Peace on Earth: Happy Thanksgiving 2023!


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The world is at war, but so far, we are not in a world war – knock on wood.  Let's be thankful for our relative peace and prosperity in the current moment and think of our friends and fellow humans suffering under the tyranny, and specter of tyranny, of killers and warmongers.  I look to Avi Loeb's child-like curiosity about the universe beyond as a ray of hope for humanity.  Economists Noah Smith, Paul Krugman and others offer similar rays of hope by exploring and highlighting economic vibrancy and expansion. The future is bright.

For now.

Who knows what 2024 will bring? Or beyond?  I am both hopeful and fearful.  I suppose I or anyone else could have written such a thing at any point in any year since homo sapiens ­– heck, even Neanderthals and others that predated us – first emerged.

You will be forgiven for thinking that I am a fatalist after reading Alter Road or Friendship Games.  I am, at heart, an optimist, and a technophile.  As a species, humans have come so far in such a short period of time, and have overcome famines, pandemics, and world wars – all of which still threaten our very existence.  The human condition – or the condition of life, in general – is still defined by fragility, life challenges, and tragedy for each of us collectively and as individuals.

But we've come so far.  Did you know that the first tractor was built just 132 years ago? 79 years later, humans successfully landed on the Moon and safely returned to Earth.  Now we've got artificial intelligence on the cusp of … sentience?   We are discovering that the universe contains trillions of stars, exoplanets, and exoplanets with orbits in goldilocks zones.

Life may be common in the universe.

So why is my writing so pessimistic, if not dark?  Well, I am simply exploring a rabbit hole that began with Alter Road and deepened with Friendship Games.  I dig even deeper with book 3, tentatively titled Daddy Broke the World (it's a working title, for goodness sakes). I am exploring the 'what ifs' if we (primarily Americans, but also the world) continue with our current socio-economic trajectories.

That rabbit hole ends with Daddy Broke the World.  The one after might begin a new rabbit hole: Move over Alternative History, and make way for Alternative/Future Geography.

Well, in the meantime, let's be thankful for our relative peace and prosperity in the current moment and be hopeful that we steer our way through contemporary existential challenges to a prosperous future while avoiding the pitfalls of the human condition as best as we can.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!