I Was Told There Would Be A Handbasket
Anti-vaxxers. Plague enthusiasts, if you’d rather.
Fear of GMOs.
Believers that Organic is anything more than a marketing term.
Moon landing hoaxers.
Climate change denial.
Acupuncture and cupping.
And on and on and on.
The stupid is everywhere.
“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…” ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.
Me too, Carl. Me too.
Only I’m worried about more than just America. I’m worried that I live in a world where a substantial portion of the adult population believes that their opinions count the same as facts, that personal beliefs trump science, that shouting something loud enough and long enough makes it true.
Actually, I’m not worried that I live in that world. I do live in that world. I’m worried that there’s nothing I can do about it, that any action against it is a losing battle, and that my children or grandchildren might actually end up living in a new round of the Dark Ages with a little more technology available.
I’m worried that for some substantial portion of the adult population it’s easier to dismiss someone who disagrees with them as less than human than to spend a few seconds thinking and talking to find out where they have common ground to work from.
I’m worried that the blatant misinformation campaigns that governments, organizations, and corporations engage in that so many people seem to swallow without thought.
I’m worried about the global trends towards populism and authoritarianism.
I’m worried how alarm bells about climate change have been ringing for decades but it’s still somehow a political issue and not a survival one.
I’m worried about the ever-increasing trend of corporate irresponsibility and unrestrained capitalism grinding our society into dust.
I’m worried that so many of the people in power seem to have no real concept of the complexity of running a society or even the basic issues that go into it.
I’m worried about the baggage retrieval system they’ve got at Heathrow.
Okay, maybe not that last one. But I am worried that I’ll never find enough focus to deal with any of it in any meaningful way and that there are so many people out there who feel the same.
And, let’s be honest, I’m worried that maybe the human species isn’t worth saving and that we need to evolve or die out to give another species a shot at the big chair.
And that last statement IS NOT ME. I’ve always lived in the belief that there’s hope for the future, for things to get better, for humanity to outgrow the childish and brutish behaviours that we’ve indulged in for most of our history.
So maybe the isolation of things is starting to get to me a bit.
But I am worried.
Stay safe and be well, everyone.by