I think we all see that, as a species, we have reached a critical threshold. We confront, both, intensifying ecological meltdown and accelerating technological progress. At a time when humanity is connected as never before through the Internet, we are in danger of crashing the Earth’s life support systems and wiping ourselves out. The question is whether we can face the ecological nightmare - not just climate change, also mass extinction, ocean acidification and other factors - as an immediate imperative. My book proposes we approach it as an initiation, as well as an opportunity for a rapid, self-willed evolutionary leap.
How do we cooperate to make the drastic changes we need to avert global catastrophe? How do we transform our fears - of what is coming, as well as what needs to change - into a positive global project, realizing this transition as our great destiny? In other words - ‘How Soon Is Now?’
Over the coming weeks and months I'll be sharing more information about this project and developing forums where people can come together to explore next steps. We need to build a global movement. With the latest social tools, such a movement could develop in a horizontal, leaderless, and transparent way.
If you want to be part of this discussion, you can join our How Soon Is Now group on HyLo, a new social network for collaboration. I will share relevant sections of my book in advance, and anyone who wants can share their work and ideas as well.
Part of my thesis is that we can’t solve the problems we face without a transformation of our current political and economic system. Our current institutions were created in the 19th Century when the rate of change was much slower than today. They are centralized and hierarchical. We need to define functional and scalable alternatives. The book looks at possibilities.
I recently sat down with Salon’s Carrie Sheffield for a Facebook Live interview which you can view here. This was the first media on the new book. I already felt the tension between my perspective and the viewpoint of those who believe this system can continue more or less as is.
Next week I am returning to the Burning Man festival, writing about it for Artsy.net who have just published an article by me entitled Why It's Time to Revisit the Art and Culture of Burning Man. I originally wrote about Burning Man as an art movement for ArtForum, back in 2003. I also gave a presentation at Burning Man’s TedX, on art as an instrument for social change.
Please follow along the prerelease of How Soon Is Now on our Facebook and Twitterpages. I invite you to read and share an excerpt from the book on our new website. Please also consider joining my Patreon campaign - supporters will receive a free audiobook version of Breaking Open the Head, which will be finished in a month or so.