Sunday, December 14, 2014

Risk Gouache on Paper 30 x 42 cm 2010 [SOLD]

In my last post In Between Things - Interstellar Even I wrote about various issues including existential risk ie: risk associated with the survival of humanity and/or the planet. Yep, so major risks like climate change, nuclear threat, advanced artificial intelligence, biological [natural and human-made] threats, collisions with meteors, aberrant individuals or groups, and lots more.

I am re-reading astronomer and cosmologist Lord Martin Rees's fascinating 2003 book Our Final Century. This book, written nearly 15 years ago, lists and explains many of the risks associated with the potential demise of humanity and/or the planet. Whilst a sombre topic, Rees writes in a manner that does not propel you into the depths of depression! Rather, the reader is informed in a way which enlightens through awareness. Since Rees wrote Our Final Century research centres examining existential risk have been set up at Cambridge UniversityOxford University and in the US [out of MIT]. I wrote about these centres in my last post.

Also, in my last post In Between Things - Interstellar Even I wrote about the new film Interstellar, suggesting that the underlying theme of the movie, is the fear of existential risk. Briefly...the story...humanity has reached a point where Earth has been depleted so severely that food sources cannot be sustained. It is apparent that to survive, humanity has to leave to find another home. I won't extrapolate here...there's more in my last post. You must see this film...I loved it.
New World Habitability: Vacation Anyone? Oil on linen 70 x 102 cm 2014

I have just been on a week's holiday to Noosa; a fabulous beach holiday! On a wet afternoon my youngest daughter and I went to see the new Hunger Games movie Mockingjay Part 1. This is the third instalment of a four part movie set. I saw the first Hunger Games, but not the second. I wrote about the first one on this Blog in August 2013 in a post called Flick Of A Switch: A Post About Two Films The two films I write about are the Hunger Games and Elysium. Both films reveal the desperation of humanity's divide into the haves and have-nots. I felt particularly depressed after seeing The Hunger Games.

Mockingjay Part 1 continues with the theme of the battle between the haves and have-nots. However, it seems the divide is narrowing, with battles won, hidden ammunitions stored, defections from the fashionista 'have' camp to the battle-ready 'have-not' one, plus the agreement of the heroine Katniss to be the Mockingjay! Despite, all this seemingly positive news, I did not enjoy the film. The sinister undercurrent of depravity was still evident. It left me with a feeling that humanity will continue to create divides, thus enabling conflict to flourish. This navel gazing means that existential risk will come from ignorance, game-playing, creating more weapons of destruction in the name of seeking 'peace', making heroes and heroines from war rather than discovery, enlightenment, collaboration.

After seeing the film my daughter and I had a discussion about existential risk.

Ye gads Mum!!!, was the expression on her face!

But, I asked her a question...

'Darling, what do you think is the most severe risk to humanity's survival?'

She answered:

All Of Us Gouache on paper 15 x 21 cm 2012

  • I encourage you to read this short article Are We Living In The Hunger Games written by Melinda Edwards  [Law Professor and now, Managing Director of MeWise Pty Ltd, an international, conflict-resolution skills training company].
  • My previous post Team Humanity might interest you.
  • And, another earlier post Risky Business

RISK Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
My painting Risk [top] Here is a quote from my earlier post for this painting.

RISK, gouache on paper ,30 x 42 cm is painted with little $ signs to question 'value'. The underground water, the river depression and the rain falling from the sky are all $ signs. The word RISK is also painted with $ signs. These are red to make an almost SOS or DANGER statement.

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