The tension between cycles and progress.

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Essays

Technology makes an inevitable march, and along with that, we tend to want to believe that we will at some point (perhaps) infinitely far away, uncover the true infrastructure of science, solve all of the world’s problems, and discover the root of it all. It’s Kantian, if you have any experience with transcendental idealism. And it’s attractive. The world is on a steady march to perfection. 

And yet, on the other hand, we tend to believe that markets are cyclical, that Ecclesiastes 1:9 holds true, and that certain aspects of our world won’t ever change. I think about how we improve life expectancy, but then Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s afflict us in our old age; how we create higher education institutions to create access for all, but really the ‘minimum required qualification’ just goes up, still leaving people out; how we develop technology to enable us to build, consume, and grow more, but then break the very ecological systems that enable us in the first place.

We solve problems and thereby create new ones. It’s an interesting tension.

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