OUR EXISTENTIAL AND COSMIC CONDITIONS
The Center for Media and Destiny will publish irreverent, thought-provoking essays in two related and overlapping areas: "Media and Destiny" and "Cosmic Media Theory."
These publications serve as provocations to stimulate new theory and fresh thinking, to confront the dominant destinies and cosmologies. Over time, we hope to collaborate with many authors to produce numerous essays that pose creative challenges for how we imagine:
• human destiny on Spaceship Earth, destinies that are shared and social, personal and private.
• the role of art, science, cosmology, ecology, technology in providing universal and/or existential meaning — if there is any — to our lives on Spaceship Earth and in the vast and beautiful cosmos.
• the deep and profound effects of media technologies on human destiny and consciousness.
That's why we embrace an interdisciplinary approach that draws from art, science, cosmology, technology, and ecology. In a sense, you could describe our overall apporach as cosmic cultural theory.
HUMANS ARE LOCAL, GLOBAL, AND COSMIC
We are interested in exploring the deepest questions posed by our existential and cosmic conditions, as revealed by our media technologies — at least as best we understand these conditions based on our ever-evolving understanding of the universe and our place in it. We are living amidst the greatest explosion of artistic expression and scientific knowledge in human history. Here are a few of the highlights of the new knowledge:
• All humans are passengers on Spaceship Earth, a planet which orbits the sun, which is one of 200-300 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Every atom that makes up Spaceship Earth and everything on it — including our brains and bodies — is on a journey through space and time as the planet hurtles through the cosmos at 492,000 miles per hour, the speed at which the solar system orbits the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. All humans are cosmic.
• Humans are a single species — the human species evolved out of Africa, has been migrating around the world for thousands of years, and everyone shares 99.5% of the same DNA with every other human on this planet. The human species is local, global, and cosmic.
• Spaceship Earth has a single biosphere — the planet evolved a living ecosystem over billions of years, a complexity of interrelated systems shared by all species on the planet. Humans are but one of the millions of species who are also passengers on Spaceship Earth. The biosphere is local, global, and cosmic.
• The universe that all humans inhabit is 13-14 billion years old and is expanding at an ever-increasing velocity, with vast voids and dark energy shoving the galaxies across vast stretches of space and time.
In other words, the human species and the biosphere are local, global, and cosmic, all existing on Spaceship Earth as it journeys through the universe, a universe of deep space and deep time. There is no one to shape our destiny or give us meaning except ourselves and the best within our arts, sciences, and secular philosophies.
It's already more than a decade into a new millennium, more than 20 years since Pale Blue Dot, more than 30 years since the Gaia hypothesis, more than 40 years since Earthrise, more than 50 years since DNA, more than 80 years since Hubble, more than 150 years since Darwin, and more than 400 years since Galileo, more than 1700 years since Hypatia, and more than 2300 years since Aristarchos. When do we grow up and accept the universe, not as we wish it was, but as it is — as best we understand it, as our knowledge evolves, as revealed by our most powerful media technologies? Why not accept these cosmic conditions and embrace the current voids in the meaning and significance for our destinies on our planet and in the universe? What better way is there to justify the continuation of human existence, to justify ourselves to the planet and the universe from which we were so fortunate to have evolved?
Could a more peaceful, compassionate, ecologically sustainable, and enlightened global civilization emerge if humanity embraced and cherished the beauty of its true existence in the universe? After all, we are the stardust that evolved to become aware of the cosmos. And, we are living in the third millennium, so isn't it time to grow up and have some fun and surprises in thinking about our all-too-human journey?
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