…..bit of a tangent…………you may wish to skip this…………..
Things change. Generally, things change incrementally. Little changes year after year. Neighbourhoods change. People change. Cities change.
In nature, Darwin called those baby-step-changes evolution. In culture, we call it fashion. Basically, it just means that a small amount of change is actually the status quo. “Change is constant.”
But things occasionally change significantly. Huge change can happen now and then. Massive. Catastrophic at times. Even social change can be a major upheaval in the status quo. There was the ‘Peace and Love phenomenom’ of the 60’s. There have been major medical breakthroughs, like penicillin, the X-ray or the birth control pill. There was oil and the internal combustion engine. Airplanes. And computer technology. BIG CHANGE happens……….(stay with me. I’ll get to the point. It is a question, actually.)
N. Taleb calls change like that a black swan in his book by that name.
And big change makes for paradigm shifts. Big change changes lots of things. And then we think differently. We are different after BIG changes.
For instance, climate change will not only change our climate but, very likely, it will also change everything we do, everything we use, everything we are. IF we still are.
‘Course, you know all that.
My question is, do you feel it? Do you have a sense of it?
The possibility of change on that kind of scale (BIG) usually brings about a sense of fatalism. And fatalism is close to apathy. We get numb to the possibility of such a thing. And then we don’t feel it. We then don’t even worry too much about that kind of change. Too big. Too much to grasp. Impossible to deal with.
My friends are likely saying: “Oh no, not this again?! Look! There is nothin’ I can do about it. I don’t even want to waste time thinkin’ about it. Let’s talk about something else.”
Those statements make me think they do feel it but don’t want to admit it. They don’t want to make it a conscious thought. They might have to do something and, of course, they don’t know what that might be. Too hard.
I remember (way back) when we were all worried about a world that might fully engage in a nuclear war. “May as well run toward the mushroom cloud as away from it. It’s all gonna get us eventually. Better to end it quick. And not waste time worrying about it.”
I am not so sure that BIG change is ever really a sudden surprise. I think some people can see ahead to the BIG change around the corner. We may not be able to foresee the date of the tidal wave washing away the nuclear reactors at Fukushima or a huge earthquake dropping California into the sea but we know of those potentials. We know they can happen. We can move from LA to Wisconsin (mind you, if you are silly enough to live in LA, then maybe you don’t know….?).
Anyway……..the point is: it feels like BIG BIG change is in the air. To me, anyway. And I mean bigger than Obama-change. Bigger than any one election. Bigger than all elections combined. It feels like a massive, socio-cultural, people-based unconscious shift of some kind is either happening already or it is primed to happen.
Paul Hawken writes about that kind of change. But he hasn’t really identified it except where it is small and local, albeit spread quite internationally. I talk about it but have no idea what I am talking about. There is a huge industry in books about various types of change in economics, education, climate and that sort of thing.
But that is not it. Those books have an ‘inside-the-box’ view. It feels like something bigger.
I have no idea what I am talking about. Do you? Does anyone who reads this have a sense of BIG change pending?