Why is it that human culture forgets the past so easily? Western culture knew that the earth was round more than a thousand years ago, and now – today! – we have too many people who think they are smarter than everyone else because they deny what was so obvious to people who only had their senses to draw upon. In this generation, we’ve learned that people of all genders and colors and origins and presentations and orientations are human. How long before we forget those things and have to learn it all over again?
Having gained the 8 hour work day and the 5 day workweek, we let both of those decay to the point where they’re hardly a thing anymore. We’ve seen decay in the belief in vaccines, the understanding of our place in the cosmos, and that’s all in the last 40 years, within my lifetime. And yet the fantasy that there’s some sort of bearded sky fairy who will help your sportsteam win the big game persists in so many permutations year after year after year. What is it about that meme that infects people year after year but rationalism must be constantly shored up?
These questions come up for me because in the world I’m building, this other race of humans I’m creating have continued to increase their knowledge of the world and their technologies without so many instances of two-steps-forward-one-step-back that we’ve seen in our human history. So I wonder what it is about our culture now that lends itself to forgetting how HARD we worked to get a world nearly free of smallpox, a world where women are not just kept as breeding chattel, where workers had rights and power, where we sent people to fly AROUND the fucking globe.
What do I change with my other race of humans where they won’t be as susceptible to the loss of knowledge that plagues every generation of our humanity?