Enlightened Conflict

awaiting the end of the world (as we know it)

August 4th, 2015

——————–

crap uh oh

“I don’t pay attention to the

world Ending.

It has ended for me

many Times

and began again in the morning.”

=

Nayyirah Waheed

————————————

Once to every man and nation

Comes the moment to decide

In the strife of truth with falsehood

For the good or evil side.

=

James R. Lowell , 1845

<poem protesting America’s war with Mexico>

———————-

Is the world heading for another Global War?

As I read through the headlines on Yahoo News and other Media Outlets, it seems that there is a lot of anger, posturing, threats, paranoia, fear and distrust being expressed here in the US and elsewhere in the World.

The Iran deal, North Korea threats, Turkey and the Kurdish separatism, ISIS, Syrian revolution, radical groups in Western Africa, failed states in Somalia, Israel/ Palestinian continual war, Russian aggression and the European response.

Is this our reality, or just the manufacture of NEWS that the media creates to fill a 24/7 cycle? Are these all isolated situations or are they an early stage of a 20th century cycle that must repeat itself?

TED Discussion Topic

==============

 

 

 

Well.

 

 

I admit.

 

 

oh no not youI am ready for the world to end … okay … not really … maybe only to stop reading about the imminent conclusion of Life as we know it today as predicted by numerous “experts.”

 

 

It seems a little crazy … but … we sometimes seem to always live on the edge of the end of the world. I thought of this again as I finished my Iran nuclear agreement post yesterday <and scanned the morning headlines around the world online>.

 

 

There is no lack of predictors of doom online, on television or on radio talk shows today.

 

 

But you know what?

 

Being good at predicting doom, and the end, seems like an uneasy contradiction … if you are actually accurate and good at your prediction skills … well … who will be around to actually give you credit for being right?

 

Shit.

 

 

Who would actually want to give you credit?

 

 

In addition … more often than not the predictions are wrong <albeit the predictors are cannily good at <a> finding the random thread that actually did come to fruition or, <b> find the next phase of doom.

 

 

Here is the craziest aspect.

 

Doom prediction is not a generational thing.

 

Every decade, shit, every year has a new doom or Armageddon ‘thing.’

 

 

There is moral crisis <pick the 1740’s, 1880’s, 1910’s, 1970’s and now>.

 

2014 merry crisis

There is economic crisis <pick the anytime in the 1500’s, the 1780’s, the 1890’s & 1920’s, the 1980’s and now>.

 

 

There is unsustainable overpopulation crisis <beginning of the industrial age until now – every year>.

 

 

There is terrorism crisis <every decade in recorded history>.

 

 

There is political crisis <war of the roses time, 1780’s, 1920’s, 1960’s, 1990’s and now>

 

 

Oh.

 

 

And religion all by itself has a long history of ‘end days’ predictions <242 dates list – the full list is below the header: http://www.bible.ca/pre-date-setters.htm >

 

 

 

I cannot remember the first time I heard that the world was going to end because of an existing crisis other than maybe the imminent nuclear attack from the evil empire of the Soviet Union.

 

 

Heck.

 

 

Nostradamus and the Mayans as well as the Christians had the corner on the end of the world predictions until people came along trying to create a variety of manmade end of the world scenarios.

 

 

It has been my fortune that I have ignored the noise enough that no matter my age I haven’t stopped doing what I was supposed to do awaiting the end <I did my homework, I showed up for work, I didn’t quit exercising <thinking that being flabby isn’t the way I would want to go out anyway> and I still fulfilled the painful commitments which could have easily been shirked under the guise of “who will know I didn’t do it.”

thinking trying to

 

 

Maybe it is because at a relatively young age I understood that most end of the world conspiracy theories begin with some crackpot wearing an aluminum foil hat sitting in their mother’s basement teasing out “what if” scenarios from actually was.

 

Maybe I had parents who ignored the bullshit and the foil hat people <who they believed were kooks>.

 

 

So are there any real threats?

 

 

Most of the conventional ways you’ve heard of the world ending are pretty much speculative bullshit.

 

 

Even the original apocalypse, nuclear weapons, falls far short of what was promised/predicted.

 

 

There are simply not enough nuclear weapons to destroy every major city on Earth therefore the entire world as we know it.atomic bomb blast

 

Even in the 1980s, when the global arsenal reached its height, estimates were that 400-500 million might die in a first strike and perhaps double this number in total from famines, plagues, and radiation.

 

I will not bore you with real numbers but that means the vast majority of humanity would survive.

 

 

 

The same numbers apply to any other Armageddon like event you want to worry about.

 

 

Pandemic.

 

 

Having recently worked with a bunch of highly qualified E physicians … I can factually state that we have them all the time.
Before you get all worked up over “what if pandemic scenarios” I will point out that not once in four billion years has a disease mutated to the point where it could wipe out every living creature on Earth.

 

 

Asteroids.

 

 

We only get a major asteroid hit <one that can destroy all major life forms> about every ten million years. Ok. Maybe we are due. But. We are probably at a point where we could spot it and do something about it before it crashed into someone’s living room.

 

 

 

 

Solar Flare.

 

Possible.

 

But lets say it knocks out every electrical device on the planet … at worst we would struggle with regaining our non-electrical footing and most likely set back the economy, the way we live and standard of living several decades.

 

 

Uncomfortable? For sure.

 

Extinction? Not so much.

 

 

aliens attack

Aliens.

 

 

Despite some of those TV shows speculating alien involvement with building the pyramid and such … the Earth has been circling the Sun for at least four billion years with no visitors to date. While there is a chance … it kind of seems like a Dumb and Dumber chance <one in a million>.

 

 

 

Manmade.

 

 

TV movie <see The Day the Earth Stood Still>.

 

 

 

Regardless.

 

 

We <people in general> seem to confuse a variety of common everyday occurrences with Armageddon and “the end.”

 

 

Why?

 

 

 

Let me share 3 reasons.

 

 

– Change <in general>

 

 

hold on let go changeChange sucks and most people balk at changing. As soon as some major innovation that creates a big sweeping change in the way things are done <farming instead of hunting & gathering, printing press, industrial revolution, TV, computers, internet> it is like a tectonic shift within civilization.

Everything gets affected.

 

People freak.

 

Some people freak enough to predict the end of the world as we know it.

Many others wonder of they are right.

 

 

– Different from us <generations>

 

 

Each generation sweeps into the world shoving aside that which was <and how it was done> and puts their own imprint on the world. Each generation doing what is currently being done gives ground grudgingly. And each grudging step, which includes giving something up, seems like a step towards the end of the world as we know it.

 

Some of the ‘I want to hold on to the way it was’ freak out enough to predict the end of the world.

There are enough ‘others’ within their age cohort who wonder if they are right <and comment on it>.

 

 

< I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of The 4th turning by Strauss & Howe which outlines the historical turnings of generations and how our freaking out is cyclical in theme>

 

 

– Different from us <culturally or ideologically>

 

 

This has nothing to do with generations or periods in time … this is simply a constant undercurrent of which current affairs can make the undercurrent bubble to the top.
What we don’t know, or understand, freaks us out.

 

When we see others who do, and act, significantly different from “us” <our country cohort> we freak. We freak because we believe we are living Life right <by the way … so do they>.

 

 

This is a constant and the freaking typically settles in at a ‘slightly uncomfortable feeling’ but nothing that makes us actually feel uncomfortable enough to say or do anything.

 

Most of us.

 

 

There will always be a few who will place the ‘different & differences’ up on a pedestal and start screaming “it will destroy us.” depending on what else is happening in the world at that time others may shift from ‘slightly uncomfortable feeling’ to “maybe we should freak.’

 

 

 

Lastly.

 

 

We confuse what time, in general, does to reshape the world and us:

 

==

New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,

They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;

==

 

 

Life naturally destroys what was, what is … and creates what will be.

 

 

This restless nature of life, which is constantly destroying, can create a sense that EVERYTHING will be destroyed.

 

 

Don’t panic.

panic degrees

 

 

The chances that everything will be destroyed falls into the Dumb and Dumber chances <one in a million>.

 

 

Yes.

 

I will admit <using Orson Scott Card’s words>:

 

———

we do appear to live in a time when people like me, who do not wish to choose the extreme ridiculous, inconsistent, unrelated ideology, are being forced to choose – and to take one whole absurd package or the other.

We live in a time when moderates are treated worse than extremists, being punished as if they were more fanatical than the actual fanatics.

We live in a time when lies are preferred to the truth and truths are called lies, when opponents are assumed to have the worst conceivable motives and treated accordingly, and when we reach immediately for coercion without bothering to find out what those who disagree with us are actually saying.

In short we are creating for ourselves a new dark age – the darkness of blinders we voluntarily wear, and which, if we do not take them off and see each other human beings with legitimate , virtuous concerns, will lead us to tragedies whose cost we will bear for generations.

Orson Scott Card

====

 

 

Orson’s words resonate … and the sense you may get from what he describes is “Armageddon is upon us” but it isn’t.

 

 

It is simply the uncomfortable chafing of culture & civilization trying to find its way. I would also like to remind everyone of something I read somewhere in a book … “all these quarrels had been minor bumps and potholes along the road of a lifetime of respect and trust. When you stop and think about it, what good is a friend who agrees with you all the time?”

 

 

Uncomfortable but what good is a world where everyone agrees with you all the time?

 

 

 

Regardless.

 

 

Here is what I know.

 

 

Don’t panic

 

 

I would guess that if you could visit 2115 you would see a world pretty close to the way it is today.

 

 

Sure.

 

 

Computers, technology and nanotechnology will most likely have evolved to some absurd heights but there will still be suburban barbeques, Amish communities, farm communities and a shitload of regular people doing their own thing.

 

 

So relax, maybe have a drink or go for a run and accept the likelihood that despite all the blowhards on TV and books about the ‘decline of’ or ‘the end of’ there will still be a relatively normal world for our ancestors to inhabit in a hundred years.

Enlightened Conflict