The modern world has delivered the promise of great progress, but has also exacted a fierce price. That, in a nutshell, is the story of disenchantment. To my mind, this line of thought is neither truthful nor helpful.
The cheery image of humanity projected by social media selfies isn’t an attempt to fool us into believing in the contentment myth; it’s how we want to see ourselves.
Sartre famously wrote that “l’enfer, c’est les autres”: hell is other people. But I’d rather suggest that “other people” are both hell and heaven. Strung between community and individuality, the umbilical cord of identity is a tenuous one.
Some quirky math conjures up a time machine of sorts, letting you look at the world through the eyes of someone who may be more like you than you think.
There is a whole host of perfectly acceptable dead people whom you never knew and who can still be of service. They are the artists and philosophers, scientists and visionaries whose presence is still felt long past their due date.
Humans are not the only animals to use tools, but we are the one species that has come to rely on technology more than any other. But the fruits of our progress towards ever more advanced technologies have been a double-edged sword.
On the whole, doubt often gets a bad rap. We don’t like it; we prefer certainty. But the ways in which we deal with doubt may reveal some insights into what makes us human and how to find your way in a life in which uncertainty will always play a part.