Monday, August 18, 2014

Why I don't want to live in a pre-apocalyptic world

*

We're in one of those times again.

The news is full of bad things happening to normal people just because they happen to be poor, or because they live in disputed lands, or because they want to change something and someone more powerful says no. I don't even watch the news because it's an endless stream of "this horrible thing happened justnow", and still all my info-feeds are flooded with Bad News.

Also:

I've been looking up more and more information on taking care of myself and raising my own food, and more and more often, the only resources I can find come from prepper sites. I have nothing against preppers--we have a lot of interests in common--but why is it only preppers who are gathering the info on how to live Knowing How To Do Stuff? And why are there so many preppers lately?

It means that on all sides, I'm being hit in the face by actual facts of what's starting to look like the unraveling of society, and the highly slanted interpretations of people who think it's already collapsed and They just haven't told us yet, and the end result is this super-unhappy world view that isn't mine, but seems intent on either worrying about the end of the world or actively creating it.

And I have some problems with that.

One:
Believing that the end of the world is super-close tends to inflict a sort of fight-or-flight response. It makes you shore up your defenses, worry about your safety more than is warranted, focus on the continuing stream of further bad news, and that means you aren't focusing on what you can actually do to stop it, reverse it, change the future. You've decided on one, and it's a bad one, and you're afraid of it. And fear is contagious.

Two:
Assuming that the future is bad is basically the same as assuming there's no future at all, and that's the same mindset that set up a lot of the problems we're now facing--the idea that what happens right now is more important than the fallout, and that our kids and grandkids can just suck it up and live in our waste. Which is often toxic, but that doesn't matter because the old guys who put it there are all going to be dead and still rich by then.

Which is suicidal, on a planetary scale.

Three:
How can we possibly do anything about it if we're all stuck on the fear that this is all we have because we're all going to die soon anyway?

It's a really destructive view of the world, and it's mostly ours--other countries are thinking of optimistic futures where they get to the Moon and build colonies, where they catch up with Western industrialization and pull themselves out of poverty and have some say in the working of the world as a whole. One of the reasons we've been losing thinkers to overseas is that we're so focused, as a society, on this idea that everything is falling apart, we're not looking at the places where maybe it's not. And it's those places where the answers that keep it from falling apart will come from.

So:
The pre-apocalypse is the stages right before everything falls apart, where you can see it falling and you can defend yourself against it--but also where the idea that it's falling is making the falling worse. I choose to not live in that mindset.

At least, not entirely.

I want to grow my own food and have more control over my own life, yes, but I also want to make a better future that I'd he happy to hand to my kids and grandkids**, and world where they feel like they can do anything and solve problems in ways that don't make further problems. A world that feels like it has open borders, not heavy bunker walls.

We're in one of those times right now. But how often, through the history of mankind, have we been in one of those times? How often just since I've been alive? We made it through the Cold War; I watched the Berlin Wall come down on live television when I was ten. We can do that again. We can always make it through.

If everyone agrees that there is a through and a way to get there.




NOTES:
*A pic of my jewelry-stand, uber-filtered on random in Vignette (the one thing I like more than iOS, since it doesn't seem to be available anywhere but Android).
**Or my sister and brother's kids and grandkids, if I never get around to having my own.
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