Surviving Progress Part 1

by Byron on October 3, 2013

Dear Decker,

I’ve been watching a ton of documentaries lately.  I’m trying to figure out truth.  I’m trying to figure out where society is headed.  If I know where it’s headed, I can be better prepared to keep you and mom safe, healthy and happy into the future.  Estimating the future is a completely natural thing.  Thousands of years ago, on the plains of Africa, the men who knew where the tigers were going to be didn’t have to run so fast.  The Native Americans who knew where the buffalo heard would be kept their family fed for the winter.  It’s more complicated now.  Nature’s not the unexpected.  Society is.  But I digress.

I’ve been watching documentaries about the rise and fall of societies, about capitalism, about freedom.  I watched one particular one I discuss below.  It’s called Surviving Progress.  I cannot help question the nature of humans when I watch videos about our society.  But before I get into all of that…

When I watch the video above, there’s nothing I question about life.  Love is why we are here.  I was born to love you.  I was born to love Mom.  I was born to love everything, really.

Surviving Progress is based on the book A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright.  The film starts out with the difference between chimps and humans.  The film posits the answer is the human inclination, propensity, and ability to ask “Why?”  Implicit is also the human ability to answer why.  Why did the apple fall from the tree?  Gravity.  What’s gravity?  Stuff falls inward toward the earth.  Why?  I’m not sure, but we seem to rotate around the sun.  The sun is huge.  Maybe size has something to do with it.  Let’s test it.  It seems to have to do with mass.  The earth pulls the apple toward it.

That’s a pretty crude example, and I’m no Newton, but you get the point.  We ask why, all the time.  I’m looking forward to you starting to ask why.

And because of this skill/trait/gift/curse, we are advanced.  We moved past the hunter gatherer stage.  We have no dangerous natural predators anymore other than viruses, and we are, knock on wood, relatively good at managing those.  Our population is exploding.  But is all of this good and what’s gonna happen and what does it mean for you?

Love you!

Dad

ps.  You’re standing up on everything.  Crawling around with increasing speed.  You said “Mom” a few days ago.  You’re really gentle and kind.  You also seem really smart and inquisitive.  We think you’re awesome!

 

 

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: