The Napping Wizard Sessions
NoP: Onkalo or the Contamination of Eternity
In this lecture from The Night of Philosophy in 2019 at 05:00 am on October 06 at the New School for Social Research in New York City, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Nicolas de Warren, discusses our debt of plastic and nuclear waste. While many of us dream about augmented technology and the possibility of becoming cyborgs in the future, Dr. de Warren considers a different transformation of homo sapiens. With the prevalence, distribution and breakdown of plastics and nuclear waste into micro and nanoparticles, it is likely that we will consume so much as a species that future homo sapiens will indeed become part organic and part something else. Our waste habits produce an uncontrolled Kippleization – a term de Warren borrows from Philip K. Dick – that is guaranteed to transform the bodies of humans 100,000 years in the future. That is close to twice as long as homo sapiens have roamed the earth. The pyramids in Egypt are much younger than that, and yet the lazy gift we will saddle our descendants with will be far more cursed than the tombs of the pharaohs. In another Sci-Fi nod, this time to the Strugatsky brothers, de Warren compares us to disrespectful roadside picnickers - we have not taken from the forest everything that we brought in. Our campsite remains a mess.
Nicolas de Warren is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University. He has published extensively on phenomenological subjects such as Original Forgiveness, Husserl’s Awakening to Speech, Emmanuel Levinas and the Evil of Being, Sartre’s Phenomenology of Dreaming and Towards a Phenomenological Analysis of Virtual Fictions.