Posts Tagged ‘Zen Pencils’

Bonsoir Internet,

I’m sure many of you have also been asked this question; if you could live in any time, when would it be?  Well, before I give away my answer I must offer a disclaimer, that whenever this question is asked the person answering should first be considered.  As Louis C.K. points out with such radiating eloquence, a black guy in America doesn’t wanna go back past… 1980.  Whereas I, a white man, could trip into Ancient Rome and would already have a table reserved.  Who you’re asking is most important.

As for me, I have always been puzzled by this question.  I look around and I see suffering, I see pain, and I see death, but there is also magic in the air.  I see the stars, and satellites floating between them.  I see machines harvesting geothermal heat, sunlight, wind, and the tides.  The four elements, harnessed for energy!!!  I see people in Nebraska talking freely to friends from Norway to New Zealand to Namibia they met in online communities.  I am thankful to have grown up when (and where) I did, and at twenty-four to have already witnessed what I have.  I am one of what some now are referring to as the “Millennials.”  I am one of the first children of the internet.  The original patent for the World Wide Web was submitted in March of 1989.  I was born a year and a month later.  There are those who had mastered code and programming before I was born but my generation grew up alongside the internet, creating ourselves as it did the same, and each off of each other.  I was raised in Conakry, Guinea, without a TV, but also had a front row seat to the evolution of the internet.  When I was an adolescent in Maryland we had to drive all the way to the movie store if we wanted to watch a movie, and sometimes they didn’t even have it!  OH THE HORROR!!!  I remember the first, tan, Macintosh computer brought into my house.  The original, black and white, side-scrolling Prince of Persia game blew my mind to bits.  Everyone thought email was strange and complicated, and every phone had a wire.

Now I look around and revolutions in Egypt are publicized to the world instantaneously by Twitter and Youtube videos.  Speeches and statements are streamed and recorded in real-time to every continent on the planet.  New news pops up on my computer screen days before CNN (not to mention what doesn’t even make it).  Our parents ridiculed us for spending too much time on Myspace but now both of my parents have a Facebook and companies are hiring full-time “Social Media Navigators.”  When two people can have a conversation and any unknown word can be looked up in the palm of one’s hand, we have reached the Age of Information.  All the inventions and creations of History have brought us to this point of unimaginable possibility, so I hear this question and I truly have but one answer: NOW!!!  With all of its barbarism and entropy, I choose today!

Indeed, much of the world today calls for improvement, but what do you expect?  We as a species are on the cusp of a new era of worldwide communication and empathy, but every birth is preceded by pain.  We have known for a while that the fetus in the womb begins with a tail and webbed fingers, but we have recently discovered that the webbing does not retract back onto the hands when our human parts begin to form.  In actuality, the cells making up the webbing on our reptilian fingers die off and fall away, leaving our human hands behind.  As Terence Mckenna would say, even in the womb, life is literally sculpted by the hand of death.  You see, even with all the darkness we have shoved in front of our faces, it is that darkness that shows us just how far the candle’s light shines.  I can teach myself computer programming, music theory, and French online for free.  We have mapped the entire human genome and 3D-printed live human tissue.  When Haiti was devastated by a massive earthquake it took the world three hours to come to its aid.  Twenty years ago that timeframe would have been impossible.  Now messages spread globally without even trying.

It defies rational thought to try and imagine what the next twenty years will look like.  Contrary to popular belief however, that future does depend on what we want to do with it.  Knowledge is power, so in the Age of Information, ignorance is a choice.  There may be power-hungry elites pushing their agendas, but those elites have existed as long as the rest of us and every time they push people down, the people push back.  Today excites me because unlike with the movements of the past, we now have the power to push back on a global scale.  With enough organization, cooperation, and perspiration it is not unreasonable to imagine simultaneous, worldwide protests in every major city.

This is not some hypothetical situation I’m talking about, either.  I am not writing about how I would have dealt with Hitler, or what I would have said to the cavemen.  I’m talking about this world – OUR world.  The fact of the matter is that the potential is finally here to shape the entire world into an actual civilization!  The responsibility lies on us and only us to shape it though.  And why shouldn’t it?  Look at how much knowledge our species has accumulated and consider that if you are reading this right now you have access to it all.  Powers previously reserved for God alone have been placed in our hands, and all we have to do is use them.  If that doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will.

Here is a speech by the late, great Terence Mckenna about our world and our place in it.  If you liked what I had to say, you’re gonna love this.

This is a comic strip by Zen Pencils illustrating a point from Mckenna’s speech above.  Pictures always help, so creates comics to illustrate and clarify wise words from throughout history.  Check out this and others!

Until next time, onward and upward.

– Z