Dispatches from the Empire

We should all be reading more Ursula Le Guin via Hacker News

The catastrophic repercussions of human activity, like melting glaciers and collapsing ecosystems, tell us that “nature” was never really “mastered” after all. Yet the same story persists: humans will win. We must. We always win. Not long ago, I saw a poster in central London, presumably put there by some university department, that said something like “Don’t worry. We’re on it” — the ‘it’ being the solution to climate change. The sheer hubris of some of the techno-fixes being bandied about with varying levels of seriousness, like sending a mirror the size of Greenland into space or pumping clouds of sulphur dioxide into the air, border on the dystopian. Conferences may have replaced the campfire, but the principle is basically the same: it’s the story, the legend, that matters.