We live in an exceedingly complicated World, a world that has always been difficult. Finding or producing food, coping with the weather, with the environment in general, recovering from natural disasters, or confronting devastating diseases, these make up some of the omnipresent challenges for humankind present and past, indeed for all lifeforms. With humankind’s cultural evolution, the World is becoming more and more complicated and entangled and in qualitatively new ways. This World of ours, its unforeseeable and uncontrollable might, is the source of horrifying anguish, but its interwoven boundless beauty also brings endless fascination and joy. Innumerable myths arose throughout our history to make them tangible, both the anguish and the beauty.
With the emergence and unfolding of science over the past few hundred years, it is like awakening from dreams and slowly recognizing a reality behind and between them. It dawns on us that we turned into major actors on this scene, as other life forms have been before us, albeit they were not aware of the fact. With the day brightening, we come to recognize that yes, we are the stars, but we don’t know the play. Indeed, it is not a play we are in, it’s an improvisation. An improvisation in concert with all other life forms, with all of non-living nature, an improvisation with an uncertain unfolding and an uncertain future for the roles of the current stars.
Here, we look at the occasional feathers falling onto the scene, continuing to be blown around by the wind.
In less picturesque words, humankind appears to be at a turning point where we recognize
- that we understand the microscopic fundamentals of all operationally relevant aspects of our world sufficiently well,
- that the larger picture does not naturally emerge out of that microscopic understanding but that it poses fundamentally new and exceedingly difficult challenges, and
- that our very survival as a culture, even as a species, hinges on the width and depth of our bigger picture.
The following perspectives aim at a deeper appreciation of the hierarchically complex, inherently connected, and incredibly dense reality of our world. A reality that was created by an autonomous unfolding that emerged from the coevolution of life and its non-living environment, an unfolding that continues and reaches out towards a possible new layer through humankind’s cultural evolution.
the reductionist’s challenge [April 5, 2020] The quest for the building blocks of our world and for their function, what is it good for?
infection – protection [April 18, 2020] It may just be the flu, or a severe disease as COVID-19, in any case and beyond their immediate impact, they open a deep view on evolution, including that of our own culture, and they push it forward.
branches & leaves
its appearance [March 28, 2020] A perspective from back in the early times.
illuminating cultures [January 8, 2021] This pandemic and its handling in different cultures and societal segments illuminates structures, values, believes, and capabilities, and it puts them to a test. What do we see?