Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Fear! The crack that might flood your brain with light!"

"I want to talk to you about fear. I want to do so because, in my view, the most important issue we face is how we respond to this question. The crisis is now inevitable. The issue is how will we react? [...] We should feel a bit of fear. We are in danger, all of us. [...] Yes, things will get ugly and it will happen soon, certainly in our lifetime."
Paul Gilding has written a book called The Great Disruption. Sounds like I need to read it. He also blogs at the Cockatoo Chronicles and his latest post reflects upon his experience of speaking at TED, bringing a dark message amongst one of the bastions of bright green thinking (which he calls "techno-optimism").

Gilding's examples of humanity's ability to respond well to crises - Pearl Harbor, a life-threatening diagnosis, threat of bankruptcy - all point to what is perhaps our greatest asset at this moment, namely, our freedom to repent. Even at this late hour, it is possible to change course. This may not keep us alive, it may not preserve our way of life, indeed, it may involve further destabilisation of the status quo in the realisation that the status quo is inherently unstable and destructive. But it is our chance to wake up and grow up. Let us take it.

H/T Lou for the video. This post's title is a quote from Tom Stoppard's wonderful Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and could well be an epigram for the chapter I'm currently writing.


jessica smith said...

He's speaking your language! Fascinating.