When Hope Fades.

Sitting and writing the first chapter of the project was pretty fast and fun. Of course, there was a symphony of distractions, but when that happens you just find the right rhythm to go with them.

Having gotten the first chapter done, I started thinking about how to get to the 2nd chapter, did some research and decided that the 2nd chapter will be different. Tomorrow, I rewrite the first chapter after I sleep on it and get to the 2nd chapter.

Having done that, I picked up a new book from my reading stack and delved in to forget about the project for a bit. I came across this:

When hope fades, anger flourishes.

Lawrence Lessig, “They Don’t Represent Us” (2021)

That to me is poetry. It fits times I felt anger in some way or the other, being cornered or when the hope that others will behave better or do better is lost. What he’s writing about is ripe with that issue, and his book hopes to provide hope, I suppose. It’s been interesting so far, I recommend it particularly if you’re American.

In a world where instant gratification is sold as a tangible item maybe hope lasts only 47 seconds anyway. The world is coming at people faster these days and there’s more of it.

There are days I reminisce about waiting a month for a printed magazine, checking the bookstore to see if it got there earlier, so that I could have some insight into technology, the world, and maybe find out what the humans around the world were up to. Time magazine, National Geographic, Byte Magazine… portals into other parts of the world opened once every 30 days and then back to life for another 30 days.

Now we’re being bombarded with shit that’s spun not through a fan, but some specialized shit shredder that lets you build your own shit stories in your head from the temporally disparate scraps, based partly on landmines of truth someone accidentally left in, like corn. No wonder there’s a general lack of hope turning to anger. Nobody knows what’s going on, nobody’s trusted to tell the truth, and when they do there’s a distrust in it because it doesn’t smell like the rest of the stuff we’ve been covered in.

You have some corn on your nose. There. Got it.

I have some bad news, though. We’re producing what we’re wearing. No, not you as an individual, that would be something you would have to see a doctor about – well, we all would, I suppose. No, I’m writing figuratively about society.

If people would just take a deep breath and stop watching, listening to and reading all the crap out there and demand a substrate of truth that is regularly watered, I imagine we would have more hope. There was a time when for fiction, I went to the comics and horoscopes in newspapers, but now I just look at the cover page. I’m sure some of it is real, but it’s so distant and unable to be changed that it may as well be fiction.

If Jean Luc Picard jumped out when I was scanning the headlines and said, “Quick, come with us, we need your help to save the universe”, I’d likely arch an eyebrow and say, “Fascinating.” Clearly he came through a rip in the space-time continuum, and whatever’s happening there would seem a lot better than what’s happening here.

But hope is not lost, and so anger shouldn’t flourish.

We just have to take control of what depends on us and go from there.

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