Dear readers, Merry Christmas! No long essay, just a quick note from me—and Snowy! That’s him grinning up at you.
I’ve been remiss in not saying it yet. So a big capital letters Thank You. For all of those who’ve joined me here already at this new little place called The Issue.
We created The Issue to have a place to discuss the issues. The great transformations that are happening, as we enter this critical juncture in the human story. I think that if I do my job well, I help you chart the difficult shores of the 21st century.
What have we discussed so far? The startling rate at which democracy’s failing. How what we call “the economy” is buckling and breaking. The way in which the fabric of our societies is fraying. Why this feels like the 1930s, demagogues roaring in every corner of the globe again. The psychologies of despair, hopelessness, futility, pessimism, and rage behind it all.
But we’ve also talked about changes. What it means to be a leader in times like these. What sort of economy carries the seeds of prosperity within it again. Organizational forms fit for the future. Psychologies, too, that can catalyze another step forward in the…
Stalled human journey. That’s another way to think about why I created The Issue. I’ve grown deeply concerned, over the last few years, that we’re in a different era now. All the evidence seemed to point to me of a time where progress itself stalled, went into reverse, and regress would bring back history’s follies, ills, and evils with it, as it inevitably does. Here, over the last few months, I’ve tried to share some of those findings with you, in the way of hard data, cutting-edge research, facts, empirical evidence.
That’s why I say things like “we’re at a turning point in the human journey.” I hope, now, you begin to see what I do, as I’ve begun to tell you these stories, and weave them together, in a way that their strands carry the weight of history into the uncertain future.
We’re going to be discussing a…lot…as we head into the new year and beyond. We’ll delve even deeper into how badly democracy’s really doing (isn’t the data shocking, now that you know it?). We’ll explore how our economies grew so unstable. Why classes of elites seem unable to grasp just how parlous the state of things really is. How psychologies of despair, like those gripping the world, fuel instability, in a bitter search for meaning and purpose. Why and what collapse really is, and why it feels like things are collapsing around us.
As we do all that, I’ll introduce you to even more cutting-edge research, Big Ideas, historical examples, and modern day case studies. My tasks here are several-fold. I try to educate you, with data and facts you should know. More than that, though, I try to help you build synthetic knowledge atop it—to understand how all these things, society, politics, economics, philosophy, psychology, intertwine, to form worlds and ages and eras. And how they unravel, too, in times like these.
We’ve got a lot ahead of us—thinking, discussion, elucidation, essays, writing, videos. I hope you enjoy them, and I hope I’m doing a good job so far! Starting a new…thing…is always scary. Luckily, I have Snowy’s magic puppy power to keep me focused, brave, and determined. Here’s some for you, too, if you need it. I know this isn’t an easy Christmas for a lot of people, and my heart goes out to you if you’re one (we’ll discuss that, too, by the way.) You’ve got a friend here—this is a place for people like us to learn from each other, and about each other.
Please let me know, by the way, what you’d like more of, or less of, from videos, to longer posts, or shorter posts, or anything else at all. I treasure each and every one of you, and a big capital letters Thank You, again, for joining me.
Merry Christmas, and best wishes.
Umair (and Snowy!)
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