The pandemic is just the start

I have been looking at the brighter side of things but also been pragmatically thinking about the future.

Its been a while since I heard from Noam Chomsky and this speech with additional footage is powerful I have been thinking a lot about the near future beyond this pandemic.

First of all, I do think we are talking about a long run on covid19, I suspect it will be Q3-4 when the vaccines actually become available to everyday people (people who are not at high risk, on the front line or anything like that). Pinning our hopes on things going back to the old normal is not going to happen. Heck even my mum the other day said this to me on our last family call! We already prepared ourselves to not spend the festive season together.

The festival season also brings to the UK, the harsh ramifications of Brexit. Something a lot people have blocked out of their mind as they focus on Covid19. Don’t even get me started about the this as its deeply upsetting and really encourages me to just leave this country.

However as Noam talks about in his speech, the elephants in the room (I would say blackswans but they are not because we are very aware of these, or at least we should be!).

  1. Global nuclear war
  2. Environmental collapse

Its clear if Trump wins another term as president of America, the countdown to both global nuclear war and environmental collapse will be so much closer than we can imagine. The election is a concern for many reasons but nuclear war and environmental collapse is something we should all be aware and thinking about; and I don’t mean disappearing into our escape pods.

We already passed the point of no environmental change but we are actively increasing accelerating things including future pandemics. Imagine pandemics are simply a side-effect of our environmental impact. That I feel gives it the real scope of the challenge in front of us.

This can all be a harsh reality kick in the teeth. But honestly see it as a kick up the ass for us all. Together we can do it but we all have to acknowledge the reality and look beyond the current pandemic.

Civilization is falling apart?

Junk found on the beach
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

I like a lot of what Umair Haque writes but this one titled 2020 is a Warning That Our Civilization is Beginning to Fall Apart. I will be frank is pretty terrifying. I say terrifying not from a fear point of view although its pretty scary for that. Almost all the points Umair makes, I find it very difficult to counter them in any reasonable way.

Are you beginning to get what I mean by “accelerating pulsation of disaster” yet? As we head into the age of catastrophe, a new range of calamities will become our dismal new normal. They’ll recur, in cycles. Only each time the cycle spins, they’ll get worse and worse. Megafires, megafloods, pandemics, extinctions.

His lasting point is strong and draws lot for us to think/reflect on.

Its extremely sobering to read and worth it even if it doesn’t offer any strong solutions

Occupy everything?

Occupy London, 9 November 2011

I’ve said nothing about the movement…

The last #smc_mcr was all about and raised a ton of interesting debate, which I’ve seen played out elsewhere.

One of the best observers of the occupy movement I’ve seen is from Media Theorist Douglas Rushkoff, he’s his piece on CNN of all places

To be fair, the reason why some mainstream news journalists and many of the audiences they serve see the Occupy Wall Street protests as incoherent is because the press and the public are themselves. It is difficult to comprehend a 21st century movement from the perspective of the 20th century politics, media, and economics in which we are still steeped.

One of the biggest problems have with occupy is the lack of a coherent and mass adopted message. Rushkoff is right, this notion is very 20th century and our media isn’t setup to deal with these new type of movement/message. I made the comment at that in the same way the terrorists adopted a decentralised method to bomb there targets, also made it extremely difficult (some would say impossible) to find and stop them.

I know comparing the occupy movement to a suicide bombers is a leap and half, plus its not ideal but the idea of a decentralised movement is scary to the powers that be.

People are very upset, be it the 99% upset with the 1%, wall street, rising unemployment, rising oil prices, the lack of helium, whatever. Its enough to make people stand up and say there simply not happy.

Anyone who says he has no idea what these folks are protesting is not being truthful. Whether we agree with them or not, we all know what they are upset about, and we all know that there are investment bankers working on Wall Street getting richer while things for most of the rest of us are getting tougher. What upsets banking’s defenders and politicians alike is the refusal of this movement to state its terms or set its goals in the traditional language of campaigns.

How they say there not happy is another story of course…. But it reminds me of pay it forward in nature. Simple rule set in which you can frame your own movement.

Take shelter or Occupy? Thats the question, as we head into 2012 and a collapse of our man made systems and way of life.

…in the process, they are pointing the way toward something entirely different than the zero-sum game of artificial scarcity favoring top-down investors and media makers alike…