Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Civilization's Coming Transformation: An Answer to Last Night's Post

Suffering one of my typical attempts to sleep last night, the insomnia keeping me lucid for an hour-and-a-half after covering myself with sheets, I reflected upon the post I'd written, among many other things. Even after taking Ambien, I never felt the relief that comes of crazy interruptions in my train of thinking, the relief of those harbingers of dreams below the threshold of wakefulness, not for a long time.

I thought of guys taking issue with how I ended my spiel, and felt my eagerness to answer. To begin with, everyone knows the industrialism that tore this state apart, leaving it behind like a facsimile of hell--all you have to do is Google about New Jersey's many Superfund sites--everyone knows that industrialism drove a thriving economy, compared to now.

Accept this--it's gone. It is not coming back.

Some of us have realized this long ago already. A showman con artist can't change our minds about the facts.

What is possible? Given what is, what is to become? What might become is more than ancillary to the inevitable, because it's really up to us, but my habit of thinking assumes an unshakeable optimism, so I always begin with the assumption that the best will be.

This is fundamentally an attitude of more than personal predilection, because grounded in first cause deeper than anything I may derive. I wrote that a flourishing environment means a flourishing society. I heard the imagined protest of someone I know point out that it was for the cave man, too. I thought awhile, and then responded, "Yes, in fact it was."

And I continued, "We're not cave men, and we won't be."

My knowledge of the transformation our civilization hurtles towards, while admittedly, day to day and year to year, we witness change at a slow pace, given economic difficulties persistent, my knowledge lacks, but I know this, as far flung as I seem: Arthur C. Clarke's prediction of science and technology indistinguishable from magic, (A.C. Clarke author of 2001: A Space Odyssey) combined with naturalist E. O. Wilson's belief that we can create paradise on earth, involves more than restoring natural balance; it involves our participation in an artistic, scientific, and technological transformation of given nature. We have stream "restorations" in New Jersey that really amount to creative streamscaping, a humble beginning, but nothing at all to denigrate. I've seen beautiful results and have fished them.

Long ago now, in the 1980's, I read about the shift from industrial to super-industrial civilization...and we want the 1950's back? 

Read Einstein! The 1950's exist. But only exactly as they are. You can't get them back, but we can get the happiness back we really wish for.  

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