(Via Jerry Pournelle)
I have read some depressing, disturbing things in my life, but this one is bucking, hard, for top honors.
The fact that it was written in Spring, 1999 makes it worse–they’ve had 5 more years to “improve” the situation.
As with most highly literate essays, there are no pithy quotes I can extract for you. You have to read the entire work, digest it, ponder on it, then repeat. If anyone out there catches themselves thinking that “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if we have a guaranteed floor below which we can’t sink…we would all have time to reach those higher Maslow orders ” (a la Star Trek),, read this and see what that guaranteed standard of living does to human beings.
It may be hard to accept, but mankind must have problems to test us. Without them, rather than ascend, we descend into a black pit of apathy and despair. We feel worthless, since there are no challenges. The English are learning this. Let’s hope they survive the lesson, and let’s hope we don’t have to learn it the hard way as well.