It’s hard to believe how fast time passes. It seems like yesterday that I was writing my 6 year blogging anniversary post, and here we are for a 7th one. Wow, what a difference one year can make. Not in terms of blogging, but in terms of the state of the world.
We got hit by a global pandemic, which has unfortunately isolated me from the rest of the world in a way. Sitting at home, working from home, and not being in contact with other people can be quite hard. However, it’s something that I need to overcome. Unfortunately, it’s not something I can control.
Another scary thing is how closer we are to the shitstorm that I was afraid was coming. At the beginning of last year, I wrote a series of articles (for example here, and here) on how the current state of society seems to be degenerating into chaos. In a way it mirrors what happened at the end of the Roman Republic.
Similar forces seem to be at play now, as were happening then. While the specificities are different, the general trends are eerily similar. The fall of the Roman Republic can serve as a very good analogy of what can happen if these things degenerate. Unfortunately, things seem to be degenerating faster than I thought they would.
This is especially evident in the US. Cities such as Portland are on fire. Radical extremists from both sides have been driving the discourse, dividing people up, and denying their humanity. If you are not completely with us, then you are against us, has been the motto of the day.
Unscrupulous figures, such as Donald Trump on one side, have been taking advantage of this. As former UK ambassador to the US stated, Trump is uniquely positioned to rise in a world driven by grievances.
“Trump understood grievances, because he was himself a tightly wound ball of deeply held grievances.”–Kim Darroch
Not to forget, that the environment is also taking a beating. Last year, we were inundated with images of fires burning around the world. Large swaths of Australia burned to the ground, creating irreparable damage to the environment, and killing billions of animals in the process. The Amazon was being burned down at a faster rate than before. Places as diverse as Siberia, the Congo basin, or Indonesia were also seeing their forests burning.
This year is more of the same. California has been covered by an apocalyptic orange hue, due to all the forests burning. The Amazon is being cut down, and many other places around the world are in the process of being destroyed. This needs to stop before it’s too late.
I don’t like being a prophet of doom, but the trends have been negative. Being a realistic optimist, I am hoping that humanity sees this and does something before it’s too late. However, at times it seems like the forces of irrationality seem to be on top in recent years.
Humanity needs to take a step back and re-evaluate where it is heading. I don’t think it’s too late, but the state of society isn’t looking good. In the words of professor of philosophy at the University of Mississippi Steven C. Skultety, our current climate is really sick.
“Our current climate is genuinely sick. On the one hand, we are living longer than ever before and living lives with less violence than ever before. Yet, on the other hand, it seems we’re often miserable, filled with disappointment and stress, and angry at the direction of things.“
On a more positive note, in the middle of last year, I finally started making some money from my writing (check out my articles on Medium). While it is still peanuts, it’s nice to have this development. While the push for my writing has always been chiefly intrinsic, as part of my thirst for knowledge and trying to figure out how the world works, sometimes extrinsic pushes are also nice.