Increase the time scale of your thought

Timelessness makes everything impersonal. Most civilizations have had strains of liberal and conservative thought. They are not exclusive to the politics of today, but human universals – psychological patterns that manifest themselves in society, some more dominant than others in certain cultures and at different times in history.

Looking narrowly at present day, it appears as an argument between right and wrong. But by increasing the time scale one sees a cycle of recurring philosophies and world views. This should bestow a sense of impartiality to the events of today. The present political situation is just one snapshot in time. In fact, we as people, with our personalities and idealogical proclivities, are also a snapshot in time.

I’m not sure if our beliefs are cyclic or evolutionary. Part of me thinks we’ll always argue the same themes with each other. The other part believes our ideas can evolve and converge on local maximums through disruptions like the Renaissance. Indeed, the Renaissance opened up all new kinds of economic, political and social thought never before dreamed of under the primacy of the Crown and Church.

I doubt there is a global maximum in collective thought – dynamism will always be present and society will never permanently converge on any one ideological “solution”. There is no such thing as an absolute peak in evolution – by definition it’s a never-ending process of competition, adaptation and survival, whether it’s with organisms, or ideas and beliefs.

“Everywhere and in all ages there has been great dissatisfaction with the governments, laws, and public institutions; mainly, however, because people are always ready to blame these for the misery that inheres in human existence and is the curse, so to say, that descended on Adam and his whole race. Never has there been a more lying and impudent exploitation of this false projection, however, than that of the demagogues of this ‘modern’ day. These enemies of Christianity are optimists: the world, for them, is an end in itself and in terms of its own crude conditions available for conversion into a dwelling of perfect bliss. The howling, colossal evils of our century they ascribe entirely to the regimes, blame altogether and only on these; and without these there would be heaven on earth, i.e. all of us, set free of toil and pain, would be able, to our hearts’ content, to feed and swill, propogate and burst: for that is the paraphrase of this “end in itself” and the goal of the “endless progress of mankind,” that they tirelessly preach with their overblown cliches.” – Schopenhauer

I’ll have to settle for felicity over originality

I set out to say something original, but something felicitous will have to do. Plato didn’t speculate about cryptocurrencies, but a lot has been said about human universals, the lessons embedded in the humanities.

So I’ll settle for felicity – an ‘appropriate’ remark about our contemporary times. And that’s cool, if time proceeds, and the world is in constant change, then every generation must reinterpret what has been perpetually meaningful throughout human thought and experience.

But this obstacle to originality is the origin of humility. When you sit to write something original, or when you think to say something original, an honest evaluation will reveal plagiarism. Indeed, we stand on the shoulders of giants, and they didn’t have all answers either. As Bill Maher puts it: “History is a litany of humans getting shit dead wrong.”

There’s been a lot of thought experimentation over the past several thousands years in terms of philosophy, politics, economics, psychology, and metaphysics. But not one single system of belief has brought about the everlasting utopia that we all subconsciously yearn for.

Every time you open your mouth, you parody what has been done before. The only proper stance is humility – that no single thought, act or entity holds the final answer. Account for the contradictory nature of this World in your worldview. And expect no black and white.