[Photograph: Benoît Tessier/Reuters – image linked to article where it was found]
adding page this day.. via jon fb share – Bruno Latour: ‘This is a global catastrophe that has come from within’ – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/06/bruno-latour-coronavirus-gaia-hypothesis-climate-crisis
The influential French thinker explains the politics of the Gaia principle, the problems of post-truth and how coronavirus gives us a model for spreading ideas
In the early days of the lockdown, philosopher Bruno Latour wrote an essay for the AOC cultural online newspaper. “The first lesson the coronavirus has taught us,” he wrote, “is also the most astounding: we have actually proven that it is possible, in a few weeks, to put an economic system on hold everywhere in the world…”.. t That essay, translated since into at least 12 languages, has encouraged many to reimagine how different the world could look if we learned from this experience.
Some say this is the revenge of nature. That is silly. Anyone who has studied the history of medicine knows how a virus can make a society feel completely different. We are on a great learning curve. It’s a huge experiment. This is a global catastrophe that has come not from the outside like a war or an earthquake, but from within. Viruses are completely inside us. We cannot completely eject them. We must learn to live with them.
Even if you were not a spiritual person, the lockdown forced everyone into a kind of retreat, a moment for reflection. It was quite extraordinary. The questions were therapeutic. They gave people powerlessly stuck at home a way of thinking about how they would create a better future.
well some people.. some are/were locked down (or out) in unsafe places.. or overloaded with things they had to do because of virus or because of diff environ it created for them
Covid has given us a model of contamination. It has shown how quickly something can become global just by going from one mouth to another.. That’s an incredible demonstration of network theory. I’ve been trying to persuade sociologists of this for 40 years. I’m sorry to have been so right. It shows that we must not think of the personal and the collective as two distinct levels. The big climate questions can make individuals feel small and impotent. But the virus gives us a lesson. If you spread from one mouth to another, you can viralise the world very fast. That knowledge can re-empower us
to (virus) leap et al
The pandemic has reopened the debate about what is necessary and what is possible. It has put us in a position where we can decide what is useful and what is not. That choice disappeared before. Everything seemed relentless like a tsunami. Now we realise it was not. We can see things are reversible. We can see which jobs are necessary and which are junk. How long that will last, I don’t know. We might have forgotten everything in three months.
To put your own question back to you, what would you change?
What we need is not only to modify the system of production but to get out of it altogether..t
production et al
We should remember that this idea of framing everything in terms of the economy is a new thing in human history. The pandemic has shown us the economy is a very narrow and limited way of organising life and deciding who is important and who is not important. If I could change one thing, it would be to get out of the system of production and instead build a political ecology.
bachelard oikos law et al
It is not that we are powerless; it is that many of us don’t know how to react..t
He (lovelock) and [Lynn] Margulis spotted Gaia. Lovelock from space, taking the question as globally as possible; Margulis from bacteria, taking the question from the other end, both realising that Life, capital L, has managed to engineer its own conditions of existence. For me that is the greatest discovery of this period, though it is still not very much accepted by mainstream science. This may be because we do not yet have the tools to receive it.
The cosmological shift from Aristotle to Galileo is the same as that from Galileo to Gaia. With Galileo, our understanding moved outwards to an infinite universe. Grasping that took a century and a half and faced resistance. Gaia is not just one more concept. It is not just about physics and energy. It is Life.
The virus has revealed the number of things you need to know to decide what is factual and what’s not.
ie: science of whales in sea world renders most all data illegit..
The public are learning a great deal about the difficulty of statistics, about experiment, about epidemiology. In everyday life, people are talking about degrees of confidence and margin of error. I think that’s good. If you want people to have some grasp of science, you must show how it is produced.
20 min video – nov 2019 – Bruno Latour – Gaia 2.0/Down to Earth [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmonvx9dV_E]
2 min – on contradictory/ambiguous ness of what gaia is
97 min video (bruno talks 40 min .. 6 min to 46 min.. then later 1:10 .. on panel)- nov 2016 – Bruno Latour | On Not Joining the Dots || Radcliffe Institute [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTvbK10ABPI]
22 min – on gaia
28 min – nobody has any idea what the entity of the anthropocene is
29 min – task.. what does it mean to reorg the whole polity
38 min – when was politics truth politics
whales in sea world et al
1:10 on panel – big and small doesn’t capture overlap.. need to reinvent.. border protection arrives everywhere just when it means nothing.. how to get protection and sovereignty at once
1:19 – cover a city.. a city is big.. and you don’t cover.. you connect..
1:21 – on individuation
1:22 – (question on how the construction has to be beautiful.. aesthetic).. i see aesthetics as rendering one sensitive to things.. so for me the aesthetics of science is the instrument by which we begin to become sensitive to.. what is shared
1:23 – and there is the aesthetic of politics.. which is how do we hear the voices of the unvoice less.. rendering sensitive to..
and then aesthetics of art.. and i’m interested in these 3 aesthetics together.. it’s very difficult to get out of notion of boundaries/borders w/o complete invention
ie: the unboundedness.. yet you are in it
(what do you do w question of power)
1:26 – this is what worries me a lot.. there was something exciting about the globe.. but now earthly, mundane.. nothing spectacular.. climate is extraordinary localized and idiosyncratic.. we have ot relearn the skills of re localizing entities.. we all have to turn to something less spectacular
1:28 – not a land in extension.. not discovery of land.. but a land in intensity.. learn what it is to have land under your feet.. a new universal anthropology
1:34 – concept of territory is completely infused w power everywhere.. it’s what war is.. yes we are at war
Bruno Latour (/ləˈtʊər/; French: [latuʁ]; born 22 June 1947) is a French philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist. He is especially known for his work in the field of science and technology studies (STS). After teaching at the École des Mines de Paris (Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation) from 1982 to 2006, he became Professor at Sciences Po Paris (2006–2017), where he was the scientific director of the Sciences Po Medialab. He retired from several university activities in 2017. He was also a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics.
Latour is best known for his books We Have Never Been Modern (1991; English translation, 1993), Laboratory Life (with Steve Woolgar, 1979) and Science in Action (1987). Although his studies of scientific practice were at one time associated with social constructionist approaches to the philosophy of science, Latour has diverged significantly from such approaches. He is best known for withdrawing from the subjective/objective division and re-developing the approach to work in practice. Latour said in 2017 that he is interested in helping to rebuild trust in science and that some of the authority of science needs to be regained. Along with Michel Callon and John Law, Latour is one of the primary developers of actor–network theory (ANT), a constructionist approach influenced by the ethnomethodology of Harold Garfinkel, the generative semiotics of Algirdas Julien Greimas, and (more recently) the sociology of Émile Durkheim’s rival Gabriel Tarde.
In the laboratory, Latour and Woolgar observed that a typical experiment produces only inconclusive data that is attributed to failure of the apparatus or experimental method, and that a large part of scientific training involves learning how to make the subjective decision of what data to keep and what data to throw out. Latour and Woolgar argued that, for untrained observers, the entire process resembles not an unbiased search for truth and accuracy but a mechanism for ignoring data that contradicts scientific orthodoxy.
Latour and Woolgar produced a highly heterodox and controversial picture of the sciences. Drawing on the work of Gaston Bachelard, they advance the notion that the objects of scientific study are socially constructed within the laboratory—that they cannot be attributed with an existence outside of the instruments that measure them and the minds that interpret them.
whales in sea world et al
bachelard oikos law et al
They view scientific activity as a system of beliefs, oral traditions and culturally specific practices— in short, science is reconstructed not as a procedure or as a set of principles but as a culture. Latour’s 1987 book Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society is one of the key texts of the sociology of scientific knowledge in which he famously wrote his Second Principle as follows: “Scientist and engineers speak in the name of new allies that they have shaped and enrolled; representatives among other representatives, they add these unexpected resources to tip the balance of force in their favor.”