And so, suffocating under the excessive burden of the future, we project our worries onto it, and usurp its proper space. In claiming to speak for the future, we represent it in a double sense: by electing ourselves as its delegates and at the same time turning it into an extension of the present.
Another dimension of the colonization of the future is its idealization as the be-all and end-all of our actions. The future is converted into a fetish that supplements the deficiencies and redeems the flaws inherent in the present
This excerpt (now a personal favorite) is from The New York Times‘ “The Stone” series in its online Opinionator section. The series features insightful articles on relevant contemporary issues from a theoretical, interdisciplinary perspective. Some recent topics include pseudoscience, priming experiments in psychology, economic theory, and race.
What I love most about this series is that it reminds me of the virtues of good journalistic writing. In a digital age in which information has often been disseminated in no more than 140 characters, it is easy to become disillusioned about discovering thoughtful, original pieces in a mainstream context. While some of the articles in The New York Times series may rely heavily on abstruse academic jargon, I appreciate the effort to reflect on social and political issues from a philosophical standpoint. ‘
Check it out here. Let me know what you think, and as always, leave a comment with your reading suggestions!