Post # 2051 big data vs unique event.

We are in a paradox, first amassing big data to intercorrelate everything and tying all the data sets together into one giant machine (Mirowski ).

At he same time we are missing the big thing going on – the undoing of the planet – that we needed to know. The who, what why and when – and alternatives.
How can these two co-exist? Doesn’t the promise of the first – knowing everything – expect to know the one thing that we needed to know?

How much of economics is just filling in the gaps in the fabric (like exporting the Chinese person recognition software to Chile and tyying the results to consumer data sets) and how much is struggling for insight into the overall situation?

note added to Geoff Mann

added to 1939.


“Another critical stream of recent literature takes a darker view of the prospects for social and ecological transformation. In marked contrast to Klein, philosopher Dale Jamieson argues that the window of time for Blockadia-driven changes has already closed; the world is firmly committed to climate change. If we are to generate an ethical response to the Anthropocene, he claims, we must learn to accept where we stand historically, which is at the end of a period when climate science generated insights that could have led to dramatic political-economic change, but did not.”

Excerpt From
Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future
Joel Wainwright Geoff Mann
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note added to 1939, Malm Progress of this storm

“In 1990, one year after Jameson’s Postmodernism was published, Bill McKibben proclaimed ‘the end of nature’ in a book of the same name, today regarded as the first popular book on climate change. Before almost everyone else, he sensed that the altered composition of the atmosphere turns everything inside out: the meaning of the weather, to begin with. A sudden downpour can no longer be shrugged off or an Indian summer enjoyed as a caprice of nature. All weather must now be distrusted as an artefact of ‘our ways of life’, including on a Svalbard mountaintop or an Atacama sand dune, in areas that pass as remote wilderness: with CO2, the human fingerprint is everywhere. ‘We have produced the carbon dioxide – we have ended nature’ – or: ‘By changing the weather, we make every spot on earth man-made and artificial. We have deprived nature of its independence, and that is fatal to its meaning. Nature’s independence is its meaning; without it there is nothing but us.’28”

Excerpt From
The Progress of this Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World
Andreas Malm