I don’t remember ever having this thought in my life. But I was sitting at my desk today and felt a huge desire to stop worrying about the world. I even want to stop knowing about it and understanding it. What good, I wonder, does it do me or anybody else for me to understand the problem of the Greek bailout and the faulty foundation of the euro? or the problem of the Kurds in Turkey and Syria? or the Ukraine conflict? or the economic problems for Scotland if it became independent? or racism, or religious intolerance, or the problem to democracy of the U.S. Supreme Court giving corporations the right to pour unlimited money into political lobbying? And then there’s Africa, and the entire middle east, and Latin America, and China, and Russia, and climate change, and the rate at which humans are responsible for the extinction of other species.
I will stop. Probably half the readers of this post have given up reading already.
It seems obvious that the first step to solving any of these problems is to know about them. But as I look around, I’m not sure that’s happening. So many of the solutions being offered by both the left and the right seem ill-thought out but at the same time cursed with the kind of righteous certainty that only ignorance can support.
When our problems become too overwhelming, do we as a species resort to this kind of simplistic reasoning we see so often disguised as religious and/or political principles? or barring that, the temptation with which I am struggling, a self-imposed indifference, a refusal to worry or get involved?
I have always felt at home with globalization made possible by the digital world. Terrifyingly so, perhaps.
Because I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed by it.