(Every tool in the toolbox; attribution at link)
Just a few days ago, an interesting article at Common Dreams was published. It was on a friendship between a man who was blind and a man who had no arms, who got together and planted trees (quite a lot of them, in fact). It referred to some earlier video and an article. Yeah, it was heartwarming; if they had a puppy that followed them around, it would have probably made you get choked up a bit. Thankfully, there were no puppies. The article was short and to the point, but did end with a bit of classic hopium, “Humanity may yet prevail.” Perhaps this is not a surprise, coming from a site named Common Dreams.
This kind of reporting, although it does make you realize some people are trying, and trying hard, still leans a bit too much towards the classic ‘humanity will win’ box, which is far from certain. What strikes me as the most important thing here is that whether or not we will survive (and with almost certainty, far fewer of us will be on the planet in one hundred years), cooperation will be required going forward, no matter what the endgame outcome.
One of the disturbing things about our culture is that many have bought into the idea that Darwin’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ is what rules, when in actuality, cooperation is what makes things happen in the long run. As mentioned to someone recently, “If you want to travel fast, travel alone; if you want to travel far, travel in a group.” Even Darwin didn’t believe in social Darwinism, or anything like it, as many have noted. This is something that has been commented on in this blog (regarding maker spaces) but can be extended to many other human endeavors. One issue that has arisen for many of us engineer/science-types is that we tend to think that Technology/Engineering/Science will save our skins, whereas it might not take any technology at all, but a better understanding of some of the softer sciences (sociology, psychology).
Yes, we will still want and need to use technology of some sort to ameliorate and perhaps stave off a total collapse of this civilization/culture, but in the end, we will need the knowledge of human interaction and some of those fuzzier subjects in order not to repeat the same mistakes being made now. It may be apocryphal, but the quote by Albert Einstein, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them,” hits the nail on the head. It will take all kinds of thinking going forward, and we are going to have to use “every tool in our toolbox” to handle the coming dilemmas.