Beyond the View of Plants as Mere Machines: on Plant Sensation, Perception, and Awareness

June 1, 2015 § 3 Comments

I’ve always found plant behavior intriguing. Over the last six years of casual reading on it, starting with a college research report on the ill-named “Plant Neurobiology”, I learned more than I had imagined possible about the agency of plants (even after debunking misleading works such as The Secret Life of Plants). I learned that while plants do not possess a central nervous system, they nevertheless possess remarkable abilities of sensation, perception, and awareness. While these facets of life of course differ between plants and animals, plants nevertheless possess capacities for vision, olfaction, tactition, thermoception, and for detecting location, direction, and motion. Plants possess some forms of procedural memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. They signal, communicate, and network with other organisms and species. They even wield a vascular system of awareness which some contrast to a central nervous system. All of these points serve to debunk the notion of plants as pure automata, as mere machines. But what, precisely, does that mean?
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Freddie Gray in Context: a Century of White Supremacy in Baltimore

April 30, 2015 § 1 Comment

During the recent unrest in Baltimore, many people have discussed riots and expressed considerations for property. So, let’s talk about property, housing and homes specifically. Let’s talk about Baltimore. The ghetto does not exist in a vacuum, just like plantations or colonies didn’t invent themselves. In fact, they arise from policies of exploitation, extraction, exclusion. I’ll quote several articles depicting a century of white supremacy in Baltimore, 1910-2010, along the lens of real estate, as well as my analysis.
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To Rust Metallic Gods: An Anarcho-Primitivist Critique of Paganism

March 26, 2015 § 17 Comments

[Note: Appears in print in “Black & Green Review, Issue 1”, available from the Oldowan distro.]

New Forest People by Michael Green

Most green anarchists of European ancestry have vehemently rejected the Abrahamic faiths of the Iron Age (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), for their divine hierarchies, their dominion theologies. And most as well the Axial Age faiths, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism from India, Confucianism and Taoism from China, Zoroastrianism from Persia, or Platonism from Greece, all of which arose under a period of increasing ascendancy for urbanization and the State, under the division of life between market and temple[1]. Many, unable to swallow various New Age spiritual farces, nonetheless valorize Greco-Roman pagan religions or idealize various European pagan religions. Some champion modern neo-pagan notions. I examine these each in turn, arguing that if we really wish to rekindle deep bonds to the vital wildness of the Earth, then we must dig deeper. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Ideologue and the Critic [Winter 2010 / 2015]

March 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

How does stupid thinking hold captive otherwise intelligent people? I have wondered this for years. « Read the rest of this entry »

Essential Questions on Ecology & Decolonization

March 12, 2015 § 7 Comments

[This entry also appears in my Rewilding Community Toolbox Zine]

Personal Questions, Part I
Where does your water come from? Where does your food come from? Who makes the things you use? Under what conditions? Where does your poop go when you dispose of it? Where do your other wastes end up? Who lives within 200 feet of you when you sleep? How well do you know them? Do you interact more with creatures, or plastic?

Ecology Questions, Part I
Does the moon currently wax or wane? What wild flora, fauna, and fungi live around you? Which local native species do you know? What watershed do you live in? Which ones border it? What do you know about your local bioregion? Polar, temperate, or tropical climate? Do you know your latitude, humidity, and elevation? Your hardiness zone? The direction and source of your winds and rains? What terrestrial biomes predominate locally? This can include tropical rainforest, tropical savanna, desert, chaparral, grassland, temperate deciduous forest, temperate boreal forest, arctic and alpine tundra. What terrestrial and freshwater ecoregion types do you live within?[1][2]

Indigenous Questions
Which various indigenous peoples inhabit(ed) your region? What do you know of their subsistence methods (e.g. scavenging, hunting, trapping, fishing, gathering, collecting, horticulture, herding, husbandry, intensive agriculture, raiding)? What significance do or did specific species of local flora, fauna, and fungi hold for the natives? What do you know of their settlement patterns (i.e. nomadic, semi-nomadic, sedentary)? What do you know of their social organization (i.e. bands, tribes, chiefdoms, States)? Consider how different native cultures related to one another as well. What do you know of colonization history, and the current conditions or fate of local indigenous peoples?

Ecology Questions, Part II
What did your landbase (wildlife, watershed, biomes, bioregion) look like across various geological phases, before modification by agrarian, pastoral, urban, and industrial cultures? How have agrarian, pastoral, urban, and industrial cultures affected your landbase? Which ecological issues does your landbase face? This could include such issues as habitat destruction, disruption, and volatility; keystone species die offs; mass species die offs; pollution & toxification; drawdown & overshoot.

Personal Questions, Part II
How did your ancestors define and practice their ethnicity and spirituality? Look as far back as you can, tracing each change you can locate. What values do you hold, and how do you live them out? What provides obstacles and opportunities? How does all this relate back to your landbase: do your values foster regenerative, sustainable, or extractive relations? How about your behaviors? What dies so that you may live? How do you give back?

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Whatever It May Take: On the Police Murder of Eric Garner [Winter 2014]

March 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

Please, please learn about the police murder of Eric Garner, do not shut your heart to the painful truths of this world. « Read the rest of this entry »

Falling Leaves Moon [Fall 2009]

March 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

So as y’all know I spent September 18th – October 17th participating in a Wild Moon, courtesy of Teaching Drum Outdoor School, in the northwoods of Wisconsin. I went in to the experience highly domesticated, with a deep conviction to go feral, but little to no experience in that. I wanted to describe this experience in writing weeks ago but I have struggled to do so. The experience, the adventure, I feel eludes lingual description, it exists beyond representation and symbolism. Nevertheless, I will try to portray its spirit. « Read the rest of this entry »