There’s an (un)happy medium to be found between putting your head in the sand about all the obvious decline going on around us and spending lots of time in a doo-porn forum like r/Collapse. The latter, in addition to being unhealthy for one’s mental state, plays right into the hands of fascists and alt-right scumbags and grifters offering “solutions” (usually final ones) to hold off collapse.
Is this decline any worse than the doomsayers from 999 AD who were sure the world was about to end? There’s so much more good than there was in the past too.
do you guys need an editor? theres no link to the subreddit and people unfamiliar with reddit dont know what r/ means.
I think the thing about the apocalypse is that it is always the apocalypse. The end times aren’t coming, they’re here, and they’ve been here for decades. We’re conditioned to think of it as a big event, rather than like an event horizon, that you can pass without seeing, except that you can’t pass back the other way. Falling into the gravitational well, you get stretched thinner and thinner. This is what our technology has allowed us to do, stretch our resources ever more thinly.
But apparently not for doing anything about them.
I think I’ll stay off r/Collapse. If I wanted to be confronted with a never-ending stream of suicide-inducing information, I’d just become a climate scientist.
William Gibson’s recent set of novels posits a future decline of civilization due to a combination of factors, including global warming, wars, and (interestingly enough he predicted it pre-COVID) pandemics. It was interesting because so often SF assumes that there is exactly one cause – nuclear war, zombies, asteroid, etc. for civilization to collapse overnight rather than over decades.
Hey let’s pour unlimited attention into collective online dread pools, dissolving our personal fears into a giant society-wide ball of shared fear that blocks out the sun! We can be passive leaves floating on a wind of curated despair! It’s important to support the ad industry in this difficult time.
If you like that I recommend reading Jack Womack’s ‘Dryco’ novels from the 90s.
I have been guilty of doomscrolling but then again i think most of us are. Boredom and a desire to keep up with what’s going on, even if tangentially by looking at headlines has definitely been detrimental to my mental health. I’ve tried my best to curb how much time i spend looking at news but its difficult once the boredom kicks in high gear. Youtube is my alternative so i’ve definitely spent a lot of time looking at videos there since the pandemic hit
IDK, I think it’s not that bad. It basically shows the stuff we all know is there, but buried by the constant stream of inconsequential but attention-grabbing “news” about Trump and COVID-19 in most outlets.
There’s even some stuff that is actually hopeful, like this Salon article:
The most difficult existential dilemma we face is to at once acknowledge the bleakness before us and act, to refuse to succumb to cynicism and despair. And we will only do this through faith, the faith that the good draws to it the good, that all acts that nurture and protect life have an intrinsic power, even if the empirical evidence shows that things are getting worse. We will find our freedom, our autonomy, our meaning and our social bonds among those who also resist, and this will allow us to endure, and maybe even triumph.
That’s the truth behind Noam Chomsky’s denunciation of Trump.
No thanks, I had my share of doomer porn during the glory days of the peak oil movement where I learned doomscrolling is really bad for my mental health. Also, no matter how many convincing articles or statistics you read, things probably aren’t going to be as bad as you think and if they are, there’s probably sweet fuck-all you can do about it anyway.
“The Apocalypse is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.”
The reward for action - such as it is - is survival. Once enough power has been concentrated into a small enough set of humans, survival doesn’t have the appeal that it once used to.
or a junior high school teacher
After reading these interview excerpts, I can’t say I respect Noam any less.