Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly—and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing. v-7
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám
Is it morbid to look at reality? Should we be saddened by Nature’s ways?
I think not! I’m with Khayyám, Cicero, Epicurus, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. We live in a splendid world, and if we were to change one tiniest part of its past our present world would not be what it is, and it would be diminished. At every moment it is what it is, and we are part of its terrible beauty. I marvel at the Universe’s vastness in time and space, compared to me, and yet I also marvel at my self-awareness of its mostly dumb simple reactiveness.
In reading the thesaurus there are sometimes words for emotions that require a dictionary, or a poet, and yet when I read those renditions I usually think, oh yes, I know that feeling. Living is like that, it’s from a point of view that comes with an abundance of details, and if I were in exactly that other situation, a one referenced in a story, I would do exactly the same as that which did transpire. There is no butterfly effect in this derived from future projections, there is only instantaneous being, and it is what it is, and that perforce forms what is. That being clarified, there is a relationship with the future that we can consciously affect, even if it is always located in the complexities of the now.
Some probable Black Swans gliding over us.
MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction, has plagued me more than most people, because I was so intimately involved, and so ineffectual in rejecting it. Sitting on a 3-megaton H-bomb in 1960 and thinking on what it could do, and what the responses to a detonation of that bomb would be, clarified my future goals. Simply, do what I can to prevent MAD from becoming an actuality. Fifty-four years later, I have done a lot of things, all of which were quite ineffectual, but it still seems astonishing that those bombs were never used. Now they seem even more dangerous, in that far more people have access to the less powerful A-bombs than then, and they have more inclination to use them. I thank non-caring reality that tritium is so expensive to make, and deteriorates so quickly, because it limits most smaller social groups to atomic bombs with a few tens of kilotons rather than the thousand times bigger megatons of H-bombs which require tritium.
The absence of a Leviathan world law to prevent, suppress and punish local wars.
Population growth to a lack of resources to sustain it and then a collapse.
Soil erosion positive feedback, of the less there is the more demand on what remains.
Fresh water for crops in positive feedback out to the limit of the available supply.
Oil supply in a positive feedback but limited by a one use mining of limited materials.
Modern high tech giving vast and growing constructive power to more people, but they are things that can be used in destructive ways too.
Who can know what another decade or two of rapidly growing computer power will bring?
What will the ability to program exact DNA sequences into living organisms bring?
How will nanotechnology and invisible robots affect our lives?
Will ruling elites remain benign toward people when they have near total knowledge of everyone’s innermost thoughts?
Will all people remain benign when they can control nearly anyone’s thoughts and perhaps everyone’s thoughts?
The answers to all of those statements and questions are obvious. Most people will remain friendly and helpful to others but some will seek to take advantage of others and some will succeed. And some will become excessively successful. And some will go insane with power.
It is obvious that some Black Swans are already gliding over us and will visit us in the not too distant future. What can we do, but participate and enjoy our lives? However, with Black Swan theory we can avoid the worst if prepared.