Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Precarious Becomings

Precarious Becomings is the title of my new book project on autism, which I've been collecting data for, but haven't yet begun writing.

What I mean to argue is that the becomings - the biological, cultural, and social unfoldings of human beings -- are precarious; that is, they are both uncertain and vulnerable.

Precarity is an ontological condition of life because life is utterly dependent upon sustaining systems that enable growth and comportment in particular ways, analogized as a kind of biological-cultural-social tropism.

Systems self-organize, but their modes of self-organization (i.e., abstract principles representing patterns of relationships) are themselves precarious becomings, as principles of order can optimize diverse life or constrain and/or prevent it.

It is clear to me that self-organization of life on planet earth is breaking down. I provide an account of why in my most recent book Crisis communication, liberal democracy and ecological sustainability.
Here is an excerpt from that book, updated with some new research findings -- findings that many might perceive as extending well beyond the subject of autism, but I believe are integrally related to it:

In 2013, an international panel of marine scientists urged that immediate efforts be taken to mitigate severe ocean degradation.[i] Ocean degradation is killing off marine species at alarming rates.[ii] Ocean degradation results from human activities, including direct habitat destruction, industrial emissions and effluents, and catastrophic accidents such as Fukushima and the BP oil spill, among myriad other human externalizations.

Humans may very well have engineered a mass extinction event, argued a coalition of scientists in “Has the Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Already Arrived?” published in the prestigious journal, Nature.[iii] Biodiversity is currently collapsing at a rate comparable to previous mass extinctions, causing some scientists to predict that 75 percent of species will be gone over the next few centuries if present trends continue.[iv] More specifically, “the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate.”[v]

Most recently, a study published in PLOS One found more than a 75% decline of flying insects in Western Europe over a 27 year period:

Caspar A. Hallmann , Martin Sorg, Eelke Jongejans, Henk Siepel, Nick Hofland, Heinz Schwan, Werner Stenmans, Andreas Müller, Hubert Sumser, Thomas Hörren, Dave Goulson, Hans de Kroon (2017, October 18). More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. PLOS One, 12(10): e0185809.

The mass extinctions could potentially include humans given their amazing capacity to engineer risk while denying their exponential depletion and/or contamination of vital resources. New research documenting dramatic declines in men's sperm count and quality global illustrates both our precarity and our self-delusion:
Hagai Levine, Niels Jørgensen, Anderson Martino-Andrade, Jaime Mendiola, Dan Weksler-Derri, Irina Mindlis, Rachel Pinotti, and Shanna H. Swan (2017). Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Human Reproduction Update, pp. 1–14, 2017. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmx022

Chuan Huang, Baishun Li, Kongrong Xu, Dan Liu, Jing Hu, Yang Yang, HongChuan Nie, Liqing Fan, Wenbing Zhu, ( ). Decline in semen quality among 30,636 young Chinese men from 2001 to 2015Fertility and Sterility, 107(1), 83–88.e2 DOI:
Life is precarious. We better recognize that before its too late. Unfortunately, in the US there is a decided shift toward dis-organization, as I discussed recently in my review of the EPA's new radiation protection guidance ( HERE ).


[i] “Latest Review of Science Reveals Ocean in Critical State from Cumulative Impacts,” International Programme on the State of the Ocean, October 3, 2013, accessed October 3, 2013,

[ii] Douglas J. McCauley, Malin L. Pinsky, Stephen Palumbi, James Estes, Francois Joyce and Robert R. Warner, “Marine Defaunation: Animal loss in the Global Ocean,” Science 347 (2015): accessed November 2, 2015, doi: 10.1126/science.1255641.

[iii] Anthony D. Barnowsky, Nicholas Matzke, Susumu Tomiya, Guinevere O. U. Wogan, Brian Schwartz, Tiago B. Quental, Charles Marshall, Jenny L. McGuire, Emily L. Lindsey, Kaitlin C. Maguire, Ben Mersey and Elizabeth A. Ferrer, “Has the Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Already Arrived,” Nature 471 (2011): 51–57, accessed November 10, 2011, doi:10.1038/nature09678.

[iv] Richard Monastersky, “First Atomic Blast Proposed as Start of Anthropocene,” Nature (January 16, 2015): Accessed January 20, 2015, doi:10.1038/nature.2015.16739.

[v] Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich, Anthony D. Barnosky, Andrés García, Robert M. Pringle and Todd M. Palmer, “Accelerated Modern Human–Induced Species Losses: Entering the Sixth Mass Extinction,” Science Advances 1 (2015): accessed June 23, 2015, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1400253.




    How to reform the corrupted electoral reform system. By respected antinuke Harvey Wasserman

  3. There is a claim by some geneticists that after some earth catastrophe about 75,000 years ago the human population went down to around 20,000 individuals. Perhaps that is true. Mainstream society is so set on materialism that the idea of higher subtle intelligences might be guiding the human enterprise is unthinkable. It would appear that every 15 or 20 years some disastrous event occurs that makes human existence very difficult. It might be worth while having an open mind towards the existence of a higher intelligence about which we know little and about which we get some idea through various religions. Even now a large asteroid may be headed towards our planet and will strike in one hundred years. We can do all the right things and then find that this sky rock will destroy life on the planet for millions of years. My point is that life is apparently very precarious--but is it really? We are always in a "best laid plans of mice and men" situation. Yes, we should do our best, but our opponent is vastly superior in terms of destructive power. No matter the disease some people always survive and no one knows for sure why. Whether this will apply to genetic damage and radiation I do not know but probably.

    1. Correction: should read above "every 15 or 20 thousand years"


  5. Trump's America: Keep the lies, brainwashing going through Brietbart. The Webs of deceipt, and hate are controlled and strategically placed in some of the so called alternative media. The same two-headed monsters, like alex jones, who claim to be anti-nuclear, yet support Trump every step of the way , in turning this planet into a radioactive cinder. They actively promote racist, radioactive , polluting rats, like alex jones. They feed racist hate. They feed Orwellian double-think. They are fed, at every level by republican PAC money.

    They sit back in their cutesy, folksy cubby-holes, and pretend to give a crud, about the radioactive and chemical hell engulfing this planet. Instead of information about true nuclear death and trumps real moves to destroy everything, they defer attention through convoluted conspiracy rabbit holes, that they throw in your face when you ask them about trump changing the epa so all our water, can be full of radionuclides and metals.

    Trump and the republicans plans are to Kill everything, Steal everything, Poison everything, Irradiate everything, Tear what is left of the fabric of society to pieces and steal more. Keep the lies going.

  6. The fake anitinuclear-trump shills actively promote racist, radioactive , polluting rats, like alex jones. They feed racist hate. They feed Orwellian double-think. They are fed, at every level by republican PAC money.

    They sit back in their cutesy, folksy cubby-holes, and pretend to give a crud, about the radioactive and chemical hell engulfing, this planet. Instead of information about true nuclear death and trumps real moves to destroy everything, they lie. They defer attention through convoluted conspiracy rabbit holes. They throw conspiracy bs in your face that has nothing to do with the nuclear weapon, nuc reactors, and nuc waste catastrophe. They lie and obfuscate, when you ask them about trump changing the epa. Now all our water, can be full of radionuclides and metals, more than ever.


    "How Steve Bannon and Sean Hannity ginned up the Hillary Clinton uranium story
    Pro-Trump conservatives want to talk about their own Russia narrative. The only problem is that it’s nonsense."

    Trump is still up to his eyeballs, with Flynn getting kickbacks from the russians before the election. Kickbacks to make sure there were lucrative deals in the middle east for multiple nuclear reactors. The russians are still pushing their defective nuclear reactors all over the world. They insure death, terrorism, nuclear waste, more nuclear weapons. If Hillary or Sanders had been elected, and it was found their cabinet candidates and handlers were making similar deals, they should be impeached too. Direct compromise of the security interests of the US.

  8. 30 yo Bannon Protege and intern, stabs father to death, because he is not republican.

  9. The Housing Crisis and Depresion, that never ended. It is getting worse.

  10. Good article on radionuclide genotoxicity

    Full article:

  11. Fukushima, another WHO coverup, like Chernobyl.



    "1.NBC News poll shows that three quarters of Americans fear that Trump is leading them into war.

    2.Drumming up a bogus conspiracy about Hillary Clinton and Uranium One. 

    3.Over 10,000 calls to USA’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission oppose subsidies to nuclear and coal.  Not legal to subsidise nuclear stations – says independent company that manages competitive wholesale power markets.

    4.At long last, Florida residents can stop paying for the never-built Levy Nuclear Project. How to get a $60 million payout – be an executive of a $9 billion failed nuclear project.Up and running in 3 weeks –

    5. solar power for Puerto Rico’s children’s hospital.

    6.Fire Danger Again Rises Across California; Number of Structures Lost in Northern Blazes Increases to 8,400

    6.Regular flooding predicted for New York, as climate change brings rising sea levels.

    7.America’s Environmental Protection Agencygagging its own scientists on climate change."

  13. A bill to prevent lunatic, Donald Trump, from a pre-emptive nuclear strike, against N Korea.

  14. Global warming might be far worse than we thought.


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