Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I've just had a very enlightening discussion with Mr. David Brin, read many of his posts on his blog: http://open.salon.com/blog/david_brin, and a few that he directed me to.

The outcome of which is a little piece of introspection. Mr. Brin correctly points out that the chief ideological divide of our time is not truly Left/Right Liberal/Conservative or really any sort of "political" split at all.

It is rather more precisely a forward/backwards split. It is the divide between walking forward into the future, or running screaming into a never existent "golden era" of a romanticized past. It's the divide between advancing into a uncomfortable future, or demanding we retreat to a mythological "safe womb".  It's the divide between GO and STOP. Between pressing the gas and slamming on the breaks.

I believe in ecological sustainability, but I refuse to support the AGW movement.  Why? Because to me, far too much of the AGW dogma is "STOP!!!!!!".  It's not about FIXING the problem, it's about running away from the problem at top speed by banning carbon emissions, and thus FORCING the world to go back to a "better, more primitive" time that exists only in the collective imaginations of those pining for them. A better solution must be found, and I don't see any signs that one is being seriously looked for. The other side is screaming "STOP!!!!!" just as loudly, but they are pining for the "good old days" before we KNEW THERE WAS A PROBLEM, and little more.Neither side is looking for "progress", only retreat, and any real suggestions for alternate solutions, such as geoengineering, are demonized.

Our world is advancing. It is doing so at an ever faster rate, and those advances are creeping out into society more and more openly. Everything we thought we knew is proving to be just a tiny splash in the potential total of all things knowable, and all the old "certainties" are growing ever shakier. That "steady job" that lasted a lifetime is now one that changes every few years. That "rock solid" certainty we once had, that comforting "wisdom" of knowing "how the world works" is growing more and more tenuous, fading away like a wisp of cloud.

Even in MMOs, we wax Nostalgic, recreating fantasy pasts that never were for our entertainment, looking for that magic we know was never there, and the safety of knowing all that "change" is far away.

But we don't have a choice but to move forward. In our hearts we know that there was never a "golden age" behind us. We've been there, and done that. It's time to stop looking back at a romantic dream, and time to look forward to making that dream better, and to make a future "golden age" with our own hands.

So, this November, don't vote "dem" or "rep" "pro" or "con". Vote for those looking forwards instead of for those who are only looking back.