The status update I never write


The reason I don’t socialise much and lose myself in audiobooks, reading, exercise, and drugs is because I find it hard to spend more than an hour in the company of others without wondering why we all maintain the collective illusion that everything is OK.

We live in a world beset by problems which challenge us to be brilliant, bending every sinew and firing every synapse to create solutions, and instead Helen’s got a job in marketing luxury hotels, James is flying to Spain for a week to teach golf, Arthur’s just been given a bonus so large he’s going to buy a house, and a bunch of people are wittering about an advert. (Examples changed to protect the innocent*)

But none of us are acknowledging that in our lifetimes

  • climate will cause mass population migration
  • we’re still selling weapons to recklessly oppressive countries (or any country, for that matter)
  • fossil fuel will be impossibly expensive and we don’t yet have an adequate substitute
  • our greatest civic accomplishments (eg national health care,  education)  and our common assets (air, water, forests, wildlife) are being privatised and remorselessly exploited.
  • most things are predicated on an impossible growth
  • the concept of pensions will not exist
  • robots will be smarter than us, and be used for fighting wars
  • that most people would not choose to do their jobs

The dissonance between what we know and what we do is so enormous that I find it impossible not to point out, and so end up boring even myself, and then think it’s probably best if I just stay home.

* I realise, when trying to think of examples, that most of the people I know are completely awesome. But still the same truth applies.

Ed Dowding

Ed Dowding

Founder, strategist, writer, gadfly, TED talker, world-record holder, and (foolishly) reality-TV farmer. DOES: Innovation, Product, Advocacy THINKS: Regenerative Systems, Institution design, 300 year horizons


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