Weeknotes 12: Our inner and outer crises are two sides of the same coin
For a few weeks I’ve been dabbling with using Elixir to generate some SVG art. My technology choice was entirely based on the fact that I wanted to play with Elixir, rather than any pragmatic reasoning. I’ve also had to refresh my knowledge of basic geometry, buried deep in my brain since my school days! This week I finally made something that looks somewhat interesting. I’ll probably say more about this, and share some code, in the future.
On Monday we went to see the new film 2040 which presents a hopeful vision of the future where we’ve actually stepped up and done what the ecological crisis demands of us. Significantly, all of the solutions presented actually exist today. It’s worth a watch, as it shows a bunch of really cool, positive things that people are working on around the world.
I got a lovely and unexpected email from a reader of this here blog, saying that some of the things I’ve been sharing had really helped them, which definitely made my day! A good reminder that if you enjoy something in this world, you should really tell the creator of that thing. It doesn’t take much effort, but can be very motivating for that person!
(There’s no tracking on this site, so I really have no idea how many people are reading things…)
We need to understand that our inner and outer crises are two sides of the same coin.
We usually think of the problems we’re facing in the real world - climate breakdown, mass extinction, inequality, poverty - in a different category from our crises of mental health, like our epidemics of depression, anxiety, suicide, and self-harm, especially among the young.
But actually, our inner and outer crises aren’t separate. Take depression or anxiety. We used to think that they were caused by imbalances in brain chemistry, and that the way to treat them was simply to take drugs to redress the imbalance. Now though, we’re realising that they have deep roots in how our ways of living fail to meet the psychological needs of many – and maybe most – of us.
It turns out that ultimately, democracy depends on citizens who can manage their mental and emotional states, feel empathy for each other, and share a sense of common identity and purpose – things in which we’ve invested next to nothing.
They’ve just published a report which I hope to dig into at some point.
I’ve joined a team to build a large interactive art installation for Burning Seed (Australia’s version of Burning Man), which I’m quite excited about. It’s early days yet, but it’s clear that there are going to be a lot of LEDs involved!