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Xárene Eskandar
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    The Fold
    By using three keywords that Marcos Novak's concept of Transvergence is situated upon—ontology, immanence and allo–I begIn questioning what is to find the response this is. What is being? What is becoming? What is other? I follow this with "What if?". "What if?" is the question of the speculative; it is what transforms the philosopher's "What is?" to the scientist's "This is." This work, therefore, should not be mistaken for a utopia only latent with "What ifs"; it is the process of 'tomorrow' becoming 'now'. In this quest I have honed in on the fold and its potential for developing new possibilities for modes of existence and occupation of space, in the form of architectural organs–origami-like extensions of our body; an actual organ of skin. Where are fold (n.) and folding (v.) positioned as responses to these questions and speculations of change? Why a fold? What is a fold anyway?

    To fold is to hide; to unfold is to reveal; a fold therefore, holds both opposite actions (hiding and revealing) within one dimension of the fold line. Spatially, the area where my interest lies in, the one dimensionality of the line reveals and hides the capability of two-dimensional planes becoming a three-dimensional form. A fold is a multiple of potentials waiting to be realized. Therefore, a fold, a Deleuzian being-as-becoming, the line-as-plane-as-form, exists on a plane of immanence, latent with possibilities. The key to existing on this plane is desire.

 Folding is the act of including and excluding, of containing both the inside and the outside, this and that. One desires to fold and unfold, or in other words, to pursue potentials. Italo Calvino’s city of Chloé best illustrates the desire of the potential, what Rosetta Di Pace-Jordan explains as the “dynamism latent in all matter”, and in Chloé, the dynamism latent in all relationships. Chloé both includes thousands of possible relationships between its inhabitants, as well as excluding them—the well being of the city based on the exclusion, or folding-in and leaving out, rather than un-folding and playing out. 



    A fold, or a ptychosis, as applied in medical English, is the behavior of becoming something other. A single becoming the double, becoming the multiple, exemplified in embryonic folding, where each fold yields another part to the single disk of the organism, multiplying its parts by continually folding over itself. This process is that of a machinic phylum, where folding of heterogeneous parts–ectoderm (outside) and endoderm (inside)–creates a new entity. In Origami, just as in embryonic folding, the combinations of transverse and longitudinal folds arrive at different forms. However, different from embryonic folding, origami has a homogenous base, which through a dynamic process ends in a static form. In Latin, fold (v.) and arrive (v.) are both plico, an active tense. Once a fold arrives at a point, that point should only become a departure point to another form.

    We are continuously experiencing series of arrivals and departures at and from points; our lives are broken into milestones and anniversaries. We are in a constant mode of unfolding and changing, our single body becoming multiples in the compounded unfolding of its future. Our body is therefore analogous to the fold. However, we go through this dynamic process with a static, homogenous base: our body. So the question now shifts from 'what is a fold?', to how can a folded form (our body departing and arriving at various points in space-time) continue embodying the dynamism that initially created it? How can our bodies become a machinic phylum for the realization of architectural organs? What are the heterogeneities that must be synthesized?

    “The machinic phylum is materiality, natural or artificial, and both simultaneously; it is matter in movement, in flux, in variation […]”
    –Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, "A Thousand Plateaus," p. 409.

    Here, the machinic will be the synthesis of the heterogeneities of the organic (human) and inorganic (literally, the machines of industrialization) into a new entity, a new human.

    Industrial Ecology to Social Ecology to Anarchic Ecology
    Through the emergence of machinic phyla, we are on-course for the realization of architectural organs. Over the last 150 years, our relationship with technology has shifted focus from production at any cost, to human-centered design, to environmentally conscious design. The final step is a shift to a fragmented and sustainable, autonomous design, a shift which has already begun.

    Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times is a seminal piece of the folding of the human into technology, the first machinic phylum of modern times. Filmed in 1936, it is the futuristic and extended vision of the events set off a century earlier with the second Industrial Revolution and the introduction of factory modernization to the domestic realm. This is a period when the technology takes precedence over the human, where production came at any cost to the environment; child labor was rampant, and worker rights were unheard of. The deep red sky and smoke stacks of Monet's paintings are not romantic reminiscing of the city, but factual impressions of the coal grime across the landscape and lives of citizens. Like Chaplin's film, Fritz Lange's Metropolis (1927) is created at the height of Scientific Management: The machinic efficiency of the human body, not for the benefit of the human, but for the production of profit–the "economic efficiency" of Taylorism, or better put, the efficient production of an economy of profit at the expense of the human worker. Christine Fredrick's Scientific Management of the Home (1919), by introducing the concept of efficiency for the female worker in her duties of housework, completes the cycle of profit production, with profit consumption.

    There is a contrarian shift within the same time-period, of efficiency becoming more human centered. Frank and Lilian Gilbreth, inspired by Taylor's work, focus on the production of efficiency towards the production of the welfare of the worker: a folding of the human onto technology. In their scenario, the human is still part of the machine, but the process of production is not at the cost of the human. This shift of focus hastens through the mid-century as more human elements are folded onto the technology, arriving at the second machinic phylum and Henry Dreyfus' Designing for Humans (1955) which sets the standards for the study of human factors: the sensibility and attention to the human element of technology, where humans are not the heterogeneous parts of a factory, but as in Marshall McLuhan's terms, the mechanical technology becomes an extension of the human body.

    This folding and re-folding of the human and technology has unfolded itself to a flat sheet of creases, ready to be re-folded with new terms: The environment. Once resolving the relationship of the mechanic modernization with the human, our focus shifted to the well-being of the human environment, Earth. We realize we have enveloped her in the same archaic ways as when we were enveloped by the machines of industrialization. In Ecology and Revolutionary Thought (1965), Murray Bookchin points out that the dysfunctional relationship between human and nature stems from the dysfunctional relationship between humans, “To state this thought more precisely: the imbalances man has produced in the natural world are caused by the imbalances he has produced in the social world."

    The point of view of this essay is completely Western. In China, unfortunately, factory citizens are the inhabitants of corporate cities, perhaps, one can say, true folding of human into machine. Therefore, it is naive to say that our shift in focus to the environment means we have resolved the social imbalances; it only acknowledges them. We exist on two parallel dimensions: one where we still exist within the first machinic phylum, the other where with much struggle we pretend to have moved out of it but in reality we have not, because we consume it.

    As we continue to fold in and out of the creases of the past to find new folds for our future, we have come upon the third machinic phylum, the folding of technology onto the human. Here we are tearing into two separate, yet related paths: the use of mobile technologies as prosthesis, and the expansion of embedded networks, a tethered prosthesis of the human to nature, and a reversal of our embedding into the factory. Whereas a century ago Scientific Management made the human–to its detriment–more efficient for the production of profit, embedded networks, through activating nature, make it more efficient in the production of knowledge for its own sake. Embedded systems also activate architecture by folding in multiple layers of interaction between systems–the systems of the different operators of the space and the bodies occupying it.

    "With every tool man is perfecting his own organs, whether motor or sensory, or is removing the limits to their functioning. Motor power places gigantic forces at his disposal, which, like his muscles, he can employ in any direction… and the dwelling-house was a substitute for the mother's womb, the first lodging, for which in all likelihood man still longs, and in which he was safe and felt at ease. […] Man has, as it were, become a prosthetic god. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown onto him and they still give him much trouble at times."
    –Sigmund Frued Civilization and its Discontents, 1930, pp 42-43.

    For sixteen years Freud suffered from the pain of a prosthetic jaw and palate, put in place as a result of cancer. His prosthesis was placed onto him, rather than, as he writes in this self-reflective piece, "grown onto him." At some point, the heterogeneities of human and technology, having switched forces repeatedly over time, eventually find equilibrium. This will be the fourth machinic phylum: the folding of technology and human into each other. This is the point where technology is no longer a prosthetic, where metaphors of architecture as prosthesis for nature or body no longer hold true. This is when, as Arakawa and Gins arrive at, that we become Architectural Bodies, a reconfiguration of the organism-person-surround––an open-ended entity of potentialities of human and technology (or for Arakawa and Gins, human and architecture) possible through full responsibility of one’s being, revision and reinvention.

    We are, however, debilitated through our own hylomorphic history where responsibility of self is systematically stripped. If we are to follow through with Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the machinic phylum, its potentialities are possible not by outside forces, but by the nature of the heterogeneities of the phylum. To drive this non-holymorphic concept, they devise the artisan theory of metallurgical production, where the blacksmith ‘teases out’ form rather than imposing form on the metal. Similarly blocking us are archaic notions of beauty, narrow views on gender, misconceptions of race, and misunderstandings of philosophies of existence, which are all external forces, usually divine and transcendental, that are forced upon our bodies. These ideas must be re-evaluated through a process of unfolding, meaning that every scenario of the body should be allowed to play out in order to evaluate its effects on our progress: every idea of beauty, every variation on gender; every identification and valuation of self and not others, with reference to an empirical religion.

    Assuming the obstacles have been overcome, that we are in a world where the political body is obsolete, what will become of government, society, urbanism, the body? How do we come to define the concepts of generalities, organizations, striations, and control in order to move towards the obsolete? In an irrational world, should the making and envisioning of a new world be a rational process? Will a purely aesthetic philosophy provide the answer towards a vision?

    The organ is a metaphor. (On how many of our organs do we have control, and how much on those we believe we are in control of?) The Architectural Organ is therefore a thought experiment with intent: What do we keep and what do we relinquish if we wanted to take such evolutionary route?



    [1] Whitelaw, M., Guglielmetti, M., and Innocent, T. 2009. Strange ontologies in digital culture. Comput. Entertain. 7, 1 (Feb. 2009), 1-13. DOI=http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1486508.1486512
    [2] Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. Chloé. [1st ed.] ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974. pp.51-52.
    [3] Pace-Jordan, Rosetta Di. “Italo Calvino's Legacy: The Constant and Consistent Vision.” World Literature Today 66, no. 3 (1992): 468-71.
    [4] Folding of the germinal disk and the generation of the abdominal wall. Retrieved 14/07/2009.http://www.embryology.ch/anglais/iperiodembry/delimitation01.html
    [5] The Folding of the Embryo. Retrieved 14/07/2009 http://www.ehd.org/movies.php?mov_id=11  andhttp://www.ehd.org/movies.php?mov_id=12
    [6] Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, "A Thousand Plateaus," p. 409.
    [7] Sigmund Frued Civilization and its Discontents, 1930, pp 42-43.
    [8] Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins, Architectural Body, 2002.
    [9] Tentative Architectures are clothing that tentatively behave as architecture only when the need arises.
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    By Murray Bookchin
    [Originally published in Bookchin’s newsletter Comment in 1964 and republished in the British monthly Anarchy in 1965.]

    I am posting part of the essay/manifesto (it can be found here in full):


    In almost every period since the Renaissance, the development of revolutionary thought has been heavily influenced by a branch of science, often in conjunction with a school of philosophy.

    Astronomy in the time of Copernicus and Galileo helped to guide a sweeping movement of ideas from the medieval world, riddled by superstition, into one pervaded by a critical rationalism, openly naturalistic and humanistic in outlook. During the Enlightenment—the era that culminated in the Great French Revolution—this liberatory movement of ideas was reinforced by advances in mechanics and mathematics. The Victorian Era was shaken to its very foundations by evolutionary theories in biology and anthropology, by Marx’s reworking of Ricardian economics, and toward its end, by Freudian psychology.

    In our own time we have seen the assimilation of these once liberatory sciences by the established social order. Indeed, we have begun to regard science itself as an instrument of control over the thought processes and physical being of man. This distrust of science and of the scientific method is not without justification. “Many sensitive people, especially artists,” observes Abraham Maslow, “are afraid that science besmirches and depresses, that it tears thing apart rather than integrating them, thereby killing rather than creating.” What is perhaps equally important, modern science has lost its critical edge. Largely functional or instrumental in intent, the branches of science that once tore at the chains of man are now used to perpetuate and gild them. Even philosophy has yielded to instrumentalism and tends to be little more than a body of logical contrivances, the handmaiden of the computer rather than the revolutionary.

    There is one science, however, that may yet restore and even transcend the liberatory estate of the traditional sciences and philosophies. It passes rather loosely under the name of “ecology”—a term coined by Haeckel a century ago to denote “the investigation of the total relations of the animal both to its inorganic and to its organic environment.” At first glance Haeckel’s definition sounds innocuous enough; and ecology, narrowly conceived as one of the biological sciences, is often reduced to a variety of biometrics in which field workers focus on food chains and statistical studies of animal populations. There is an ecology of health that would hardly offend the sensibilities of the American Medical Association and a concept of social ecology that would conform to the most well-engineered notions of the New York City Planning Commission.

    Broadly conceived, however, ecology deals with the balance of nature. Inasmuch as nature includes man, the science basically deals with the harmonization of nature and man. This focus has explosive implications. The explosive implications of an ecological approach arise not only from the fact that ecology is intrinsically a critical science—in fact, critical on a scale that the most radical systems of political economy failed to attain—but it is also an integrative and reconstructive science. This integrative, reconstructive aspect of ecology, carried through to all its implications, leads directly into anarchic areas of social thought. For in the final analysis, it is impossible to achieve a harmonization of man and nature without creating a human community that lives in a lasting balance with its natural environment.

    The Critical Nature of Ecology

    Let us examine the critical edge of ecology—a unique feature of the science in a period of general scientific docility.

    Basically, this critical edge derives from the subject-matter of ecology—from its very domain. The issues with which ecology deals are imperishable in the sense that they cannot be ignored without bringing into question the viability of the planet, indeed the survival of man himself. The critical edge of ecology is due not so much to the power of human reason—a power that science hallowed during its most revolutionary periods—but to a still higher power, the sovereignty of nature over man and all his activities. It may be that man is manipulable, as the owners of the mass media argue, or that elements of nature are manipulable, as the engineers demonstrate by their dazzling achievements, but ecology clearly shows that the totality of the natural world—nature taken in all is aspects, cycles, and interrelationships—cancels out all human pretensions to mastery over the planet. The great wastelands of North Africa and the eroded hills of Greece, once areas of a thriving agriculture or a rich natural flora, are historic evidence of nature’s revenge against human parasitism.

    Yet none of these historical examples compare in weight and scope with the effects of man’s despoliation—and nature’s revenge—since the days of the Industrial Revolution, and especially since the end of the Second World War. Ancient examples of human parasitism were essentially local in scope; they were precisely examples of man’s potential for destruction and nothing more. Often they were compensated by remarkable improvement in the natural ecology of a region, as witness the European peasantry’s superb reworking of the soil during centuries of cultivation and the achievements of Inca agriculturists in terracing the Andes Mountains during pre-Columbian times.

    Modern man’s despoliation of the environment is global in scope, like his imperialism. It is even extraterrestrial, as witness the disturbances of the Van Allen Belt a few years ago. Today human parasitism disrupts more than the atmosphere, climate, water resources, soil, flora, and fauna of a region; it upsets virtually all the basic cycles of nature and threatens to undermine the stability of the environment on a worldwide scale.

    As an example of the scope of modern man’s disruptive role, it has been estimated that the burning of fossil fuels (coal and oil) adds 600 million tons of carbon dioxide to the air annually, about 0.03 percent of the total atmospheric mass—this, I may add, aside from an incalculable quantity of toxicants. Since the Industrial Revolution, the overall atmospheric mass of carbon dioxide has increased by 13 percent over earlier, more stable, levels. It could be argued on very sound theoretical grounds that this growing blanket of carbon dioxide, by intercepting heat radiated from the earth into outer space, will lead to rising atmospheric temperatures, to a more violent circulation of air, to more destructive storm patterns, and eventually to a melting of the polar ice caps (possibly in two or three centuries), rising sea levels, and the inundation of vast land areas. Far removed as such a deluge may be, the changing proportion of carbon dioxide to other atmospheric gases is a warning of the impact man is having on the balance of nature.

    A more immediate ecological issue is man’s extensive pollution of the earth’s waterways. What counts here is not the fact that man befouls a given stream, river, or lake—a thing he has done for ages—but rather the magnitude that water pollution has reached in the past two generations.

    Nearly all the surface waters of the United States are polluted. Many American waterways are open cesspools that properly qualify as extensions of urban sewage systems. It would be a euphemism to describe them any longer as rivers or lakes. More significantly, large portions of groundwater are sufficiently polluted to be undrinkable, even medically hazardous, and a number of local hepatitis epidemics have been traced to polluted wells in suburban areas. In contrast to surface-water pollution, groundwater or subsurface water pollution is immensely difficult to eliminate and tends to linger on for decades after the sources of pollution have been removed.

    An article in a mass circulation magazine appropriately describes the polluted waterways of the United States as “Our Dying Waters.” This despairing apocalyptic description of the water pollution problem in the United States really applies to the world at large. The waters of the earth, conceived as factors in a large ecological system, are literally dying. Massive pollution is destroying the rivers and lakes of
    Africa, Asia, and Latin America as media of life, as well as the long-abused waterways of highly industrialized continents. Even the open sea has not been spared from extensive pollution. I speak here not only of radioactive pollutants from nuclear bomb tests and power reactors, which apparently reach all the flora and fauna of the sea. It suffices to point out that the discharge of diesel oil wastes from ships in the Atlantic has become a massive pollution problem, claiming marine life in enormous numbers every year.

    Accounts of this kind can be repeated for virtually every part of the biosphere. Pages can be written on the immense losses of productive soil that occur annually in almost every continent of the earth; on the extensive loss of tree cover in areas vulnerable to erosion; on lethal air pollution episodes in major urban areas; on the worldwide distribution of toxic agents, such as radioactive isotopes and lead; on the chemicalization of man’s immediate environment—one might say his very dinner table—with pesticide residues and food additives. Pieced together like bits of a jigsaw puzzle, these affronts to the environment form a pattern of destruction that has no precedent in man’s long history on the earth.

    Obviously, man could be described as a highly destructive parasite, who threatens to destroy his host—the natural world—and eventually himself. In ecology, however, the word parasite, used in this oversimplified sense, is not an answer to a question but raises a question itself. Ecologists know that a destructive parasitism of this kind usually reflects a disruption of an ecological situation; indeed, many species, seemingly highly destructive under one set of conditions, are eminently useful under another set of conditions. What imparts a profoundly critical function to ecology is the question raised by man’s destructive activities: What is the disruption that has turned man into a destructive parasite? What produces a form of human parasitism that not only results in vast natural imbalances but also threatens the very existence of humanity itself?

    The truth is that man has produced imbalances not only in nature but more fundamentally in his relations with his fellow man—in the very structure of his society. To state this thought more precisely: the imbalances man has produced in the natural world are caused by the imbalances he has produced in the social world. A century ago it would have been possible to regard air pollution and water contamination as the result of greed, profit-seeking, and competition—in short, as the result of the activities of industrial barons and self-seeking bureaucrats. Today this explanation would be a gross oversimplification. It is doubtless true that most bourgeois enterprises are still guided by a public-be-damned attitude, as witness the reactions of power utilities, automobile concerns, and steel corporations to pollution problems. But a more deep-rooted problem than the attitude of the owners is the size of the firms themselves—their enormous physical proportions, their location in a particular region, their density with respect to a community or a waterway, their requirements for raw materials and water, and their role in the national division of labor.

    What we are seeing today is a crisis not only in natural ecology but above all in social ecology. Modern society, especially as we know it in the United States and Europe, is being organized round immense urban belts at one extreme, a highly industrialized agriculture at the other extreme, and capping both a swollen, bureaucratized anonymous state apparatus. If we leave all moral considerations aside for the moment and examine the physical structure of this society, what must necessarily impress us is the incredible logistical problems it is obliged to solve—problems of transportation, of density, of supply (raw materials, manufactured commodities, and foodstuffs), of economic and political organization, of industrial location, and so forth. The burden this type of urbanized and centralized society places on any continental area is enormous. If the process of urbanizing man and industrializing agriculture were to continue unabated, it would make much of the earth in hospitable for viable, healthy human beings and render vast areas utterly uninhabitable.

    Ecologists are often asked, rather tauntingly, to locate with scientific exactness the ecological breaking point of nature—presumably the point at which the natural world will cave in on man. This is equivalent to asking a psychiatrist for the precise moment when a neurotic will become a nonfunctional psychotic. No such answer is every likely to be available. But the ecologist can supply a strategic insight into the directions man seems to be following as a result of his split with the natural world.

    From the standpoint of ecology, man is dangerously simplifying his environment. The modern city represents a regressive encroachment of the synthetic on the natural, of the inorganic (concrete, metals, and glass) on the organic, and of crude, elemental stimuli on variegated, wide-ranging ones. The 1vast urban belts now developing in industrialized areas of the world are not only grossly offensive to eye and ear but are becoming chronically smog-ridden, noisy, and virtually immobilized by congestion.

    This process of simplifying man’s environment and rendering it increasingly elemental and crude has a cultural as well as a physical dimension. The need to manipulate immense urban populations—to transport, feed, employ, educate, and somehow entertain millions of densely concentrated people daily—leads to a crucial decline in civic and social standards. A mass concept of human relations—totalitarian, centralistic, and regimented in orientation—tends to dominate the more individuated concepts of the past. Bureaucratic techniques of social management tend to replace humanistic approaches. All that is spontaneous, creative, and individuated is circumscribed by the standardized, the regulated, and the massified. The space of the individual is steadily narrowed by restrictions imposed upon him by a faceless, impersonal social apparatus. Any recognition of unique personal qualities is increasingly surrendered to the needs—more precisely, the manipulation—of the group, indeed, of the lowest common denominator of the mass. A quantitative, statistical approach, a beehive manner of dealing with man, tends to triumph over the precious, individualized-qualities approach that places its strongest emphasis on personal uniqueness, free expression, and cultural complexity.

    The same regressive simplification of the environment occurs in modern agriculture.2 The manipulated people in modern cities must be fed, and feeding them involves an extension of industrial farming. Food plants must be cultivated in a manner that allows for a high degree of mechanization—not to reduce human toil but to increase productivity and efficiency, to maximize investments, and to exploit the biosphere. Accordingly, the terrain must be reduced to a flat plain—to a factory floor, if you will—and natural variations in topography must be diminished as much as possible. Plant growth must be closely regulated to meet the tight schedules of food-processing plants. Plowing, soil fertilization, sowing, and harvesting must be handled on a mass scale, often in total disregard of the natural ecology of an area. Large areas of land must be used to cultivate a single crop—a form of plantation agriculture that lends itself not only to mechanization but also to pest infestation. A single crop is the ideal environment for the proliferation of pest species. Finally, chemical agents must be used lavishly to deal with the problems created by insects, weeds, and plant diseases, to regulate crop production, and to maximize soil exploitation. The real symbol of agriculture is not the sickle (or for that matter the tractor) but the airplane. The modern food cultivator is represented not by the peasant, yeoman, or even the agronomist—men who could be expected to have an intimate relationship with the unique qualities of the land on which they grow crops—but the pilot and chemist, for whom soil is a mere resource, an inorganic raw material.

    The simplification process is carried still further by an exaggerated regional (indeed national) division of labor. Immense areas of the planet are increasingly reserved for specific industrial tasks or reduced to depots of raw materials. Others are turned into centers of urban population, largely occupied with commerce and trade. Cities and regions (in fact, countries and continents) are specifically identified with special products—Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Youngstown with steel, New York with finance, Bolivia with tin, Arabia with oil, Europe and America with industrial goods, and the rest of the world with raw material of one kind or another. The complex ecosystems which make up the regions of a continent are submerged by the organization of entire nations into economically rationalized entities, each a way-station in a vast industrial belt system, global in its dimensions. It is only a matter of time before the most attractive areas of the countryside succumb to the concrete mixer, just as must of the Eastern seashore areas of the United States have already succumbed to subdivisions and bungalows. What remains in the way of natural beauty will be debased by trailer lots, canvas slums, “scenic” highways, motels, food stalls, and the oil slicks of motor boats.

    The point is that man is undoing the work of organic evolution. By creating vast urban agglomerations of concrete, metal, and glass, by overriding and undermining the complex, subtly organized ecosystems that constitute local differences in the natural world—in short, by replacing a highly complex organic environment with a simplified, inorganic one—man is disassembling the biotic pyramid that supported humanity for countless millennia. In the course of replacing the complex ecological relationships on which all advanced living things depend with more elementary relationships, man is steadily restoring the biosphere to a stage that will be able to support only simpler forms of life. If this great reversal of the evolutionary process continues, it is by no means fanciful to suppose that the preconditions for higher forms of life will be irreparably destroyed and the earth will become incapable of supporting man himself.

    Ecology derives its critical edge not only from the fact that it alone, among all the sciences presents this awesome message to humanity but because it also presents this message in a new social dimension. From an ecological viewpoint, the reversal of organic evolution is the result of appalling contradictions between town and country, state and community, industry and husbandry, mass manufacture and craftsmanship, centralism and regionalism, the bureaucratic scale and the human scale.




    1 For insight into this problem, the reader may consult Charles S. Elton, The Ecology of Invasions (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1953); Edward Hyams, Soil and Civilization (London: Thames and Hudson, 1952); Lewis Herber, Our Synthetic Environment (New York: Knopf, 1962); and Rachel Carson, Silent Spring—this last to be read less as a diatribe against pesticides than as a plea for ecological diversification.

    2 For insight into this problem, the reader may consult Charles S. Elton, The Ecology of Invasions (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1953); Edward Hyams, Soil and Civilization (London: Thames and Hudson, 1952); Lewis Herber, Our Synthetic Environment (New York: Knopf, 1962); and Rachel Carson, Silent Spring—this last to be read less as a diatribe against pesticides than as a plea for ecological diversification.

    3 Rudd’s use of the word manipulation is likely to create the erroneous impression that an ecological situation can be reduced to simple mechanical terms. Lest this impression arise, I would like to emphasize that our knowledge of an ecological situation and the practical use of this knowledge is a matter of insight and understanding rather than power. Elton, I think, states the case for the management of an ecological situation when he writes: “The world’s future has to be managed, but this management would not be just like a game of chess—[but] more like steering a boat.”

    4 Lewis Herber, Crisis in Our Cities (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1965), 194.

    5 I do not wish to saddle Gutkind with the notions I have advanced above, but I believe the reader would benefit enormously by reading Gutkind’s masterful discussion of communities, The Expanding Environment (Freedom Press).

    6 H.D. F. Kitto, The Greeks (Chicago: Aldine, 1964), 161.





    Sun, Jul 20, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: other_earth, social ecology
    Sent to project: What happened to nature?
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