“And here comes the wind . . . ” “. . . blowing in more change.”
My quote . . . finished by a friend. It is windy this morning. Twenty knots or more in places. Others are more sheltered. Papers will be blown about. Power may flicker and fail. It will blow through. Sunday’s Query sparked commentary, one bit of which was courageous enough to be public. (Check the comments.) My recent life is dynamic, as is true for many because we are witnessing systemic shifts. Wealth disparity, global climate change, technological advancements, and undoubtedly other energies are redefining our lives. To some extent that’s always been true, but I think this time is different. This time the dynamics are global. And I must be aware of the local and the personal.
I enjoy trying to understand large systems, even while realizing that they are inherently chaotic. The details can’t be predicted, but general trends can be reasonably well guessed. There’s a large system sweeping through the neighborhood this morning. The path of individual raindrops is impossible to predict, but I can reasonably guess that my newspaper will be damp. I may not know which way the winds will swirl, but I know the clouds will break in waves against the houses across the bay.
Wealth disparity is inevitable, and possibly healthy as in incentive in small doses, but taken to an extreme it can make the economy unsustainable.
Global climate change has probably passed a critical point, at least from my interpretation of the infamous CO2 chart in Inconvenient Truth.
Technology advancements continue to reinforce Ray Kurzweil’s and others’ predictions of a digital singularity. All three seem to be aiming towards dramatic change by 2045, or sooner. If I assume I can make enough money to keep my house, and if I refinanced on a thirty year mortgage, I’d be debt-free in a different world.
But what will that world look like?
The Occupy Movement isn’t cohesive, but they point to a more egalitarian world, possibly simultaneously more decentralized while many become more urban, possibly relying less on currencies, and definitely avoiding the current incarnations of debt.
Many of the responses to climate change are coming from individual actions, or even from independent actions of organizations, many times in a response to costs: commuting without cars, more efficient products, even more efficient factories.
Electronics are entering lives and even bodies more ubiquitously and with greater acceptance of large portions of the population.
I still haven’t painted a cohesive picture in my head that combines all of those trends, and I don’t worry about it much because I know I’ll get the details wrong, and can’t guess at the interactions. I also know that there are counter forces.
Our large institutions have great inertia and resistant change, but the healthiest will redefine themselves.
The climate is changing, but it involves the largest systems in our lives, which also means we don’t know if there are balancing forces, though I suspect that if they exist they will initiate their own uncomfortable dynamics.
As much as technology changes, many things stay the same because people don’t require change. Basic human interaction hasn’t changed – yet.
And of course, within any thirty year span any system can be disrupted.
Organizations too big to fail can fall because of one action by one individual, whether that’s a CEO or a trading clerk or someone who does something very public and inappropriate at a critical time.
Technologies can sprout up or be abandoned because ingenuity and fashion move markets.
Whenever I consider such a list I wonder why I continue to invest and plan for a “normal” life, yet I know I do so because extrapolating from here and now is necessary to get to tomorrow. Even though I know change is coming, I must still live today’s life because here and now are where I exist and can act.
Within a few tomorrows I expect that I’ll have the same government, that I’ve already altered my lifestyle by choice and by the price of gas, and that I can’t afford any of the technological advances and am glad for the ones I’ve been given.
I wonder more about the interim because it involves races.
Will I be required to relinquish my home because of foreclosure, or will I find enough money from my business, a job, book and art sales, or a windfall; or will the financial institution that is my mortgage company implode from too many bad debts?
Will my various investments, both financial and energetic, finally pay for my patience and persistence, or will the systems they live within change, (and maybe change for the better – as the optimist in me speaks up.)
Will my personal maturation find me a new perspective that redefines my world and which niches that I’ll ponder? (For more about that, check out Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland, both the book and the blog.)
A friend and surfing and island icon finishes his emails with the following quote. (Some of you know him as the drew in drewslist.) I hope he doesn’t mind being quoted.
“Life is a wave. Your attitude is your surfboard.
Stay stoked & aim for the light!”
– Drew Kampion
A personal variation:
We can’t know the details, but we can know what will happen – change.