UNCIVILISATION: The Dark Mountain Network

A space for conversations in a time of global disruption

Friends -

I've just deleted a whole lot of comments and closed a thread on this forum, because it had degenerated into the most toxic kind of mutual abuse.

I realise Paul and I are both absentee hosts on this site a lot of the time, so I'm open to anyone else's suggestions for how we go forward - but I'm not prepared to host the kind of foulness that has been going on here.

I'm passionate about the strengths of the internet at its best, but I do hate the way these machines allow us to forget that we are talking to other human beings. I find it hard to believe that you would say to each other's faces the things you have been saying to each other on here.

So, what do we do?

Can we create, between us, some kind of shared code of hospitality?

Is anyone willing to offer their time and attention as a moderating influence in the conversations here?

I'm quite upset by what's been going on - I know it's not the first time people have got heated and become rude to each other here, but it's certainly the worst case I've been aware of. I'm going to take the rest of the weekend offline. If I come back to find more of the same, or any kind of blame game going on, I'll be very saddened.

Let me leave you with a passage that means a great deal to me, from Ivan Illich's 'The Cultivation of Conspiracy':

"Learned and leisurely hospitality is the only antidote to the stance of deadly cleverness that is acquired in the professional pursuit of objectively secured knowledge. I remain certain that the quest for truth cannot thrive outside the nourishment of mutual trust flowering into a commitment to friendship."

Dougald

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Replies to This Discussion

Alan -

Censorship is a strong word. I've said I'll delete posts if a thread has degenerated into abuse, but I'm not taking anyone's keyboard away from them - there are a million other places on the web where you can type whatever you want.

I'd really encourage all of you to spend some time reading through the profiles people create when they join this site - some are brief, others are long and fascinating, but together they give you a sense of the breadth of people on here and how much experience, passion and interest we could be drawing on, if these forums were a more welcoming place.

Dougald

There is no stopping you is there :-) ............ I suppose I feel honoured that you need to try and ridicule me at every opportunity .. thanks wolfbird :-)

wolfbird said:

Well, if.... sigh, that's a big IF, ....you had followed the subject, Steve, over the last several decades, going way back to Arne Naess, and even back to Darwin, you might have gathered, with due humility, that you are not the first to have contemplated the question, and that many impressive answers have been offered.

 

I've just given Aldo Leopold's answer, above. Nature, in this instance, the biotic community, is it's own point.

Steve Gwynne said:

Yes I was wondering about the point of Nature the other night.  Certainly no answers there unfortunately which for me makes it very difficult to arrive at any firm ethical conclusions about how we should or ought to treat each other whether as humans or non-humans.  In this respect I presume the prime motivation behind ecological ethics is the survival instinct.


Alan Durant said:

Hi Steve,


I don't feel that natures goal is to become more concious. I fact I think that nature does not have a goal as such.

Best  Alan

Steve Gwynne said:

Hi .. would you put this evolutionary understanding of ecology within the model of holistic ecology out of interest?

J E Roberts said:

If we were to link the unfolding of consciousness with the unfolding of nature and natural systems, as in the cosmologies of people like Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, ie that nature's goal in evolving is to become more conscious with every passing second, then the human development and use of many technologies becomes justified, in the sense that these tools have allowed nature for the first time in her multi-billion year history to look back at her own work - and be astounded.

 

 

Not if it's at the expense of the very thing we now think we know so much about...

J E Roberts said:

If we were to link the unfolding of consciousness with the unfolding of nature and natural systems, as in the cosmologies of people like Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, ie that nature's goal in evolving is to become more conscious with every passing second, then the human development and use of many technologies becomes justified, in the sense that these tools have allowed nature for the first time in her multi-billion year history to look back at her own work - and be astounded.

 

 

why dont you do it yourself out of interest or is that still being ridiculous lol :-)

wolfbird said:

Please stop being so ridiculous, Steve.

I'd like someone to start a new thread, with a clearly defined topic, preferably something foundational that can be built upon, and have a sober discussion that actually gets somewhere. Maybe something like, 'what would a lifestyle that fitted Leopold's ethic look like ?' But I don't care. I don't think that 'the nature of Nature' has been adequately sorted out, by a long way, and that's really at the primary root of every other secondary topic. 

Steve Gwynne said:

There is no stopping you is there :-) ............ I suppose I feel honoured that you need to try and ridicule me at every opportunity .. thanks wolfbird :-)

wolfbird said:

Well, if.... sigh, that's a big IF, ....you had followed the subject, Steve, over the last several decades, going way back to Arne Naess, and even back to Darwin, you might have gathered, with due humility, that you are not the first to have contemplated the question, and that many impressive answers have been offered.

 

I've just given Aldo Leopold's answer, above. Nature, in this instance, the biotic community, is it's own point.

Steve Gwynne said:

Yes I was wondering about the point of Nature the other night.  Certainly no answers there unfortunately which for me makes it very difficult to arrive at any firm ethical conclusions about how we should or ought to treat each other whether as humans or non-humans.  In this respect I presume the prime motivation behind ecological ethics is the survival instinct.


Alan Durant said:

Hi Steve,


I don't feel that natures goal is to become more concious. I fact I think that nature does not have a goal as such.

Best  Alan

Steve Gwynne said:

Hi .. would you put this evolutionary understanding of ecology within the model of holistic ecology out of interest?

J E Roberts said:

If we were to link the unfolding of consciousness with the unfolding of nature and natural systems, as in the cosmologies of people like Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, ie that nature's goal in evolving is to become more conscious with every passing second, then the human development and use of many technologies becomes justified, in the sense that these tools have allowed nature for the first time in her multi-billion year history to look back at her own work - and be astounded.

 

 

Yes, how about a discussion that doesn't make me wonder why I signed up to this forum. Exasperated, as I am with the level of debate I've encountered elsewhere, I was singing the praises of Dark Mountain to a like-minded friend the other day, as being a small, self-selected group of people who 'get it', as it were - where one wouldn't have to keep justifying oneself or one's ideas with disclaimers as so much could literally  *go without saying* I wouldn't like to have to despair at the future if even amongst such a defined demograhic, with, presumably vastly more in common than not, can discuss ideas without rancour and points scoring - well - I might as well stick to the tedious neo-liberal dogma I get from Facebook. Ok, I'm new and may not have seen the forum at it's best, but for my two penn'orth, a few female voices would be welcome in this thread! :)

Hi Michael -

Thanks for the fresh perspective. I was thinking how male these discussions are, too.

Dougald 

OK, guys - I'm going to close this thread. Feel free to start another one, but I'd really invite both Steve and Wolfbird to leave each other in peace, no one is getting anything worthwhile from this.

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