Infrastructure and co-evolutionary technology: Overcoming anthropocentrism in human niche construction

Almost half a century ago, niche construction theory was proposed as a major alternative or at least modification of the standard Neodarwinian model. This for two reasons. First, living beings change their environment in many ways, both as a side effect or with purposeful behaviour, such as nest or burrow construction. This changes the forces …

In praise of ‘kaputt’ technology

The German philosopher Oliver Schlaudt concludes his book on the ‘Technozän’ (‘technocene’; he told me, originally the idea was to title it ‘The technosphere’) with fascinating thoughts about debris and broken technological artefacts, inspired by a contribution of the philosopher Sohn-Rethel published in 1926 who praised ‘kaputt’ (broken, kaput) things. The argument is intriguing and …

Breaking the iron triangle: Technosphere, finance, land

Money is part and parcel of the technosphere. This includes the financial sector. Financial technology is all technical devices that manage financial objects aka assets. In old times, these were metal coins, gold and other valuables, and the means to store and transport them. Today, financial technology is mostly digital. Following social sciences approaches to …

Who can stop the ‘blue acceleration’? The utopia of ‘ocean commons’

Recently I have been engaging in a collaboration with scholars in the field of geoethics and ocean sciences. We discuss the question whether and how the ocean can become an inspiration for developing entirely new ways of thinking about the future design of human societies and economies in the Anthropocene. One of them, Martin Bohle, …

Overcoming the Anthropocentric Epistemics of Economics

My colleague Christian Hederer and I are currently preparing our new book ‘A New Principles of Economics. The Science of Markets’ for production with Routledge. The book establishes economics ‘from scratch’, though relying on the accumulated research of economics in the past centuries. One fundamental difference to established approaches is starting out from Earth system …

The Universal Commons

Recently, I have been digging deeper in the issue of property and ecology. As follow-up to my recent posts on Earth ownership and customary law, I received further inspiration from Karen Bradshaw’s book on 'Wildlife as Property Owners'. She argues that wildlife should be granted full property rights on their habitat. This is a complex …