Thursday, October 08, 2020

The Collapse LV: Unchanged

18 December 20XX

My Dear Lucilius:

I know I have mentioned to you before that the winters here are long. They are longer still when you are trapped inside with literally no where else to go, even if you wanted to.

This is no surprise or mystery to the human condition of living where I live now, of course. It is well documented in the histories and biographies and stories of 100 to 150 years ago. You will read much of what I am experiencing right now: cold, dark, struggles to eat and stay warm, struggles to stay engaged through the endless nagging wind and bitter cold and lack of news and new information.

I have adapted, I feel, relatively well – any time the true reader is trapped anywhere, it is merely an excuse to whip out a volume to catch up on! - but to be fair, I have been living a version of this life for several years now, although perhaps not quite in this “battened down hatches” mode. In that sense, the loss of commerce and interaction has the feel of an unanticipated emergency morphing into a long emergency, hardening into existence by the very reality that many of the outlets to this life – shopping, interaction, new information, rather intermittent power – have moved to stark realities that of unknown duration.

100 years ago this sort of thing would have been the expected norm which be acknowledged as “That is the way is” and followed by “If you cannot stand it, head South”. We, in our modern life and modern conveniences, had come to believe that such thinking was optional.

In meaningful ways the world has not changed. We have.

Your Obedient Servant, Seneca


  1. I wonder how many people even think alternatives exist to what is considered the modern normal. Our current plague should be something of a wake-up call, but then, it seems too few humans know how to thoroughly thinking a thing through.

  2. Leigh, I am in the midst of reading a series of lectures on the Byzantine Empire and we have reached the part of the program where the Western Empire falls apart (476). Really, it was falling part 50 years earlier, but they kept trying to put it back together. Normalcy bias, sadly, seems endemic to the human condition. We do not think of such things because we either cannot imagine anything being as bad as that or we cannot think of anything changing that drastically.


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