Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Presenting a profile of the great Margaret Atwood.

Her sensibilities were shaped by the fact that she was raised largely in the Canadian woods by “two environmentally-aware biologists, back when that was a pretty moony thing to be.” The family often went without electricity. “It was almost like a 19th-century way of life,” she said.

She applies the same theory to nature as she does to financial debt: Humankind will doom itself by taking more than it gives back. “Our technology has become so clever that it can chew things up much faster than we can replace them,” she said.

I’m seeing this sort of realigning of public/private debt with ecological/futurological debt in a lot of places—just off the top of my head, it’s something Kim Stanley Robinson talks a lot about as well—and it is, I think, is one of the most pressing theoretical concerns in our moment. There is more than one sense that capitalism is, in Kapp’s phrase, an economy of unpaid costs.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm

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