Are Planet Rights Different Than Human Rights?

The protected Cathedral Grove, British Columbia, Canada. Photo by Sang Trinh/Flickr (Creative Commons)

An interesting article over on by Anna Greer that posits It’s Wrongheaded to Protect Nature with Human-Style Rights.

“After all, it is a hubristic belief in our own singularity and exceptionalism that’s partly responsible for destroying the planet. One thing seems certain: if the law is to respond to the multiple crises afflicting the Earth, and if rights are to be deployed, we need to get rid of the notion of a rights-bearer who is an active, wilful human subject, set against a passive, acted-upon, nonhuman object. The law, in short, needs to develop a new framework in which the human is entangled and thrown in the midst of a lively materiality – rather than assumed to be the masterful, knowing centre, or the pivot around which everything else turns.”

“Some might object that such a decentred approach is likely to be more complex and challenging than relying on existing assumptions about the centrality of ‘the human’. That’s certainly true. But such engagement is preferable – more empirically faithful to what’s there – than continuing to elevate the human as the ethical apex of the legal system. The ‘human’ cannot continue to be the sole benchmark against which other beings must be measured in order to count.”

A novel concept for sure that I agree with at first blush. I can’t begin to comprehend how everyone could find agreement on this as well as what ‘rights’ non-human entities would be entitled to – though I think it’s a discussion worth having.

I can’t quite get my head around the concept of ‘the law’ as mentioned in the first quote developing a new ‘non-human-centric’ framework, when ‘the law’ is itself a human construct. One could argue possibly that what is ‘moral’ or ‘true’ or ‘right’ exists outside of the realm of humans and is there whether or not we as a species are there to perceive it, but if that is the case, then words would seem not able to describe it and make it difficult to translate into any form of ‘human law’.

Guess I’ll leave it up to the environmental lawyers to sort out.

Neurointerventions Could Hijack the Free Will You Think You Actually Have

We aren’t really in control so why worry about neurointerventions? –

“But I want to suggest that the loss of control that might be delivered by some neurointerventions is not really the issue because we are never actually in control anyway, even though it might seem that we are. The real issue is that the subjects of these neurointerventions might become alienated from their own thoughts and behaviours.”

Hazem Zohny

Everyone likes to talk about the prospect that eventually, we won’t have smartphones anymore, there’ll just be chips implanted right in your head, and possibly wired directly into your brain.

What will that mean for our decision-making and thought process? What if advertisers and companies could buy insertion into our subconscious? We already have algorithms that can predict our moods and tailor advertising accordingly, wouldn’t it be the next step to just rig some to actually put you in the mood – or make the decision for you – to buy something before you even knew it?

Ethically, one would have to think that there would be some sort of oversight with regards to this kind of tech, however, once the circuitry is in place, it would be rife for the hacking. Obviously everyone thought Facebook would be just groovy forever and look what it’s gotten us now.

I’ll be sticking with my ‘ancient’ iPhone SE for now.