Does anyone know what the hell is going on?
I think we’re all bumbling our way through. Everyone. Even the ones who think they have their shit together are desperately trying to keep up appearances lest they be Found Out and the other investment bankers stop inviting them to their coke parties. At some point we are all going to stop, and look at each other, and realise no one knows what they’re doing. No one knows how to be human, or an adult, and the fabric of society will collapse. People will run screaming through the streets, until we all get it out of our system and we realise nothing is stopping us from all getting drunk at 2pm and filling a swimming pool with ice cream.
And then, eventually, we will realise that we need things like rubbish collection and indoor plumbing, and for those things to happen a lot of other things need to happen too, or it wouldn’t be fair, so grudgingly we’ll all go back to eating like we know tomorrow will come, and exchanging money for goods and services.
Only this time, it will be different.
We’ll have seen each other naked at the drunken ice cream pool party. We’ll look into one another’s eyes and know that none of us have any idea what we’re doing, that we’re all vulnerable, scared, hairless monkeys desperately trying to work out who we are and what sort of world we live in. Perhaps we will be kinder to one another. Perhaps we will be less afraid.
Yet I love humanity. Each moment we find out more about the universe and each moment we try to remake the world to be a little better, and we have big dreams but no plans. We pull in all different directions, pointing things out and picking things up, eternally curious, eternally inventive, telling stories every moment. We’re a vast group of children, all with their own ideas of what to play, arguing and fighting and laughing, playing pretend and showing each other the things we’ve found. Everyone has their own obsessions, their own dreams, their own terrors.
And it could kill us. Maybe none of us know what we’re doing, but it’s nice if the people in charge can at least keep up the pretence. The people yelling about the oncoming train that is climate change are not the same people driving the car, who have apparently decided the middle of the tracks is a nice place to stop and have some sandwiches. The people warning about the potential dangers of surveillance and AI are being eclipsed by the newest shiny rock. We’re too excited by what’s over the next hill to slow down and plan in case it turns out to be rabid honey-badgers.
That’s humanity. That’s how we do things.
We’re rebuilding mammoths while the ice caps melt.