I like it - the concept of hyperobjects and the science behind it, that is. But I'm understanding maybe a third of it. Maybe that has something to do with Morton's own confessed post-modernism - well, I'm not really sure he confessed that because, as with too much else in his book, he's unclear, or writes unclearly, or something down there at the muddy end of the clarity spectrum. For example, on page 1, he tells us what properties hyperobjects have in common. He names and defines those properties - except for one, which he only names: high-dimensional phase space "that results in their being invisible to humans for stretches of time." WARNING: if you look up high-dimensional phase space in Wikipedia, your brain may explode. Maybe that happened to Morton, which is why he left this definition out.
Of course, it's hard to know whether that omission makes any difference. To wit:
• "The Kantian gap between phenomenon and thing places the idea of substances decorated with accidents under extreme pressure."
• "[Hyperobjects] are entities that become visible through post-Humean statistical causality--a causality that is actually better for realism than simply positing the existence of glass spheres on which the fixed stars rotate, to give one example."
• "Hyperobjects provoke irreductionist thinking, that is, they present us with scalar dilemmas in which ontotheological statements about which thing is the most real (ecosystems, world, environment, or conversely, individual) becomes impossible. Likewise, irony qua absolute distance also becomes inoperative. Rather than a vertiginous antirealist abyss, irony presents us with intimacy with existing nonhumans."
And this is just in the introduction. I got through Chapter 1, "Viscosity", somewhat intact (though my wife might choose to differ...). But right now I'm stuck in Chapter 2, "Nonlocality", which gets deep (for me) into quantum theory. To wit: "Unlike the Copenhagen Interpretation, the ontological interpretation is noncorrelationist: particles withdraw from one another, not because humans are observing them in certain ways, but because the implicate order is withdrawn from itself." Upon reading this passage (which is unfortunately typical of this English professor) you may think, as I did, "Shoot me now!" And after all, Morton cites approvingly the psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, whom ethologist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins savaged for writing this monstrosity: "We can clearly see that there is no bi-univocal correspondence between linear signifying links or archi-writing, depending on the author, and this multireferential, multi-dimensional machinic catalysis. The symmetry of scale, the transversality, the pathic non-discursive character of their expansion: all these dimensions remove us from the logic of the excluded middle and reinforce us in our dismissal of the ontological binarism we criticised previously." (cue man running through tunnel of madness shrieking wildly...)
But Morton is as forgivable as he is impenetrable. I'm not sure you have to understand everything or even half of what he's saying to grasp what he's getting at, because scattered throughout this impenetrable-except-to-postmodernists mangling of the English language are surprisingly, even shockingly (for Morton) direct and clear observations. Like when he tells us that hyperobjects are in us and we in them with the analogy of rear-view mirror warnings: "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear." Just when you think you've been wasting your time - or rather, that HE has been wasting your time, namedropping Heidegger and Hume, Derrida, Kant and Meillassoux (who?) - Morton segues from Plato and Socrates to My Bloody Valentine, whose music assaults him from the inside, music he finds beautiful but that has made his ears bleed and that he thinks might be able to liquefy his internal organs, send him into seizures and maybe even kill him; "To be killed by intense beauty; what a Keatsian way to die."
The thing is - and believe it or not after so much obtuse language, the concept actually begins to take root even in normal (that is, non-postmodernist) brains - hyperobjects make sense, and they do that in a revelatory, ah-hah! kind of way, like all the apparently contradictory facts and questions you've always had about life gradually take on a coherence you hadn't thought possible after years of just trying to muddle through without understanding what was really going on around you. And, as Morton points out, IN you.
A good book. Okay, so this Brit English professor should apologize for his brutality toward his own language. But still. It's an eye-opener, and on a long plane ride it can even be an eye-closer. Can't beat that combination.