Ecocide as Semiocide: The Demise of Nature and Its Impact on Meaning

2 May 2024 talk at Utrecht University I’m excited to be giving a talk at Utrecht University’s Ecocide Interdisciplinarity Series Talks for Justice. Part of their Conceptualizing Ecocide project, they get that if we wish to actually create a solid Path to...

EuEpigenetics

I get an email from Aporia Magazine titled “You’re probably a eugenicist” — provocatively suggesting that we all favor good genes, and that we, all-knowing moderns, imbued with science, know what good genes are. I take umbrage with Aporia for...

Pharmaceuticalization as the Tobacco Industry’s Endgame

A new article I wrote with colleagues at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (CTCRE) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has just been published in BMJ Global Health.   It investigates the multi-decade plan of various tobacco...

The first modern ‘War on’ was a War on Smog funded by the fossil fuel industry

A new exposé by Rebecca John at DeSmog Blog shows that as early as 1953 industry was up to capturing popular outrage and dishing out placation. To mollify disgust of Angelinos at the mounting smog in Los Angeles, industrialists got ahead of the public action curve to...

Students are not Customers

There is a difference between a student and a customer. Yet universities, driven by profit motives, and doubting their own values, often treat students as customers. This comes with “the customer is always right” fallacy, that actually precludes and...

Bass Ackwards Problem Prolonging

Instead of trying to force drugs down people’s throats, why don’t we address smoking, diet, and lobby against air pollution. Especially if you’re a drug company. #Demarketing What these tricksters can do is put all their money into upstream...

Denial of Death?

“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.”?...

The AI Oracle

Searching for oracles to take the responsibility of judgment off our shoulders is as old as humankind itself. Whether it is the ergot-infused Oracle at Delphi, reading the tea leaves, the stars and their astrologics, the Tarot, ayahuasca and a tribe’s totem...

Ecological Sisyphus

I feel like this as an environmental professional: expected to educate why we need to make sustainable change to all those convinced that everything’s fine. One must imagine Sisyphus happy… (Camus) I cannot imagine how it is for climate and environmental...

Semiofest meets Biosemiotics

Semiofest, the largest meeting and organization professional semioticians (working commercially rather than academically) just had a session biosemiotics. In many ways, it was also sustainability 2.0, tackling the issues of performativity and power in how we make...

Life From Plato’s Cave Podcast Interview

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with Mario Veen and talking with him on his Life From Plato’s Cave podcast. It was a rollicking good time and enabled us to enter into some crevasses of why our world is so stuck, and how we can make it more...

Algae communication, conspecific and interspecific: the concepts of phycosphere and algal-bacteria consortia in a photobioreactor (PBR)

How does the race to make algae do tasks for us undermine the ability of those algae to perform their metabolic tasks? My colleagues and I have a new article out looking at the limits of enclosed ecosystems (lab controlled algae breeding for energy/food/oil, etc)....

When Institutions start arresting or firing climate scientists, government is infested

Governments are supposed to help us live better, survive. You know, all that crap Hobbes went on about, keeping us from killing each other. But when government systematically shuts up those who try to help us from committing collective suicide through broken Nash...

It’s not about the Animals

(This is a contribution to the Great Transitions Initiative’s discussion – this month, on Eileen Crist’s essay on animals.) What we have done to animals is a crime with a motive that has nothing to do with animals. It has to do with what we have done...

Object?Oriented Ontology and the Other of We in Anthropocentric Posthumanism

My new article out in Zygon, “Object?Oriented Ontology and the Other of We in Anthropocentric Posthumanism” is a philosophical takedown of a misguided notion: that difference that make a difference should be deliberately overlooked or ignored for the sake...

Reflections on EUR’s Roundtable on Academic Freedom and Sustainability

After the 28 November, 2022 occupation of the Sanders Building at Erasmus University Rotterdam, where I work, by OccupyEUR, the students involved in the very nonviolent protest were violently removed by riot police at the Executive Board’s behest. Not the finest...