. In fact much of the dystopian literature is a mere extrapolation of the production status quo into the future, giving it and its logical consequences full reign. In this sense, contra Drass and Kiser, I see dystopian society as a critique of the status quo, not of change.

Orwell’s 1984, as a classic example, is a critique of Schumpeter’s optimism – state power in the novel completely discourages innovation in order to maintain hegemony, despite economic contractions. Ideological and technical entrepreneurs are destroyed in this extrapolation of Stalinist stagnation. In these cases the author isn’t arguing that change is bad, he is arguing that the world already has changed (the existence of Stalin being the change) , and that extension of that change to the world as a whole, that is, hegemony of a production mode or ideology, is what must be avoided. This is the same case for Brave New World – the change was Fordist production and Taylorized efficiency (ergonomics). The dystopia comes from rationally applying this production status quo to the entire sphere of society. Huxley does not suggest that the answer lies in recidivism – the world of the savage is equally abhorrent. Huxley wrote his antithesis to Brave New World not within the text but in another piece of often neglected eutopian literature, “Island” in which he presents a blueprint for a perfect society, balanced between ecology and culture. The enemy there is not change, but the defenders of the industrial status quo – the oil barons who destroy the island eutopia in their greed. In fact what most Eutopians seem to ask for is not stasis but an accelerated change from a status quo that only benefits the oligarchic few. Because very few analyses of Utopian literature think of the modes of production (probably because of an unfamiliarity with Marx and Engels) they often miss this point.

Where Drass and Kiser see economic, political and cultural fluctuations in the world system in a more or less cyclical pattern affecting the creation of eutopian or dystopian literature (in much the same way that Weber (1981,1982) analyzed how economic cycles affect the value content of British speeches from the throne and Namenworth (1973) demonstrated the effects of economic cycles on political party platforms (Drass and Kiser, p. 424)), another analysis might reveal utopianliterature (and speculative literature in general) as agents of economic change. Information affects the market, and speculation drives everything from land deals to stock prices – how that information gets into the economy depends on the various media of transmission. Certainly Toffler, Naisbitt and other Futurologists act as advisors to presidents and policy makers, and all are influenced by popularizations of eutopian and dystopian themes presented by artists. There is doubtless a profound feedback network and this may be a chicken-egg problem. But the historical trend, since before the celebrated Cassandra, seems to be that prophets and predictions precede rather than tail political decisions; even the Reagans employed an astrologer to make some of their decisions. Currently the Bush party (according to Bill Moyers) seems to be making policy based not only on the logic of capital but a belief in Imminent Biblical Apocalypse. The question then becomes, which is the dependent variable and which is the independent variable?

Drass and Kiser use the cultural value cycles discovered by Namenwirth and Weber (1987) and suggest four phases for analysis: Parochial (at the bottom of an economic cycle, heading up, and thus characterized by innovations and a general realization that drastic change is required, a progressive phase, a cosmopolitan phase (at the top of an economic cycle, heading down, characterized by aggressiveness and self confidence (p. 425) and they suggest that eutopian literature appears at the parochial phase and dystopian at the cosmopolitan. They fail to see that the reverse may be true – dystopian literature may reflect discomfort with current trends and a need to seek alternatives through critique of the status quo by showing its nightmarish possibilities , and eutopian literature might serve as another critique of the status quo, but suggesting a way out during a time of plenty when a better way of living is still possible.

The Drass-Kiser thesis falls apart when speculative fiction is included with the strangely contradictory genre “speculative fact” – books about the future by futurologists and scientists, such as Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock” and subsequent publications (The Third Wave, Power Shift), the Naisbitt’s “Megatrends” and “The New Scientist Series” classics, “The World in 1984”, edited by distinguished British Scientist Nigel Calder and published in 1964 as a realistic look by “professional scientists, academics, economists and politicians” as to what the world could be in 20 years time. This genre would also include the work of Paul Ehrlich (The Population Bomb) and indeed almost all Environmentalist Literature, purporting to be non-fiction, warning or anticipating the way the world could be. It is particularly applicable to “The President’s Report 2000”
Obviously more research is needed. Drass and Kiser address this in the conclusion of their paper when they call for

“a dialectical model that could measure the effects of literary utopias on society. A study of the relationship between revolutions and literary utopias may be the best way to uncover these dialectical effects… Recent work by Wiley (1985) and Galbraith (1986) suggests a relationship between economic cycles and theory in the social sciences. Huaco (1986) posits that hegemony may also shape social science theory. .. The dialectical relation between social structure and ideas can also be addressed in this context, since political communication does not just reflect reality but shapes it by setting agendas and proposing courses of action.” P. 435.


Contemporary society as a utopia

There are many critics of the unfinished project of the Enlightenment who consider it, and the American experiment that grew out of it, to be a utopian scheme. Some of these critics help us to see that, in fact, Modernism has never truly triumphed (Bruno Latour (1993), for example, in his book We have never been modern[118] rearranges our mental landscape by showing us that modernism is more an article of faith than a reality). They help us to see that Capitalism can be conceived of as much of a failure as Socialism or Communism, that Lenin was wrong and the Peasantry will not disappear, that hunter gatherers and nomads will continue to exist, we will not cease to use animals for work or transportation (nor should we), and that “sustainable development” is an unachievable oxymoron. Most of these criticisms of the Modern Utopia stem from post-modern critical theory.

Hegemonic stability theory (Krasner, 1976; Keohane, 1980) sees America as the most entrenched utopian experiment:

“there is one clearly successful model in the system; the hegemonic nation. Other nations, like organizations in an uncertain environment (Dimaggio and Powell, 1983) will generally try to imitate the successes of the hegemon (Modelski, 1978: 228, 231). Although hegemony is usually defined as economic and military superiority, it also includes a cultural and ideological component (Russett, 1985). Hegemonic states seek “to reinforce the advantages of their producers and to legitimize their role in the interstate system by imposing their cultural dominance on the world (Wallerstein, 1984:17)" (Drass and Kiser, p. 424.)

But it is difficult to position eutopian thought as something that aids the agenda of the hegemon. For example, though a series like Star Wars, spanning 20 years and influencing values throughout the entire world, may originate in the hegemonic state, it is unclear how such a mix of eutopian and dystopian visions reinforces the hegemon, and how much it undermines it, particularly as the hegemon has been continuously criticized as being “the empire”. Star Wars first came out when there was some debate whether or not the evil empire was the Soviet Union or the United States but the latest film in the series, which I watched in Egypt in 2005, leaves no doubt that the evil empire ruled by the dark side of the force is America, a fact not lost on Arab audiences when the chancellor of the empire and creator of the evil Darth Vader uses President George W. Bush's words when corrupting the ideals of the federalist state. From Thomas More's flagship novel Utopia in 1516, written in criticism of the power structure in England under Cromwell (who would later take More’s life), Utopian speculations have often been produced in opposition to the hegemon, with suggestions of post-modern hybrid social relations that embrace innovation and tolerance. The main theme of dystopia is generally simply that intolerance, fear and political control are bad. The narrative merely shows how oligarchies use various modes of production and organization to control, censor and destroy people and their freedoms.

New Criterion managing editor Roger Kimball (2002)[119], exploring Muravchik's thesis that root of the problem lies in our attempt to realize Heaven on Earth when it should remain in the realm of the after-life, says,

“regimes calling themselves socialist have murdered more than one hundred million people since 1917.” Why? Why is it that “the more dogged the effort to achieve” the announced goals of socialism, “the more the outcome mocked the human ideals it proclaimed”? And why is it that conservatives, who by and large have agreed with Samuel Johnson that “A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization,” have regularly been demonized as uncaring brutes? A large part of the answer lies in the intellectual dynamics of utopianism. “Utopia” is Greek for “nowhere”: a made-up word for a make-believe place. The search for nowhere inevitably deprecates any and every “somewhere.” Socialism, which is based on incorrigible optimism about human nature, is a species of utopianism. It experiences the friction of reality as an intolerable brake on its expectations. “Utopians,” the philosopher Leszek Kolakowski observed in “The Death of Utopia Reconsidered,” “once they attempt to convert their visions into practical proposals, come up with the most malignant project ever devised: they want to institutionalize fraternity, which is the surest way to totalitarian despotism.”
I believe that Kolakowski has hit the nail on the head – it is, in my opinion, the attempt to institutionalize utopia that makes attempts to think-out-loudest so dangerous. But that doesn't mean we should ignore utopian thinking-out-louder. The greatest eutopian thinkers have long recognized this – B.F. Skinner, in Walden II, took pains to let his readers no that any utopia must be experimental, constantly subject to revision and change as the actors and the environments they lived in changed. Hardly any literary eutopianists called for institutionalization. Walt Disney, who went far in thinking his eutopia out loudest, even called his tangible utopia "The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow." His plan was explicit: create something that would never stay the same. Far from the stasis loving tyrant his disaffected critics have maligned him for being, Disney time and again proved that his belief in the best way to create "the happiest place on earth" was to constantly change the definition of "happily ever after". As if in proof his heirs have since gone on to create such film sequels as "Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002) in which the rags to riches princess teaches her imperious husband how important it is to share their wealth with the commoners and break traditional rules that separate classes (apparently this is one girl who won't forget her roots!) Every Disney fairy tale today has multiple sequels where the paradoxes of living happily ever after are explored – Pocahontas has to confront racism in Mother England, Wendy's daughter has to return to Never Land to see how things have changed with Captain Hook, even the Little Mermaid has to return to the sea and confront her own demons[120]. Life goes on, even in "ever after". The pursuit of happily ever after is still a dynamic struggle, and true Heaven is not a place on earth, or even in storybookland. True Heaven remains at the terminus of the timeline, at the end of lights out, after life ceases.

Utopian confusions

Fleming is quoted in Norwood (p. 754) as saying that the “new Conservationists” of the 1960s (Carson among them) “were basically hostile to utopian schemes in general” and “cites Carson’s description in Silent Spring of government inspired “nightmare utopias of eradication.” But Carson was really critical of the modernist utopian project that resulted in American development hegemony; she might have embraced Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia Emerging and Ecotopia; her own Silent Spring and other writings gave eutopian alternatives to the nightmarish disregard for human and non-human welfare that a misapplication of what she called "barbarous science" produced. It seems one man's utopia is another's nightmare.

Competition for power creates a free for all in which the same rhetorical weapons are used by all parties. To use the style of ridiculing argument that modernists have used against environmentalists' “utopian” notions, the “new Conservationists” cleverly subvert the old guard's power and turn their own guns against them. To me the modernist project more clearly resembles the absurd utopian tradition of wishful thinking than does any literary utopia ever penned. For example, Norwood tells us,

“Those acting on the notion of earth as a household modeled on industrial economics do not even understand good management, according to Carson. In Silent Spring she takes up the burden of their education by redefining productivity and efficiency. Basically, she questions the value of progress toward ultimate goals, as well as the managerial ethos informing most 1950s’ discussions of how to improve production in nature. Her analyses of “progress” in scientists’ attempts to control the gypsy moth and the fire ant are examples of her manipulation of the economic household metaphor. For both of these pests, new insecticides were hailed as offering the opportunity to create a perfect environment – one with no “noxious” insects. Expensive and technologically demanding campaigns using these insecticides, however, destroyed or contaminated crops and other agricultural crops such as milk and honey, made no change in the gypsy moth population, and led to an increase in the fire ant population. Further, Carson argues that less “sophisticated” methods, not requiring large-scale management techniques, are not only more successful at control but are also less expensive (Silent Spring, 142-56, quoted in Norwood, p. 754).

Carson’s suggestion, as indicated earlier, is that any attempt to cast our natural environment as a passive actor, as a helpless female who can be manipulated by dominant male technologies and arrogance, is as utopian as those fantasists and science fiction authors who write novels about societies where females submit as slaves to male power willingly. Carson's eutopia of compliance with nature using small scale management techniques was pitted against the modernist utopia of creating the "perfect environment" through large-scale management techniques.

The Never Ending Story

Perhaps the most important thing that can be said about utopian projects is that no matter what their author's intended in terms of implementation, almost none of them were ever considered finished; almost all, even the earliest, were merely intended as heuristic models of possible realities.
As H.G. Wells said of Plato:

“His suggestions have the experimental inconsistency of an enquiring man. He left many things altogether open, and it is unfair to him to adopt Aristotle's forensic method and deal with his discussion as though it was a fully-worked-out project” (1905 p. 91)

Wells felt that it was often the critics misread of utopian works that makes them subject to derision as "mere fantasy". In many cases the misreading is deliberate because the model proposed in the eutopia threatens vested interests and beneficiaries of the status quo. Wells blames the great classifier, Aristotle, and his desire to keep things within their convenient class, for pushing the ideas of his teacher Plato to the margins.

[Aristotle] asserts rather than proves that such a grouping [Plato’s republic] is against the nature of man. He wanted to have women property just as he wanted to have slaves property, he did not care to ask why, and it distressed his conception of convenience extremely to imagine any other arrangement p. 92

But Aristotle did believe that one of the defining attributes of humanity was our propensity for imitation, saying in his Poetics (Part IV) "The instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference between him and other animals being that he is the most imitative of living creatures, and through imitation learns his earliest lesson." Aristotle might not have been against people imitating a given utopia if he thought it was the right utopia. The point is that there isn't only one utopian tradition. Lyman Tower Sargent (1982) identifies at least two in the literature:

“Examining the elements of what might be called the utopian tradition broadly defined, there seem to be two traditions. The first, coming from the myths, Cockaigne, and Arcadia, are utopias (eutopias) that exist by nature rather than human contrivance and that provide a life ofease. The Cockaigne (ranging from the medieval originals to the Big Rock Candy Mountains of the U.S. depression) makes the point most explicitly. In Cockaigne, perhaps best illustrated by Brueghel’s painting of that name, people lie around with food literally flying fully cooked into their mouths and wine rivers running directly past them… there is no work, no fear of want or danger and no death or an easy death. The golden ages, earthly paradises, and Noble Savages are all like this with the addition that women give birth without pain. Clearly, in the Christian tradition these are rejections of original sin. Each of the curses of the Fall is overcome…
The other utopian tradition is the one that transmutes these natural givens into human inventions. Eutopia becomes more possible because it is a human contrivance. It suggests that a good society can be brought about if the correct decisions are made. But the same elements are there. No work becomes easy or at least meaningful work. No fear of want becomes sufficiency. The easy death and the goal of a fulfilling life replacesno death. The only thing not achieved is the elimination of pain in childbirth (although see Huxley’s Brave New World, often considered a dystopia, for that achievement – T.H.).” [121]

Drass and Kiser also create a dual typology for utopian literature, but base it on the more problematic question of what is good or bad, ignoring Shakespeare's relativist aphorism that "there is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so":

“Literary utopias can be divided into two main types: (1) eutopias, which create positive images of alternative societies, and (2) dystopias, which create negative images of alternative societies. Although all utopias are oriented toward the scope of ideological discourse, eutopias and dystopias are oriented in very different ways. Eutopias expand the universe of “what is possible” by favorably depicting alternative social arrangements, whereas dystopias narrow possible choices by depicting alternatives to the status quo unfavourably. As a result of this fundamental difference in orientation, eutopias and dystopias flourish under very different structural conditions. The number of literary eutopias and dystopias produced in any given period should reflect the breadth of the scope of ideological conflict. An increase in the quantity of eutopian literature should occur when the scope of ideological conflict has broadened, while an increase in the quantity of dystopian literature should occur when the scope of ideological conflict has narrowed.” (p. 422)[122].

The flaw in Drass and Kiser’s analysis is its reliance on a uniform conception of what constitutes “good” and “bad” in a given vision of the future so as to render the exercise “eutopian” or “dystopian”. Given that human minds and bodies adapt to changes in both social and ecological structuration of their environments, to call a given future in which people have adapted successfully either "good" or "bad" is to open oneself up a deconstructivist critique. An example is Huxley’s 1938 vision of an industrial future in Brave New World. Certainly for the protagonist, John the Savage, the Brave New World is a dystopian nightmare; his suicide at the end is powerful commentary on the alienation one feels moving from one world to another. But there are suicides in every transition – Akira Kurosawa's 1975 film classic “Dersu Uzula” depicts a woodsman forced to live in Moscow in the 19th century in the same light, and his tragic suicide makes the same statement – “nature” is good “civilization is “bad” – Nature being seen as Edenic, Civilization the world we carved out after the fall. The ecosystem view of nature leads to different interpretations – if we trust the voice of Lenina in Brave New World we get a different take – that the Brave New World really IS better than the old pre-Fordist world, that childbirth and old age really are nasty legacies to bear from the cruel blindness of natural selection. In this world of incipient cloning and genetic engineering and the promise of freedom from the ravages of mortality and pain, Huxley’s vision as extrapolation doesn’t appear so bad after all.

Elsewhere, however, Drass and Kiser champion the idea that all speculation literature, eutopian or dystopian alike, can be positively used to extend our ideas of the possible:

“Eutopian literature can be understood as an aspect of ideology providing conceptions and evaluations of possible alternative social structural arrangements (Mannheim, 1936; Therborn, 1980) Reflecting the direction in which both Marxis and non-Marxist theorists have been moving (Althusser, 1971; Gouldner, 1976; Seliger, 1976; Ricouer, 1986), we do not view ideology as “false consciousness” or incorrect belief, but simply as ideas, often embedded in material practices, that pertain to power relations and social structural arrangements…
“According to Therborn (1980), ideology consists of answers to three questions: (1) “What exists?” (2) “What is good?” and (3) “what is possible”? IN spite of the wide variation in their content, all literary utopias provide conceptions and evalutations of alternative dsocial structures (Mannheim, 1936:192-93; Ricouer 1986); that is, explorations of both “what is good” and, especially, of “what is possible.” By creating and evaluating possible alternative social structures, literary utopias help set the limits within which ideological discourse takes place – i.e. the scope of ideological conflict. (Ibid).

The only real difference between Utopian literature and its “non-fiction” counterpart is that the literature models individual human reactions and human relationships (complete with scenarios, dialogues and behaviors) while the ostensibly more “serious” works of speculation tend to leave out the drama and focus on material trends and assumptions of group dynamics – a depersonalized "population" seeming to react as a whole to given environmental changes without consideration of individual or marginalized voices. In this sense the literature may actually be a better predictor if only because its model contains more variables, while the “futurist” tends to leave out the uncertainty of human agency in order to present his or her vision of the future.

The great gulf between the humanities and the sciences generally creates conditions where the scientized reader eschews the utopian literature while the liberal arts reader eschews the speculative trend writings, and a deep mistrust is set up between them.

Utopias as Nowheres?

Utopias, contrary to the popular myth, are much more than nowheres. Somehow a poor translation of the greek became enshrined then vilified and is now used as popular disparaging currency. When Thomas More coined the word he was being evasive. There is no such word as “Utopia”. EU-topia means “good or true place”, and OU-topia means “no or not place”. More chose to leave off both E and O and leave it up to the reader to decide if the world he had created existed. He allegedly did this because of his own fears of political repression, the ideas in his novel acting as severe and subversive critique of the regime in England (the same Cromwell regime that would eventually take his life for espousing so many of those ideas in opposition to the outopian fantasy of individual power created by King Henry the VIII.) It’s not that there isn’t any place on earth that resembles Utopia, it is simply that there is no such word. Thus U-topia is a word in search of a vowel.

Centuries later, critics of social order with a pessimistic world view created worlds that might have been called Ou-topian, but rather than being labeled “not places”, their frightening plausibility earned them the label “Bad places” – DYS-topia.

The ambiguity of an utopian dream now lies in its delicate tightrope act – whether an attempt to realize it will result in a eutopia or a dystopia or whether it will remain a ou-topia. Utopia is kind of like Schrodinger’s cat – it both is and isn’t there. But it is far from useless. When we really crawl into the future and really open the black box and peer inside we find that many elements of a given utopian desire really are there – commingling with memes from so many other utopias. In fact utopias exist during the time of their writing or imagining since they are built of ideas – of reproducing memes – available in mother culture all along. Thus More’s Utopia was not really such a fantasy. It’s deep subversive quality (which More knew well, and which contributed to his playful word coinage) came from the fact that the Utopia he was describing contained not only elements of European cultural and physical experiments that were competing for infiltration into English society, but contained robust and well working systems from the native Americans. Actually, Utopia was unabashedly set in the Americas and was concocted from reports More collected of voyages to the “New World.” The beauty of the word Utopia in its ambiguity is that it more than any other word in the language of development implies – indeed forces – a Hegelian dialectic. Labelling something Utopian should instantly encourage vigourous debate about whether we should put the E or the O back on the suffix. Marxists tend to deride others utopias as lacking mechanism and insert their own utopia as the EUTOPIA (after an inevitable period of dystopian destruction) but in their stubborn insistence they are doing a grave discredit to both Marx and Engels – particularly Engels, who championed the idea of dialectical solutions to problems and wanted us to observe the dialectic method in everything.

Stephen Coleman and Paddy O’Sullivan (1990) have edited a volume called William Morris and ‘News from nowhere’: a vision for our time[123] whose purpose “is primarily to show the text as a prototype of ‘Green ideas of resource management, environmentalism, decentralization, and production for use. The book “reminds the reader of the texts intentions and its influence” sending the reader “back to the text for inspiration.” But as usual the critics have to denigrate the effort: Nash says “While contemporary revolutions in eastern Europe are evoked as following Morris and his libertarianism, the reader wonders what Morris would make of frantic consumption in the new Germany”[124]. Well, Mr. Nash, this reader would imagine that Morris would be just as upset about it as you are, and might write another book suggesting a solution to this social ill. The problem in the argumentative and hostile tone most critiques take toward utopian works is that it is NOT dialectical, it is snide and holier than thou. Instead of considering the pros and cons of a utopian vision merit by merit they tend to throw out the baby with the bath water i.e. there is frantic consumption in Germany, therefore the fall of the Berlin wall was not a success therefore William Morris’ eutopia will never succeed… as if Morris were God and his vision THE WORD. Nash points out Coleman’s assertion that "utopianists have an appalling track record at socializing adherents” as if it were their job to do so. It is H.G. Wells who dealt with this argument the best in his book A Modern Utopia when he discusses the paradox of meeting an angry nature-loving barefoot vegetarian in Utopia who hates the system.

One expects to find all Utopians absolutely convinced of the perfection of their Utopia, and incapable of receiving a hint against its order. And here was this purveyor of absurdities! And yet now that I come to think it over, is not this too one of the necessary differences between a Modern Utopia and those finite compact settlements of the older school of dreamers? It is not to be a unanimous world any more, it is to have all and more of the mental contrariety we find in the world of the real; it is no longer to be perfectly explicable, it is just our own vast mysterious welter, with some of the blackest shadows gone, with a clearer illumination, and a more conscious and intelligent will. Irrelevance is not irrelevant to such a scheme, and our blond-haired friend is exactly just where he ought to be here.

What is most concerning to this reader is how fashionable it is to reject utopias out of hand. Kriss Drass and Edgar Kiser (1988) ran a time-series analysis on utopian literature and showed “that world-system crises such as hegemonic decline and prolonged economic contractions tend to increase the publication of eutopian literature in both Great Britain and the United States.” (p. 421[125]). They conclude “content analysis of the novels would help to bolster the arguments made here and would also be the first step toward constructing a dialectical model that could measure the effects of literary utopias on society. A study of the relationship between revolutions and literary utopias may be the best way to uncover these dialectical effects.”(p. 435). Of course the problem with their time-series analysis is that it assumes that the publication of movements and their success in altering the landscape have some simultaneity. If memes are like genes and utopias like newly evolved species, as H.G. Wells suggested, then a completely different timeline is suggested. Just as the mammals appeared over 65 million years ago but didn’t begin to dominate the globe until the passing of the dinosaurs, and Homo sapiens appeared at least one million years ago, but didn’t begin to dominate the earth until roughly 10,000 years ago, so an idea can appear and then sit unnoticed by the majority of actors for many generations. (See Wuthnow 1976, Brenner 1975, and especially Bellah 1975[126], for ideas about a “superabundance of competing visions”) Still Drass and Kiser have made a start:

“The dialectical relation between social structure and ideas can also be addressed in this context, since political communication does not just reflect reality but shapes it by setting agendas and proposing courses of action. This study of utopian literature is but a small part of what we hope will be a growing effort to theoretically explain and empirically model the complex dynamics of the world-system.” (p. 435).

In fact they point the way to a widening of scope in the analysis by pointing out that where we see a decline in the production of eutopian literature we may be in fact seeing not a decline in the popularity of the eutopian theme, but a replacement of the novel as the vehicle for that meme-set. “Other types of books” and “types of alternatives to literary eutopias have proliferated” (p. 433) they tell us, from analyses and academic discourses on hegemonic decline to the rise of popular media of other kinds (films, video games, computer simulations).

Utopias don’t fail, they simply succeed as compromises in meme survival, symbiotically hybridizing, opportunistically parasitizing, innocuously commensalizing, through the same complex form of natural selection that governs living species. Once an idea is given birth to and finds a niche in the ecosystem of ideas it competes for survival. If it seems appealing or logically coherent it becomes part of a cultural work that is issued forth by the mind in which it originated so that it can colonize other minds. When it aids other individual organisms to survive it is propagated by them and finds its way into the culture with ever greater frequency. But like genes, memes come apart in their mixing. The body decomposes, and what is passed on is a new assortment of genes. Similarly the cultural context in which the meme found expression decays and the meme is passed on in a new body of ideas and cultural artifacts. This is why it is foolish to criticize a work of fiction or imagination – or any model – even sophisticated computer models of climate or population – simply because it did not come true.

It is equally insidious to critize a utopian cluster of ideas based on the perceived character flaws of the author (which themselves are ideas with loaded histories). Frank E. Manuel and Fritzie P. Manuel (1979)[127] argue that “in order to understand Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis (1624) we must realize that he was constantly bothered with constipation and may have been a latent homosexual.” This kind of ad hominem character assassination is joined by the misrepresentation of Bacon as a control freak who would make all of “nature” subservient to human utilitarian purposes. Hearing these criticisms of the man it is no wonder that so few environmentalists or planners turn to his utopia to find ideas. And yet a true reading of the text gives all sorts of immensely valuable memes to incorporate into a sustainable green future. This is something that the environmentalists of the past certainly knew. For example William Shipley formed the Society of the Arts in 1754 and

“[its] philosophical justification lay in a line of direct descent from the Baconian notion of a “Soloman’s House’, in the activities of the Hartlib circle and in imitating the Royal Society itself… Almost from its inception, the Society became associated with tree planting… after its inception it… developed a sharp institutional and arguably physiocratic interest in stimulating agricultural and arboricultural development in the colonies, especially those in North America and the Caribbean. After the Peace of Paris, the Society suddenly found itself able to exert a very direct influence of colonial land-use policy.” (Grove 1995: 268).

These followers of Bacon's eutopia promoted the ‘planting of timber trees in the common and waste grounds of the kingdom for the supply of the Navy, the employement and advantage of the poor as well as the ornamenting the nation', they gave prizes for tree planting all over the colonies and in England, and “encouraged an official concern with environmental matters.” (Ibid). For Bacon, long since deceased, to reach out through his utopia over 130 years and positively affect environmentally sustainable land-use policy thousands of miles away by contributing compelling memes to the dialogue of development is testimony to the power of utopias and shows that they are far from “nowheres”. In fact they are everywhere.

Reproduction – the home, labour, culture (skills and norms), laws and policies

All architects and planners and scientists who think out loudest will tell you that getting an idea off the page and into the environment takes money. The artists and modelers who think out louder and put the ideas on the page, who sketch out the maps, will tell you their craft requires the same. Even thinking out loud, going to meetings, sharing ideas in conferences, talking on the phone, requires money. And as millions of graduate students will tell you, thinking itself requires financial support. So does reproducing the ideas that are thought out loud, louder and loudest. The point is, everything costs something. Environmentalism Present involves full cost accounting and a consideration of all externalities, positive and negative. From what seemed like a stark and dehumanizing form of cost/benefit analyses is evolving a notion that we can assign prices to all sorts of intangibles, such as aesthetic preferences and moral sentiments. Somehow, to make the ideals of democratic participatory planning – euphenic or euphenic – come true, we need not only to encourage consideration of ideals themselves through our policies and approaches to education, but we need to find ways to lower the transaction costs of thinking and experimenting with eutopian thoughts. We can't afford the social and environmental costs of our failed utopian experiments. This is as true for environmentalists as it is for industrialists – banning DDT should not cost lives and neither should using DDT, banning nuclear energy or fossil fuel combustion shouldn't cost lives or jobs and neither should using them, and so forth. We certainly can't afford any more world wars, holocausts or Gulags. We should be able to go beyond abstract measures of welfare such as GDP and find ways of empowering individuals so that they can talkmeaningfully about what really matters to them, echoing Amory Lovins call for the epistemological questioning of "what we are really after" and find solutions that lead to win-win situations for every being. It is the supreme challenge of a thinking being. This is where we must really apply our imaginations.

Critics of economics and political economy often argue that the discipline artificially restricts our imaginations regarding what matters for individuals. Martha Nussbaum (2000), for example, argues that aggregate notions of well-being contained in figures such a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita are seriously flawed. These figures fail to capture what is most important to living a meaningful life…Amartya Sen (1999), in near agreement with Nussbaum, makes persuasive arguments that we must adopt broader goals for development than growth rates in per capita income. In particular, Sen argues that we must concentrate on increasing human capabilities. By this he means expanding the ability of individuals to lead the sort of lives that they value. Wealth is an enabling factor and thus necessary, but it is not sufficient for explaining human progress. Development is a process of expanding the real freedoms of a people. This process requires removing the sources of un-freedom that include poverty, tyranny, and restricted opportunities (both economic and political). Good health, educational opportunity, increased life expectancy, democratic decision making, and toleration of alternative life-styles are all important components of human well-being that are unfortunately left out of traditional economic measures of human welfare. We must expand our measures of well-being beyond income per capita, Sen argues, to include these factors if we want our work to have relevance to the dialogue on the human condition…Our compassion is not truncated by the teachings of economics, as Nussbaum suggests, but instead that compassion is redirected toward an appreciation of the institutional pre-conditions which provide individuals with the material means which enable them to rise up and realize their potential as human beings. That is, we believe that the expansion of human capabilities is best understood to be the result of an institutional framework that encourages wealth creation. (Boettke and Subrick[128])

Given that institutionalization of utopian ideas (wealth creation is one of them!) has so frequently shown itself to be dangerous, we need to find such a framework that can adapt easily to fluidly changing, dynamic assessments of what the good life (how to fare well!) that will vary as individuals and their environmental circumstances change over time.

Rule of Law and Economic Growth

"Wogaman …hints at a fundamental paradox of self-interest values. Economic morality insists that the self have the freedom to pursue its interests, yet defines those interests relative to a framework of incentives, such as relative prices that are outside the individual's control. Thus, the self's freedom is simply the "freedom'' to move to an outcome dictated by external incentives impinging on one's preferences. Wogaman hints at this unfreedom when he suggests that there are always those in a position to set the incentives for others, who may "motivate people through their insecurities and vulnerabilities."[129]
To reproduce viable eutopian ideas that can improve welfare, we need to create a rule of law that lowers transaction costs and allows modelers to make predictions that ever more closely conform to reality. That is to say, we need to increase the strength of our predictions and make our eutopian outcomes predictable, stretching the time horizons into futures that inspire confidence and hope. As
Boettke and Subrick (2002) emphasize,

…we want to examine the impact that the rule of law has on economic development and explore the relationship between economic development and human capabilities. Our first conjecture is that the rule of law is a significant factor in explaining economic development. This is hardly controversial (Barro 1997). We believe this to be so because the rule of law provides us with the stability and predictability in economic affairs required for agents to engage in entrepreneurial action both in terms of exploiting existing opportunities for profit through arbitrage and the discover of new profit opportunities through innovation (see Hayek 1945, 72-87; Hayek 1960, 133-249; Rizzo 1980; and Epstein 1995). Absent the security and predictability provided by a rule of law, and economic actors will shorten their time horizon of investment and economic progress will be thwarted. As Hayek pointed out: The classical argument for freedom in economic affairs rests on the tacit postulate that the rule of law should govern policy in this as in all other spheres (1960, 220). Economic policies not in conformity with a rule of law introduce discretionary and ad hoc decisions that undermine the predictability and stability in the economic environment. A policy environment consistent with the rule of law, on the other hand, leads to an enhanced ability by economic actors to predict the behavior of others with whom they must coordinate their plans.

What I am arguing for in this essay is a Rule of Law to govern a specific policy maneuver: institutional encouragement and protection for all forms of eutopian thinking, giving people the time and space and funding to think eutopian ideals out loud and experiment with them without totalizing, without essentializing, without fear of retribution, without harming or coercing others. Such policies would protect freedom of thought and freedom of expression, and protect the public from the forms in which the thoughts were expressed. Radical ideas would no longer be judged as dangerous and radical thinkers would no longer be marginalized, silenced, imprisoned or put to death. They would reproduce as memes along with the genes of the individuals possessing them and evolve into ever more hopeful life forms and environments, bringing to our society the same diversity and robustness that characterize rain forests and coral reefs and other spaces where evolutionarily stable strategies have permitted life to flourish. We might not always like the thoughts or life forms that are produced and reproduced, but our policy would at least give them time and space to express themselves and to be heard, and their survivability would be contingent on how well they suit the local nexus between ontic being and ontological Being.

"Gracchus" Babeuf, the French revolutionary writer (who took his first name from the Roman land reformer), ceased thinking out loud and generating fresh utopian ideals and ideas in 1797 after his "conspiracy of equals" was discovered by the French authorities and he was executed. His out-louder-thoughts however, the doctrines called "Babouvism", lived on through endless reproductions by secret revolutionary societies, and through reproduction by the authors he influenced, in particular Marx and Engels, who wrote in The Holy Family that his attacks on private property "gave rise to the communist idea" and, more recently, Herbert Marcuse, of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theorists who "championed Babeuf’s thought as a tool to battle the seductive evils of advanced capitalism."[130] But as Babeuf declared in his defense at the trial at Vendome in February-May 1797, shortly before the thinking part of his anatomy was chopped off, his own thoughts were merely reproductions and elaborations – natural imitations, as Aristotle would say -- of the great thinkers before him:

“Such is the natural and palpable inclination felt by every man who loves his fellows, who gives thought to the calamities of which they are the victims, who reflects that they themselves are often the cause of these afflictions, to examine in his imagination all the possible curative measures that could be taken. If he believes that he has found these remedies, then, in his powerlessness to realize them, he afflicts himself for the sake of those whom he is forced to leave to their suffering, and contents himself with the feeble compensation of tracing for them the outlines of the plan that he feels could end their woes for all time. This is what all our philosopher-legislators did, and I am at best only their disciple and emulator, when I am doing anything more than merely repeating, echoing, or interpreting them. Rousseau said: "I fully realize that one should not undertake the chimerical project of trying to form a society of honest men, but I nevertheless believed that was obliged to speak the whole truth openly.'' When you condemn me, citizen Jurors, for all the maxims that I have just admitted stating, it is these great men whom you are putting on trial. They were my masters, my sources of inspiration--my doctrine is only theirs. From their lessons I have derived these maxims of "pillage," these principles that have been called "destructive." You are also accusing the monarchy of not having been quite as inquisitional as the government of our present Republic; you accuse them of not having prevented the corrupting books of a Mably, a Helvetius, a Diderot, or of a Jean Jacques Rousseau, from falling into my hands. All those who govern should be considered responsible for the evils that they do not prevent.”[131]

One can agree or disagree with the violence advocated by Babeuf and that used against Babeuf. Each individual must ultimately decide how to behave in order to create and maintain the environment that best suits them. From the ecosystem model of nature however, our only true responsibility seems be to keep the great chain of being and the great conversation going, i.e. to reproduce. As long as our minds are free to think their own thoughts, and life-supporting environments continue to exist that afford us some way to think out loud, euphenic and euthenic experiments to create "the goodlife" will continue. I believe that policy and institutions should be focused on preserving our freedom to think and experiment, safeguarding life through the precautionary principle, but encouraging innovation and enlightenment. Ultimately, the reproduction of thoughts (memes) and the reproduction of thinkers will lead to the evolution of entirely new ecologies of mind and being that even the most radical dreamer cannot yet conceive. Until then, our responsibility is to keep the torch burning and pass it on into the darkness of Environmentalism Future.


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[1] Full text at http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/01/13/doe-reprint/

[2] Bush Sr. effectively used reductionism and synecdoche to marginalize environmental movements. He described environmentalists as "the spotted owl crowd" and juxtaposed "them" against "the economy". Very few people could argue that spotted owls were more important than the entire economy that affects us all.

[3] We've Got Issues: What we talk about when we talk about the future of environmentalism Grist Magazine, Environmental News and Commentary 13 Jan 2005 http://www.grist.org/comments/gist/2005/01/13/doe/
This is the first in a series of editorials Grist will publish over the coming months to address the issues raised by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus's essay "The Death of Environmentalism" and Adam Werbach's speech "Is Environmentalism Dead?"

[4] Weiner, Douglas R. (1992)Demythologizing Environmentalism, Journal of the History of Biology, vol. 25, no. 3 (Fall), pp. 385-411. "Let us not forget that the communist vision of Lenin and other Marxists was of a society ultimately without "politics" (i.e., where "politics" based on clashes of interests would be supplanted by the mere "administration of things"). P. 386

[5] Bookchin, Murray (1988) The Crisis in the Ecology Movement GREEN PERSPECTIVES Newsletter of the Green Program Project A LEFT GREEN PERIODICAL No. 6, May http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bookchin/gp/greenperspectives6.html

[6] A free reprint of the article can be found at http://www.mdgreens.org/montgomery/blog/

[7] Wangari Maathai also believed a healthy environment was a security issue: "If we did a better job of managing our resources more sustainably, conflicts over them would be reduced. Protecting the global environment is directly related to securing peace."

[8] "Reconstructing Liberalism? Notes toward a Conversation between Area Studies and Diasporic Studies" by Dipesh Chakrabarty, http://www.newschool.edu/gf/publicculture/backissues/pc26/chakra.html

[9] Bookchin, Murray (1987) 'Social Ecology vs. Deep Ecology', quoted in Orton, David (2004) "Eco-Fascism, What is It: A Left Bio-centric Analysis" Green Web Bulletin #86 http://home.ca.inter.net/~greenweb/Ecofascism.html

[10] Bernard L.L. (1930) Culture and Environment. I. The Unity of the Environment Social Forces, Vol. 8, No. 3. (Mar.) pp. 327-334.

[11] Said EW (1979) Orientalism New York: Vintage Books

[12] Escobar A (1999) After nature: Steps to an antiessentialist political ecology Current Anthropology 40:1-30

[13] Anderson, commenting on Escobar's After Nature, says "Two very separate problems get somewhat mixed in Escobar’s article: (1) Granted that “nature” is a construction of Western European civilization, and a rather vague and ill-defined construction at that, how can we conceptualize and look at our external environments? This is a problem in phenomenology. (2) We now realize that people have been influencing the planet and its biota for a long time—over 10,000 years in the New World and up to several million years in Africa. There is no “pristine Nature” out there." (Anderson, 2000). That said, who should tell us what should be preserved and what changed?


[14] Boynton Robert S. The Tyranny of Copyright? New York Times | January 25, 2004 http://www.why-war.com/news/2004/01/25/thetyran.html

[15] Frake, charles. (1974). Language and cultural description. Edited by Anwar S. Dil. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Cited in Anderson (2000)

[16] Levi-strauss, claude. (1962). La pense´e sauvage. Paris: Plon., cited in Anderson (2000)

[17] Cartmill, Matt. (1993) A View to a Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature through History. Cambridge: Harvard UP see also, Bambi and the Hunting Ethos by A. Waller Hastings, online at http://www.users.csbsju.edu/~mewing/sym/bambi.html

[18] Steels, L. and Kaplan, F. (2001) AIBO's first words: The social learning of language and meaning. Evolution of Communication, 4(1):3--32. http://www3.isrl.uiuc.edu/~junwang4/langev/localcopy/pdf/steels02aiboFirst.pdf

[19] Spirn, Anne, (1996) “Constructing Nature: The Legacy of Frederick Law Olmstead” in William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground (New York: W. W. Norton), p. 98.

[20] Steigerwald, Joan (2000) The Cultural Enframing of Nature: Environmental Histories during the Early German Romantic Period Environment and History 6: 451-496

[21] Tower Sargent, Lyman (1982) Authority & Utopia: Utopianism in Political Thought Polity, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Summer), 565-584.

[22] Warren, Stacy (2004) The Utopian Potential of GIS Cartographica Volume 39 / Number 1 Spring 2004 http://www.utpjournals.com/jour.ihtml?lp=product/carto/391/carto391p05.html

[23] http://www.esri.com/library/whitepapers/pdfs/arcgis_spatial_analyst.pdf

[24] The Map Is Not The Territory by Rex Steven Sikes http://www.idea-seminars.com/articles/map.htm

[25] Anderson E. N. (2000) "On an Antiessential Political Ecology" Current Anthropology, volume 41 pages 105–106 http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/CA/journal/issues/v41n1/001601/001601.web.pdf

[26] From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Causal layered analysis (CLA) is a new research theory and method. As a theory it seeks to integrate empiricist, interpretive, critical and action learning modes of knowing (loosely, science, social science, philosophy and mythology). As a method, its utility is not in predicting the future but in creating transformative spaces for the creation of alternative futures. It is also likely to be of use in developing more effective — deeper, inclusive, longer term — policy. Causal layered analysis consists of four levels: the litany, social causes, discourse/world-view and myth/metaphor. The first level is the litany – the official unquestioned view of reality. The second level is the social causation level, the systemic perspective. The data of the litany is explained and questioned at this second level. The third level is the worldview/discourse. Deeper unconscious held ideological, worldview and discursive assumptions are unpacked at this level. As well, how different stakeholders construct the litany and system are explored. The fourth level is the myth-metaphor, the unconscious emotive dimensions of the issue. The challenge is to conduct research that moves up and down these layers of analysis and thus is inclusive of different ways of knowing. Doing so allows for the creation of authentic alternative futures and integrated transformation. CLA begins and ends by questioning the future. In the words of James Dator: Inayatullah’s ‘Causal Layered Analysis’ is the first major new futures theory and method since Delphi, almost forty years ago. CLA is a very sophisticated way to categorise different views of and concerns about the futures, and then to use them to help groups think about the futures far more effectively than they could by using any one of the ‘layers’ alone, as most theory/methods do."

[27] From wikipedia:"As a problem structuring and problem solving technique, morphological analysis was designed for multi-dimensional, non-quantifiable problems where causal modeling and simulation do not function well or at all. Fritz Zwicky (1966, 1969) developed this approach to address seemingly non-reducible complexity. Using the technique of cross consistency assessment (CCA) (Ritchey, 2002), the system however does allow for reduction, not by reducing the number of variables involved, but by reducing the number of possible solutions through the elimination of the illogical solution combinations in a grid box.

[28] From Wikipedia: "The Delphi method has traditionally been a technique aimed at building an agreement, or consensus about an opinion or view, without necessarily having people meet face to face, such as through surveys, questionnaires, emails etc. This technique, if used effectively, can be highly efficient and generate new knowledge. To build consensus, the Delphi method often uses the Hegelian dialectic process of thesis (establishing an opinion or view), antithesis (conflicting opinion or view) and finally synthesis (a new agreement or consensus), with synthesis becoming the new thesis. All participants in the process shall then either change their views to align with the new thesis, or support the new thesis, to establish a new common view. The goal is a continual evolution towards 'oneness of mind', or consensus on the opinion or view. The person co-ordinating the Delphi method can be known as a facilitator, and facilitates the responses of their panel of experts, who are selected for a reason, usually that they hold knowledge on an opinion or view. The facilitator sends out questionnaires, surveys etc. and if the panel of experts accept, they follow instructions and present their views. Responses are collected and analysed, then common and conflicting viewpoints are identified. If consensus is not reached, the process continues through thesis and antithesis, to gradually work towards synthesis, and building consensus."

[29] From Wikipedia: Thinklets is a keyword coined by Dr. Robert O. Briggs with GroupSystems, Inc. in an award-winning paper submitted to the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) during January 2001. Thinklets are the repeatable peopleware protocols devised to help facilitate virtual team tactics with "EayWinWin" Groupware. Thinklets support anonymous voting to negotiate workable compromises (ALL-WinWin) among collaborating organizations with diverse priorities. Unisys human factors experiments with virtual team tactics protocols demonstrated anonymous voting was a critical success factor ...
A thinkLet's social capital value proposition may be assessed by its distributed application as either an Actionable Distilled Insight or Reusable Learning Object ...
Keyword consistency remains pivotal for pioneering interdisciplinary Knowledge Management/Social Engineering.
Having clear and unified terms to define and resolve shared global concerns is vital to facilitating the Pacific Asian Management Institute (PAMI) programs. These multicultural blended learning programs are co-located with the MidPacific Ocean virtual campus CBA Program offered at University of Hawaii at Manoa as Adult Lifelong Learning.
Futures studies programs adapted these protocols to help cultivate the MentorshipART of innovative scenario-spinning.
Failure of imagination (collective anticipatory thinking) was the root cause cited as reusable lessons learned after reviewing catasrophic global events.

[30] Mahoney, Michael (1997) "The Mathematical Realm of Nature," in The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, vol. 1, ed. Daniel Garber and Michael Ayers (Cambridge), 702-55. http://www.princeton.edu/~mike/articles/mathnat/mathnatfr.html

[31] Casti, John, (1989) Alternate Realities: Mathematical Models of Nature and Man, John Wiley
& Sons

[32] THE COLONIZATION OF CYPHERSPACE by James Hart in #TL05C: HOW TO SEIZE YOUR FREEDOM Compiled and edited by Frederick Mann © Copyright 1998 Terra Libra Holdings http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/tl05c.shtml

[33] One of the great examples is director Brian DePalma's use of computer modeling in his epic film "Mission to Mars" to show the evolution of life on earth and its future possibilities. De Palma's artists created the basic morphology and bones of Coelocanth fish, input the "rules" of ontogeny and phylogeny and simply ran a time series of morphs, albeit with teleological constraints. The end result was a world inside the computer in which fish became amphibians became reptiles became quadrupedal mammals became bipedal primates became humans became macrocephalic spacefarers. This is detailed in the "making of" section of the DVD.

[34] Butler, Samuel (1871) Erewhon, found on line at http://www.hoboes.com/html/FireBlade/Butler/Erewhon/

[35] http://www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/overview.html

[36] http://www.mhi.co.jp/kobe/wakamaru/english/about/technology.html

[37] Menzel, Peter and D'Aluisio, Faith (2000) Robo sapiens MIT Press

[38] http://www.robosapiens.org/vorenberg.html

[39] http://www.nis.lanl.gov/projects/robot//

[40] http://www.hoboes.com/html/FireBlade/Butler/Erewhon/erewhon24.html

[41] From the introduction to his second edition, quoted on http://www.hoboes.com/html/FireBlade/Butler/Erewhon/

[42] MITROFF, IAN I. and TUROFF, MURRAY (1973) Technological Forecasting and Assessment:
Science and/or Mythology? TECHNOLOGICAL FORECASTING AND SOCIAL CHANGE 5, 113-134 (1973) 113 and quote from Mitroff, Ian I. and Turoff, Murray (2002) 11.B. Philosophical and Methodological
Foundations of Delphi. http://www.is.njit.edu/pubs/delphibook/ch2b.pdf

[43] Bello, Walden (2002) Cover Story: What Is the International Community? Battling Barbarism Foreign Policy, No. 132. (Sep. - Oct.), pp. 41-42.

[44] The Tyranny of Copyright? Robert S. Boynton | New York Times | January 25, 2004 Boynton's argument is contrary to mine; he believes in replacing specific environments with a universal one, saying, "The future of the Copy Left's efforts is still an open question. James Boyle has likened the movement's efforts to establish a cultural commons to those of the environmental movement in its infancy. Like Rachel Carson in the years before Earth Day, the Copy Left today is trying to raise awareness of the intellectual "land" to which they believe we ought to feel entitled and to propose policies and laws that will preserve it. Just as the idea of environmentalism became viable in the wake of the last century's advances in industrial production, the growth of this century's information technologies, Boyle argues, will force the country to address the erosion of the cultural commons. "The environmentalists helped us to see the world differently," he writes, "to see that there was such a thing as 'the environment' rather than just my pond, your forest, his canal. We need to do the same thing in the information environment. We have to 'invent' the public domain before we can save it." http://www.why-war.com/news/2004/01/25/thetyran.html

[45] Boal, Augusto & (trans.) Charles A. & Maria-Odilia Leal McBride (1979). Theatre of the Oppressed, London: Pluto Press (originally published Teatro del Oprimido y Otras Poeticas Politicas 1974). See http://www.dramavictoria.vic.edu.au/resources/mask/augusto_boal.htm

[46] Taylor, P. (1993) The Texts of Paulo Freire, Buckingham: Open University Press, quoted by Mark K. Smith (1997) on http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-freir.htm . For original text see Freire, Paulo & (trans.) Myra Bergman Ramos (1972). Pedagogy of theOppressed, London: Penguin (originally published Pedagogia del Oprimido 1970).

[47] Smith, Mark K. (1997) "Paulo Freire" on http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-freir.htm

[48] Ronaldo Morelos wrote "What is empowerment? Empowerment is the reinforcement of the expectation that individual effort and power, which may or may not act in concert with others, can influence the social environment.[6] Empowerment is a practice in the production of new meanings, symbolic elements operating together in a transitive fashion wherein operants expect to be able to apply power to the world in order to change it, however minutely.[7] Howard Lasswell and Abraham Kaplan, in Power and Society, elaborated on power in the political context. 'Power is participation in the making of decisions', and 'the political process is the shaping, distribution and exercise of power'[8]. In The Sociological Imagination, Wright Mills observed that power is concerned with whatever decisions human beings make about the arrangements under which they live and the events that make up the history of their period.[9] Empowerment is one of two directions in the spectrum of power relations, its opposite requires us to subject ourselves to external forms of control. To be empowered is to possess and practise a developed critical ability. To be disempowered requires a developed susceptibility." #6 Morelos 1999, Symbols & Power in Theatre of the Oppressed, p. 8 (MA
thesis, QUT Brisbane). #7 Common Culture: Symbolic Work at Play in the Everyday Cultures of the
Young - Paul Willis 1990 (Open University Press, Buckingham) pp. 11-12. #8 Power and Society: A Framework for Political Inquiry - Harold Lasswell & Abraham Kaplan 1950 (Yale University, New Haven) p. 75. #9 The Sociological Imagination - C. Wright Mills 1959 (Oxford University Press, New York) p. 40.

[49] (Standard Reference Works Publishing Co., Inc.)

[50] Bekoff, Marc and John Alexander Byers (eds.) Animal Play: Evolutionary, Comparative, and Ecological Perspectives
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998; online at http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Bekoff_Byers_98.html, INTRODUCTION: NEW EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVES ON PLAY Human Nature, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 1–3.John Bock, Guest Editor Copyright 2004 by Walter de Gruyter, Inc., New York http://anthro.fullerton.edu/jbock/15_1%20Introduction.pdf, see also http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dead99/participants.html

[51] Sutton-Smith, Brian (1998) The Ambiguity of Play Harvard University Press, Cambridge; quote from review at http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/SUTAMB.html

[52] Scalise SAP Narrative as virtual reality" Acquiring knowledge first-hand can be dangerous and costly; we may therefore expect selection to have favored a system or systems by means of which information could be acquired at second hand. Language is perhaps the most obvious means of accomplishing this task. Verbal communication takes several forms, however: conversation, precautions, threat, argument, and so on. In other words, verbal communication appears to be specialized: it is possible that each of the several forms it" Scalise (1999) Conference Proceedings The Annual Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society June 2 - 6, 1999 Salt Lake City, Utah Abstracts http://www.hbes.com/HBES/abst99.htm

[53] "Fantasy play may allow juveniles, both nonhuman and human, to examine situations from a variety of perspectives, and as a result may have immediate benefits." Bock (2004) summarizing the work of Pellegrini and Bjorklund.



[54] Casti, J.L. (1992) Reality Rules: Picturing the World in Mathematics, Wiley and Sons.

[55]Couclelis, Helen and Liu XiaoHang (2000) The geography of time and ignorance Dynamics and uncertainty in integrated urban-environmental process models 4th International Conference on Integrating GIS and Environmental Modeling (GIS/EM4): Problems, Prospects and Research Needs. Banff, Alberta, Canada, September 2 - 8, 2000. http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~kclarke/ucime/banff2000/136-hc-paper.htm
"To understand the significance of real (or, for that matter, Newtonian) time for model prediction we need to consider the epistemological roots of prediction itself. What justifies a belief that a statement about the future (or about an unknown aspect of the present or the past) may be reliable? The answer is to be sought in the concept of determination, defined by Bunge (1959, p.7) as ‘constant and unique connection between things and events’. Every model determines an answer or family of answers in that sense. But there are many different kinds of determination, each with different logical credentials. Bunge (1959) distinguishes at least eight, of which causal, statistical, and teleological determination are perhaps the best known.

The key point discussed in this section is that much of determination, and thus prediction, has little or nothing to do with time. Bunge (1959, p.312 ff) discusses several mechanisms used in science for the derivation or ‘prediction’ of unknown facts from known facts. Here is a slightly adapted list:

1. Logical inference includes deduction, induction and abduction.

2. Structural laws help predict new properties from the known properties of material or formal structures (e.g., properties of chemical elements can be deduced from their place in the periodic table).

3. Phenomenological laws predict phenomena on the basis of known constant associations (e.g., the laws of geometrical optics).

4. Functional laws infer functional properties of a system from knowledge of the functional role of the parts and their interconnections (e.g,wingless birds cannot fly).

5. Statistical laws help derive collective properties of classes of events from an analysis of such classes.

6. Mechanical laws extrapolate future (or past) states on the basis of known current states and relations (e.g, the Newtonian laws of universal gravitation).

A moment of thought will show that at least the first five of these inference principles are genuinely atemporal, and the sixth is the one that gave birth to Newtonian time. They all help postulate determinations or ‘constant and unique connections between things and events’ (or classes of events in the stochastic case) regardless of when these events may be happening. Reference to temporality is indirect: whenever, if/then, usually when… To turn these statements into temporal predictions, ordering and cross-referencing events along a linear continuum is all that is needed: before-after, in 1856, in 2010. They work backwards and forwards and for however long the particular kind of determination may be expected to hold. For them the future (and the past) is indeed ‘the unfolding of a tapestry that exists now’.

In addition to the above inference principles familiar from mainstream science there are other, more informal ones that contribute to the stability and continuity of everyday life: habits, customs, settings, rituals, social and institutional rules and practices – in short, the sources of the daily, weekly, and annual routines we all rely on. A large number of social science models can be built and fairly reliable predictions can be made about the future based on things people are doing now. Although not atemporal in the same sense as mechanical laws these principles too are of and about the present.

The surprising implication is this: models can predict the future to the extent that they are not about the future. We can indeed predict many aspects of what is to come because events are constrained by several different kinds of determination that are in themselves outside of time. Some of these constraints are empirical: the life expectancy of a particular population, the rate of growth of a tree species, the time it takes to plan and build a major freeway. The range of variation of these quantities may be assumed to remain fixed for the foreseeable future. Other constraints are systemic or formal: once a system has been defined in some particular way, at some particular level of abstraction, all kinds of conceivable predictions about its domain of application become thereby impossible.

Which brings us back to ‘real’ time: in real time, time itself – qua temporal position - is a determinant of events. Our predictive devices, based as they are on either strict but atemporal forms of determination (or perhaps on more or less reliable speculations about what ‘usually’, ‘lately’, or ‘currently’ may be the case), can say nothing about possibilities that are a function of futures not yet realized or even thought of. But is real time relevant to integrated environmental modeling? Since real time presupposes an agent capable of anticipation and memory, the answer is positive to the extent that such agents have a place in environmental systems."


[56] Exemplars in the media are Twilight Zone: "The Lonely" Season 1, Episode 7 First aired: November 13, 1959, the cult film "Cherry 2000" with Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and the dystopian film "Blade Runner" basesd on Philip K. Dick's "Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep". http://www.first-androids.org/ shows what is actually going on in this arena.

[57] http://www.robotbooks.com/battlebots.htm, see also http://robots.ural.net/robots.htm for virtual robot warfare created in Russia that can be played online.

[58] http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2003/pa072903.htm also http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/weapons/a/robots.htm

[59] http://betterhumans.com/Members/futuretalk/BlogPost/4790/Default.aspx

[60] Schweitzer, Lisa (2004) UCLA Urban Planning Dissertation: Environmental Sacrifice Zones: Risk and Transport in Southern California

[61] see "Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology" NSET Workshop Report Edited by Mihail C. Roco and William Sims BainbridgeNational Science Foundation http://www.wtec.org/loyola/nano/NSET.Societal.Implications/nanosi-es.pdf

[62] Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she's a witch?
Peasant 3: Well, she turned me into a newt.
Sir Bedevere: A newt?
Peasant 3: ...I got better. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071853/quotes

[63] "This Art is called Magic...[It] is not easy to understand, and it is hidden from the simpleminded.
Magic is a divine power, affecting by original causes...' Picatrix. http://www.renaissanceastrology.com/picatrix.html
Picatrix, or Ghâyat al-Hakîm fi'l-sihr, "the Aim of the Wise" written in Andalusia in 1000 AD was an early type of grimoire (a book of magical knowledge written between the late-medieval period and the 18th century. Such books contain astrological correspondences, lists of angels and demons, directions on casting charms and spells, on mixing medicines, summoning unearthly entities, and making talismans. The word grimoire is from the Old French gramaire, and is from the same root as the word grammar. This is partly because, in the mid-late Middle Ages, Latin "grammars" (books on Latin syntax and diction) were foundational to school and university education, as controlled by the Church — while to the illiterate majority, non-ecclesiastical books were suspect as magic. But "grammar" also denoted, to literate and illiterate alike, a book of basic instruction." says Wikipedia. The Picatrix is said to have influenced Tomaso Campanella's "City of the Sun"


[64] Aphorisms from the encyclopedic Picatrix blended magic with environmental awareness: "The cautious Soul collaborates with the Astral action just as the skilled peasant collaborates with Nature when plowing and digging"; "The stars should be used in the construction of cities; in the construction of houses we must use the planets." --- Picatrix http://www.renaissanceastrology.com/picatrixaphorisms.html

[65] Seashore Carl E. (1941) The Term "Euthenics" Science, New Series, Vol. 94, No. 2450. (Dec. 12), pp. 561-562.

[66] http://www.greatwomen.org/women.php?action=viewone&id=123 Euthenics: The Science of Controllable Environment. Boston: Whitcomb & Barrows, published posthumously in 1912."Ellen Swallow Richards was the first woman professional chemist in the nation, and played a major role to open scientific education and the scientific professions to women. Applying scientific principles to domestic life, she pioneered the new study and profession of home economics, a major opportunity at the time for higher education and employment for American women.
The first woman to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Richards developed MIT's Women's Laboratory. Her innovative studies of air, water and food led to the creation of national public health standards and the new disciplines of sanitary engineering and nutrition. The interaction between people and their environment led this visionary to predict future environmental crises and to advance the concept of ecology as an environmental science - an idea not widely accepted until almost a century passed.
Richards was central to the founding of the American Home Economics Association and served as the group's first president."

[67] Seashore, Carl E.(1942) Origin of the Term "Euthenics" Science, New Series, Vol. 95, No. 2470. (May 1), pp. 455-456.

[68] Goldsmith, William M. (1926) Eugenothenics Science New Series, Vol. 63, No. 1633 (Apr), p. 403

[69] Howard, Ebenezer (1902) Garden Cities of To-Morrow (London. Reprinted, edited with a Preface by F. J. Osborn and an Introductory Essay by Lewis Mumford. (London: Faber and Faber, [1946]):50-57, 138- 147.

[70]" Municipal Parks and City Planning: Frederick LawOlmsted's Buffalo Park and Parkway System" by Francis R. Kowsky Reprinted with permission from the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, March 1987 online at http://preserve.bfn.org/bam/kowsky/kowold/

[71] Holt-Jensen, Arild (2001) Individual relational space in deprived urban neighbourhoods Paper delivered at ENHR conference 25-29 June 2001 Pultusk, Poland http://www.nhh.no/geo/NEHOM/publications/ENHR%20Warsawa%202001.pdf

[72] Safety, Crime, Vulnerability and Design - A Proposed Agenda of Study Previously published in August 1995 as Working Paper No. 53 By Chris Brunsdon, Rose Gilroy, Alai Madani Pour, Maggie Roe, Ian Thompson and Tim Townshend Environment and Safety Group

[73] Brave New World (1932) remains ambiguous on this score, with British Philosopher David Pearce believing it to be a true eutopia and science writer Matt Ridley believing that it represents an "environmental, not a genetic, hell." Because it was written 20 years before Watson and Crick discovered DNA its biological determinism did not involve genetic engineering but rather euthenic manipulations of the amniotic test-tube environment. I would argue, contra Ridley, that insofar as genotypic expression was severly constrained during embryogenesis resulting in biologically determined castes, Brave New World's dystopian elements derive from the society's attempt at eugenic control – though there is no birth and no parents, the state is still interefering with heredity to achieve social outcomes.

[74] Lederberg, Joshua Stanford (1964) “A Crisis in Evolution”, (1964) The World in 1984 New Scientist series, Nigel Calder Ed. Penguin Books.London

[75] quote from "The Death of Socialism" by Roger Kimball http://www.falange.us/socialis.htm " We owe the term “socialism” to some followers of Robert Owen, the nineteenth-century British industrialist who founded New Harmony, a short-lived utopian community on the banks of the Wabash in Indiana. Owen’s initial reception in America was impressive. In an 1825 address to Congress, Joshua Muravchik reports in Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism, Owen’s audience included not only congressmen but also Supreme Court justices, cabinet members, President Monroe, and President-elect John Quincy Adams. Owen described to this august assemblage how his efforts to replace the “individual selfish system” with a “united social” system would bring forth a “new man” who was free from the grasping imperatives that had marred human nature from time immemorial. (And not only human nature: the utopian socialist Charles Fourier expected selfishness and cruelty to be obliterated from the animal kingdom as well: one day, he thought, even lions and whales would be domesticated.) The starry-eyed aspect of socialist thinking did not preclude a large element of steel. As Muravchik points out, the French Revolution was “the manger” of socialism. It was then that the philosophy of Rousseau emerged from the pages of tracts and manifestos to strut across the bloody field of history. The architects of the revolution invoked Rousseau early and often as they set about the task of “changing human nature,” of “altering the constitution of man for the purpose of strengthening it.”

[76] "The Future as History": An Experimental Approach to Introductory History for the General Student
James B. Schick; Fred B. Misse, Jr.; David A. Hackett The History Teacher, Vol. 7, No. 2. (Feb., 1974), pp. 220-227. StableURL:http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=00182745%28197402%297%3A2%3C220%3A%22FAHAE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-O.

[77] "For it is in just such times as these that anachronisms proflierate, and when they cease to be harmless myths and grow into rigid dogmas over which nations go to war and race of men tear at each other's throats… Anachronisms are the perculiar concern of historians… the historian is pecularly fitted also to serve as mediator between man's limitations and his aspirations, between his dreams of what ought to be and the limits of what, in the light of what has been, can be… a creature so long described as earth bound and so newly transcending those bounds, so giddy over his spectacular innovations, so guilt-ridden about his past, and so anxiety ridden about the present and the future is not a creature who can safely turn away from history." -- C. Vann Woodward, "The Future of the Past", 726 justifying "The Future as History", in Schick, Misse and Hackett 1974, p. 227).

[78] Ross, Gina (2004) Beyond the Trauma Vortex The Media's Role in Healing Fear, Terror, and Violence http://ginaross.com/publications.html

[79] see the analysis of British Philosopher David Pearce and the implications for "The Hedonistic Imperative" in BRAVE NEW WORLD ? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering at http://www.huxley.net/

[80] Tower Sargent, Lyman (1982) op cit. p. 565

[81] Author's note from 1901, published on http://www.classicreader.com/read.php/sid.1/bookid.1784/sec.1/

[82] Apuzzo, Michael L. J. Brave New World: Reaching for Utopia Neurosurgery: Volume 46(5) May 2000 p 1033 http://www.neurosurgery-online.com/pt/re/neurosurg/fulltext.00006123-200005000-00001.htm;jsessionid=DFbyvLJT7Zdx1RCk25jNBIA1ZA7obst4Q2WjlGD7T0xRFRWuc2jF!-943888906!-949856145!9001!-1

[83] Pearce has a brilliant critique of Brave New World in the light of modern pharmacology and lots of other great writings here at http://www.hedweb.com/confile.htm

[84] http://www.scottmccloud.com/store/books/uc.html

[85] Tufte, Edward 1990 Envisioning Information Graphics Press; see review in Technology and Society by Kirk McElhearn at http://www.techsoc.com/ei.htm

[86] (and here we must agree with Dr. Stephen Krashen of USC that comic books have had a disproportionate effect on education throughout the world - a truth we can witness not only in the robust Manga craze from Japan but the sheer number of adult comic book shops and conventions throughout Europe (predominately Belgium and France) as well as the U.S., and by the historical translations of these euphenic storylines into Arabic, Indonesian, Hindi and Chinese (Marvel superhero comics have been available in the Middle East since I was a child in the 1970s and in Indonesia in the 1980s, and these countries’ own regional imitations, with localized story lines, are now sold all over and distributed on Middle Eastern airlines).

[87] http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm.html#chronology

[88] Fairy Tales in the Age of Terror What Terry Gilliam helps to remind us about an ancient genre. By Maria Tatar Posted Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005, at 7:18 AM EThttp://www.slate.com/id/2126727/

[89] personal communication, UCLA Urban Planning January 11, 2006

[90] Takahashi, Lois and Daniere, Amrita G. (1999) "Environmental Behavior in Bangkok, Thailand: A Portrait of Attitudes, Values and Behavior" Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 47, No. 3 (April) 525-557

[91] "During the LIA, there was a high frequency of storms. As the cooler air began to move southward, the polar jet stream strengthened and followed, which directed a higher number of storms into the region. At least four sea floods of the Dutch and German coasts in the thirteenth century were reported to have caused the loss of around 100,000 lives. Sea level was likely increased by the long-term ice melt during the MWP which compounded the flooding. Storms that caused greater than 100,000 deaths were also reported in 1421, 1446, and 1570. Additionally, large hailstorms that wiped out farmland and killed great numbers of livestock occurred over much of Europe due to the very cold air aloft during the warmer months. Due to severe erosion of coastline and high winds, great sand storms developed which destroyed farmlands and reshaped coastal land regions" http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/little_ice_age.html; see also Lamb, H.H., 1966, The Changing Climate, Methuen, London.

[92] Von Braun, Werner (1964) The World in 1984 New Scientist series, Nigel Calder Ed. Penguin Books.London.

[93] Environmental Handbook, 1970 p. 197

[94]Friedrich Nietzsche. The Gay Science (1882), sections 125 and 343; the german and english texts of the original can be found at http://atheism.about.com/library/weekly/aa042600c.htm


[95] Hornborg, Alf (1998) Ecological Embeddedness and Personhood: Have we always been capitalists? Anthropology Today, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Apr.) 3-5

[96] for critiques of Sen by Devreux and others in the context of his statement that "No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy" see The New York Times, March 2, 2003 posted on http://www.wehaitians.com/does%20democracy%20avert%20famine.html

[97] "it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self love.Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776). Book I, chap. 2. Donald E. Frey argues, however, "Of course, an earlier book of his had argued that humans respond to more humane "moral sentiments.''… Smith was asserting here, however, that, in an economic world defined by the division of labor, economic agents inevitably would become morally isolated from each other. The social interrelatedness necessary to develop these moral sentiments simply would be lacking. Thus, in economic society characterized by division of labor and the social distance that it creates, only the appeal to self-interest would be effective.Over the years an influential number of economists have minimized these nuances of Smith's thought and represented self-interest, almost pure and simple, as the key to human behavior. The axiom of self-interest is embodied in the neoclassical utility-maximization model that can be found as the core of virtually all microeconomics texts." The Good Samaritan as Bad Economist by Donald E. Frey http://www.crosscurrents.org/frey2.html#FOOTNOTE_2

[98]George J. Stigler, The Economist as Preacher and Other Essays (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 35. quoted in Frey, Ibid.

[99] Sen, Amartya (1987) On Ethics and Economics (London: Basil Blackwell), 15--16.

[100] Nell Victor (2005) Cruelty’s Rewards: The Gratifications of Perpetrators and Spectators To be published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (in press) © Cambridge University Press 2005 http://www.bbsonline.org/Preprints/Nell-06242003/Referees/Nell.html#_ednref2

[101] Solomon RL: The opponent-process theory of acquired motivation: The costs of pleasure and the benefits of pain. Am Psychol 35:691-712, 1980 quoted in Van der Kolk (1989) "The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma Re-enactment, Revictimization, and Masochism" Psychiatric Clinics of North America, Volume 12, Number 2, Pages 389-411,
June. http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk/

[102] McKenzie, Richard (1986) Economics (Boston: Houghton Mifflin), 375. quoted by Frey http://www.crosscurrents.org/frey2.html#FOOTNOTE_8 " According to this argument, the outer act may look like self-denial, but the inner intent remains entirely the satisfaction of the self. One is serving others, not due to moral obligation, nor because someone else displaces self in one's own regard, but only because such activity happens to please oneself. Nor is even the outer act true self-denial. What one gives up for the sake of others is no different from the money one gives up to obtain the car one wants to own: in either case one is merely engaged in a transaction to obtain what one wants. Economics does not study the source of tastes or preferences --they are given. This means that one's taste for cars as opposed to one's taste for serving others is inexplicable, simply a datum. Since tastes are inexplicable they have no moral status; or, more accurately, all tastes have the same moral status. The intent to obtain a car is morally no better or worse than helping another human in need. Either way, one is simply satisfying the self, based on given tastes and preferences. A thorough moral relativism is implied. "

[103] Hamilton, W.D. (1964). The genetical evolution of social behaviour I and II. — Journal of Theoretical Biology 7: 1-16 and 17-52.

[104] Maynard Smith, J. (1982) Evolution and the Theory of Games. Cambridge University Press.

[105] Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), 12.

[106] However," resumed Gideon Spilett, "you do not deny that some day the
coal will be entirely consumed?" "Oh! the veins of coal are still considerable, and the hundred thousand
miners who annually extract from them a hundred millions of hundredweights
have not nearly exhausted them."
"With the increasing consumption of coal," replied Gideon Spilett, "it
can be foreseen that the hundred thousand workmen will soon become two
hundred thousand, and that the rate of extraction will be doubled."
"Doubtless; but after the European mines, which will be soon worked more
thoroughly with new machines, the American and Australian mines will for a
long time yet provide for the consumption in trade."
"For how long a time?" asked the reporter.
"For at least two hundred and fifty or three hundred years."
"That is reassuring for us, but a bad look-out for our great-
grandchildren!" observed Pencroft.
"They will discover something else," said Herbert.
"It is to be hoped so," answered Spilett, "for without coal there would be
no machinery, and without machinery there would be no railways, no
steamers, no manufactories, nothing of that which is indispensable to
modern civilization!"
"But what will they find?" asked Pencroft. "Can you guess, captain?"
"Nearly, my friend."
"And what will they burn instead of coal?"
"Water," replied Harding.
"Water!" cried Pencroft, "water as fuel for steamers and engines! water
to heat water!"
"Yes, but water decomposed into its primitive elements," replied Cyrus
Harding, "and decomposed doubtless, by electricity, which will then have
become a powerful and manageable force, for all great discoveries, by some
inexplicable laws, appear to agree and become complete at the same time.
Yes, my friends, I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel,
that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used singly or together, will
furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity of which
coal is not capable. Some day the coalrooms of steamers and the tenders of
locomotives will, instead of coal, be stored with these two condensed
gases, which will burn in the furnaces with enormous calorific power. There
is, therefore, nothing to fear. As long as the earth is inhabited it will
supply the wants of its inhabitants, and there will be no want of either
light or heat as long as the productions of the vegetable, mineral or
animal kingdoms do not fail us. I believe, then, that when the deposits of
coal are exhausted we shall heat and warm ourselves with water. Water will
be the coal of the future."
"I should like to see that," observed the sailor.
"You were born too soon, Pencroft," returned Neb, who only took part in
the discussion by these words". http://www.online-literature.com/view.php/mysteriousisland/33?term=hydrogen

[107] "A Dispute Underscores the New Power of Gas" by Simon Romero, Business Day, The New York Times, Tuesday, January 3, 2006, C1 p. 13

[108] http://www.nei.org/index.asp?catnum=3&catid=186

[109] Hannum, William H., Marsh, Gerald E and Stanford, George S. "Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste" Scientific American, December 2005, p. 84 To see the debate that the article caused go to http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/2005/11/scientific-american-article-on-used.html

[110] http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf98.htm

[111] Quote from interview in Discover Magazine, February 2006

[112] http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iraq/cw/program.htm

[113]Special Report DDT, Fraud, and TragedyBy Gerald and Natalie Sirkin
Published 2/25/2005 12:08:42 AM http://www.americanprowler.com/dsp_article.asp?art_id=7812

[114] http://www.hydrogennow.org/Facts/Safety-1.htm

[115] Kimball, op. cit.

[116] Muravchik Joshua (2002) Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism,; Encounter Books, 400 pages,

[117]Drass K.A. and Kiser E. (1988) "Structural Roots of Visions of the Future: World System Crisis and Stability and the Production of Utopian Literature in the United States 1883-1975." Int. Stud. Q. 32: 421-438.

[118] Latour, Bruno (1993) We Have Never Been Modern. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press,. 157 pp

[119] The New Criterion Vol. 20, No. 8, April 2002 ©2002 The New Criterion http://www.newcriterion.com/archive/20/apr02/social.htm

[120] http://www.progressiveboink.com/archive/disneysequels.html

[121] Sargent, Lyman Tower (1982):Is There Only One Utopian Tradition, p. 685, , Journal of the History of Ideas.

[122] Kriss A. Drass and Edgar Kiser, “Structural Roots of Visions of the Future: World-System Crisis and Stability and the Production of Utopian Literature in the United States, 1883-1975. International Studies Quarterly (1988) 32, 421-438

[123] (Bideford: Green Books, 1990)

[124] (David Nash, review p. 805)

[125] , in Structural Roots of Visions of the Future: World-System Crisis and Stability and the Production of Utopian Literature in the United States, 1883-1975 (International Studies Quarterly (1988) 32, 421-438)

[126] Wuthnow, R. 1976 The Consciousness Reformation. Berkely: University of California Press, Brenner, R. (1985) Betting on Ideas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press and especially Bellah, R. (1975) The Broken Covenant

[127] (Utopian Thought in the Western World. Cambridge, Mass., Belknapp Press, 1979, quoted in Lyman Tower Sargent, 1982, p. 686)

[128] RULE OF LAW, DEVELOPMENT AND HUMAN CAPABILITIES
Peter Boettke and J. Robert Subrick http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/working/WPE_02/02_19.pdf


[129] ' J. Philip Wogaman, Economics and Ethics: A Christian Inquiry (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), 41. quoted in Frey, op cit.

[130] Kimball, op cit.

[131] http://www.kat.gr/kat/history/Mod/Leaders/Babeuf.htm

3 comments:

sushil yadav said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.


Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.


When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.



A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.



FAST VISUALS /WORDS MAKE SLOW EMOTIONS EXTINCT.

SCIENTIFIC /INDUSTRIAL /FINANCIAL THINKING DESTROYS EMOTIONAL CIRCUITS.

A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY CANNOT FEEL PAIN / REMORSE / EMPATHY.

A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS BE CRUEL TO ANIMALS/ TREES/ AIR/ WATER/ LAND AND TO ITSELF.


To read the complete article please follow either of these links :

PlanetSave

EarthNewsWire

sushil_yadav

Erich J. Knight said...

Time to Master the Carbon Cycle

Man has been controlling the carbon cycle , and there for the weather, since the invention of agriculture, all be it was as unintentional, as our current airliner contrails are in affecting global dimming. This unintentional warm stability in climate has over 10,000 years, allowed us to develop to the point that now we know what we did,............ and that now......... we are over doing it.

The prehistoric and historic records gives a logical thrust for soil carbon sequestration.
I wonder what the soil biome carbon concentration was REALLY like before the cutting and burning of the world's virgin forest, my guess is that now we see a severely diminished community, and that only very recent Ag practices like no-till and reforestation have started to help rebuild it. It makes implementing Terra Preta soil technology like an act of penitence, a returning of the misplaced carbon.

Energy, the carbon cycle and greenhouse gas management
http://www.computare.org/Support%20documents/Fora%20Input/CCC2006/Energy%20Paper%2006_05.htm


On the Scale of CO2 remediation:

It is my understanding that atmospheric CO2 stands at 379 PPM, to stabilize the climate we need to reduce it to 350 PPM by the removal of 230 Billion tons.

The best estimates I've found are that the total loss of forest and soil carbon (combined
pre-industrial and industrial) has been about 200-240 billion tons. Of
that, the soils are estimated to account for about 1/3, and the vegetation
the other 2/3.

Since man controls 24 billion tons in his agriculture then it seems we have plenty to work with in sequestering our fossil fuel co2 emissions as charcoal.

As Dr. Lehmann at Cornell points out, "Closed-Loop Pyrolysis systems such as Dr. Danny Day's are the only way to make a fuel that is actually carbon negative". and that " a strategy combining biochar with biofuels could ultimately offset 9.5 billion tons of carbon per year-an amount equal to the total current fossil fuel emissions! "
http://www.css.cornell.edu/faculty/l...ochar_home.htm


Terra Preta Soils Technology: Carbon Negative Bio fuels and 3X Fertility Too

This new soil technology speaks to so many different interests and disciplines that it has not been embraced fully by any. I'm sure you will see both the potential of this system and the convergence needed for it's implementation.

The integrated energy strategy offered by Charcoal based Terra Preta Soil technology may
provide the only path to sustain our agricultural and fossil fueled power
structure without climate degradation, other than nuclear power.

The economics look good, and truly great if we had CO2 cap & trade in place:


Terra Preta soils I feel has great possibilities to revolutionize sustainable agriculture into a major CO2 sequestration strategy.
I thought, I first read about these soils in " Botany of Desire " or "Guns,Germs,&Steel" but I could not find reference to them. I finely found the reference in Charles Mann's "1491", but I did not realize their potential .

I have heard that National Geographic is preparing a big Terra Preta (TP) article.

Nature article: Putting the carbon back Black is the new green:
http://bestenergies.com/downloads/naturemag_200604.pdf

Here's the Cornell page for an over view:
http://www.css.cornell.edu/faculty/lehmann/biochar/Biochar_home.htm

This Earth Science Forum thread on these soils contains further links, and has been viewed by 13,000 folks. ( I post everything I find on Amazon Dark Soils, ADS here):
http://forums.hypography.com/earth-science/3451-terra-preta.html

Terra Preta Discussion , central data base, and Mail list : http://info.bioenergylists.org/?q=about


There is an ecology going on in these soils that is not completely understood, and if replicated and applied at scale would have multiple benefits for farmers and environmentalist.

Terra Preta creates a terrestrial carbon reef at a microscopic level. These nanoscale structures provide safe haven to the microbes and fungus that facilitate fertile soil creation, while sequestering carbon for many hundred if not thousands of years. The combination of these two forms of sequestration would also increase the growth rate and natural sequestration effort of growing plants.


Here is a great article that high lights this pyrolysis process , ( http://www.eprida.com/hydro/ ) which could use existing infrastructure to provide Charcoal sustainable Agriculture , Syn-Fuels, and a variation of this process would also work as well for H2 , Charcoal-Fertilizer, while sequestering CO2 from Coal fired plants to build soils at large scales , be sure to read the "See an initial analysis NEW" link of this technology to clean up Coal fired power plants.
Soil erosion, energy scarcity, excess greenhouse gas all answered through regenerative carbon management http://www.newfarm.org/columns/research_paul/2006/0106/charcoal.shtml


All the Bio-Char Companies and equipment manufactures I've found:

Carbon Diversion
http://www.carbondiversion.com/

Eprida: Sustainable Solutions for Global Concerns
http://www.eprida.com/home/index.php4


BEST Pyrolysis, Inc. | Slow Pyrolysis - Biomass - Clean Energy - Renewable Ene
http://www.bestenergies.com/companies/bestpyrolysis.html

Dynamotive Energy Systems | The Evolution of Energy
http://www.dynamotive.com/


Ensyn - Environmentally Friendly Energy and Chemicals
http://www.ensyn.com/who/ensyn.htm


Agri-Therm, developing bio oils from agricultural waste
http://www.agri-therm.com/


Advanced BioRefinery Inc.
http://www.advbiorefineryinc.ca/


Technology Review: Turning Slash into Cash
http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/17298/

Korea:
International K&K Enterprise Others
http://www.alibaba.com/company/10406050.html#companyprofile



The upcoming International Agrichar Initiative (IAI) conference to be held at Terrigal, NSW, Australia in 2007. ( http://iaiconference.org/home.html )
.

If pre-Columbian Indians could produce these soils up to 6 feet deep over 20% of the Amazon basin it seems that our energy and agricultural industries could also product them at scale.

Harnessing the work of this vast number of microbes and fungi changes the whole equation of EROEI for food and Bio fuels. I see this as the only sustainable agricultural strategy if we no longer have cheap fossil fuels for fertilizer.

We need this super community of wee beasties to work in concert with us by populating them into their proper Soil horizon Carbon Condos.

I feel Terra Preta soil technology is the greatest of Ironies.
That is: an invention of pre-Columbian American culture, destroyed by western disease, may well be the savior of industrial western society.

Thanks,
Erich



Erich J. Knight
Shenandoah Gardens
E-mail: shengar at aol.com
(540) 289-9750

Erich J. Knight said...

GOOD Link to REPP-CREST Terra Preta Site & Mail List
Submitted by Erich J. Knight on Sun, 2007-01-28 04:50.
Sorry...................I hope this links works better:

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