Consider the time of my youth. We had just kicked the Jerries butts and had Ivan by the throat and we slowly and surely throttling him. Science was kicking ass, penicillin and nuclear power, computers and television. Janitors at the elementary school raised families with the wife staying at home to take care of the kids. Life was grand.
But slowly, over the past fifty years, the bloom has been coming off the rose. Truth be told, the damn thing is looking just a bit scraggly.
I grew up in a world that is quite different than the one that is available today. Some folks will try to tell you that we can go back to that old world of wealth and largess, but I really think that they are selling false dreams. It has been my opinion for thirty or so years that we are living in the days of decline. But I have always been confident that we will find a way through the puzzle. The world will not be the same as it is today, or was in the past, it will be a different world. I just can't make out the details.
But out there in the good ol' USA, there is a conflict between two sadly obsolescent world-views. Both claim to be the wave of the future. Both are rooted in a different phony past. Both are following nothing I could name.
The first is the "Fuck it, human extinction is here!"
The second is "Screw it, the singularity is here!"
Has no one heard of a middle ground?