Merlin Sheldrake: the philosophy of fungi
Freddie Sayers speaks to the biologist about the mysterious world of mushrooms
What have fungi got to do with politics, philosophy, Covid-19 or any of the great crises we face?
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Well, potentially rather a lot.
Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and expert on the mysterious world of fungi, and has just published a book on the subject, Entangled Life, that grabbed our attention.
He’s a fascinating character and we’ve all found ourselves rather mesmerised with the story he has to tell about the fungal world, its possibilities as well as its challenges to our politics and philosophical assumptions.
We start with the basics, and get increasingly abstract – come minute 37 you might think differently about things! Enjoy.
In Poland’s case, becoming a true democracy led to membership in the EU and in NATO. In Belarus’s case, it likely means neither. I certainly hope it doesn’t mean NATO membership, as that alliance has already gone way too far to the East. Belarus is a founding member of the Eurasian Union, and its democratization may give some hope that it can turn into something better than a union of autocrats. It is hard to see that it will ever be a new Soviet Union, but it might yet be a useful economic alliance of democratic states that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. As Ukraine has found to its sorrow, the EU really isn’t welcoming to Eastern Slavs. A truly democratic Belarus could serve as an inspiration to Russia and the other countries in the Eurasian Union that still have autocrats as leaders. Perhaps Putin’s rule in Russia may end a lot earlier than some of the so-called experts think. I hope that’s not just wishful thinking on my part.
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