Headline, February 15 2024/ PUFF : ''' THE END IS NEAR '''

 PUFF : 


EXTINCTION PANICS AND THEIR RISE ARE -in both the lateral and the vernacular  senses, reactionary, animated by the elite's  anxiety about maintaining the privilege in the midst of societal change.   

The first step is refusing to indulge in certainty, the fiction that the future is foretold. There is a perverse comfort to dystopian thinking. The conviction that catastrophe is baked in relieves us of the moral obligation to act.

But as the extinction panic of the 1920s shows us, action is possible, and these panics can recede.

Less than a year after Churchill's warning about the future of modern combat -

'' As for poison gas and chemical warfare,'' he wrote, '' only the first chapter has been written of a terrible book'' - the 1925 Geneva Protocol was signed, an international agreement of banning the use of chemical or biological weapons in combat.

Despite the many horrors of  World War II, chemical weapons were not deployed on European battlefields.

As for machine-age angst, there is a lesson to learn there, too. Our panics are often puffed up, our predictions are simply wrong.  Human life and labor were not superseded by machines, as some in the 1930s predicted.

Or in the 1960s or in the 1980s, two other flash-n-the-pan periods of A.I.hype. The take-away is not that we shouldn't be worried but that we shouldn't panic.

Foretelling doom is an ancient human hobby, but we don't appear to be very good at it.

In 1928, H.G. Wells published a book titled, '' The Way the World is Going,'' with the modest subtitle, '' Guesses and Forecasts of the Years Ahead.''

In the opening pages, he offered a summary of his age that could just as easily have been written about our turbulent 2020s.

'' Human life,'' he wrote, '' is different from what it has ever been before, and it is rapidly becoming more different.''  He continued :

'' Perhaps never in the whole history of life before the present time, has there been a living species subject to so fiercely urgent, many-sided and comprehensive a process of change as ours today.

None at least that has survived. '' Transformation or extinction have been nature's invariable alternatives.

Ours is a species in an intense phase of transition.'' Much turns, as the novelist well knew, on that ambiguous final word. Both transformation and extinction are transitions, after all.

Wells once quipped that after he died, his epitaph should read : '' I told you so. You DAMNED FOOLS.''

He went out of his way to note that the italics were his choice and the emphasis suggests that we might understand him to mean '' damned'' not just in the vernacular but also in the older sense of the word : 

The human species is condemned, a gaggle of fated fools that will inevitably follow our machines off  that final precipice.

Wells died in August in 1946, a year after another of his uncanny predictions, the atomic bomb was released on two Japanese cities, heralding the nuclear age. We have every reason to believe he went to his final rest sure that he was right.

Perhaps he was even grateful that he had been spared the consumption of human civilization in atomic fire.

YET even as the author's words remain prescient, returning to such warnings a century later provides something akin to hope, maybe even optimism. Weare living in the very world that many in the 1920s already saw coming.

But we're already doing something they could not have predicted : surviving it. 

At least for now.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Extinction, Threats and Perceptions continues. The World Students Society thanks Asst Professor Tyler Austin Harper, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine.

With most respectful dedication to Mankind, and the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.   

See You all prepare for Great Global  Elections on !WOW! - the exclusive and eternal ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter X !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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