We used to have weekly lunch meetings for R&R folks. With soup! Then came Covid. Today my friend Bob treated me to homemade lentil soup at his place. We discussed the state of the world! Are we heading towards armageddon? Nuclear war? What about the political swings to the far right wing? It seems to be happening globally. So, I wanted to share a couple of thoughts.
(1) Wars and conflict have shaped human history for a long time: War: How Conflict Shaped Us, By Margaret McMillan. Scholars debate whether war is part of human nature: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/war-is-not-part-of-human-nature/
But in spite of this mankind has grown exponentially:
Life expectancy rocketed after about 1800 with the industrial revolution: from about 30 years to over 75 years. And that is in spite of 2 world wars. But, the rate of population growth is now declining:
There have of course been huge strides in healthcare, nutrition, sanitation and science. In spite of wars and violence and periods of “the dark ages”, mankind has survived. Now, however, with the nuclear option, the outcome may be less certain.
(2) “Progress is bumpy” This was a frequent thought in Obama’s speeches. And I went back to check:
Importantly, he says that we can “bend the arc of progress” by activism. That is phone-banking and canvassing! And that is where we come in. I have been canvassing in the Springs with my friend Peggy and it has been a very positive experience. Contact one of these folks for a list of voters and instructions:
(3) another topic of conversation was Lee Zeldin, a perennial bad weed that can not be exterminated it seems, he is now running for Governor of NY State! My friend asked for a LIST of Lee Zeldin’s votes and why he would be a disaster for all of us. It is the sort of thing you might want to give to an interested voter:
(4) What’s with the distrust of experts? Why is it that so many folks distrust scientists? Some folks even slander real super-experts, like Tony Fauci! Overnight (it seems) these lay persons become experts on vaccines or they become anti-vaxxers. No one distrusts their auto-mechanic when they are told that their car needs a new alternator or another part, for example. I am puzzled and I don’t have a good answer.