Ian McHarg notes

/ Reading Notes /

I’ve been quoting Ian McHarg since the 1960s, citing him online since the late 1990s. He himself quoted others: Loren Eisley, for one. I just wanted to link to McHarg’s story about “Next time, no more brains!” and couldn’t find it: so, I have to tell it here. Look in Design with Nature to see who’s he quoting.

We’ve done it! Nuclear war! nuclear winter. all humans dead, all almost everything dead. Just a few bacteria left alive in a deep leaded crevice at the bottom of the ocean.
The bacteria say, all those billions of years of evolution, gone, wasted, everything gone, just us left, we’re alone. We’ll have to start all over again, almost from scratch.
Oh, well. We have the time.
Yeah, but next time, says one,

No More Brains!

Truly, intelligence can offer survival advantages, the crow that can figure out how to get the seed out of the shell has an advantage over the one that can’t. But some manifestations of intelligence backfire: human institutions editing their own mirror to flatter them, thieves concocting reasons they legitimately own the thing stolen …

It would be very very funny is we smart ourselves right out of existence.

By the way, Ian McHarg advised man to design with nature, tone down the civilized hubris. I agree, I second the point. But I do not mean that therefore some other coercive bureaucracy should lead the lies. I’m just reading John D MacDonald’s Barrier Reef. I love Condominium: here are more politicians, lawyers, real estate developers bellowing to out-lie each other.
Ugh, that kind of intelligence makes me shudder.

Reading Notes

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in reading notes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s