Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Harre Readings p.59-90.

In the spirit of this week's readings, I will attempt to create my blog in narrative fashion, using of course the archtypical hero, villian and Propprian framework.

Once upon a time, there existed a young planet of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, water and various other gases. After it's birth 4.6 billion years ago, it created other forms of life including photobionts which gradually, over the course of several thousands of years, created an atmosphere of oxygen and a protective layer called ozone. From these humble beginnings, the earth grew to accomodate more and more creatures. The earth was strong, confident, poised and intelligent. The earth was also compassionate and open-minded and loved all the creatures that lived upon its soils, in its atmosphere and in its oceans. The earth was indeed resplendent in its beauty. Then one day, another species evolved, called humans. These humans were hairy, primeval creatures that took it upon themselves to dominate the earth. They created fire, tools, weapons and genetically modified organisms. With these tools, they sought to harness and use everything that existed on earth and possibly beyond. Within a matter of a few thousand years and through the magic of time calibration, the earth observed that it was suffering a rapid decline in health, beauty and vigor. The other species it supported were also suffering at the hands of these monsters. Science, a magical cloak that could bestow the user with great power to heal, preserve and educate, was instead appropriated by the humans for evil purposes. The creation of atomic bombs, the destruction of rainforests and the creation of the ozone hole were some of the tragic results of this misuse of science and technology. The earth began to revolt, rebel and resist the tampering of these humans. It refused to grow crops, it did not renew water resources, it stopped filtering the air, it raised annual temperatures, it yielded no more fossil fuels and it did not break down the awful pollutants released into its atmosphere. This was war. At around this time, a few enlightened individuals from the human species began to study the effects of their interactions on the world around them. Natural science came into being and was adopted by humans as part of a new environmental discourse called Greenspeak. Greenspeak encompassed many dialects and uses including political which helped humans to make sense of the information around them. Science instead became a powerful and persuasive tool for use in environmental discourse. Other voices made themselves heard in the melee as well. After several decades of study, education, discourse, communication and awareness, the humans tempered their ways. The earth, battered but resilient, accepted the defeat of the humans and began to focus its efforts on rejuventation. As for the humans, they joined their fellow species in the great web of life and never attempted to take over the earth again.

Questions: Greenspeak encompasses many forms and types of discourses. Which discourse will predominate? Can Greenspeak really accept all of these different forms of discourse without becoming inconsistent and hence useless?