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Jun 6, 2022Liked by Michael David Cobb Bowen

> Somebody asked me why Boomers seem to be oblivious of their privilege.

I'd follow-up with a few questions of my own to the GenX'ers, Millennial's, and Zoomers: Why do they seem so oblivious of the privilege they've inherited and why do they seem so intent on squandering it? These would be questions for the elite niche that slithers in academia, legacy media news rooms, and six figure Big Tech knowledge-worker cubicles (on-site or remote.) However, I know many outside this niche who have been knocked around a bit by life and re-calibrated to the cruel indifference of real-world expectations. The latter give me hope.

As for abstractions, my working hypothesis is that much of what occupies the surface veneer of 21st century culture reflects a rapid expansion of the adjacent possible horizon, the biggest explosion yet of experimental knowledge generated in a way David Deutsch might describe it. How much of this ends up surviving or enduring as a useful explanation that carries human-kind forward is unknown. It has yet to be tested.

Some of these abstractions will be tested by predictable means. The NFT market and others keep looking more and more like a modern day Dutch tulip bulb bubble. Other abstractions may need a more substantial hit to to the system to shake out what the hell is going on. When a person's source of identity is dependent on carefully curated on-line abstractions, what happens when the power grid fails? When there is a rolling blackout and They/Them no longer have access to "friends" on social media, is that similar to anesthesia for surgery? Do they just cease being, returning to consciousness when the power comes back on? Will a Carrington Event effectively kill them?

> I believe that people who are genuinely deprived of their material and psychological basics will revolt and that will also be predictable.

I'm of a similar opinion. Implosion. It's a brittle world and few appreciate that. Today it's super specialized manufactured foods like baby formula in short supply. If there is a tomorrow where thousands are fighting for clean drinking water and beans, will it be wise to accost someone for an off-putting joke or using incorrect pronouns? I suppose that will depend on who controls the water and beans. The thing about social constructs is they depend on a functioning society.

Most everyone, I believe, will adjust. I have that faith in human nature. For a small minority, blithely riding the crest of the Boomer's privileged, the fall will be bumpy indeed. There are other paths for sifting out the chaff from the wheat, of course. Historically, however, it seems things need to go to extremes before the lessons arrive. Those best positioned to adapt will have learned to dig for the gnarly roots of history - not lazily gaze at the leafy green seasonal foliage of postmodern revisionism - and recognize the rhyme.

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