A thread for thoughts or questions that pop into your head that don’t necessarily warrant a thread. Here’s one that came to mind just now.
In some of the news I see today, I react with dread. For example, I saw this tweet:
Due to a pulse of abnormally warm air, the North Pole could rise above freezing this weekend in the dead, dark of winter. In recent days, the northernmost weather station in Greenland lingered above freezing for 24 hours. https://t.co/T2667xP2xm
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) February 22, 2018
Sometimes I feel like we’re doomed because we’re stupid or dysfunctional. But then this thought came to mind: 40 years ago, somebody likely felt the exact same way I did. I mean, if you go back to the Cold War, a nuclear apocalypse wasn’t something people worried about, over-population, the ozone layer disappearing. My guess is that you could go back forty years from that point, and someone would be feeling–with justification–a similar level of dread and doom.
Here’s what I’m wondering. What if the world has always had really dreadful problems, but the difference is that an individual, at a certain point in their life, gains enough knowledge and insight to actually become aware of that? In other words, the world isn’t really worse off per se, but it feels that for the individuals who have reached a point of awareness.
Actually, I don’t know if I’m comfortable with this. The problems now could indeed be worse than in the past; and even if they’re not, they could be bad enough to be seriously catastrophic. That is, there’s no guarantee that human life will continue.
Still both situations could be true: Individuals who reach a certain point may realize how bad things are, and things may also be uniquely bad. I don’t know, it’s just a thought.