One thing I notice about getting older is the way that things start to get away from you. Time starts slipping away faster, days run shorter and everything just starts to take more and more physical, psychological and administrative maintenance to keep afloat and successfully functioning. Rationalising the global systemic drift into an inevitable thermodynamic equilibrium and white noise of unrecoverable information-as-entropy, there may still be no panacea to this growing feeling or experience of material and emotional displacement. When the cost of systemic upkeep finally overtakes the capacity to renew or recycle the decay in useful ways, the end begins.
To me, this also begs philosophical questions of civilisation age and, as referenced above, of when “the cost of systemic upkeep finally overtakes the capacity to renew or recycle the decay in useful ways, the end begins”. Much of the paralysing turbulence generated by global entropy and conflict is a consequence of the fact that life has evolved by seeking methods of optimal pattern self-replication and that the optimal methods for this have generally occurred at what is sometimes called the edge of chaos.
This is a big topic with wide scope but the central kernel is to acknowledge that the existence, continuity and vigorous self-propagation of systemic turbulence and conflict proves difficult to negotiate because it is also one of the key methods by which the systems and complexity within (and as) which we exist emerge. The irony here lies in the fact that a momentum for change and variety that is encoded within nature as physical law and logical necessity is the driving force behind biology, sentience, intelligence, culture, technology and civilisation but it is also the cause of insecurity, neurosis, difference and conflict. Add to this that there is a certain amount of concrete, if limited, value and technological, organisational or psychological capital or value to be extracted from the exploitation or continuation of entropy and difference in or as conflict.
A great mistake we all often make is to consider that all of our own individual travails and troubles are really different in fundamental kind or function to the problems of the larger world in which we exist. Problems of continuity and survival are endemic to living systems but it appears, perhaps, that there may be hard-coded limits to the complexity and diversity that those systems are able to support. This is not to say that there are not plausible and intelligent solutions to our shared existential dilemmas, but I do think that we are on the whole utterly intransigent, immature and unable to acknowledge the most useful truths and facts through which we might actually improve the longer-term prognosis of Global civilisation.
I have always had a feeling that degenerative disassembly and unrecoverable entropy will inevitably overtake the creative assembly of social and political order in the world. In some ways this is merely the personal fate of any embodied sentience, writ large. It is also perhaps inevitable that personal psychological and existential insecurity finds itself written upon vast banners of stupidity and cruel ignorance when it seems that this is the most immediate, if least useful, way of generating effect in the world. Lonely little creatures seeking continuity and uncertainty in a world which is fundamentally unable to provide these things have a tendency to create what only amount to self-destructive narratives and rationales of purpose which provide little more than flickering candles in an ultimately meaningless cosmic night.
This is all not too cheerful, perhaps, but some days feel harder (and colder) than others and nothing I see in the various news and diverse facts of this world we share leads me to any particularly optimistic forecasts for our shared Global future.