In this book, Morton introduces the term "Hyperobject," with which he refers to things that are massively distributed in time and space in relation to humans. He further elaborates on this concept in Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World.
Hyperobjects have had an impact on human space and are directly responsible for what Morton calls "the end of the world." They are real objects beyond whether someone thinks about them. Therefore, we must understand them within the philosophy of object-oriented ontology (OOO), in a non-anthropocentric sense. They are difficult to see, we can calculate them and know of their existence, but we don't necessarily perceive them. Nevertheless, they are not mental constructs but real entities, whose "primordial reality withdraws from humans." They force us to confront something that affects our fundamental ideas about what it means to exist, what the earth is, or what society is.
Morton argues that with the arrival of hyperobjects, humans have come to realize that non-human objects are no longer excluded or functioning as accessories of physical and philosophical space. Our reaction to hyperobjects takes three basic forms: the dissolution of the notion of the world, the impossibility of maintaining a cynical distance, and the emergence of a new type of aesthetic experience that we can only imagine in the new era of hyperobjects.
We have lost the world, but we have the opportunity to design a new reality, to think about a new era shaped by the relationships between humans and non-humans: The “Era of Asymmetry”, which Morton presents as a stage of overcoming postmodernism.
The “Era of Asymmetry” recognizes the non-human, not only as an object of knowledge but as a being in itself. In this era, humans and non-humans confront each other on equal terms, non-human objects are out of control, entirely beyond human access, freely sharing the environment with us in a new context of relationships.