The meta-crisis is so vast: climate change, exponential technology, addiction, polarization, and more. How do we grasp it, let alone take steps to address it?
One of the thinking tools we have at our disposal is science fiction. To the extent that we co-evolve with our stories, science fiction can prepare us for the impending future — and empower us to shape it.
This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're thrilled to have one of the greatest living science-fiction writers — Kim Stanley Robinson. His most recent novel is The Ministry for the Future, a sweeping epic that reaches into the very near future, and imagines what it would take to unite humanity and avoid a mass extinction. Whether or not you've read the book, this episode has insights for you. And if this episode makes you want to read the book, our conversation won't spoil it for you.
Clarification: In the episode, Robinson refers to philosopher Antonio Gramsci's "pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will." This phrase was originally said by novelist and playwright Romain Rolland. Gramsci made the phrase the motto of his newspaper, because he appreciated its integration of radical intellectualism with revolutionary activism.
Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed 2312, Shaman, New York 2140, and The Ministry for the Future. He traveled in Antarctica twice, courtesy of the US National Science Foundation. In 2008, he was named a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. He lives in Davis, California.
Robinson's latest novel and the subject of our conversation — which reaches into the near future, and imagines what it would take to unite humanity and avoid a mass extinction
CHT's blog post about the meta-crisis, which includes the fall of sense-making and the rise of decentralized technology-enabled power
The project based on E. O. Wilson's proposal to conserve half the land and sea — in order to safeguard the bulk of biodiversity, including ourselves
Global tech worker community mobilizing the technology industry to face the climate crisis