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Crash Course in The Anthropocene

By Mitch Mignano

February 21, 2015 | Releases & Announcements | 0 comments

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This quirky “Crash Course” video from Vloggers John Green, Hank Green, and Emily Graslie. introduces viewers to the Anthropocene concept through attractive animations, rhythmically edited broad-stroke research statistics, and a reasonably hi-resolution evaluation of the pros and cons of our now technologically saturated environment. While the factual downloads are helpful in bringing the big-picture questions to the average information consumer, their final formulation of solutions leaves a little to be desired.

Following a nice overview and set-up of the cultural-ecological problems that we face in the Anthropocene, Graslie and the Green brothers provide a distractingly oversimplified solution set , which basically amounts to:

  1. Technological miracle
  2. Collapse miserably into ruins and ashes
  3. “We can guide human society in to a creative descent, a gentle decline of complexity to more simple subsistence living.”

Despite this vulgarization of our options moving forward in the Anthropocene epoch, no doubt a side-effect of the Green brothers’ mastery over the vlog (video blog) medium, this ‘Crash Course’ IS a helpful way to draw viewers into the big questions that we face today.

For a more complex, dialectical approach to these very same cultural-ecological problems, I refer readers to Christian Schwägerl’s “The Anthropocene: The Human Era and How It Shapes Our Planet.”

See more ‘Crash Course’ vlogs on an extremely wide range of topics here.


Mitch Mignano

Contributing Editor

Mitch Mignano is a writer, researcher, editor and workshop organizer who splits his time between Santa Fe and New York City. After finishing graduate school, Mitch teamed-up with psychedelic author Daniel Pinchbeck to begin working with the Evolver social network, Reality Sandwich online magazine and North Atlantic Books. Through this activity, he came in contact with John Allen (inventor of Biosphere 2) and Deborah Snyder, discovering a deep calling to work with John and his ecotechnic ideas, Mitch brings a myriad of professional connections, as well as an experiential and interdisciplinary knowledge set to the Synergetic team.


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