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Some Addendum Thoughts on 2016/2017

This is sort of a continuation/expansion of my 2016 Report, based on some things I've noticed and/or thought about over the past few days.

There seem to be two basic ways people are approaching 2017 in their minds.

Version One:
"I'm gonna kick 2016 in the balls, shove it down the stairs, and run over its corpse with a bulldozer. Then 2017 will be the most AWESOME YEAR EVAR!!!!1!"


Version Two:
Everyone: "2016 was the worst year ever. It couldn't possibly be worse!"
2017: "Hold my beer."


It seems to me that both of these approaches have the same core problem, which is deciding beforehand what the result is going to be. And honestly, the former strikes me as being an overcompensatory attempt to preclude the latter– that is, people are afraid it's just gonna suck even worse, so they are shouting "LA LA LA IT'S GOING TO BE AWESOME" to counter it. The problem with that, of course, is that if it does suck, you're going to be all the more disappointed, whereas if you assume it's going to suck, you at least have the cold comfort of having been right.

Yay?

I don't advocate either of these views. 2017, just like 2016 before it, is an arbitrary unit– a creation of our own minds, mutually agreed on. The universe doesn't care if our calendar ticks off another round or not, it just keeps on doing what it does without start or end. A new year only has as much meaning as we assign to it. If we weren't tracking the passage of years, we wouldn't know that "2016 sucked," all we would know is that a bunch of shit happened.

We don't know what tomorrow (or any other measurement of time) will bring. Even the best, most informed prognosticators can only make educated guesses. Humans have an amazing knack of convincing themselves that if yesterday was sunny, and the day before was sunny, then it must mean that every day will always be sunny forever and that we're going to have a never-ending beach party before we all die of thirst.

The future will have flying cars and jetpacks. Why would you want a camera on your phone anyway?

I don't know what 2017 will be like, and my friend, you don't either. Blanket statements of "fact" that 2017 will be the awesomest, or even worse, say more about your beliefs and intent than they do about anything that manifestly exists in the "real" world.

There is certainly reason for hope: the general historical trend is for the world to get better over time. But that's not a guarantee, it's just a trend. There are lots of different ways the future could play out, and if we allow things to go to crap we could very well end up in the darkest timeline.

But that's where intention and action come in. If you want things to be better, you need to help shove the boulder of the world in a better direction– in whatever form that takes. Assuming that the result is predestined, for good or ill, shouldn't be allowed to be an excuse for inaction. In the words of Gandalf, "Surely you don’t disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself?"

Or to put it another way, if you don't take a hand in bringing about the awesome future you're hoping for, how is it supposed to get here?

The future will be better because we will fight to make it so.

-The Gneech

This entry was originally posted at http://the-gneech.dreamwidth.org/2638233.html. You may comment there or here.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
sirfox
Dec. 31st, 2016 05:36 pm (UTC)
The final gifset is perfect.

I'd like to take this moment and opportunity to thank all of the SF/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy authors who have written us cautionary and now Instructional Dystopian novels. We are better prepared to resist the worst of what's to come because we are better armed knowledge of How This Story Can Go.

I'm a folk music person at heart, so in the Coming economic and political fusterclucks to come, i'm looking forward to some really good songs. Mister Yankovich, i'm looking at you and your ilk, and will try and play my part.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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