Have had my days and nights backwards for the last couple weeks. Been getting most of my sleep in the mornings and staying up most of the night. Yet, it doesn’t seem to be negatively effecting my mental stability. If anything this has been the most stable summer I’ve had in years. Granted this sleeping during the days while being up most of the night is putting a cramp on my social life. But I didn’t have much of a social life to start with. So I spend much of my nights listening to audiobooks on youtube. I listen to mostly non fiction science books and some science fiction. I still don’t watch much tv. I’m not even really that excited about football season this year. But I am looking forward to cooler weather. I am glad I have made it through most of the summer with no real problems.
Perhaps I am having fewer problems because I socialize less than I have in previous months and years. I leave my apartment only to run errands and even then I make it a point to run them in the early mornings or late nights to avoid crowds. I have made a point of avoiding angry, irritable, and rude people in person and online. Of course this does limit how many people I hear from or talk to. I really don’t talk to many people anymore, mainly my family and a few friends. Sure it gets kind of lonely but fortunately the loneliness doesn’t last long. I’m glad I don’t have to rely on other people to keep me entertained. Sometimes I am my own best company.
In spite not socializing much I am still optimistic overall. I haven’t been outside of my hometown much this summer. But anymore with the internet, I can still keep in contact with friends and family. And I can keep myself occupied with free audiobooks, free online courses, and free music online. I would have had to spent thousands of dollars for the things I have read or listened to online just fifteen years ago. And I can get all this for a dollar a day in internet service fees. And I love it. I wouldn’t trade living here and now (unless I could be wisked a couple hundred years into the future and be exploring strange new worlds like Star Trek). And I have some of my family members and a few of my friends to be the same way. My best friend from high school (whom I’m still great friends with) loves speculating on future science and social trends when she’s not discussing Game of Thrones. But I guess she gets tired of me talking about baseball and computer games, so that makes us even. My thirteen year old nephew is going to be working with robotics and 3D printers this year in his junior high. And to think I was impressed with the old Apple II GS when I was growing up. I often joke with my niece and nephews that they might not need drivers’ licenses. Now it’s looking like even I might not need a drivers’ license in ten years. Wouldn’t hurt my feelings that much. Sure we don’t have flying cars like Back To The Future said we would, but even that movie didn’t predict the Internet boom, smart phones, or renewable energy starting to become affordable. I wouldn’t even have cable tv except it comes with my apartment.
What I’m getting at is that right now in 2017, despite the bad news we’re constantly hearing on the news channels and our online news feeds, we’re still living in some pretty cool times. It is, in many ways, a good time to be an average person. Sure I may not be able to ever afford a house like my parents or brother. But I don’t need a large house in an affluent suburb with the picket fence and two car garage. I can currently live quite well just in the apartment in the small college town I’m in. I currently don’t need much to live a decent standard of living that even the kings and industrialists of 1900 couldn’t have imagined. It is not, however, a good time to be a control freak or spiteful hate monger. We’re always probably going to have problems like these but, unlike in past eras, the overwhelming general consensus is that being a dictator or hateful person are bad things. For most of civilization’s history, the idea of the ‘divine right of royalty’ or having hatred of people different from your own little group was pretty much unquestioned by the vast majority of people. We have made progress as a species. And we will continue to make progress even if people take it for granted or don’t pay attention to it. The only reason that we don’t hear about the good going on is simply because good news doesn’t sell. Good news doesn’t sell only because we as a species are not wired to pay much attention to good news.