We think it is all about us. The world is our oyster. We developed the current global economic structure in which the costs of environmental damage, labour exploitation, and socio-political disruption are ignored, or perhaps even celebrated, as the price of doing business. Our philosophy stumbles over the word ‘equal’ because it maintains that we have dominion over all that is nature. We struggle to imagine that others might know something we don’t, or that fish and trees have languages of their own. If such understanding was possible for us, life on earth would not becoming to an end.
In her introduction to the ‘World’s Wife’ by Carol Ann Duffy, Jeanette Winterson says the ‘punishment of the Gods turns out to be a 24/7 always-on meaningless managerial job, where no matter how many emails you answer, your inbox will be full again the next day’. As a professor, I am fortunate not to have the meaningless job part of this punishment but I do sometimes feel that my inbox fills up no matter how many emails I answer. Actually, I suspect that the filling rate is related to my answering rate but it appears to be a complex feedback relationship.
Many of us compound the punishment by shackling ourselves to the inbox via our smartphones. You may not see it as a punishment to be constantly in touch with everyone but it is probably a handicap. We have a limited bandwidth to handle information and people tend to over-communicate and lack understanding. We need to reduce the level of communication and increase the level of understanding.
I am breaking the relentless cycle of communication by taking a holiday for a couple of weeks. There will be some horizon therapy [see my post entitled ‘Horizon Therapy‘ on May 4th, 2016] and mind-wandering [see post entitled ‘Mind wandering‘ on September 3rd, 2014] as well as doing pretty much nothing.