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The Philosophically Pessimistic End of Childhood

So, I’ve been mulling over an idea of late.


It’s not my idea, though.


I saw it in the movie that is based on the book, called Childhood’s End.


Actually, there were quite a lot of unexpectedly profound ideas, intertwined with some seriously weird shit. Benevolent, four-thumbed aliens that look like big red demons- complete with cloven hooves, bat-like wings and curled horns- foremost amongst them.




One of those ideas that when a group of people, or humanity in general, have easy and convenient fulfillment of all or most of their needs, they will begin to manufacture conflict.


I am certain the author explicitly used this story to explore the theory, because I read so in the Wikipedia page about the movie that was based on the book.


(Bonafide confirmation is what that is.)


It made me think of another idea that isn’t mine: Philosophical Pessimism.


Per Ye Olde Wikipedia:

Philosophical pessimism is not a state of mind or a psychological disposition, but rather it is a worldview or ethic that seeks to face up to the distasteful realities of the world and eliminate irrational hopes and expectations (such as the Idea of Progress and religious faith) which may lead to undesirable outcomes.


So then, has technology, with its inherent promise of making everything easier and more accessible, actually made things worse for just about everyone?


Lemme think:

  • Internal combustion engines made the world unequivocally dependent on oil, over which there since has been a skirmish or two you might have heard about.


  • Because of the Wright Brothers, now we have United Airlines beating the shit out of customers who pay to sit uncomfortably for hours at a time.


  • Advancements of Marconi’s pioneering work in wireless telegraphy now let Congressmen send their unsolicited dick pics with unfettered ease and efficiency.


  • Email has descended upon the industrialized world like a disease, largely due to a perceived need to ‘reply all’ on ‘Thank you/You’re Welcome, thank you for your thanks/My pleasure, thank you for thanking my thanks’ never-ending exchanges.


  • Conversion to globally available, uninterrupted online systems has allowed millions of Americans discover that their credit card and social security information is being used by people as far away as China.


  • Cars that drive themselves will kill you just for watching Harry Potter.


  • Siri.


  • First came microwaves, then came HotPockets.


  • Plastic (of life everlasting) can pretend to be leather for people who won’t kill animals but still want things that are like dead animals, inside cars with eco-toxic batteries, driven by people who love to love the idea of loving the earth more than you do- while they drive slowly in the left lane.


  • Ever since instant messaging apps incorporated those three dots that let you know in real time that someone is typing back a response that they then edit several times over, the aggregate level of global anxiety has spiked.



But that’s just me; I try to find the good in every situation.

a n g e r

Doing It Wrong