Why yes, the answer involves a 2x2
I didn’t see your poll, but whenever i feel like saving something, it’s always saving the machine of prosperity from looters. Or if you want to get grander, saving our accelerating progress against entropy.
“And this is because the historical consciousness of technological modernity is, in my opinion, pre-civilizational in a way that is much closer to natural history than civilization ever gets. We do not quite know how technological modernity came to be. Therefore we do not quite know where it can go.”
I read it, thought hard about it, but still don’t know what this “technological modernity” means and why it’s a mystery. “Modernity”, to me, means the “post-theological,” post-rationalist and post-idealistic ethos history has brought us to. “Technology” means manipulating the material world in a way that improves human economy, gives us more utility, eg, fire, wheels. Thus, both modernity and technology have manifest histories, and I’m at loss how “technological modernity” is pre-civilizational (social organization) as these very words are fundamentally historical-social constructs. As for mysterious, are we talking about the origins of “technological modernism” or how it operates or both? I’m not trying to be obtuse or a jerk, and I know that, to describe something new or differently, we need to use old words in new ways, but I’m afraid I lost you. Perhaps there is a “world” of thought you reside in and write from that I’m unfamiliar with. I like the 2x2 by the way. Creative. I just see the right 2 as a sensible continuum depending on the existential issue at hand, and would characterize the bottom right (here, technological modernism”) as whatever the opposite of ethnocentrism is - secular pluralism?
"Second, there are also such things as worlds past saving. Indigenous worlds and knowledge systems are examples. While there are brave attempts to include the tragic remnants as living traditions within more robustly present worlds, they mostly lack the potency to truly re-enter the larger save-the-world circus."
This is brutal, but sadly true - in scope. I perhaps think of these remanant worlds and knowledge systems as if in K(TLO)-space, not quite savable, but salvagably useful in an archival way. Useful in the cosmopolitan-gaian liminal space for signposting what techno-rewilding might create, concretely - on country. This is probably a specifically new-world inhabitor bias, since the "world until yesterday" is much futher back in mythologial deep-time in the old-world.
I probably lean more gaian than cosmopolitan, though I admit to future fantasies with a heavy Star Wars mythos aesthetic - Jedi towers strutting out of forest canopies like mayan temples from the jungle, and all that.
... and if anyone can spare a farcaster or bluesky invitation, they seem rarer than gaians down here.
What do you think about alternatives to the horizontal axis being a spectrum of the known / order to the unknown / chaos? You write of deadness and mystery, seems to map. This framing also emphasizes the view of the "barbarians at the gates" from the narrow perspectives.