It’s been a few days since I last wrote. That’s because I’m beginning to feel some of the anxiety and depression I felt back in late summer and fall again. I am convinced this is because of most of my friends wanting to only talk about politics. I am sick of hearing about politics. Most politicians know less about science and technology advances that are and will impact our world than even I do. A politician can’t build a power plant or bring back jobs once automation has made those jobs redundant and pointless. Politicians, at least here in the USA, can’t even update critical infrastructure or balance their own budgets. And it saddens me that my country is getting to where we don’t lead the world in many areas of science and technology. Who would have thought twenty years ago that China would be offering to lead the world on developing clean and renewable energy or artificial intelligence or genetics? I am embarrassed by politicians of both major parties.
I don’t understand normal people. I don’t understand how masses of people can look at facts and ignore them or even outright deny them because of the person stating said facts. Facts don’t change because of beliefs. You can ignore the reality all you want but eventually you won’t be able to ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.
I have been following politics since the late 1980s. Since then I have heard the statistics that state that my country has one of the worst overall education systems in the developed world. We have known this for over a generation. Yet no major overhauls to the way children in the U.S. are educated has happened. We won’t even consider looking at what other countries do in their educational systems. My country is going to have to radically overhaul education real soon because the information and automation revolutions will make many of the skills stressed in the current system useless. We have seen these changes coming for years yet not even the current politicians in power seem too eager to update education for the realities of the 21st century. That’s why I, and many other people in my country, have resorted to self educating ourselves by the internet. Learning is not boring. It’s just presented that way in traditional education.
Too many people and politicians are ignorant when it comes to science and technology. We have known for years about the risks of burning carbon based fuels in terms of climate change and unhealthy air to breathe. Even if climate change isn’t happening, only a fool would deny that people are getting sick and dying from breathing the toxic fumes emitted by coal plants and gasoline powered automobiles. That alone should have made people pour much more research money into developing alternatives.
I don’t understand some people’s love affair with oil. Some people seem to think that we never will find anything better than oil and that we can keep using it for thousands of years. Climate change or not, oil is a limited resource. And some people don’t acknowledge that science can and will find answers to replacing oil whether they like it or not. I have to think had these people been born in the mid 1800s , they wouldn’t have wanted to give up their kerosene lamps for electric lights or their stagecoaches for railroads. Or if they were born during the Renaissance they wouldn’t have given up their swords for muskets or would have considered the printing press the work of the devil. But there are always going to be people who don’t want to change anything and some who are nostalgic about a past that wasn’t that great to begin with. I guarantee that in the future there will be people who won’t want to colonize the moon or other planets just because they fear and hate technology.
I don’t understand normal people’s obsession with politics. And I’m sure most people don’t understand my obsession with learning and science. Science classes have always been my favorite classes. I had to take a detour from my desired science career and studied business and economics while I was in college. As it turned out this study of economics turned out to be a several year diversion from my true passions. I don’t regret studying economics as it made me much better at budgeting limited money and resources. But looking back on it I am glad I didn’t find a job in business or economics and especially banking. I would have hated working in a cubicle and having to wear a suit every day to work. As much as I enjoy what money can do, I also know that having a great deal of money wouldn’t mean much to me. It wouldn’t make me feel successful or like more of a man. Who defines what is a “real man” anyway? Seems to me that those goal posts are constantly shifting. The only winning move seems to me is to not play at all.
If I suddenly had a couple million dollars, I’d probably move to Silicon Valley, rent a small apartment, try to get involved in some small start ups, hang out with really intelligent and science minded people, and essentially live off the interest of my low risk investments. I wouldn’t buy a sports car, a large house, or even get married. But I always thought Northern California would be a cool place to live. Then again I don’t know. It’s not like I fit in even with people I have lived with my entire life.
If there is a point to these rants I suppose it’s that I simply don’t understand normal people. I don’t understand why normal fret and stress over things that are trivial but don’t care at all about potential serious problems or opportunities. Straining at gnats but swallowing camels as far as I’m concerned. But at this point in my life I am glad that I am not normal. I don’t desire to be considered normal even if I am somehow cured of schizophrenia. Normal doesn’t change the world for the better. I want for my life anyway, for most people that encounter me and my works to be better off for it. I don’t want to be some political hack or among unthinking crowds.