June 2010 Editorial

Here at Ecocity Builders we try to stay focused on the positive even as bad news keeps rolling in – gigantic man-made disasters, wars, natural disasters increasing, corruption increasing, economic collapse, species going under, international laws and treaties being targeted and dismantled, world getting hotter, weather patterns changing, polar caps melting, fewer jobs, less support and money for education, less money for basic services, world leaders not leading.

Not nearly enough of us are collectively hard at work implementing the strategies needed to solve these problems (of course some are). Too much money is still being invested in destructive strategies as corporate shareholders continue to accumulate profits off of the further plundering and destabilization of whole countries and ecosystems. But then, who needs nature at all, or people, when the gurus of technology predict that in a few decades, humans (or the humans with enough money) will merge with machines to become superhuman, godlike, and to hell with everyone else and who cares about clean air, as a super human I won’t need that. These are top thinkers recruited by the likes of Google and NASA and super rich individuals grasping for immortality.

Hubris was considered the greatest crime of the ancient Greek world and often resulted in fatal retribution. Atë, ancient Greek for “ruin, folly, delusion,” is the action performed by the hero, usually because of hubris, or great pride, that leads to death or downfall. Nemesis, another ancient Greek term, is often used to describe one’s worst enemy, normally someone or something that is the exact opposite of oneself but is also somehow similar.

Herein perhaps lies our Nemesis: our seeming prioritization of technology and a virtual reality, artificial intelligence and artificial people (corporations – recognized as people by the US Supreme Court) over humans and the natural world. It’s a theme that has been posed in many iterations many times in myths, legends, literature, and movies.

Ecocities prioritize humankind and the natural order over machines. People building and living in ecocities certainly utilize machines and technology, but the machines and technology don’t utilize people.


Kirstin Miller for Ecocity Builders

339 15th Street, Suite 208

Oakland CA 94612 USA


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