"Trigger Warning"This is going to be a long and serious post, probably the first of a series because I wouldn't reach anyone if I wrote a single treatise. This will be long, dense, you may likely disagree with some of it, I may even ramble at points, and it'll be as clear as I can make it, but having just completed a 2000-mile road trip across a good portion of the US with plenty of time to ponder, think through, and consider, I felt the need to get this out of my head in some way. It's an attempt to try and see everything from above, to do what humans do and try and make sense of the disconnected details of daily life in 2018.
Prologue (Yes, a Prologue)I'll start with what I think is a reasonable point in history: the 2016 election that took place here in the United States. Since that event, global society has gone through some motions - some expected, others not, still others that were suggested though but arrived differently than imagined - that make humanity's future (again taken globally) more uncertain and less determinate in the sense that we don't know where the current leaders, economics, technology, or the systems that underpin any of these. To be sure, never before have we had more tools for prediction of all sorts of things than we now have. But we still cannot predict the future, and while we can make reasonable projections, it's still hard for us to see how things will work out to arrive at the destinations our data models suggest.
My Point (or, Abstract of a Pop-Culture Player)To get to the main point lest I lose too many people early, there is underway a massive turn-over of the old ways and a birthing of new orders in several key facets of daily life, but, perhaps sooner than we expect, life as anyone currently knows it. I'm not about to knit a web of conspiracies or well-laid plans of nefarious intent; I shudder at the thought of my providing additional power to base means of thought we would all be better off without.
What I care about is how people - my kids, my fellow citizens, my fellow humans - will get on with their lives peaceably, with security, power in self-determination, with the ability to make their own happiness without unreasonable or overly judicious intrusion of law or government. The state of all of those things is in serious question perhaps more so than ever.
There is too much poverty - in any country - at a time of seemingly expansive wealth humanity has never before fathomed as companies tread near 13-figure market valuations, and the notion of the world's first trillionaire individual is seen as likely within a couple decades.
The negative impact of humanity on its worldly environment has reached a tipping point when we consider the proliferation of trash bogs in our oceans and an expanding population with worsening air quality.
Authoritarianism has seen a halting resurgence around the globe as global coalitions meant to protect the weak and vulnerable have frayed at the seams first sewn by its very creators.
Technology is more ubiquitous and inexpensive than it ever has been while many of its unexpected substantial drawbacks are only now becoming known and felt at the national and global level politically.
Jobless numbers balloon and workers' rights contract or fail to take root altogether as a result of what is viewed as cutting fat and cost out of economic systems and beliefs that put indefinite up-and-to-the-right thinking and expectations above anything else.
Economic and social divides are solidifying from symptoms we did not fully see nor could reasonably quantify and comprehend until their effects have begun pushing institutions off their foundations.
There is *a lot* happening, and while there are positives anyone can find in the news, they don't seem to be serving as sufficient counterweight to the negatives, or even as appreciable stumbling blocks for them.