In retirement now, my mind often drifts back to wonder “How did we get to this sorry state of affairs in the world?”. I am pretty sure that humanity and old retired people have been wondering the same thing since tablets were chiseled out of stone. As a kid growing up in upstate NY, I remember all of my elders complaining about war, famine, and gas prices while all of us kids went on about our lives oblivious to all of this stuff. Now, in old age, I have the opportunity to opinionate and pontificate.
Did you ever feel like things are just moving too fast for your tiny mind to keep up? The amount of information flowing into my brain at any one instant in time seems to be on the increase. In mathematical terms, the first derivative of the inane chatter equation is always positive. It just keeps getting worser and worser.
It all started, for me, with television. First we had Captain Kangaroo, Lost in Space, and Bugs Bunny on three channels of black and white with sound in mono. I don’t remember exactly when that turned into several hundred channels of nothing to watch, in full high definition with CD quality sound. There is almost certainly some “History of Television” website out there that would give us all the gruesome details.
And then there is the internet. This monstrous mound of miscellaneous mischief came into existence for the public in the 1980’s. I read somewhere that the amount of human knowledge doubles every couple of years. It used to take over a hundred years for it to increase. Dredging up some calculus again, that would mean that both the first and second derivative of the inane chatter equation are always positive.
The fundamental problems with the aforementioned assumptions and conclusions, are that we are calling this an “expansion of knowledge”, when in fact it is an exponentially increasing mound of poo poo. Knowledge, by definition, would grow our understanding of our universe and the things that are in our universe. Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, Ice Road Truckers, MSNBC, and FOX News do not grow our understanding of doodley squat. I do believe that these particular examples actually suck existing knowledge from the mind of the listener.
I am going to throw out a theory, and I dares any of you to come up with an alternate explanation for all of this. I believe that an alien race discovered our planet in 1947. It was only a small scout fleet that was to soften us for the coming invasion. We actually did shoot one of them down in Roswell, and the remainder of the fleet landed and assimilated amongst us. These aliens then commenced to inventing various gadgets and gizmos to suck the ambition and wherewithal from our very souls. They started with cars to make our bodies weak, then progressed to television and the internet so as to dampen our desire for knowledge.
You need look no further than cable news and reality TV shows to realize that the aliens have landed and want to suck your brain out.
Now back to playing with my grandson and trying to see the world through his cheerful optimistic eyes.