Pose Ponder (formerly The Daily Inchoate) offers more or less daily posts (weekdays) on living in the Anthropocene, usually from a philosophical point of view.

Read the introductory post here:

You can also check out the “Meta” category of posts, some of which include periodic reflections on what I’m doing here. Of course, feel free to browse around all posts.

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Who is writing? I’m a former professor with too many degrees (PhD ecology; MA, ThM theology, Christian Eastern Orthodox) and too many interests, including these days especially philosophy and political thought.

I’m absorbed by the problem of how to be a good human being
in a radically new era in history: the Anthropocene.

A real question is the extent to which “ancient wisdoms” (philosophical and religious) can speak to us and be of any real help today.

Would love to have you read!

If you’re interested, please follow, subscribe, comment, and otherwise engage.


What’s the Anthropocene?

The “Anthropocene” is the name used for a proposed new geological epoch acknowledging the profound impact humans are having on the planet, including climate change, biodiversity loss, impacts on landscapes and water, and so on. Anthropos is Greek for “the human being,” so the term literally means the “new human” epoch.

There’s significant debate about when the Anthropocene started, dating all the way back to the origins of agriculture. More often, scientists, economists, and historians will suggest early globalization (1500’s) or the industrial revolution (19th c) or the Great Acceleration in the mid-20th c.

Technically, the Anthropocene Working Group of geologists recently rejected the proposal to add an official new epoch defined according to a very precise date of 1950. The term is nevertheless admitted even by these scientists to be a useful working concept.

The IUGS statement on the rejection concluded: "Despite its rejection as a formal unit of the Geologic Time Scale, Anthropocene will nevertheless continue to be used not only by Earth and environmental scientists, but also by social scientists, politicians and economists, as well as by the public at large. It will remain an invaluable descriptor of human impact on the Earth system."

Source: Wikipedia article on "Anthropocene"


What’s this A1, A2, A3, A4 business? The “A” is short for “Anthropocene.” Here’s my working four-part division of Anthropocene topics and issues.

  • A1 is for big megatrends that, in effect, define the Anthropocene as a long term, historical phenomenon. Megatrends are the hockey-stick shaped exponential graphs that track human population growth, energy use, economic growth, climate change, biodiversity loss, landform transitions, and so on. A1 is all about large scale changes over time.

  • A2 is for “places and cases” at large or small scale to do with land and water use. Humans now occupy, control, or impact the vast extent of planetary surface on both land and sea. Agriculture, forests, parks & reserves, urban and suburban spaces, oceans, waterways — as places where humans extract or harvest resources and build and live in developed communities, and where wild non-human creatures still inhabit and roam their own spaces, which now desperately require protection and conservation — these are the spatially oriented topics of A2.

  • A3 is for the human economy, broadly understood, ideally to become circular. What are the day-to-day processes humans use for resource extraction, manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and waste? How can they be better? Is technology the answer? Most of what we actually do as a species, that impacts the environment, revolves around our “economy,” literally the “laws of management of the household” (oikos, nomos). Improving material human welfare sustainably amidst increasingly vast and complex interactions with the planet is the set of topics for A3.

  • A4 is the less material side of human activity, the other side of the coin of A3. What philosophical, cultural, ethical, political, artistic resources are there, including from human history, to draw upon as we try, as a species, to understand and re-orient in an overwhelming new human-driven era? One inquiry concerns whether or not, and how, ancient wisdom traditions — philosophical or religious — might provide insight and guidance. Another concern is uniquely modern, on PPE topics: philosophy, political thought, economic thought. How can we better “think what we are doing” (Arendt) to be good humans in the Anthropocene?

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Trying to be a good human in the Anthropocene


Trying to be a good human in the Anthropocene