Eric & all,
Kitty offered a great question about a historical scholar friend who argues that life is so much better now we shouldn’t complain.
From my view there are lots of things you could point out to him. He probably understands that there’s a limit to any one thing. You can also have too much of any ‘good’ thing. An endless explosion of ‘good’ is the most sure way of getting you there. Everything begins with growth, but things that end with it end in sudden disarray. Any of those examples I gave of natural systems that get in trouble with growth essentially do the same thing, keep multiplying what’s ‘good’ until it overwhelms their internal or external relationships.
One of the common descriptions of the phenomenon is the ‘Fairy Tale’ about “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. Do you see any sign of our having unleashed a run-away phantom producing wealth for us, and now going totally out of control?? The most stunning thing about this is that the endless multiplication of ‘wealth’ is the world consensus plan of all the ’smart’ people. Clearly nature is throwing us a major curve, turning our ingenuity against us in a profound way, and we should be both in awe of what’s happening as well as angry and active in questioning everything about it. Continue reading