Anxiety in an age of increasing complexity!
Welcome to my new blog page! I'm gonna jump straight in. So, the first rule of blogging is never to mention anything political. I'll start there then! :)
It's a busy ol' World out there isn't it? The truth is, it's all moving a little bit TOO fast for some people. The kids are running rings around us now and we were well ahead of the curve in our day. My Dad likes to tell me that the reason he still can't operate his PC or tablet very well is because he was born in a different age. I like to remind him that there were no PC's in the 1970's either. I grew up climbing trees, playing football, and letting off stink-bombs in the school hallways. He's had exactly the same opportunities as me to keep up with the kids! So, I haven't done badly really. But, I am still in awe of the early start our kids are getting these days. You know they're learning basic coding in primary school now? It can only be a good thing. Technology you see, HAS to save us! Politics has failed, and all but the most blinkered must conclude that it's just a huge pendulum...left...centre...right...ad infinitum. Technology meanwhile is NOT circular or swinging back and forth. It moves strictly in one direction only, and that curve is increasingly exponential. Do you know what this is?
Seriously? It's pretty unfathomable. That's one MILLION ebooks and 500 hours of video on a card the size of a fingernail! From 360kb floppy disks to 1TB in just 20 odd years!
The point is, the pace of change is staggering, and it's pretty darned difficult for our poor old brains to keep up. It's as if everything stayed the same for hundreds of thousands of years and then there has been a RAPID explosion of change over just thirty generations of people. We're into the era of completely re-designing ourselves. I have a good friend who has a hereditary genetic illness condition who just had a baby. What's amazing however is that some wizards down at the cutting edge centre for miracles were able to splice out the faulty gene in the egg and delivered a guaranteed genetic illness-free baby! She's alive. She is illness free. It's a reality. So, great things are afoot. We may eradicate disease, and who knows, one day there really MAY be a pill or a procedure that can knock anxiety, stress, OCD, or depression straight out of the park. We will look back on those poor anxious souls then as we now look back upon our ancestors who lived without antibiotics. The Bubonic plague ravaged Europe for over FOUR HUNDRED Years! If only they'd known that stale bread could have cured it?! Electric Vehicles, Endless Clean Energy, Housing Solutions etc. It's all on the way too, and it will get here not a moment too soon. In the meantime though, we're trying to move into a new world using the old rules, and it's causing just a little bit of friction!
This fantastic rapid expansion of EVERYTHING isn't free. You see, our ancient ancestral brains are still wandering around the forests looking for things that move, and worrying whether Fred has grassed him up the Tribal Chief for some minor misdemeanour. The concern that we might be thrown out of the club is as old as the hills! So, as the pace of change continues at breakneck speed, we see the breakdown of inclusive community. More and more there are the "knows" and the "know-nots". There are the "haves" and the "have-nots" because knowledge=power=wealth. Automation will increasingly usurp labour, and the old model of trading time for cash will die. We are moving into an information-service economy where we buy and sell data, and more of those services will themselves become automated. It's an adjustment. It's necessary. Acceleration requires compression. We must pack more in to less time. This IS the definition of "stress".
Basic definition: Stress is a negative physical/emotional/nervous system response to feeling in some way overwhelmed. It is usually caused when the perceived demands placed upon us appear to outweigh our ability to cope.
Moving into this new World is like being on a roller coaster. We are swept along. We cannot halt the process. Like a birth, the contractions have already begun, and there is only one way out and that is "through". We must hold onto our hats and try to enjoy the ride. It's going to be extremely complex. We're going down the plughole, and goodness only knows what's going to be on the other side. My guess though is that it will be the equivalent of a gently running river after a boat ride through the rapids. After the pain of the birth, we will hold the new born in our arms gazing lovingly at the miracle that has been created.
Maybe I'm a dreamer, but who can deny that modern history has been a dirty affair? The darkness we've collectively endured tells us what we don't want. Evidently, there is not yet full agreement on what we DO want, but like I said, politics will continue, while technology will ultimately decide the rest. I believe that we have a date with destiny. Progress cannot be held back. One day, all will become clear. We just happen to find ourselves in the most intense part of the process. Seeing the bigger picture is great anti-anxiety medicine. We are merely players...it's just a ride!