…or is the world going to shit big time? Yeah, I know, the old farts are always complaining about how wonderful things were when they were the latest new swingin’ dick in town. But even if you take into account the anecdotal and subjective nature of this type of question, and the difficulty of quantifying these matters, doesn’t it still appear to you that things are just falling apart?
Part of it may be just a matter of temporal perspective. If you’re old enough, your memory has access to a bigger sample of history, many of the noisier bits have a tendency to cancel out, so you have the opportunity to detect long-range general trends that the snapshot experience of a young dude may tend to miss. Besides, being young and strong and getting laid regular does wonders for your outlook on the future. Experience accumulates and judgement matures with age, so your ability to observe and evaluate and otherwise see subtle long-term patterns should also improve.
Still, There seem to be a lot more wars, and even if they’re not more destructive they seem to be a lot nastier. Are natural disasters more frequent and devastating, or are they just better reported? The climate is slowly getting uglier, pollution is increasing, natural habitat is shrinking, the sea and atmosphere and soil are becoming toxic and species are becoming extinct at unprecedented rates. Great waves of desperate refugees march across the globe, and conflict, both military and civil, seems to be on the rise everywhere. Crime, street, organized and corporate, is everywhere on the ascendant. Is it just out of control, or is it simply morphing from economics to psychopathy?
Everywhere, fascism and extremism seem to be thriving, even in societies which, at least on paper, seem to be prosperous and free and well-informed. Its all too easy to blame it all on Trump and his redneck rabble, but how does that account for Russia, China, Iran, Brazil, the Philippines, Hungary, Syria, Turkey, Pakistan and even Germany, France and Britain? Democracy, secular humanism and Liberal values are on the defensive everywhere, and the alternatives that are replacing them seem unstoppable, no matter how familiar they may appear to anyone with any sense of twentieth century history.
Technology was supposed to put a stop to all this, and usher in an era of total human communications and public forums; instant information sharing which would allow us to discuss and air our problems, solving them once and for all. Yeah, right.
Is it just me? Or can you feel the singularity fast approaching?