Sunday, November 13, 2016

What Can We Expect from the Future? My New Series of Mythmaker Posts




The current stressful political climate in the United States has stimulated me to make a new  attempt to expound on my concept of future history and how the Mythmaker philosophy fits into it.  The best (and most painless) way to learn about my thinking is to read my books, particularly The Termite Queen, v. 1 and 2, and Fathers and DemonsThe Man Who Found Birds among the Stars still hasn’t been published, but it will contain the best exposition yet of my vision of the future.  Even my termite series The Labors of Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head contains passages that reflect my thinking. 
The Termite Queen contains a somewhat lengthy section that encapsulates the future history of Earth.  I’ve excerpted that in a separate page of this blog.  Find it on the Pages cross-column above.
Lately I’ve seen three foreshadowings of elements that I predicted in my future history.  The first is obvious – the prevalence of religious fanaticism leading to vicious wars. To quote my own writing in The Termite Queen: “The militant religionist movement that began early in the 21st century resulted in a succession of conflicts known as the Zealot Wars.”  I’ll address that problem in later posts. 
 The second element is what I called the Fractures, and the third is the rise of the TWLs (the Techno-Warlords).  To quote again: “In the 22nd century the period known as the Fractures began, when time-hallowed nation-states – the ironically named ‘Great Powers’ – of Earth began to break apart and make war with each other and within themselves.  It was the time of the Techno-Warlords – the TWLs – dictators who sought to seize for themselves the remnants of the petroleum reserves and who lived by advancing technology exclusively for the purpose of producing an increasingly horrific war machine.”
So are the Fractures already beginning?  The European Union is in trouble, and lately there has been secessionist talk in California, which is certainly big enough to be a country to itself.  Texas has always wanted to be its own country.  French-speaking Canada might like to go it alone if it were encouraged. 
And then comes Donald Trump, who wants to wall off the United States and ban immigration as much as possible (or at least so he says – no telling what he will really do).  At a time when we should be encouraging globalization and a unified Earth, he and a lot of people whose livelihoods are threatened want to retreat from it.  We need to become expansive and inclusive – to learn to work together, not bicker with each other and fight and kill our own kind.
Fractures encourage the rise of the TWL.  In my conceptualization, Hitler is considered the first Techno-Warlord because he was the first to use rockets as weapons.  There is a passage on this in Fathers and Demons (laid in the 28th century), where Chaim Oman is recounting the history of the Jewish people post-20th century:

Everybody stirred a little, because the atrocities of the 20th century were tenaciously included in the history curriculum.  Linna said, “That marks the onset of humanity’s descent into the Second Dark Age.  It’s not only because the first radiant bombs were exploded then.  It’s also because of that Uropian dictator – I don’t recall his name right off – who set out to cleanse the human species of elements he judged inferior.  I think he murdered around ten million people.”
Dr. Yow added contemplatively, “His name was Hitler.  He used the primitive technology of the time for his racial purification and he was the first tyrant to use rockets as weapons.  For those reasons he’s known as the PTWL – the Proto-Techno-Warlord.  He wasn’t the one who exploded the first radiant weapons, though.  That honor goes to the government of the Old Ammeriken States.”

That’s why anybody with a sense of history is afraid of Donald Trump, because he has seemed to encourage his followers to commit violent acts and to hate those who are unlike, and because he exhibits demagogic tendencies, to want to be able to dictate rather than cooperate and legislate (his overweening battle cry “I alone can fix it.”)  Again, I’m not really sure whether he is serious in these statements or whether he is a clever actor, playing the “sucker born every minute” card, and playing it very well.  After all, Mr. Bloomberg didn’t call Trump a conman for nothing.
Basic to my future history is the depletion of the Earth’s oil reserves.  When I first wrote my future history (around 2002), I checked on the amount of oil that was left and it was about 50 years worth.  I was appalled.  Do you know how short a time 50 years is?  It passes in an eye-blink!  I’m 76 and it seems like just the other day that I was 26.
So just now I checked the figure again to see if it had changed.  See this post from BP where it is stated  “In June, BP provided an intriguing update to its global oil reserves estimates in the company's yearly review of energy statistics. It raised its reserve estimate by 1.1% to 1,687.9 billion barrels – just enough oil to last the world 53.3 years at the current production rates.”
So I figured that unless the Earth gets its act together, we’d better find other means of producing the power that our ultra-high technology consumes, or we’ll be in real trouble.  My view is pessimistic.  We’re going to use up all the oil and have nothing ready to replace it by the beginning of the 22nd century.  At that point the electrical grid collapses, communication and transportation break down, and we head for a return to the Stone Age, or very near.
Of course, run-away climate change plays its part, too, with coastal cities disappearing under the sea, along with drought and water-famines and the rise of mutated disease organisms ...  However, I’m not getting into all that here.  Let me just say that all that will feed into the Fractures and the rise of the TWLs.

So, yes, I’m a pessimist about the future of Earth – in the short run.  But I have not been pessimistic about the nature of humanity (although I’ve been having my doubts lately).  There will be people who keep the best aspects of humanity alive throughout the coming Second Dark Age.  And that will be the subject of later posts.


14 comments:

  1. This was an inciteful post about our future. I couldn't agree with you more. Now, I have to read your books next. I am sharing this on Facebook and Twitter. It is an excellent read. <3 By the way, I will help you set up a WordPress blog if you'd like. I had to sign into Blogger (which I haven't used in years) to comment.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Colleen! If you're signed up with Google (Google+, etc.) you should be able to comment here. I'm going to stick with this for awhile, but if I decide to go with WP and get bogged down, I'll ask you for help! You bought a copy of The Termite Queen, didn't you? - when I had my last event. So you have no excuse not to read it! Heh heh

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  2. Did you imagine the Zealot Wars and the Fracture would come sooner than you expected? Excellent essay.

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    1. Well, I thought the Zealot Wars were already underway. But the Fractures are supposed to come in the 22nd century. However, everything starts somewhere. Thanks for reading, Marva!

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  3. Ha... too close to the truth for comfort, Lorinda! I'll be honest, I had no idea there was so lottle oil left. Why isn't anyone worried about this? When we used up all the coal, it was ok cos we had oil... then what? Electric cars are no good if we have no fuel to burn to make energy. Wind power, well everyone moans thst they don't look pretty and petition against them... not me, they look like modernist works of art in the landscape to me... function AND beauty. As for the rest, you hit the nail on the head, exactly when we need to become more expansive and interconnected, for all our common good, mankind does exactly the opposite. It is most definitely a return to the dark ages.

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  4. Actually, we have lots more coal left than we do oil. See http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=coal_reserves where it says "Based on U.S. coal production in 2014 of about 1 billion short tons, the U.S. estimated recoverable coal reserves would last about 256 years." And that doesn't include other countries. So that's why it's important to discover ways of utilizing coal without producing so much atmospheric pollution. Thanks for stopping by Ali. I think I'll put spomething on FB about the coal reserves.

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  5. I can relate to your views Lorinda. A scientist friend of mine says that battery power is the way forward. He didn't expand on that, however.

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    1. I think one of the problems there is you need electricity and various chemicals to make the batteries, so it's kind of a vicious circle. Thanks a lot for stopping by, Nikki!

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  6. Thought provoking and disturbing. From your descriptions, alas, I could see this stuff happening.

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  7. A great start to your new series Lorinda- I'm looking forward to seeing more πŸ‘πŸ˜ƒ

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    1. Thanks, Chris! I think I've now figured out how to get people to read my posts - tag some of my friends on FB instead of just relying on the FB post!

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    2. I got to see your post through email notifications Lorinda 🐡

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    3. Ah, yes, TSRA is in my small list of followers!

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