Reply To: October 6: Science and Potery

Author Replies # Posted on October 8, 2014 at 10:10

Reply to Nick’s reflection

First I would like to say dank je wel Nick for bringing such a beautiful poem with you. I managed to understand some of it with my very basic knowledge of Dutch yay. I also find your analysis of the poem interesting; seeing it as a manifestation of the Dutch perception of nature, I mean. You also mentioned that the Dutch are very much involved with water and it got me interested whether the “battle with water” is a prominent theme in Dutch literature or maybe public discourse? In Slovenia for example water is not mainly seen as a threat, but we endow it with all kinds of mystical properties in folk wisdom.
I also found the bit where Midgley explains Gaia as a self-regulating organism comprised of vital parts that all contribute to this regulating processes to be most stimulating for my thoughts. You bring up an important issue; do humans as drivers of geological change (as is the hypothesis of the Anthropocene) still fit into this organism, meaning are we regulating in a way too but that is just not good for us anymore? How do we know what are the limits of this self-regulation? In the end I still think that Gaian thinking is just one way of approaching the planetary ecosystem in a holistic manner and one that demands an acceptance of many underlying assumptions, which simply do not make sense to us. I wonder if it can be effective at all at widening our responsibilites towards nonhuman nature.