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Sean C10

The world could be in the same state it is in now in 200 years (highly unlikely), but you could get run over by a bus tomorrow.

We could achieve biological immortality with the benefit of obsequious AI servants catering cheaply to our every whim. And, at the dawn of this new age, as you are lost in reverie contemplating the coming joys of you terrestrial eternity, an AI driver could direct its bus into you at 200mph, to avoid endangering the riders on the bus according to a calculus of minimizing harm. You would never know what hit you.

People who lived in more “predictable” times (did they?) could be less certain of their medical future or, indeed, of subsistence. I enjoy walks through old cemeteries. The markers often tell the stories of young families whose children were wiped out in a couple years, or young husbands who, already having suffered the loss of several children, lost their wives and her nearly newborns suddenly. And all kinds of other tragedy.

Those with appreciation of the larger forces at play easily perceive the precarious situation our society is. The less foresighted man on the street, born in the modern West into a relative Goldilocks zone of health, sustenance, and relatively peaceful predictability, is probably more confident of security and changelessness than people at any time or place, with the exception of members of tribes living traditional lifestyles of immemorial provenance.

My wife recently received a somewhat devastating diagnosis at a very young age. It is an interesting study to observe how folks react to it — the average response is, “you’re too young for such-and-such,” or, “you shouldn’t have to go through that”. Are such responses even imaginable for someone in 1873? We are implicitly certain of boundless health, limitless bounty, livable incomes or subsidies, and so forth. 

In a way, you just have to take it as it comes. Your dreams will be crushed, your plans ruined, in all likelihood, even without major change in society. Embrace that a little bit. Set manageable goals, particularly about how you wish to be living each day. Regularly prune what no longer contributes. Make your desired daily life a goal and try to achieve stability in that, riding the wave of change like a surfer, making adjustments to stay “put”. If you have a clear idea of daily life, you can often weather storms with it — think like a monk carving out a way of life in 1100, 1500, 1700, 1900, and 2022, living by the very same monastic rule. They’re masters at adjusting whilst maintaining an equilibrium built around a stable rule of life and a fixed goal for their lives.

Know the warning signs you are looking for to make major changes in a timely and responsive way. Is this inflation the signal to pull out of your 401k? Will energy price points signal the need to relocate where a vehicle is less necessary? What supply chain issues will you need to see to plant a Victory Garden, or to invest in land? But have a bias towards status quo in your daily life and seek equilibrium on your terms through all changes.