for my part

I feel my mind racing
running thousands of models an hour
trying to answer the ethical problems of our day
the results unsatisfactory every time
somebody somewhere gets fucked over
you can’t get the taste of blood out of your mouth
in the days of moral absolutes it was easy to justify the atrocities we commit
we only served a higher power, the blood was not on our hands, the flesh not in our teeth
we’ve been thrown back into the time stream
the myth of progress smashed before us

we were told as children that the world was getting better
the evil empires were falling
the arrow of time would take us somewhere good
at least, I lapped up that myth
but now that veil’s lifted and we’re told that everything we do is wrong
these problems are our fault
they forget that they raised us
so we hide
look for petty distractions from the world that we’ve inherited
part of the result is an absurd fixation on “maturity”
“haha i don’t know how to adult” on the one end
and a cynicism that sees hope as a childish dream on the other

these complaints have been voiced so many times before and I’m not adding anything new
but I need to pull them out of me, at least to better orient myself
we’re disoriented
everybody is
we’d just learned to walk when the ground started shifting
or at least, the speed with which it moved increased
but not everywhere at once
some things hoon irresponsibly along a trajectory set by Moore’s law
while others maintain their incremental changes, the steady accretion of facts with the passage of time
a process familiar to those who lived a thousand years ago

I see polls saying my generation is disenchanted with democracy
increasingly socialist
the conclusion made by conservative pundits is that we are all Stalinists
that we see no value in competition

I’m tired
I don’t want to write the thing I started writing, it’s indulgent
I have answers to this inside me, so do you
I know that there is a way to navigate from within
to reach out with compassion and to simply do your best
acknowledging that your decisions will have negative repercussions
but ensuring that you have consciously made that decision, and not simply fallen into it
to be sincere

everyone claims to be the bearer of Absolute Truth, but nobody has it
all you can have more or less of is self-honesty
an ability to point a cold and surgical light onto yourself and others, and then act with love even when it feels cold
to the touch

we’re adrift, yada yada yada
we always have been
the world’s going to hell yada yada yada
maybe it is
do what you can
it’s not your fault
it’s nobody’s in particular

we make the mistake of thinking we’re separate from nature, that we’re fucked up
we are doing exactly what nature taught us
but that doesn’t mean a new nature can’t be discovered
life once acted on impulses from gene expression alone
then the brain evolved, a tool for manipulating the abstract laws of the universe that matter follows
into performing calculations to its own ends

none of us know where we’re going
but very likely we’ll keep going for some time yet
we can’t control how the whole behaves, only how we do
it is funny though, how an individual can emerge from a physical field at all
one field, unity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       but nature was already doing that
each relativistic frame of reference can’t communicate perfectly with another
despite their both being part of the same fabric

I write this to soothe myself

there are two classes of things
those we can control and those we can’t

I wonder that our problems as a society and the anxieties of my generation emerge from forgetting this
so much information coupled with a sense of responsibility
we’re like Guan Yin, who shatters when they hear all the cries of the world and are unable to help
but we don’t have gods to grant us more arms
we have our two arms and a mind to decide what they do

we have to get used to making hard decisions
it remains true that you can’t get the taste of blood from your mouth
your continued being means preventing something or someone else from coming into being
the ending of another state of matter to continue your balancing act
even if we one day can nourish ourselves from rocks alone
it’s destruction of one kind of order to maintain another
what we can do is try to make sure that we are worth maintaining