It's darker here.


DTG: 07:03 Monday, 21 March 2022

It feels as though I'm living the latter days of my life in one of the dystopian science fiction novels I used to read when I was young. This is not the familiar world I lived in until about 2010.

It's probably imprecise to locate the inflection point at 2010, but I think whatever trajectory we were on changed then, became worse.

I used to imagine that it would be the effects of cascading climate catastrophes that would bring about the collapse of civilization. I didn't think it would be plain, old-fashioned geo-politics and the greed and vanity of power-hungry men. Certainly, climate change will play its role, but I think it's just going to be the crushing coup de grace.

Something could come along to alter the equation, I suppose. A truly sentient AI, if it were benevolent, might be able to compute a way to thwart our worst instincts. But then, we'd probably try to kill it.

It changes the way I look at much of the world today. It really does look like a novel from, what, 70s? 80s? Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar comes to mind. Much of cyberpunk. Walter Jon Williams, what was the one with the panzer boy, though today I suppose he'd be a panzer boi. I think he based that somewhat on Zelazny's Damnation Alley.

Except those dystopian futures were kind of static in their setting. A snapshot in time. The real end of the world stuff was usually the province of post-nuclear holocaust novels, like Alas Babylon.

I probably won't live long enough to see the actual "end of the world." I hope. With Putin on the blitz, I suppose anything's possible. A bright flash, then... oblivion.

But when I look to the future, I don't see gleaming cities (hopefully walkable), a pristine environment, a thriving, diverse biosphere. Space travel. I mean, like, actual space travel. Tourists. Like Heinlein's story about finding that kid lost on the moon, separated from her parents. Billionaires might vacation on the moon, for a while. But not, you know, us.

I see a run, hide, fight future the Republicans seem to be promising us. And doing their level best to deliver it too.

It kind of makes me sad. But then I try to recall zen. What's wrong right now? Just be cool. Live one moment at a time. That's all we have.

Just moments to live.

The German War

DTG: 06:05 Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Finished reading The German War yesterday. Wow.

It's a lot to take in. I feel like I learned a great deal, but it's also made me think there's a great deal more I need to learn. Because I'd like to comment on it; but I feel like I don't know enough to comment on it intelligently.

It's a sad book, and depressing and it will resonate with people because of current events, and past ones too.

I started a post here yesterday I was going to call The Trauma of Lies. But as soon as I started writing it, I felt like I didn't know enough to say anything meaningful.

But there's this, I think. Lies work. They ultimately lead to suffering and misfortune on an enormous scale across generations, but they work. In the short term, people with plans and ambition can use lies and deception to achieve their aims. And people who believed those lies will become victims of them, and will wrestle with them forever, as will their descendants.

We're still struggling with the lies of the American Civil War.

There are people I know who still believe we invaded Iraq because we thought Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. That was a lie, but they don't believe it was a lie. They just think we were wrong. They can't wrap their brains around the fact that someone they respected lied to them, deliberately. They just want to believe they got the intel wrong.

Because the liars will never admit they lied.

And this will be a festering wound forever.

Lies and greed and ambition will be our undoing.

It's darker here.