Saturday, 27 September 2008

Day 27 - Metropolis

This will be quite a disjointed post I think, seeing as how it is being written from my phone and my phone doesn't give me a great indication of sentence/paragraph length.

Another reason it will be quite disjointed is that what I'm going to say hasn't really been thought through properly; this is also a reason why the post might be on the short side, as my argument and points run out of steam.

In coming to London for the weekend, and having spent a good portion of the week thinking about lots of different things relating to futurism, society and open source concepts, I'm wondering whether humans are really meant to live in such massive social and physical constructions. We (in the UK at least, and to some degree I think in the US) see the same headlines rolling around all the time, at least it feels that way...

"Climate change" - "Obesity/Healthcare" - "Terrorism" - "Financial Crisis"

All of these are really complex issues, and we see on the TV and in the papers - well, on news sites - how people are trying to make a dent in them: renewable energy, reducing carbon footprints; education for the young on the importance of living healthily; preaching tolerance and reducing civil liberties; ... hmm, has anyone got an idea of how we approach the economic downturn?!

However it has occured to me that all of them have a root cause that I think is being completely overlooked: we did this to ourselves, not recently, but years and years ago when our ancestors started moving into cities... When we stopped buying food locally and instead bought preserved food shipped from halfway around the world, and later ready meals pumped with calories and chemicals but no nutrition... When we started on a path of exploiting "less developed" nations (for their own good, naturally), preaching "do as I say, not do as I do"... When we bought into the idea of centralised economies and currencies, piggybacking finances from one institution to another, and all the while spend-spend-spending because "hey, why not? And it keeps the economy going!"

We poisoned the well. We got too big for our britches.

Is the real root problem capitalism, and those sneaky, shady, omnipresent corporations? Is it governments running agendas, playing games above our heads? Is it just our own apathy, saying "it'll all work out, now move out the way, Big Brother is on"?

While I can't quite articulate my reasons on the subject yet, I'm beginning to wonder if the problem isn't just something as simple as this: as the size of a society grows the chances of that society failing increases exponentially...

These are all just thoughts, no conclusions, observations without solutions, tapped out on a small object of metal and plastic that wouldn't be possible without modern society.

More soon.

1 comment:

Bilbo said...

I think you're on to something here. I've had similar thoughts as I look at the whole interconnected web of problems and disasters. I'll be interested to see how you develop your ideas.