Turning On, Tuning In, and Dropping Out of the Anthropocene?

In a March 19th article in The Guardian, Mark Boyle wrote about the lessons he has learned from a year spent living entirely without technology. A week earlier in The New York Times, Sam Dolnik profiled a different kind of digital hermit, Eric Hagerman, a man he called with suitable appreciation “the most ignorant man …

Could Technology Make America Wild Again?

In a recent essay published in Aeon, Henry Mance asks “can technology mend our broken relationship with the natural world?”  At first, it seems, apparently not. Making points that echo those formulated by philosopher of technology Albert Borgmann in an earlier post on this blog, Mance show how technology tends to undercut any native closeness …

Philosopher Meets Meteorologist to Talk About Climate Engineering

In a recent article for Grist, meteorologist Eric Holthaus claims that we are already locked into a devil’s bargain on climate change. The bargain asks us to weigh a trade-off between two things that pollution in the atmosphere does for us. On the one hand, it causes serious health and respiratory problems that kill over …

The Part that’s Not Funny about Cloning Macaques

On January 25th 2018, CNN.com announced a striking scientific breakthrough in biotechnology with the painful headline “Monkey See, Monkey 2.” A technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) had been used successfully by Chinese researchers to create two genetically identical long-tailed macaque monkeys. This was the first time that SCNT, a technique that arrived …

Oil Spills and the Unexpected in a Synthetic Age

When U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced plans in January to greatly expand offshore drilling to ninety percent of the U.S. coastline, the condemnation of the move was immediate, vocal, and bi-partisan. The governors of the majority of coastal states – including Republican governors in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and South Carolina – immediately objected to …

Love of Country

Guest author Albert Borgmann is back by popular demand.  Borgmann is a world renowned philosopher of technology and culture. He previously wrote on this blog about how Facebook and Apple bring undisclosed costs to society.  Here he talks about a possible way of healing the growing political rifts of our  tribal time. He puts his …