Thursday, December 20, 2018

Microstory 999: The Unknown...

As a budding amateur futurologist, it’s my job to understand what’s going to happen in the future. For many people in the field, they’re responsible for predicting market trends before they even happen, or understanding when the current trends will end. They know how technology is advancing, and how that will impact their employer’s business. Or maybe they’re a journalist who has to know what stories to tell, and when, in order to remain topical. Political pundits have to recognize the consequences or our leader’s decisions. I am not quite like these people. I look more at the big picture so I can tell reasonably believable stories. Just watch the Back to the Future franchise, where they grossly overestimated how advanced we would be in the future. Now of course that’s okay, no one is imprisoning Robert Zemeckis because he didn’t employ a futurologist, who might have warned him we won’t have flying cars in 2015. Part of it is that I want my stories to be as prescient as possible, but I also just really like reading predictions, and making some myself. At the same time, what’s really fascinating about the future, and many things in the present, is the mysterious unknown. The majority of the sea is unexplored, as is almost all of outer space. We still don’t know if the quantum universe is ruled by subatomic particles, or just vibrating strings. And how exactly the hell does the brain even do literally anything it does? How little we know about life, the universe, and everything is a frightening thought. Count yourself lucky if you don’t suffer from OCD, because I regularly find myself questioning my very existence, and feeling a profoundly deep fear for the possibility that I may die, and what comes after is—not even darkness—but completely nothing. Yet there is comfort in our ignorance; the same kind religious people get by believing in some higher power that’s responsible for all the good and bad. There’s a relief in the hope that things can get better, because there’s no real proof that it won’t. How difficult would it be to persist if we knew with certainty that King Dumpster would be on his throne of lies for six more years, instead of only two? The Unknown can be bad, which is why we fear the darkness, and why many people are bigoted and intolerant. If you don’t know what it is, it could be dangerous. People get hurt all the time because they stick their noses where they don’t belong. Think noodling, but in a grander capacity. One of my favorite proverbs comes from one of my least favorite countries, and was famously repeated by one of my least favorite presidents, Ronald Reagan. Doveryai, no proveryai is Russian for trust, but verify. Exercise caution, but don’t be afraid to explore, and try new things. Things could end poorly, like they did for Viola Woods in my next series, but it could also be the greatest thing ever.

No comments :

Post a Comment