We’ve been under curfew for two nights. 6:00 Sunday, 5:00 Monday.
I like to live in my little ivory tower and avoid interacting with the outside world. I like to write about my chosen topics. I don’t allow comments because I believe they activate the limbic system and turn people into their shadow selves. I don’t want to read that and I don’t think my audience should have to, either.
Politics are not my remit.
I’ve been wrestling with myself on what to say, and how.
“It’s performative, only people who already agree with you will see it, what are you trying to prove”
If this isn’t important, what is?
“It’s dangerous to criticize a totalitarian surveillance state in print”
If I really feel that way, then they’ve already won
“I’m afraid of the police”
I just survived COVID and I’m not afraid of looters or rioters, so is this really my problem?
“But they’re murdering people in public, in broad daylight, on film”
And you think people who are okay with that spend a lot of time reading your blog?
Good point, Self.
Police states are expensive. When a culture gets to the point that vast amounts of its resources are going toward security, nothing much else is getting done.
Slavery, case in point. Slave societies are held back, losing centuries of development. Almost everyone in a slave society is either a slave or an enforcer. It’s an atrocity and an abomination, that almost goes without saying. It’s wrong... but it’s also a bad idea. It creates a backward economy.
This is the same reason we make fun of Communists. They’ve got nothing to brag about, certainly not quality of life, not technological progress, not academic prowess. But their economies perform poorly as well.
This weekend two things happened. We sent astronauts into space from US soil, and police killed an unarmed civilian again.
We have to pick, one or the other.
We can’t have a true Space Age society and also have a police state. If we’re going to be multi-planetary, we need everybody.
That includes police and security guards.
How are we paying for all this? Why is there always more money for another prison when there’s never enough for anything else? Why are there always more prisons when crime rates have been decreasing for decades?
Oh dear, I seem to have made a factual claim again. Let’s try to go back to the abstract.
We need everybody. All brains on deck. We can’t afford to exclude any group of people because then we miss too much. We miss all the brilliant human potential from the oppressed group... and also from the folks with the badges.
I do a certain amount of volunteer work, coaching and mentoring. I worked with a group of foster kids in a special college prep program, there because of a combination of financial need and academic merit. There was a boy in the group who was a foster kid for all the wrong reasons. He had a loving family. He also needed a heart transplant. He was put into foster care because his family couldn’t afford the transportation to get him back and forth to the hospital.
This kid stood out to me because he talked and thought like all the engineers in my professional and social circle. I reached out and emailed him. Turns out he was in a robotics club, which definitely makes him “one of ours.”
I ran into him two years later, in a group of interns touring my husband’s company. Nothing to do with us - it was a coincidence.
We don’t need a model student like him before we can say, Black lives matter. Of course Black lives matter. Anyone who can’t say that at this point can go pound sand. It’s not my job to try to change your mind. I can’t help you, but a therapist might.
The point here is that we, as a society, are wasting a vast amount of human potential. We can keep doing that, and we can keep sliding backward into third-world status. Or we can stop, and instead move forward into a time of prosperity and progress.
Wherever we’re putting our resources right now, it sure seems to involve a lot of staff, equipment, and helicopters.
We’ve done this to ourselves. Pop culture has circled around dystopian fantasies to the point that I believe we have no alternative ideas. We don’t have a real image of what we want or what an appealing future could look like. We forgot all about the Star Trek future that, in some ways, we are living out. Instead we got all caught up in the Walking Dead version.
Technologically, physically, we can have either one.
But not both.
There are enough material resources available at this time in history that every living person could have clean water, food, sanitation, education, and a stable government. These are not complex problems, not compared to drilling a hole on Mars. They are merely complicated problems of ideology and emotion.
Almost every part of the way we live today is the result of human decisions, made by humans. Even this wretched virus has spread as far as it has due to human choices and beliefs. We can decide to do things differently.
We could, if we could agree on anything for five minutes.
At the very least, we need everybody to agree that another way is possible.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies