- We live, it seems, in the eclipsing of a world age. The older stabilities are disrupted more deeply month by month. Big tech openly plans to remake human nature with networked monopolies, wall to wall surveillance, and robotics. Their dorm-room vision is a new kind of planetary unity, but the motives are the same old profit and power. Government is gridlocked and cannot constrain the ravages of unquestioned, ever accelerating, deeply disruptive “progress.” And tribal dissension, fed by nuance-less tweets, grows daily stronger.
These and other challenges threaten our planet, really. So perhaps a couple of the big-world, fantasy epics are relevant. I think, of course, of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but also Christopher Paolini’s more recent Inheritance Cycle. In each of them, it all comes to a head in a final, apocalyptic battle for the survival of light in the face of darkness.
What Tips the Balance?
What might interest us here is an evolution, from one story to the next, in what wins the battle. There are warriors and wizards, courage and quests, and knowledge and weapons acquired and deployed on both sides. But what central element tilts the struggle in favor of light?
Between stories, it seems as if this central element and final weapon has actually evolved from the renunciation of power to simple empathy. What sense does that make for us in our own version of planetary Armageddon?
And what if I can lay this out for you in a few words?
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