Sunday, January 20, 2013

Are we forever dreaming of Utopia?

To be honest, all things considered, I would say that the last three or four decades in western and northern European countries, in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and a few other territories were as close to old dreams of "Utopia" as any place could possibly be. Same was true for most folks in the US between the 60s and nineties. Unfortunately the improvement does not continue forever, certainly not when it requires perpetual economic growth. Complex systems feature overshoot and downfall. Resonance catastrophe and collapse. That's, quite simply, a fact. And ignoring "Late lessons form Early warnings (the title of an enlightening EU Report) is, well, silly. Warnings come before visions. And as Michio Kaku informed me (not that it was new to me) when I once interviewed him: "Humans only move under the impression of great shock. That's our nature." In other words: we are stupid. We just love to hold on to the cozy status quo. Lack of visions? There seem to be plenty of them. But how realistic are they? How realistic can a single vision be for a complex world of 7+ billion that has entered the anthropocene? Marx attempted one such vision and it already collapses because it seemingly applies to another planet with another dominating species - certainly NOT for really existing humans of our time. Freeman Dyson warned that any system that is to work has to assume that all humans are crooks. I'd say potential crooks. Only 5 or 10% really are crooks (5% fully fledged psychopaths). The remainder are merely lazy, a bit greedy, mainly concerned about feeling good and having things and impressing their neighbors and a hell of a lot of people devoutly believe in things and ideas that, quite simply don't exist (and some of them get so infuriated about those non-existing things that they even go about and KILL each other!). Any uniting vision for this bunch please? Many attempts were made. Some of them resulted in wide spread belief in things that don't exist...and the aforementioned related fighting and killing.                      

Stefan Thiesen is a Germany, UK and USA educated earth and space scientist and science writer. He is an expert in marine science, climatology and planetary sciences, author of several popular science books in German and English as well as a novel. (See the current Pick Six).
Published before on 11 Jan, 2013 on

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a mill for your contribution! I now you're a busy man.Always love and agree with your articles , here and on we share the same Alma Mater as well as home original territory is of a minor coincidence...