Mon Jan 17, 2011
I would like to see politicians, companies and people talk about the issues raised in Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. I went to the premiere a few days ago. The movie describes problems with the current way things work in the planet, and it also describes a resource based economy where things would work very well. Most of the issues were already known to me, either from the two previous movies, from blogs and news, or from carefully observing what goes on around me. But I think there is a crucial part missing in this movie: The Transition. It does not talk about it.
Things can not go at the current pace forever because we are needing more and more every day, but the production of some substances can not keep increasing at the required speed to match the demand, in fact, we are running out of some substances. That means there must be a transition to a new way of doing things. If things go well, this transition can happen without any troubles. But it can also be full of them. I consider myself a positive person, sometimes idealistic. But in this case I have a hard time imagining a smooth transition. Scientific discoveries could mitigate or even avoid a large global crisis, but betting everything on such discoveries is quite risky if we don’t have a plan B. On the other hand, it’s probable that there are “B plans” out there, but they are kept secret to avoid panic. Just talking about it would scare the hell out of some people.
If I am thinking about this future, and people I know sometimes do too, I’m sure there is at least one person in a position of power wondering about how life will be in a few years and about how to, if in any way, prepare for it. I say at least one because it looks like some prefer just to have fun and avoid those troubling thoughts altogether. What is obvious is that it’s not issue number one, it’s not discussed in the news but only in some documentaries and blogs. And what do you do if you think there is something important that needs attention but it’s just not happening? Is there anyone in control?
All this makes me wonder about the idea of the present in Buddhism. Not thinking about past and future makes people happier but, is it right to only focus on the present? It sounds a bit irresponsible. I wonder how does Buddhism view this issue.
The keynote at the 27th Chaos Computer Congress “We come in peace” by hacker Rop Gonggrijp relates to the coming changes we will have to face. You can download it here in different video and audio formats (recording 4302).
Rewritten / updated on 18.01.11 12:45