Is it just me, or is the world is in a really bad spot right now?
Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:27 AM
Can the summer festie season start already so I can take my mind off the BS... Blah.
Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:15 AM
I feel this way too. It is so overwhelming. The GMO food killing people, the pollution, the uneven (and unfair distribution of wealth), the rightful hatred other countries have towards us. I'm almost at the point of no longer watchign the news or following politics. Sometimes I just want to shut the cable off, cancel my subscriptions and live in my garden....create my own beautiful reality without dependance on the very principals I hate.
Posted 05 November 2013 - 04:03 PM
The world has probably often seemed to be in a really bad spot; each spot seeming worse than the ones of the past because at the time of now we don't know how to deal with whatever it is, it seems intractable and possibly fatal; we don't have the knowledge of hindsight. History is not my strong suit, but I'd wager that to the people facing the first world-scale war it probably seemed horrible. To the people facing the menace of the tens of millions dead and the fanatic domination of the second world war, it probably seemed like the end could be near. Certainly the development of nuclear weapons, what with their first ever ability to wipe out most of the life on this planet, brought fears that were bigger and more weighty than any that came before. The plagues where one or two of every three people were dying -- and no one had a clue why -- probably seemed like a bad spot.
Still, I do think there is something unique about where the world is now. And by "now" I mean the century or so surrounding today. We have crossed into multiple new territories that are global in nature and go against much of what has been central to humans (and all creatures) for all of our evolution.
We live in a global world now. This has been coming for, what, 500 years or so. But the reality of being really global -- when cause and effect are so closely related -- is only maybe 100 years old. And many of the biggest changes are newer than that. Airplanes. Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. Diseases that can span the globe. Pollution that can travel from it's source site to the entire globe. Connection of people's ideas and information that travels at the speed of light. There are all changes that require fundamental shifts in how we think about things. And they have all happened so fast that there are those amoung us that were alive before any of these. We forget sometimes how huge that is.
Another fundamental shift, related but to that one but different, is our ability to get and produce more than we need. For all of evolution humans and animals have lived with scarcity. We almost never had a sure food supply. Or water. Or shelter. It was always in danger. It still is today, but for many -- it effectively isn't. I remember asking my mother when I was young why sugar should taste so good to us if it's so bad for us. Evolution has molded us for thousands or millions of years to be a certain way. But now, in just a few decades, everything has changed. All those instincts have been rendered exactly wrong. No longer should we eat all we can while we can. No longer is the environment so expansive that nothing we do can change it. No longer can we make rational decisions only from our own experiences -- because we no longer have direct experience of all the things that we affect and that affect us.
I'd like to take the time some day to really develop the concept in this last paragraph. I have not done it near justice. But I hope the idea shine through anyway. ~ The documentary "Progress Trap" speaks to some of what I'm trying to say here.
So, are we in a bad spot? I think we are.
On a personal level each of us has to struggle with (or bend with or come to terms with, etc.) how to deal with information overload, how to make choices in a system where much is abstracted from us, how to eat in ways that go against our biology, how to handle our time in ways that go against everything we've evolved to be.
On a species level we have to rework our fundamental assumptions. We need to find a way to change from an unlimited growth model to one of sustainability -- but this is not how we think, "native" habits not withstanding. We need change to realize we are all in this together and are not separate tribes -- but no culture has really had to be that way before, not at the absolute scale we have to now. We have to "think globally" -- but while that is easy to say and while that phrase has been around for 50 or so years, it's fighting against millions of years of training.
Or maybe we are in the final stages of waking up from history. We may be only 100 or so years from utopia. In order to not destroy ourselves we almost certainly have to find a way to live in harmony with the entire planet, with all it's people, with all it's animals, with all it's natural systems. Humans do have the seeds of destruction within us, but far stronger is the drive to survive.
Once we face and work out the challenges and obstacles of being sustainable (which probably means peaceful) the world over, we may be in near utopia. We will not have just visualized world peace, but attained it.
That is not to say there won't be new challenges. There will always be wonderful things we want to explore and things we want to accomplish. That is also not to say there won't be danger. I can think of a couple of really challenging things that might happen "next" to keep rocking this boat.
Anyway...not worded as well as I'd like, not as cohesive or coherent. But I say: Yes, we're in a bad spot. Yes, it's different than ever before. But this situation may also be one that can turn to a bigger "win" than ever before. Already there violence across the globe is decreasing. The signs are not all bad.