Chapter 1


Thomas Moynihan describes Odoevsky as “one of the few to sense the complex entanglement of forecasting, mechanization and risk escalation”.1

  1. Moynihan, T. (2021). The interesting case of Prince Vladimir Odoevsky and his speculations on civilization’s trajectories: Early thoughts on omnicide, lunar prospecting, geoengineering, world government & planetary defense. Futures, 129, 102732. ↩︎

Subsections of Fork

keeping a record as you go

The Stiegler concept of “Bifurcation” suits the interest of this site in non-linearity. It comes from the Borges short story of the Garden of the Forking Paths. (“El jardin de los senderos que se bifurcan”) The characters thought that there ought to be a narrative, but in fact there was instead a mysterious space where time itself branched out in unseen ways.

Bifurcations happen when somebody makes a choice about what to do.

This idea appears in a famous poem by Robert Frost The Road Not Taken written in 1915. There’s a collective version of it in the final chapter of the ecological milestone “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson (published 1962) which explicitly borrows from his “familiar poem”:

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road— the one ’less traveled by’— offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth.