There is a putrid stench fermenting just beneath the surface of 21st-century society.
Will this change in the next 150 years? Probably not.
To be able to understand the future, you must know the past.
So what has taken us to where we are today and what has changed along the way?
However, it seems these days that there is this omnipresent feeling that the world is going fucking crazy.
You would think by now we would all realize that we have to live together. That we are all racist following policies that encourage racism, inequality, that waste of half of the food produced worldwide resulting in wars.
But the world isn’t as bad as it was a century ago.
It’s just that we’re more aware of all of the bad things than ever before.
The violence is not new; it’s the cameras that are new.
Cameras, the internet, and most importantly, social media.
This is what’s new.
This is what’s different.
How we’re getting information, what information is reaching us, and most importantly, what information and views we are most rewarded for sharing.
We feel desensitized and dejected from the seemingly constant carnage raging across the planet.
The internet has generated a platform where apocalyptic beliefs are celebrated and spread, and moderation and reason is something that becomes too arduous and boring to stand.
It is what is causing this constant feeling of a chaotic and insecure world that doesn’t actually exist. And then: it’s this feeling that is the cause of the renewed xenophobia and nationalism across the western world.
It’s this feeling that has consumed the consciousness of millions of people and caused them to look at their country through the lens of a surreal world exaggerating all that is wrong and minimizing all that is right.
Despite living with more safety and wealth and access to information than anyone in human history, we feel as though the world is going crazy and something drastic must be changed.
By now, we’re all familiar with the tech world circle-jerk about how we’re connecting the planet and the world is getting smaller and we’re all becoming one big Kum Ba Ya global community and how this is amazing because starving people in Yahem to a mass shooting in El Paso can each have their own iPad, and blah, blah, blah, the internet is cool.
Outrageous news and information spread faster and further than any other form of information, dominating our daily attention.
On the other hand, the rise of the internet and social media has accelerated social progress in many ways. It’s helped herald a breakthrough in LGBT rights, it’s raised awareness about discrimination against women and minorities, and fomented the populist overthrow of a number of repressive governments worldwide.
Activists and concerned citizens can quickly mobilize to spread the word and hold the appropriate authorities accountable for change.
This is our brave new world.
When all information is freely available at the click of a mouse, our attention naturally nosedives into the sickest and most grotesque we can find, ignoring the reality of climate change.
To protect ourselves from the overreaching judgments of others, we consolidate into our own clans and tribes, we take refuge in our own precious identity politics and we buy more and more into a worldview that is disconnected from cold data and hard facts.
We become only exposed to the most extreme negative aspects of certain groups of people, giving us a skewed view of how other people in the world really think, act, and live. We demonize each other.
We judge groups of people by their weakest and most depraved members.
Take Brexit, for example, presently being sold as taking back sovereignty to gain freedom from the EU.
Freedom can only exist when you are willing to tolerate views that oppose your own when you’re willing to give up some of your desires for the sake of a safe and healthy community when you’re willing to compromise and accept that sometimes things don’t go your way and that’s fine.
The only way to beat the attention economy is to opt-out of it.
I am attempting to go back to learning about the world only through long-form journalism that has been thoroughly researched and vetted before being published.
I’m exercising the muscles in my brain responsible for focus, depth, and concentration. I’m stretching out my logic, trying to challenge my own beliefs and always holding on to a healthy amount of doubt.
In a weird sense, true freedom doesn’t exist.
Because the only way for human rights to persist is for everyone to collectively agree to accept that things don’t have to go their way 100% of the time.
They want a freedom to express themselves but they don’t want to have to deal with views that may upset or offend them in some way. They want a freedom to enterprise but they don’t want to pay taxes to support the legal machinery that makes it possible. They want a freedom to elect representatives to the government but they don’t want to compromise when they’re on the losing side.
A free and functioning democracy demands a populace that is able to sustain discomfort, that is able to tolerate dissatisfaction, that is able to be charitable and forgiving of groups whose views stand in contrast to one’s own, and most importantly, that is able to remain unswayed in the face of some violent threat.
We’re seeing a lazy entitlement wash over the world where everyone feels as though they deserve what they want from their government the second they want it, without thought of repercussions or the rest of the population.
It seems like people don’t actually want democracy anymore, they want a dictator who agrees with them.
The choice is, do you and I consume what is here now and change the planet to something unknown and different for the next generations?
Or do you and I slow our consumption to a regenerative rate, ensuring the same planet we live on now is here for the generations to come?
This is a personal choice.
It isn’t something an outside party, such as the government is going to fix.
You and I are the consumers. You and I are the ones making the choices.
What choice will you and I make in the future? They will be governed by Climate change.
You will not find these choices in the cloud.
I believe in the next ten years, science will prove that too much technology (e.g. heads always in our phones) is actually a negative thing for the mind and longevity.
I believe we’ll be forced by climate change to find a sustainable balance between technology use and real-life experiences.
All too often, problems being solved in tech are first world problems.
Many of us forget that there are some huge global problems, particularly in the developing world, that need to be solved for the benefit of us all.
But we have to take charge soon and make it so.
UNFORTUNATELY, OUR HISTORICAL FOOTPRINT TELL US THAT THIS IS A TOTAL IMPOSSIBILITY.
Society will tear itself apart! The root causes will remain the same.
We have no clue about what we are doing, but we are the best at
telling others what to do!
All human comments appreciated. All like clicking and abuse chucked in the bin.