Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Bigger Now



102012, Saturday morning, around 07:00

This time of the year, this is really the only time that I have the energy or desire to sit down and write something. This desire to write is complicated by my complete lack of insight regarding or details concerning the way that the world is choosing to attempt self-mutilation. I am blind to the coming storm and I can offer no persuasive insight into how to weather it.

I am progressively more and more jealous of the certainty and assuredness with which my parents and grandparents seemed to hold in their images of the future. They seemed to lead their lives with a certainty of a better future for their descendants that I can't seem to conjure out of the vapor of nuance and conflicting data that is offered me.

My forebear’s certainty of a future culture and society was birthed in a slower world, where the recognition and classification of the incoming events and technologies were performed in a setting where the moment had a longer duration. I don't have that luxury: the grossly abbreviated “now” in which I live twists under my feet like a living thing, thrashing like a large, irritated animal, seeking to dislodge my understanding.

I can't seem to come up with a clear vision for the future, the variables that I monitor give me conflicting and bizarre patterns that are resistant to useful conclusions. I can only seem to fall back into a set of poorly executed risk management strategies which have already failed me many times.

Now...upon reading this, you may think to yourself that you are witnessing an individual's descent into depression. I can't really say that this is the case. I feel fine. I am just frustrated that I am not able to make any sense of this mess. I want more than anything to be able to teach my sons how to understand the world, but I am beginning to think that they, with communal silicon memories and their comfort with instant communication are better suited than I to navigate this new world.

But that is where the main thrust of my inability to comprehend lies. To an old man such as myself, the world of Google-based knowledge and social media based communication; all mediated by an increasingly monitored and built-for-purpose internet seems a slippery and dangerous proposition. There are simply too many ways for things to become too complex and muddled. There are too many ways for too complex structures to become critical and upon their failure, Babel.

So, where do I go from here?  These are questions that have to do with the culture that I live in.  They are not questions amenable to any positive action on my part, they are questions of strategies on how to navigate a complex series of unknowable that are resistant to understanding.  Culture is always opaque, economics are contingent, luck is fickle. 

So, here I sit, an old man in a changing world, doing what all of my ilk have done for millennia, hoping that those who follow me are better at this than I, and wondering what will happen next.

1 comment:

DD said...

I didn't know you had come back above the surface for air; until I googled my own "name."

A pleasure.

"Dorcas' Daddy," aka DD