Monday, June 8, 2009
Learned a new word today: "grue." Apparently, an object is "grue" if it is green at this point in time but will be blue at some future time. (Mashup: green plus blue equals "grue.") Grue is a word coined by a philosopher (who else?) that "exposes a limit to the reliability of expectation based on experience: observations supporting a belief that something is green equally support its being grue." In other words, the word "grue" lays bare our expectations that life will continue as it always has. Individuals don't usually pay attention to deep time and our culture certainly doesn't take the long view ..... if a week is a long time in politics, then four years to the next election is eternity. In the case of the Easter Islanders, they kept chopping trees down - even though they must have seen they were down to the last hundred trees - the last ten - and then the last one. They were unable to change - and all the while disaster grinned at them from the stumps. And us? Will we be able to stop emitting carbon and heating the planet? Will we be able to love and respect Pachamama and all our relations?