Epochalism

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= "the belief that our present circumstances are so unique that they have no historical parallels or precedents and that no appeals to the past can provide us with any guidance".


Discussion

KMO:

"Morozov calls it "epochalism," by which he means the belief that our present circumstances are so unique that they have no historical parallels or precedents and that no appeals to the past can provide us with any guidance. As Steven Poole summarized it in his review “...if you think that the age of Twitter and online videos of sneezing cats is so unlike anything that has gone before that we must tear up the rule-book of civilisation, then you are an ‘epochalist’. “

Am I an epochalist? The epochalism that Evgeny Morozov identifies in his book is the epochalism of techno-utopians who think that the rise of the Internet and ubiquitous connectivity via cell phones and other mobile devices will soon sweep away all forms of corruption, injustice and inefficiency, and everything else that that stands between us and an earthly paradise. There are certainly other varieties of epochalism. I think we have all at least heard of Christian epochalism; the narrative of the Rapture in which the Christian faithful will be taken up into heaven and everyone else will be left here on earth to endure a malevolent global dictatorship and various cataclysms. There are also climate catastrophe epochalists who think that we have so degraded our ecosystems and so disrupted the workings of the climate that the Earth will soon be transformed into something akin to Venus and that all life on Earth will die. Some people say this will happen by the middle of this century.

I've distanced myself from the Singularitarian form of epochalism that I once embraced, and while I'm certainly not sanguine about the on-going mass extinction or the state of the climate, there is another form of epochalism that I realize I have embraced wholeheartedly, and that is the notion of a rapid collapse of industrial civilization from peak oil. " (http://realitysandwich.com/180099/manifesting_meat/)

Source