Wednesday, December 27, 2017

State of the me: 2017-2018

Well, I'm not out of the woods yet, but I've found the path. I guess that's my theme for this past year.

You may recall that this time last year was a pretty low point. Unfortunately, the big, overarching problems seem as intractable as ever. We're heading into a climate catastrophe, and -- while some are trying -- humankind is really not on track to solve this problem in time. Probably not ever. The thing is that you just can't convince people to just stop consuming the resources until they're all gone -- whether it's burning fossil fuels, eating meat, eating the last fish, or burning the last forest for farmland. I've thought about this problem from every angle, and I conclude that it's just simply not possible to convince everyone to do the selfless thing. Too often it's a question of asking people to sacrifice their own livelihood for abstract goals.

We can try, of course. The fact that I've taken a job in the rolling-back-climate-change industry is a sign, I guess, that I haven't given up hope. But people don't realize how quickly things can and will go from "our problems are more-or-less tractable..." to a runaway temperature feedback loop that we have no hope of managing. The possibility that we will succeed in creating a sustainable human society is an incredible long-shot. It's more realistic to see our future as a question of "do we have fifty years or do we have five...?" I hope that 50 years from now other people will be saying "I told you so" to me on this one...

The recovery of US democracy would help -- and there have been some positive developments -- but it's far from clear that the arc of history will bend toward justice. The fact that the Internet has basically killed the journalism industry (especially local journalism) is a major problem that people don't have the faintest clue how to solve.

So where's my path out of the woods? Well, I guess it's more personal than political. Specifically, I started 2017 looking for a job, then I found one and spent the whole year working like a maniac in order to get to the position where I'm in charge of the IT department. And now, starting in January 2018, my path is finally clear to begin fixing the problems. It won't be easy, but I think/hope I am up to the task.

I also finally finished part 1 of my comic book at the end of the Summer 2017:
I really hope that in 2018 I'll have time to finish part 3 and to begin real dealings with a publisher -- plus I hope to have time to work on other projects like Mormon Alumni Association Books. And maybe I'll even have time to do some fun projects with my kids.

So, yeah, 2017 has meant some progress, but the situation is still uncertain and precarious. I have a steep climb ahead of me in 2018, but I hope that by the end of the coming year, I'll be in a more solid position with respect to all of my goals.