Tuesday, December 08, 2015

A Slow Curtain Descent

I sit here as I write this, surrounded by all the comforts of 2000 years of technological advancements.

I have lights that burn more brightly than any torch with no danger of fire.  At the touch of a hand, I have hot water for showers and cold water for coffee - in both cases, the water is drinkable and I have no fear of disease.

In the background I hear the hum of a refrigerator that keeps foods which 100 years ago would have been considered exotic unspoiled and available.  A click and heat floods the house without any effort on my part.   I am surrounded by books, the knowledge of 3000 years at my personal disposal. And all of this sits in a hose made not of earth or logs or skin but bricks and wood, sturdy to shield me from wind and weather.

Even as I write this I have the reach of the entire globe at my fingertips, thanks to the Internet.  I can see far away lands in real time, speak with people on the other side of the planet.  The vistas of far off places and the knowledge of all known cultures is available for the taking.

I sit here, surround by all of this - and yet I am troubled by the fact that I slowly feel the curtain coming down.

You may laugh at me of course.  Call me a fool or a "doomer" or what have you.  But I find myself surrounded by a world where more knowledge and material wealth is available than ever and yet the hearts of people are more and more empty, more and more consumed with their own version of fulfillment with no interest or care about how things make their way to them.  A water tap is always there to be turned on and yet no-one thinks of the system behind where that water comes from.  A tomato is eaten in December and no-one thinks of the hothouse half a world away that it was grown in.

Our wants have become our needs and our empty hearts seek to fill them with these things.  What happens, I wonder, when in the pursuit of our hearts those that seek end up destroying all around them?  If people can not or will not work, where do things come from?  Who is John Galt indeed.

And ever so slowly, the curtain seems to descend on the 1,000 year night.

I will very much miss coffee.

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