X. no longer knows what to do with himself. Events trouble him to excess. His panic is salutary to me: it forces me to calm him, and this effort of persuasion, this search for soothing arguments, soothes me in my turn. In order to keep on this side of madness, you must frequent those more demented than yourself.
If there is anything unique about the human animal it is that it has the ability to grow knowledge at an accelerating rate while being chronically incapable of learning from experience. Science and technology are cumulative, whereas ethics and politics deal with recurring dilemmas. Whatever they are called, torture and slavery are universal evils; but these evils cannot be consigned to the past like redundant theories in science. They return under different names: torture as enhanced interrogation techniques, slavery as human trafficking. Any reduction in universal evils is an advance in civilization. But, unlike scientific knowledge, the restraints of civilized life cannot be stored on a computer disc. They are habits of behavior, which once broken are hard to mend. Civilization is natural for humans, but so is barbarism.
– John Gray
“The Silence of Animals,” pg. 75
“There are no innocent bystanders – what are they doing there in the first place?”
-William S Burroughs
We could have had a better future if we’d done the right things when there was still enough time to matter, but we didn’t. That being the case, what kind of future can we expect to get?
There is a standard term in historical studies for that kind of future. That term is “dark age.”
-John Michael Greer, 2016