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Something I’ve noticed in recent times, and it may or may not be a trend–I’m not sure–is the idea that someone somewhere in a position of authority knows what’s going on, how to fix it, and they’re coming to save us. Probably a good example of this at a mass level was the 2020 Biden election, where scores of people were convinced that the world would go back to normal and evil would be defeated if Biden won.
This appeal to authority has little basis in reality, and I can only view it as harmful. Why is it harmful? Among other reasons, people tend to ignore the facts, the outcomes, and reality of things, and instead focus all their attention on the characters and personalities involved. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Trump, Biden, Elon, Obama, or whoever. People are so obsessed with celebrity worship, authority, and tribalism that they can’t smell smoke when everything’s burning around them.
Celebrities don’t solve problems, they aren’t technology, they’re just caricatures of society. No celebrity can magically stop climate change, no matter how good their speechwriters may be.
We are in big trouble #
At the current moment, humans are headed for extinction. We simply cannot continue our current levels of breeding and consumption without destroy our habitat, and thus making ourselves (and society as we currently know it) a thing of the past.
This isn’t an opinion, it’s a fact rooted in mountains of data. Some people are choosing to ignore the problem, others are in denial, some are bargaining. In any case, the outcome is the same provided there aren’t immediate drastic changes (which…there won’t be, because capitalism).
All the metrics are moving in the wrong direction, and the rate of change is accelerating. At this point, it’s probably too late, and the best we can do is prepare for the worst.
The Disney princess fallacy #
One thing I often like to talk about (but I think most people hate hearing about) is the Disney princess fallacy. What’s that, you ask? Let me explain: most people receive their culture and information from cultural exporters like Hollywood. Disney films, in particular, are a great example of taking the exact same plot, remixing it over and over, selling it to millions of people with fresh new songs and new animations without actually doing anything fundamentally different, new, informative, interesting, or insightful.
Disney’s movies are easy to digest, easy to comprehend, and they always have a feel good hit of dopamine at the end.
The classic Disney film is one where there’s a beautiful princess who just needs to find herself married to the prince and all will be well. Once she fulfills her destiny, all the problems in the world evaporate, and they live happily ever after.
A lot of kids get their Disney brainwashing from a very early age. They’re trained to expect the outcome in the end is always positive, and if it’s not, some authority will step in to make it right. In some cases it’s deity, in other cases it’s some kind of superhero. The actual plot doesn’t matter so much.
Maybe there’s no happy ending? #
One tough conclusion I’ve reached recently is that we (humans, that is) are headed in the wrong direction, and we’re accelerating toward our own demise.
There’s an unstoppable climate crisis facing us right now, and there’s no way to stop it without extreme and immediate changes. However, these changes would really put a dent in the Disney princess lifestyle we’ve all come to fantasize about thanks to all the cultural programming we’ve received over the decades from our corporate overlords.
Elon’s not going to save us, he’s just a car salesman who enjoys fame and attention. Biden isn’t going to save us, he’s only got a few years left and all he cares about is his comfortable retirement.