Too much, too soon
It’s probably less than a week since you last heard that tiresome political accusation “Too little, too late”. It fits the politicians’ dictionary perfectly, being hardly disputable and totally unmeasurable. As always, whether political or not, a leader caught with his dictionary round his ankles, can resort to this vague criticism of others with little threat of rebuff. The mantra really fits only one situation well. If asked near the end of life what any of us have learnt “Too little, too late” will probably be a truthful response.
What is happening to us now is the opposite. We are getting too much, too soon. While it suffers the same shortcomings as its reverse, this is more measurable since it deals with the past and present rather than the future. History may be unreliable but its score is better than prediction. You can count the ‘too much’ on any web screen. Try looking for a purchase of something online, say a tiny vacuum cleaner for the morning dust-off of your keyboard. To make this innocent purchase you will have to study the terms & conditions of buying a Dyson Space Mission Cleaner right through to the Quill Nib Scrubber beloved of the Waverly Pen. This will put so much pressure on you that you will likely abandon the purchase altogether.
Or listen to the American version of a breakfast order. “Eggs & bacon with coffee” – as most would say – becomes “Three up and easy over, firm white with chargrilled crispy bacon (non-sweet) and long latte, low-fat creamer; to go”. Indeed. Try buying a pair of real steel scissors to last a lifetime. Like everything else they come with a freebie – until the purchase has been made at which time the gift has changed and what is now offered will only be available in eight to twelve weeks time, ‘subject to alteration or cancellation without notice’.
A man tried to impress me the other day. He looked me in the eye to tell me that “…the SBASSERpin was now recused in favor of pNITch which had proven much faster when the trunboles were compared with the onchikovs”. I smiled and said that both were way behind the inchpixers. He didn’t ask me what they were, just nodded knowingly. It’s not just too much, you see, it’s altogether too much, quite a different thing.
Babies more or less instinctively know how to thumb a keyboard from the moment of their eye-opening and children of five are now to be assessed for suitable careers even though they can’t yet pronounce the word ‘litigation’. The concept of childhood seems to be slipping away as fast as the Arctic ice. Children should shout and run about to discover the world they want to live in. There is also plenty of evidence that slow developers are deep thinkers with much wisdom to offer. The world needs wisdom more than artificial intelligence.
Lest my previous paragraphs suggest that I am against progress, permit me to assure you that is far from the truth. I hope that all those I know will develop the human mind to create an increasingly beautiful and wonderful world. We now accept that humans can create.
May they create what is worthwhile. Then they can truthfully claim to be gods.
For we are lacking our gods right now.
Your thoughts, as always, very welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
13 February 2023