we don't need to change how we do conservation, we need to change why we do it

Ken Christenson

Author's posts


“The devil of complacency is in the ignorance of detail.” This is another post that I’ve resurrected, and updated, from four years back, because it places the Extremophile Choice hypothesis in the context of the broader, and not the currently fashionable, ecological discussion. The original has earned more attention from ecological nerdom than many of my other blogposts, so …

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of Whippoorwills and Wolves, a Music Inviolate

I’ve updated this post from four years ago because it seems to speak in voices everybody can identify with. Jennifer Jacquet: Survivor guilt may also exist at a species level. That humans have helped bring on other species’ end times is not an easy feeling to deal with. Small farms on the tattered edges of second- …

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An Unauthorised Rohatsu Rehearsal

I started writing this on December eighth, my brother’s birthday, but also Bodhi Day, which is taken to be Gautama’s enlightenment day in the Buddhist calendar. In Japanese, this day is called ‘Rohatsu’, and it’s celebrated at the end of a week-long Zen meditation period, or ‘Sesshin’. I’ve been practising Zen meditation for 20 years …

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A blog series exploring what it means to be Human in the Natural World. (Basically, a condensed version of the book ‘Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice’.) [MANY OF THESE ENTRIES ARE ALSO TAGGED TO BE SKIPPED OVER ON A FIRST READING]


A blog series of poems and commentary asking the question “Can love of Natural systems ever be personal?” (The answer is yes, no, and maybe.)

Young Buddha’s Dreamscape, Part-3: Our Relation to Each Other

A short selection from Essay Fifty — one of the longer essays, and THE LAST — in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice The Great Way is not difficult; just avoid picking and choosing. —from the Hsin Hsin Ming [1] A Buddhist monk commits to pay attention to whatever “arises” in his or her daily life and, when it’s clearly helpful, …

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Young Buddha’s Dreamscape, Part-2: Relation to Tools and other ‘Behaviour Extensions’

A short selection from Essay Forty-nine — one of the longer essays, and the second last — in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice There is something in this [experimental path] which reminds us of the obstinate adherence of Columbus to his notion of the necessary existence of the New World; and … may serve to teach us reliance on those …

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Young Buddha’s Dreamscape, Part-1: Relation to the Living World

A short selection from Essay Forty-eight — one of the longer essays, and third from the end — in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice Everyone has heard the story which has gone the rounds of New England, of a strong and beautiful bug which came out of a dry leaf of an old table …

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Young Buddha Meets Old Buddha, Part-3: Do Buddha’s have Bodies with Dreamscapes to Fill?

A short selection from Essay Forty-seven in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice. When you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you intuit dharmas intimately. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illuminated, the other side is dark. …

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Young Buddha Meets Old Buddha, Part-2: What the Tree of Knowledge can Learn from the Tree of Life

A short selection from Essay Forty-six in Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice. [YOU MIGHT WANT TO SKIP THIS ON A FIRST READING OF THE TWO BUDDHAS SEQUENCE] 9 … God caused to spring up … the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the …

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