Here's an excerpt of her comment:
I am not an "end of the world" lover, but I think we are going to be a failed species sooner than most failed species. Desmond Morris called us "The Naked Ape", and we still can't seem to get past our primate past. I believe our ancient planet will be going through one of it's many, many upheavals, when most of what we know and value will be destroyed.And I definitely understand the point, but think she's reading too much into the intimacy of modern life to see the bigger picture of where we're heading as a species. After all, on the grand scale of our species, it was quite recent that a large portion of our country was so convinced that it was their god-given right to enslave and destroy humans that they were willing to die fighting for it. And even more recently, Europeans used their best minds to create a mass killing machine to destroy humans and conquer the continent to have it reflect their racial ideals.
In fact, history is far more full of fighting, hatred, and death than was the opposite. By contrast, we're all BFF's. Sure, Glenn Beck inciting hatred against an elderly sociologist for what she wrote over forty years ago is deplorable, but relatively recently, she might have been burned as a witch merely for owning cats or expressing opinions or for no reason at all.
While modern Christians gripe endlessly about not being able to display the Ten Commandments everywhere, for much of history, such differences were a death sentence.
Getting Better All the Time
And so we've seen thousands upon thousands of years where violence was the norm around the globe. These days, we've got maybe 10% in our country wanting to fight, where "fighting" means insults and death threats. And every once in awhile, some total loon goes bonkers and actually does something about it, and you can only find a handful of people willing to defend that; and even fewer willing to join them. What was once the norm for thousands of years is now a freak event that 99.9% of people abhor.
And the point is that as bad as things seem, we're definitely heading in the right direction. Sure, there are some people outraged at having a black president and threaten violence at what he's doing. But sixty years ago, Obama could have been a shoe shiner hung from a tree for talking to a white girl or jailed for sitting in the wrong seat. And two hundred years ago, he would have been a possession to be purchased on the free-market. This is real progress.
And really, we need these people. We need dissent. It's not good to go too far, too fast. As a species it's best to have variety, and the herd instinct can be even more dangerous than the war instinct. And at the bottom, we're all just dumb animals trying our best to make the best of what we've got, and we're struggling against millions of years of impulses that we don't understand.
But all the same, we're moving in the right direction. And the secret is to stay positive and keep our eyes on the big picture.
Not the End of the World
Even with Global Warming, the Powers-That-Be will eventually have to work with us, as they'll see how they have more at risk than we do. Because there is no nefarious force who wants the world destroyed. Rather, all their actions can be explained by their short-term focus on quarterly profits; which not only causes them to oppose necessary policies, but also to hurt their own long-term profits. Like it or not, shallow people find it easier to become Masters of the Universe than us nice people, and our system allows them to have far more power than their abilities can handle.
But eventually, even they'll be on-board with this, and the only people who will continue to oppose it will be mouth-breathing bozos who always have to be on the wrong side of everything. But again, this is good. It's good to have dissent. It's necessary to have contrarians who say the opposite of everyone else, and they don't even understand the function they play for us. If they knew they were contrarians who served as ballast for the human race, they wouldn't be effective.
And the only issue is whether or not the bozo contrarians can wield the power necessary to hold us back from doing what we must. They can't. Exxon can buy senators and Glenn Beck can pimp unintelligent conspiracies to the masses; but that's just for the cash. They don't really mean it. And at some point, they'll let us do the right thing and move on. And I'm tremendously impressed with our ability to get shit done and don't fear for the future.
We need to stay vigilant, but not distress. After all, not only does worrying not solve anything, but it's counter-productive, as it acts as a substitute for action in our silly monkey brains. And right now, we've got less to worry about than any generation ever. It might not seem that way, but that's just because you weren't paying attention before. I'll take someone denouncing our black president over someone owning him.