What was “Hacking the Anthropocene”? (Or, why the Environmental Humanities needs more Feminism)

The Seed Box Blog

by Jennifer Mae Hamilton and Astrida Neimanis

Welcome to the Anthropocene! Although this geological era is still to be officially included in the Chronostratigraphic Chart, members of the Anthropocene expert working group agree that we humans are interfering in planetary systems in consequential and irreversible ways. As a result, many are thinking about the current geological epoch as the Age of Man [sic].

None of this is news. Some have, hopefully, been sobered by the idea of the Anthropocene. The concept raises important questions about the impact of human activity on the earth and offers an apocalyptic image of a planetary future in which the only trace of human existence is a curious and toxic layer of rock and chemical sediment. The flipside of sobriety is, of course, intoxication. And, just as the idea can be humbling or cautionary, it can also lead to celebration of an…

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A moral cartography for the Anthropocene

Anthropocene Transitions Blog

We welcome Manuel Arias Maldonado, of the University of Malága, as a guest on the blog . . . click for his bio. This post summarizes an argument in his recent book Environment & Society: Socionatural Relations in the Anthropocene (Springer, 2015).

humans and nature #1If the Anthropocene were just a scientific category dealing with natural phenomena, we would not feel so concerned about it. But, as Mike Ellis and Zev Trachtenberg have rightly argued, the Anthropocene is not a scientific concept with a detachable moral significance, but a concept that has moral content at its core.[1] Human actions have produced the Anthropocene, which is thus the result of individual and social choices. And although we have no choice but to live in an Anthropocene, the choices we make now will have some influence on the shape of the future. To some extent, we can choose which Anthropocene it is…

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Fix for 3-billion-year-old genetic error could dramatically improve genetic sequencing

Researchers found a fix for a 3-billion-year-old glitch in one of the major carriers of information needed for life, RNA, which until now produced errors when making copies of genetic information. The discovery will increase precision in genetic research and could dramatically improve medicine based on a person’s genetic makeup.

Put into a philosophical context, it is comforting that the error prone process worked reasonably well for 3-billion-years and it is encouraging that we (humans) learned how to improve it.

Source: Fix for 3-billion-year-old genetic error could dramatically improve genetic sequencing