in post

28 August 2020

Listened to one of Yuval Noah Harari's interviews again. This one was about the likelihood that careers and professions would likely be changing every few years, and that we would constantly need to reinvent ourselves. As a result, he suggested that the most important things to learn now are mental and emotional stability and flexibility.

In the 1970s Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock, probably inhabited a similar space. The themes about which they talk are similar, though Toffler was politically more on the right.

I'm not scared about the future, because after the age of around 50, as Haruki Murakami says somewhere in one of his books, we are all living on borrowed time. Most people were traditionally dead by that age. Even today, in many large countries, the average lifespan is less than 70. And, on the other hand, we are never really born and don't actually die. The pandemic is the most significant and least predicted event that has shaken us recently. I was a bit sorry to have to come home from India earlier than expected, but even if I don't manage to take much advantage of my new five year visa, it won't matter to me that much, as I'm also happy to stay home. Lately, it's been fun working on my home server and setting up Hubzilla. A pleasant distraction.

More of a worry is whether my children and grand children will be ready for the huge changes ahead of them. Why do people still risk bringing children into the world, while simultaneously undermining their future? We're a strange species. My advice to everyone is to be as self-sufficient as possible and far away from the mainstream; not to believe the pernicious myths and existential fears that nations try to instill in us, or the lies and false promises of ideologies, religions and big corporations. It is better to live the model we would like to see for the world than to spend our time campaigning for things that may never happen. And of course, we need to be open to tweaking that model, according to the constantly changing conditions.