Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why Imagining the End of the World is a Great Idea

Today's Seattle Stranger has an excellent article by Jonathan Golob about how to imagine the world ending, It's Time to Freak out about Climate Change". As I am a strong advocate for the positive effects of imagining your neighborhood as a post-apocalyptic wasteland, I recommend giving it a read.

Jonathan's idea, as I get it, is something like this: if you can't imagine your world devastated by climate change, you're not really ready to start doing something about it. The Seattle Post Apocalyptic Map Project isn't specifically about climate change specifically, but about existential threats in general: financial meltdown, collapse of the food distribution system, war, global terror, gang violence, cynicism, and the breakdown of the social fabric.

Dealing with these horrors is a process of the imagination. First you imagine what could happen. That's the exercise that gets your imagination in shape. Then you imagine what we might do instead. We're role-playing gamers, so our imaginations are already in shape. We've got a leg up.

In news, the post-apocalyptic map is now better than 2/3 done. I'm on pace to finish it at the end of this month. Then it will hang in the Seattle Google offices for a month as part of a show there. After that, I'll be looking for a public venue to hang it. And I'm thinking about a way to make it accessible to more people as a poster, folding map, PDF etc.

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Blogger Matt said...

You should get gamma ray to put the original up at the lounge. That would be sick

September 6, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

Well DUH! Hey, why didn't I think of that? OK, that's totally a plan now.

September 6, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

There's a lot thrown into the mix, but there's a lot I didn't manage to fit in. There's evidence of landslides and earthquakes. I didn't raise the sea level, though now I sort of wish I had. I might do a future picture around that idea.

September 6, 2012 at 10:04 AM


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