By Joan Mulvihill.
The future – which bit? Next year, decade, century, millennium? I have struggled to write this for the past month because I’ve honestly never felt more confused about the future – mine, this technology, this country or this world. I am not past caring about Donald bloody Trump or flipping Brexit but with the prospect of virtual reality and augmented reality and the dehumanisation of humanity does it really matter if there’s a lunatic in the White House or mayhem in Westminster?
It probably does matter in the short to medium term. But longer term will any political policies implemented right now not be un-doable in four or eight years? In the grand scheme of our infinite universe will a four year setback in the fight against global warming be the undoing of us all? It’s not good and it’s not right but is it really the end of the world? The end of the whole world?
I wonder… could I write this entire piece as a series of questions? Is it not arrogant to suppose that any of us can talk about the future in any other way? Who am I to think I know what happens next or how this will all play out? Does Mark Zuckerburg really believe that those fake news stories were an algorithmic accident or anomaly? Is Edward Snowden a spook or a crook? Does he really think that the governing classes are in cahoots with Google and Facebook to mislead and misdirect us? And to what end? Are they really trying to control global group think (as I suggested in my very first Congregation post four years ago)? Was I right or was I lucky to have ‘predicted’ it might be the case?
And who cares who is right and who is wrong? Should the questions not be bigger than this? Should they not be questions of how we have arrived at this point on this particular trajectory? Who is leading us there and do we trust them? Are Trump, Farage and Johnson just the stooges on the set of at play that is being scripted by unknown darker forces? Do I trust anything I read anymore?
Does it matter how I live my day? Am I not so small and irrelevant in the scheme of time and space that my life is pointless? Does it need to have its own point or are we all trudging along to the same end-point? Is any day not just another series of meaningless chit chats that will be forgotten by the time the coffee cup has dried and the cigarette is stubbed out? Is my day just the consuming or accumulating of material crap that I don’t really need? Or stuff that I do need but just so that I can live another day in some greater relative comfort or competition?
Is it possible that I am maybe a little depressed? Is it utterly self-indulgent to even contemplate the big future when there are so many people trying to figure out the next few hours or days of theirs? Simple questions like will I get to eat today? Will I have somewhere to sleep tonight? Is someone going to rain bullets on my head when I walk out the door? Will I make it to the door? And when faced with those questions facing so many people what am I supposed to do?
Who can I look to for leadership? Why am I waiting for someone else to lead me? I am waiting, passively and selfishly waiting…for the future? I am lost and I am waiting… waiting to be found? And if I was to be found, I would ask to be returned… to address unknown.