Post Christmas clutterfest

For the first time in human history,  we’re in the unprecedented situation of having virtually infinite supplies of material goods.  At no time prior to around the 1950s could the majority of the world’s population have more problems with clutter and storage than with scarcity and want.

 

This is good from a human flourishing point of view, but we’re now faced with the problem that 100 millennia worth of behaviour is now maladaptive.  We no longer need to hoard every made or found object or gobble all the food we come across – our problems are ones of excess.

 

It’s no surprise that we haven’t learned to cope with it yet.  In fact, the 21st century may be fascinating from a human culture point of view as we learn to cope with a suite of problems which we mostly invented ourselves.  At least two of the four horsemen of the apocalypse are slain, and one of them is looking quite shaky (according to Pinker, but not Taleb). But each deceased horseman contains the seeds of its successor.

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