THE THIRD ISLAND:
And are there contradictions in modern life? Oh plenty. Being part of the great silly ratrace is full of contradictions. We run around like beheaded chickens, trying to become more wealthy,
And yet that very pursuit makes us stressed and our world more polluted, crowded and annoying.
It's really been a triumph of the symbol makers. Money is the symbol that has triumphed. It's supposed to be a symbol of wealth, but the symbol has become more important than the wealth.
Imagine two islands. On one of them, the forests are cut down, the air is polluted, the towns, are crowded, all so the people can become wealthy. On another the people live in a simple fashion, breathing clean air, fishing from plentiful reefs, dwelling in uncrowded homes. They are the poor.
On the first island the people have the symbols. On the second island the people have the wealth? Well this is a bit too simple.
Now granted, the medical care is better on the first island.
But there are many more modern diseases...
On the second island the life expectancy is probably shorter. There is no high tech stuff to keep you alive...
It would be way to Thoreau-like of me to suggest that the second island is better off in culture. One thing civilization offers is great works of art, great thinkers. On the second island they're too busy with the basics of life to really create a great culture.
The people on the first island think the people on the second island are foolish hicks. The people on the second island think the people on the first are mislead maze dwellers.
In both cases there are victims. There are people living in the ratrace, who have no time to appreciate its strengths. The museums and universities. There are people living in the rural utopia suffering from a lack of basic urban accesses...
But surely some kind of mix of the two is the real way?
The third island. We don't want more symbols of wealth than wealth itself. (although there are a lot of deluded fools who have so much self-esteem tied up in those symbols they can't see this..) and we want access to the best of civilization...
The third island isn't heading for destruction. It has a sustainable economy. There is culture, perhaps not the best, but really very good. There is health care, and it works. On the third island, the symbols haven't taken over.
Wealth is still having time and air to breath. Ambitious people can still find a way to achieve their goals, but not at the expense of other people's goals.
Get me to the third island. Get me to a sane world view.