Following an alert posted by Lubos Motl, I upgraded my windows operating system from #7 to #10, since the grace period is ending August 1. And it went quite smoothly in retrospect, but with much anxiety in the process. It seems that Windows Defender latest version doesn’t play as nice with other anti-malware programs. Also some head-scratching as to the usage of cpu by strangely named programs that may or may not be malware. And there are the inevitable hiccups and tweaks needed to restore operations as before.
It occurred to me in this process that the internet and the associated tools have become for us a kind of utility, like electricity. When we flip the light switch, the room should light up. And when we boot up our home computers, we expect to be on line and wired in. Any upgrade introduces uncertainty into that dependency, and is uncomfortable.
It also reflects on how much we modern urban dwellers exist within a cocoon of man-made structures, both physical and cyberspace. Extrapolating from our daily experience, it is a small step to thinking that the larger environment beyond our cocoons, if not entirely man-made, is at least hugely subject to human influence. And from that premise comes the climatism faith: the belief that mother Nature is being ruined by humans burning fossil fuels, that the planet will burn up, glaciers will melt, cities and islands will submerge, etc. etc. etc.
For centuries those who farm or otherwise make a living from the land or ocean have accepted and adapted to the uncertainties of weather and variable harvests. They are among the most skeptical concerning man-made climate change.
But the majority of university educated urban dwellers are converts to climatism, and participate more or less in a range of Virtual Virtues; i.e. Supporting abstract causes to protect Nature from humans. Some examples:
Save the Arctic: Support Greenpeace.:
Stop Rising CO2: Support 350.org.
Save Animals from extinction: Support WWF.
These and other variations of “fighting Climate Change” give the illusion of “making a difference”, and thus feeling good about doing good. It is truly not about Science any more, it is about being Virtually Virtuous.
Footnote: In his lifetime, Marshall McLuhan foresaw the rise of the Global Village along with the return of tribalism, pre-conditions for the present obsession with climatism. Quotations:
“All media are extensions of some human faculty-psychic or physical.”
“The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village.”
“The world is now like a continually sounding tribal drum, where everybody gets the message…. all the time.”
“Our technology forces us to live mythically.”
“Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.”
“The more you create village conditions, the more discontinuity and division and diversity. The global village absolutely insures maximal disagreement on all points. It never occurred to me that uniformity and tranquility were the properties of the global village. It has more spite and envy. The spaces and times are pulled out from between people. A world in which people encounter each other in depth all the time. The tribal-global village is far more divisive — full of fighting — than any nationalism ever was. Village is fission, not fusion, in depth all the time.” (McLuhan “The Hot and Cool Interview” 57–58)
That full interview is the best summary of McLuhan’s views and is here.