Can we stop the madness?
At the start of any new year a lot of words are written and spoken looking ahead at what may be. This follows the words written and spoken telling us what we just experienced. And the words written and spoken that reported what was going on.
As social media has blossomed, the amateur and professional punditry industry morphed from a cottage industry into full urban sprawl. The information superhighway has become a prognostic train wreck. “Who’s winning, who’s losing,” “What is the importance of that,” “What will the impact of this be,” “How will X respond to Y’s action,” “How do we make sense of it all?”
Yes, how do we make sense of it all, when all of it seems like an endless stream of blather? Maybe we can’t, and shouldn’t even try?
Do we turn to the immortal words of Dr Timothy Leary? No, not “Turn on, tune in and drop out.” That already failed one generation of wisdom seekers. I’m thinking it’s more:
“People have to go out of their minds before they come to their senses.”
Sure does seem like we’ve gone a little crazy lately. Is it a good, necessary thing this individual and semi-collective madness? Are we driving ourselves crazy with all the chatter? What’s the point of all this anyway?
Is there light at the end of this tunnel of words? If so, is the light one of enlightenment, madness or an oncoming train? For sure there will be differences of opinion. Each expressed with conviction and confidence.
But, as HL Mencken once observed:
“Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.”
Right. Why do we spew so many words? (I’m a repeat offender, obviously.)
Is it that we must, to progress? Stephen Hawking thought so:
“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn't have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”
Sigh. Beam me up Stephen, I’m not sure I can take much more…