1) A poor explanation for a phenomenon; a flawed description of cause and effect.

2) An explanation for a phenomenon that employs an element of magic to describe the event’s cause.

3) The use of magical thinking to predict an outcome.

One contemporary superstition is the belief that markets can cure any environmental problem. Another is the belief that human ingenuity can and will ultimately undo the destruction to ecosystems so that current societies and their behaviors can continue without interruption or change. These beliefs (which result from endowing markets and human ingenuity with magical properties) allow individuals to avoid questioning their current behaviors and what the cost of them is to ecosystems, the biosphere and the viability of the planet for human beings in the future. These beliefs can serve as a justification for inaction.

Invented Reality

An invented reality is an idea or thing that exists only in the imaginations of human beings and has no reality outside of it. By existing in the imaginations of human beings and being believed by them, an invented reality can produce the conditions necessary for mass cooperation between humans, a level of cooperation that would not otherwise be possible.

Invented realities do not exist in the biological realm—that is, they have no biological reality—but invented realities can produce behaviors in human beings that are destructive to ecosystems or are complicit in this destruction. Markets are one example. Markets do not exist in the biological sphere but it is due to markets that human being ignore the function of certain things within ecosystems and see them only in terms of a fluctuation price given to them by the markets.

Here is a video about invented realities and how we use them for mass cooperation.