In the 1970’s the colonization of space seemed within our grasp. Now that vision is slipping away, and in it’s place we see a future of the eons long decay of human culture on an exhausted and ravaged planet. A future of millennia after millennia of tribal warfare over ever-diminishing resources. A future of superstition and ignorance. The gift of abundant fossil fuels, a precious bootstrap to sustainability, will be wasted; and an industrial base adequate to support a technical civilization made impossible. The human footprints on the moon will slowly fade to legend, and then vanish.
Cargo cult: “A cargo cult is a belief system among members of a relatively undeveloped society in which adherents practice superstitious rituals hoping to bring modern goods supplied by a more technologically advanced society.” Wikipedia
I have a large book collection, more than I can ever read. Yet I still acquire them. Perhaps a hundred recent purchases are stacked next to my bed. This is not rational behavior.
But that’s OK, because I am not a slave to rationality. Instead I am happily practicing the superstitious ritual of buying books in the hope of gaining knowledge without actually doing the work required to learn.
But really, I know I don’t have enough years left in my life to master all the knowledge I desire, and when I die, these books will remain as a tedious chore for someone else, and a sad monument to my failure to learn.